The workers’ compensation system was designed to operate without the need for a court battle over every workplace injury case.
Why, then, is it such a good idea for injured workers to seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney? There are several reasons:
1. The process of filing a claim is complicated.
When you’re injured, you need your benefits to start as quickly as possible. However, the workers’ comp system is notoriously complex. An error in your paperwork could cause your claim to be unnecessarily delayed or even rejected. A workers’ comp attorney can help you get through the filing process with a minimal amount of stress and effort.
2. You may need advice about your eligibility for benefits.
Ideally, every employer and every insurance company would step up and treat every injured worker fairly. That isn’t the reality, however. Sometimes employers discourage injured employees from filing claims or tell them — incorrectly — that they aren’t eligible for benefits. Insurance companies sometimes do the same thing. Both are concerned about their bottom lines and not the injured workers. An attorney can help safeguard your rights.
3. You may need information about other programs.
Sometimes injured workers need to file for additional programs, including Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The two programs have similar benefits — cash and medical — so it’s wise to have an attorney explain your options and the consequences of filing for other benefits while still on workers’ comp.
4. You may need help with an appeal.
Sometimes a claim for benefits is unfairly denied. Other times, insurance companies or employers try to impose unfair conditions on injured employees. Whether you’re being forced into a “light duty” position that isn’t appropriate in your condition or you need representation at a hearing with the insurance company, an attorney can protect your rights and be your advocate.
For all of these reasons, it’s wise to discuss your situation with a as soon as is practical after an injury.