Do You Need A Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
Filing a workers' compensation claim puts your interests up against the interests of your employer. It can be a sticky situation, because you probably don't want to create a rift with your employer, but at the same time, you need to ensure that your needs are met. Because of this, you should consider hiring a workers' compensation lawyer to handle any disputes you have. While you can settle your claim without a lawyer, there are certain situations that hiring a lawyer to handle your workers' compensation case could be in your best interest.
You're Not Offered a Fair Settlement
People often assume that workers' compensation claims are cut and dry, so they accept a low settlement offer or don't bother filing an appeal for a denied claim. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Every workers' compensation case is different, which is why the outcomes and benefits can vary widely between cases. Ideally, the settlement from your workers' compensation claim should cover your lost wages, as well as all of your medical expenses. If it doesn't, you should consult an attorney before you make the decision to accept the offer.
The Accident Left You Disabled
If your work accident left you partially or permanently disabled, you could be eligible to receive weekly payments for the rest of your life from your workers' compensation settlement. Unfortunately, lifetime weekly payments can get costly, so it can be hard to get insurers to agree to those terms. Because of this, you should consider hiring a workers' compensation attorney if you are physically unable to work for a specific amount of time.
You Feel Threatened After You Filed a Claim
Legally, your employer cannot demote or fire you, reduce pay or work hours, or discriminate against you in any other way because you filed a workers' compensation claim. Remember, your employer has workers' compensation insurance to protect the company, as well as the employees. If you were hurt at work, it's your right to file a claim. So, if you feel threatened or your boss seeks retaliation after you've filed your claim, you should speak to a workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
For the protection of all parties involved, workers' compensation settlements require judicial approval. However, unless the settlement offer is obviously unfair, there's a good chance the judge will approve the settlement. So, it's extremely important for you to get advice from a workers' compensation lawyer like Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP before accepting a settlement.