The Situations Where It Is in Your Best Interests to Hire Legal Counsel
When you’ve been hurt on the job, you’re entitled to seek benefits through your state’s workers’ compensation laws. You’re not required to have an attorney represent you in this process, but it’s almost always a good idea. Though your injury may seem clear cut to you, your employer and your employer’s work comp insurance carrier will often engage in delays or denials, or try to get you to take less than you deserve.
There are some situations where a lawyer may not be necessary. If your injury doesn’t require extensive medical care, or if you only need a few days off work to recover, it’s unlikely that the workers’ compensation insurer will challenge your claim. If your injury seems minor, you may want to wait to contact legal counsel—your employer may provide the benefits you need. There are, however, instances where you’ll immediately want to retain an experienced workplace injury attorney.
You Have Any Type of Hearing Scheduled
In some situations, after you file for work comp benefits, your employer and the insurance company will quickly grant your request and payments will start. In most situations, though, you claim will either be denied or a hearing will be scheduled to determine eligibility. Don’t go to any hearing without legal representation. The other parties will have legal counsel present and you cannot expect the judge to provide you with any assistance.
When You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
It’s a common occurrence for a workers’ compensation insurer to deny a claim when a worker has experienced a similar injury in the past. Just because you’ve suffered the same type of injury before does not mean that you can’t file a new work comp claim. If you were medically cleared to return to work, you can seek benefits again. An experienced lawyer will protect your rights.
When Your Claim Is Denied
Employers and their insurers will reject your claim for a variety of reasons, all in an attempt to minimize their costs. They may argue that your injuries occurred outside of the scope of your work, that your injuries are not as serious as you allege they are, or that your injuries were not new, but were caused by a preexisting condition. You have the right to appeal decisions related to your claim, but the appeals process can be complex and confusing. Your employer and the work comp insurer will both be represented by legal counsel in any appeal. You need strong legal counsel, too.
There Are Disagreements about Your Permanent Disability Rating
A substantial percentage of workers’ compensation settlements and awards are for permanent disabilities. The amount you receive will be based, in part, on your disability rating. Your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company will work hard to convince the judge that your disability is minimal. You need knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel to ensure that you get all the benefits to which you are entitled. Having an attorney represent you is even more important if your disability is both permanent and total. You need someone who knows all the benefits to which you are entitled, including medical expenses and even job training.
You Are Receiving Some Other Type of Governmental Benefit
If you are eligible for and receiving other types of government assistance, such as Social Security income or disability payments, as well as Medicare, they may be affected by your receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney can help you minimize the impact.
Contact the Effective Work Injury Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a confidential consultation to anyone with questions or concerns about a will, trust or other estate planning tool. For an appointment with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.