If you’ve been hurt at work and are wondering whether you should hire a workers’ compensation, you are not alone.
Many people who have been injured on the job think they can handle the situation on their own. While that may be true, most lay people are not equipped with the knowledge to properly handle a workers’ compensation claim.
It can be difficult to know whether you should get a workers’ compensation lawyer after an injury. We’ll cover all the common questions people have about hiring a workers’ comp lawyer and give you examples of some ways it can actually benefit you.
Should You Represent Yourself in a Workers’ Comp Claim?
There are times when it may work out if you represent yourself in a claim for workers’ compensation.
Here are some scenarios where an attorney is usually not necessary:
- The injury was minor with no complications, such as a minor cut
- You missed no work or were only off a few hours or a day at the most
- Your employer acknowledges the incident that happened at work
- You don’t have a pre-existing condition which can complicate matters
Although one or more of these scenarios might describe your situation, you may want to contact an attorney for a free evaluation.
They can offer legal advice to warn you of possible complications which would require their services. At the very least, it will help you feel more informed and better prepared for dealing with the insurance and employer.
Reasons You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer has a few key benefits. Among them, you’ll benefit from the unmatched legal experience of someone who can fight for your rights so that you can focus on recovering from your work injury. With that in mind, these are the top reasons for hiring an attorney.
1. Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney to Evaluate the Claim
Even if the employer and workers’ compensation are cooperating with you and not denying the claim, you may want to work with an attorney to evaluate the value of your claim.
In Pennsylvania, you can be offered a lump sum settlement for your injury. Before you accept this payment, you want to know if it’s fair.
An attorney can determine the cost of your injury with current and future medical expenses and help you decide what is a fair and adequate amount for a settlement.
2. Find a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to File the Claim
You may not have realized you were injured when something happened at work, or it may not have seemed serious until the next day or even a week later.
You may want to contact an attorney to help you file a claim even if it’s been a few days since the injury.
A lawyer will do the following to help you get started with your claim:
- Collect details of the incident and document everything
- Ensure you see a medical provider
- Notify the employer
- Respond to the employer or workers’ compensation insurance with requests for more information
3. An Attorney Will Protect Your Rights
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will work to protect your rights. They are on your side, which means they are focused on what course of action is in your best interest.
Employers want to protect themselves, and the insurance company wants to spend as little money as possible. An attorney knows the current laws on workers’ compensation, and they will ensure your rights aren’t violated in the process.
4. An Attorney Can Determine Third Party Liability
In most cases, an injured worker has only one option: they can file a workers’ compensation claim against the employer.
However, there is one situation where they may be able to file a claim against a third party. This situation occurs when someone other than the employer is at fault for the injury which occurred at work.
You will most often see this situation when multiple vendors or contractors are working on the same job site.
Construction injuries are the most common since multiple subcontractors are working in the same space. If one subcontractor was responsible for another’s an injury, they might be liable instead of the owner of the job site.
5. A Worker’s Comp Attorney Can Appeal a Denial
Many times, a workers’ compensation claim will be denied.
The person may have waited too late to file a claim or filed it incorrectly. They may have left out important information, or some other reason caused the denial.
An attorney can review the case and decide if your workers’ compensation denial can be appealed.
One reason for denial is if you have a pre-existing condition in the area of the injury. A workers’ comp doctor may say all your pain is from the other condition and not from the injury, so the claim is denied.
6. An Attorney Can Negotiate a Settlement Offer
Because Pennsylvania allows lump sum payments, also known as a Compromise & Release, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney to help negotiate the offer.
Workers’ compensation will provide an offer they know is probably lower than what they would have to pay if they make ongoing payments.
An attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine how much your care is likely to cost for the long-term and negotiate on your behalf, especially if you will be unable to return to work at any point in the future.
7. An Attorney Knows the Law
Changes are made to laws every day, and the average person doesn’t know what all these changes mean.
There are also deadlines which can mean the difference between an approval and a denial. An attorney will help you meet these deadlines and provide the correct documentation, so you don’t jeopardize your benefits.
Things get even more complex if you will be receiving Social Security disability along with your claim benefits.
8. Hire an Attorney If You Are Asked for a Medical Evaluation
Employers want to settle the claim as quickly as possible, so they may ask for a independent medical evaluation for your workers’ comp claim while you’re receiving treatment.
Before you attend any evaluation or see a doctor assigned by the insurance, contact an attorney. While your employer may want you to get back to work as soon as possible, you might not be able to resume your duties. An attorney will work to ensure you can remain off-work and receive benefits until you’ve recovered and are ready to return.
You shouldn’t have to fight for your workers’ compensation benefits on your own. Dealing with claims and understanding Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law can be complicated, especially when you’re injured. An attorney can handle the claims aspect of your injury while you focus on getting better. They will protect your rights and ensure you receive the care and compensation you deserve.
If You Want To Win, You Should Hire A Workers’ Comp Attorney
Don’t wait to hire an attorney for your workers’ comp claim. The sooner you find an attorney, the easier the process will be.
Let Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo help you get the benefits you deserve.
Call us today at (844) 243-4843 for a free consultation about your claim.