Nobody wants to be injured at work. Likewise, nobody wishes for broken bones, bruises, or burns. But workplace accidents happen and these workplace accidents can lead to injuries. In fact, every seven seconds someone is injured on the workplace or on a job site in the U.S.
Even the seemingly small work injury can lead to chronic conditions down the road and a compensation claim may be in order. Injuries in the workplace can also lead to astronomical medical bills and lost wages since you can’t work until you’re healed.
You can file for workers’ comp but there are circumstances when you’ll be denied deserved compensation for a workplace injury.
So, when is a good time to hire a workplace injury lawyer or one of the many personal injury lawyers to help you with your workers’ compensation claim? We’re going to go over the importance of a lawyer when you’re suffering from a work injury.
When Should You Hire a Workplace Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a workplace injury lawyer or law firm to help you file receive compensation benefits isn’t necessary. However, it’s advised if you don’t understand all the rules and guidelines involved with the filing process.
There are several situations you may find yourself in when fighting your job’s workers’ compensation insurance that will require a workplace injury lawyer.
When Your Employer’s Insurance Company Is Fighting Against You
Most insurance companies are going to do anything they can to either award you a small amount for workers’ comp or denying you from receiving any compensation at all.
- They might deny your claim. You usually get a response to your workers’ compensation claim within 21 days of filing it.
The insurance company can deny you for a variety of reasons, including if no one witnessed your workplace accident.
A lawyer can help you file your appeal. When you file for an appeal, you’ll end up disputing your denied claim at a hearing. Your lawyer will help you do the paperwork and gather evidence for your case.
- They might dispute your permanent disability rating or partially permanent disability rating. Unfortunately, some workplace accidents can lead to permanent disability, meaning you’ll be facing hardship over your injury for the rest of your life.
The compensation you acquire is calculated into a permanent disability rating. Your employer’s insurance company may deny the rating your doctor gives you and require you to see one of their doctors.
Being paid by the company, this doctor isn’t on your side. This doctor may also try to get you back to work before you’re fully healed. If you don’t fight this rating with a lawyer, you’ll be stuck unable to pay all your medical bills nor will it cover much of your missed work.
A workplace injury lawyer can make sure you get the amount of compensation you deserve for your accident. Your capability to work has either made it difficult to continue working or stops you from working completely.
When You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
If you have a documented pre-existing condition or injury to your back and then your hurt your back at work, your employer’s insurance company will fight you before giving up any workers’ compensation benefits.
They will try to claim that your injury was there before and isn’t due to an accident that happened in the workplace. They’ll try to say that your pre-existing condition has been gradually getting worse.
When You’re Receiving Social Security Benefits
Since your workplace accident, you may have filed for Social Security Disability (SSDI)and you were approved.
Once your employer’s insurance company finds out about your additional benefits, they’re going to try to lower the amount of compensation you receive from them.
A workplace injury lawyer can ensure you receive your max benefits from both SSDI and workers’ compensation.
When Your Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Compensation
Not all states require employers to purchase a workers’ compensation policy. So, when you’re injured at work and there’s no workers’ compensation, you can end up high and dry for your injuries and pain and suffering.
Without a workers’ compensation policy, your employer is open to being sued by you for compensation. A lawyer can fight your employer for you, so you can get what you deserve.
You can either sue your employer for not carrying a workers’ compensation policy or if your injury was due to negligence, you can file a personal injury claim against them as well.
You might settle out of court or you may have to go to court. In this case, you and your workplace injury lawyer will have to gather evidence to prove your claim.
When You are Fired After Being Injured at Work
It’s illegal and unfair to fire an employee after they’ve received an injury in the workplace. But that doesn’t stop some employers for taking this step.
Maybe you were fired after you started receiving benefits for your injury or you were fired for another reason. Your employer can’t stop you from receiving your compensation—but some employers will try.
A workplace injury lawyer will make sure you keep your compensation, even after you’ve been terminated.
When a Third Party Is Involved
If there was a third party involved in your workplace accident, you can sue the third party outside of the benefits you receive from workers’ compensation.
A workplace injury lawyer can help you receive that additional money from the third party.
These instances include:
- If a co-worker was partially responsible for your workplace injury
- If your workplace injury was due to your employer’s negligence, such as not keeping up with proper repairs around the job site
- If a defective product is responsible for your workplace injury
- If you develop illness from toxic substances in the workplace
After a workplace injury, you should never feel like you’re being failed by your employer or by your employer’s insurance company. That’s why hiring a workplace injury lawyer could be the best decision you ever made.