If you are injured at work, you may or may not need to hire an attorney. After all, the worker’s compensation system is designed for workers to navigate it easily, and if you have a straightforward claim that isn’t being disputed by your employer or insurance company, handling your own claim will likely be easy enough. But unfortunately, the process isn’t always that straightforward and many workers will need to consider hiring a workers’ compensation or personal injury lawyer.
When is a Lawyer Not Necessary?
There are a few examples of situations where you may be injured at work, but hiring a lawyer isn’t necessary e.g. if you are not seriously injured while working and it completely heals with treatment. Insurance companies and employers are unlikely to dispute claims that involve clearly work-related injuries, do not require extensive medical treatment or long periods of time off work, and do not result in permanent damage.
When Should You Consider Hiring a Lawyer?
If you are in a dispute with your employer or insurance company over a work-related injury, you should consider hiring a lawyer to represent you. You will need to challenge the insurance company’s position by gathering evidence, which could involve taking depositions, requesting an independent medical exam, or hiring expert witnesses – all of which are best done by an experienced, skilled lawyer. You should consider hiring a lawyer if your worker’s compensation claim is denied, if you have a pre-existing condition, if there is a dispute surrounding your permanent disability rating, if your ability to work has been permanently affected, or if you are having trouble getting the treatment that you need for the injury. It’s also worth hiring a lawyer if you are receiving other government benefits since these might be reduced if you receive workers’ compensation benefits and a lawyer can help you minimize this.
Is Hiring a Lawyer Worth the Cost?
Worker’s compensation and personal injury lawyers like Cline Jenson P.A. don’t usually charge a typical hourly rate. Instead, they work on a contingency basis, meaning that they will take a percentage of any worker’s compensation benefits or settlement figure that they help you recover as a fee. And, depending on the state that you reside in, there may be a cap on the amount that your lawyer can charge as a fee, which is generally between 15-25%. Working with a lawyer is certainly worth the expense if your claim is not straightforward since you are likely to get a much higher settlement offer when you have expert legal representation. Your lawyer will understand the finer, legal details of the case, will have the negotiation skills to help you get the best possible offer, and will have access to a variety of expert tools that they can use to build up their case. As a result, you will likely be better off, even after the lawyer has taken their fee.
If you’ve been injured at work and are having problems getting worker’s compensation, hiring a lawyer is a smart move to make.