The workers’ comp is there to protect you from injuries at the workplace. A lot of times, a lawyer is not necessary when seeking a settlement from the insurance as the workers’ comp program is straightforward. For example, you may not need a lawyer if the injury is temporary and the insurance does not have a problem offering you a financial settlement.
However, you may need an attorney to help you earn workers comp settlement in the following cases:
- Your settlement claim is rejected by the insurance
- The insurance has disapproved your benefits claim
- You are finding it difficult to find treatment for injuries suffered at work
- Your boss is threatening to fire you for seeking compensation
- You can’t continue working because of an injury suffered at work
- You are facing a workers compensation hearing
Without a doubt, a lawyer can come to your rescue when faced with any of the above cases. What’s interesting though is that a lawyer can help you maximize your workers’ comp settlement.
Here are some ways a lawyer can help:
- Develop Evidence
Evidence is important when facing the insurance and when going for a court hearing. You need evidence that’s solid to get a favorable settlement from the workers’ comp program. Fortunately, your attorney can help you collect it. The pieces can include:
- Medical records
- Statements from medical experts
- Medical exams
- Witness statements
- Proof of employment
- Statement from your supervisor or employer
In general, the more evidence you have, the highly likely you are to get a better settlement form the insurance.
- Negotiate Better Settlement
It’s never a smart idea to talk to an insurance adjuster on your own. You need an attorney to help you negotiate a better deal. The amount should be a reflection of the damages suffered. Some of the factors that your lawyer may consider in negotiating better settlement include:
- The extent of the injury
- The medical costs incurred following the accident
- Future financial losses linked to the work injury
A good attorney knows how to counter the tactic used by the insurance adjuster to convince you to settle for a low amount.
- Offer Settlement Advice
The workers’ comp program recognizes different categories of settlement for work-related injuries. It’s up to you to identify what suits you depending on the nature of your injury. Major ones include:
- Disability benefits
- Mileage compensation
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation expenses
Since insurance companies are profit-making entities, you cannot expect adjusters to offer you a fair settlement right away. You need an attorney to advise you on what to settle for.
- Offer Advice on Disability Rating
Before you can claim certain compensation, you need to specify your disability rating. A lawyer can work with your doctor to help you with this. Generally, you can either be temporary or permanently disabled. In case of temporary disability, you can either be:
- Temporary partially disabled: Where you are prevented from doing some jobs for a certain period.
- Temporary Totally Disabled: Where you can’t work at all for a limited time.
The same can also be said about permanent disability. You can either be:
- Permanent partially disabled: Where you are permanently disabled but can work to some extent.
- Permanent totally disabled: Where you are permanently disabled and the disability prevents you from working completely.
- Represent You in Court
If the settlement amount that the insurance is offering doesn’t appear fair, heading to court is not a bad idea. But before you do, you need a lawyer to represent your interest. The expert will provide the evidence and witnesses in court to back your claim.
The attorney will also apply the workers’ comp statutes effectively to ensure that your claim holds in court and that the insurance betters the initial offer. Besides, the insurance company will be assembling a defense team and so it makes sense to have one.
- Attend All Your Legal Appointments
Lastly, you don’t have to attend all the legal appointment to negotiate a settlement if you have an attorney on your side. The expert can attend everything from the mediation to the hearing to ensure that your interests are highly prioritized. It’s generally not a good idea to miss an appointment meant to decide on your settlement. So, having a workers comp lawyer on speed dial ensures this never happens.
It’s undeniable that you need a lawyer to maximize your workers’ comp settlement. So, don’t face the insurance alone or go to court unrepresented. You need legal representation at each stage and so hiring an experienced workers’ comp lawyer should be a priority.