Not all workplace injuries are the same, and all cases differ. If you have been injured on the job, your injury may be minor or complex. Hiring a workers comp lawyer can be a good idea, as he or she can appraise your unique case and determine if you are due monetary compensation from your employer. Walking you through the process of a claim is what your lawyer is hired for, and there are several aspects a workers compensation lawyer--someone from a place like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP--will want you to know, including the following:
1. If your employer denies your claim, you have the right to appeal - and possibly win: Rather than accept the employer's denial, it may be to your benefit to hire a lawyer to appeal on your behalf. In most cases, you won't have to pay attorney fees upfront, so you don't have anything to lose.
2. Under workers comp, you CAN choose your own physician after a set amount of time: Some individuals are under the assumption that they must use a company doctor for the duration of their medical treatment. This is not the case, however. The law states that after 90 days of treatment with a company doctor, you have the right to choose any physician you please.
3. A workers comp lawyer may be able to recover the lost wages and medical expenses your employer's settlement didn't cover: Perhaps your workers compensation settlement only covered a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages. Don't settle for an unfair amount. In such a case, you may be entitled to additional benefits, but you must know how to go about it. A professional with experience in such cases has the know-how to get you the compensation that your settlement didn't cover.
4. You may be entitled to lifetime benefits if you were permanently injured on the job: Have you experienced a permanent disability or injury that prevents you from returning to work? If so, you may be entitled to benefits for life on a weekly basis or in one lump sum. However, many insurance companies deny injured workers this right due to the enormous cost.
5. A portion of your settlement payments may go directly to social security if you do not structure the settlement properly: Did you know that injured workers may lose part of their workers compensation benefits to social security? If you currently receive social security benefits, this leaves you at risk. Social security may be entitled to a percentage of your settlement. The smart way to counteract this is by hiring an experienced workers comp lawyer. He or she knows how to structure your settlement in such a way that will lessen the amount of money social security receives.
6. Your workers comp attorney may work on a contingency basis. This simply means that if you do not win benefits, you will owe the attorney nothing. However, if monetary benefits are won, a portion of that will be owed to your lawyer for services rendered.
It is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an injury. Acting quickly will enable the lawyer to assess the situation and gather the evidence necessary to win your claim.
7. If your employer threatens with retaliation for filing a claim against the company, you have legal rights: It is unlawful to fire an employee for filing a workers comp claim, or for cutting their pay or demoting them on the job. If any of these circumstances have occurred, you have legal rights to counteract. Your workers compensation lawyer may be able to bring a counter acclaim against your employer, but you will need to provide evidence such as medical documents to support this.
There is a lot to learn about legal rights and workers compensation laws. The smart way to be informed is to request a free consultation with a local workers compensation attorney as soon as possible.