If you’ve suffered an injury after a workplace accident, you may be confused about what to do next. You know there are certain steps you should take, but you may not know exactly what they are. So you might be wondering, Do I need a lawyer for workers’ comp? In many cases, the answer is yes. The attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm are ready to help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve.
When You Don’t Need a Workplace Accident Lawyer
After an accident, many people wonder, Should I get a lawyer for workers’ comp? In some instances, you may not need the help of a lawyer. You may not need a lawyer if:
- Your resulting injuries are obviously work-related;
- You do not need extensive medical treatment;
- You do not suffer any disability forcing you to take time off work; or
- There are no permanent injuries.
If your case involves any of the above-mentioned situations, an insurance company is unlikely to deny your claim. In other words, in these scenarios, you are likely to get the help you need without an attorney.
When to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
In other circumstances, you are much better off having a skilled workers’ compensation attorney on your side. The following scenarios can bring about challenges that only a lawyer will know how to handle.
In any of the following situations, having a workplace accident lawyer can help you get a much more favorable outcome.
Your Employer Is Delaying the Claim
After experiencing a work accident, you need to notify your employer as soon as possible. Once you have notified the employer, they must contact their insurance company and file a claim.
If your employer does not act quickly enough, this can negatively affect you. A hurt at work lawyer can help get the process going to get you the benefits you need as soon as possible.
Your Claim Is Denied
Insurance companies can deny claims for many different reasons. Fortunately, if your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. However, the need to appeal a denial adds a level of complication to your case that you are likely unprepared to handle alone.
Every state’s appeals process varies, but most require filing paperwork and presenting compelling evidence at a hearing. A workers’ compensation lawyer will represent you to ensure your case is handled properly.
Your Accident Results in a Permanent Disability
There are two types of disability—permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. When there is a permanent partial disability, the employee is still able to work, but not at the same capacity as before the accident.
On the other hand, a permanent total disability leaves an employee unable to work altogether. Disabilities are expensive, and insurance companies may push back. Your attorney will help ensure you receive the benefits you need after suffering a disability.
You Are Not Getting the Benefits You Need
Depending on your injuries, you may be eligible to receive certain workers’ comp benefits. But not all injuries qualify. So how do you know if you qualify?
The easiest way to determine what workers’ comp owes you is to speak with an attorney. They are experienced in workers’ comp cases and can help you fight to protect your rights to receive any benefits you qualify for.
You Have a Preexisting Condition
If you suffer from a preexisting condition in the same area you injured during your work accident, you can expect the insurance company to fight back and blame it on your condition. Your attorney can help produce evidence to show your injuries were a direct result of your accident.
You Are Unable to Get the Treatment You Need
Your injuries may require certain treatment, including surgery. The insurance company may delay approving or completely deny your required treatment, especially when the treatment is costly. A lawyer for work-related injury can take the necessary steps to get the insurance company to cover your treatment.
The Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer Does Not Cover All Your Medical Bills or Lost Wages
After suffering a workplace accident, you will need to be examined by a doctor. You will receive an impairment rating that reflects how much you have been permanently affected by your work injury.
Your rating determines how much compensation you receive, and if the rating is low, you may not get enough to cover all related expenses and lost wages. A workplace injury lawyer can help get you the appropriate rating.
Your Employer Retaliates Against You for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Employers are never allowed to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Retaliation can take many forms, including demotions, a reduction in work hours, a transfer to a different department, or even getting fired. An attorney can help you fight against your employer’s retaliation.
You Receive Other Government Benefits
If you receive or plan to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), receiving workers’ compensation benefits may reduce the amount of these benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can work out a plan to help reduce the impact on your benefits to help ensure you are receiving the fairest amount of benefits all around.
You Have a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
If you are unhappy with the result of your claim, or your claim is denied altogether, you can appeal the insurance company’s decision. In most states, this includes a hearing. A hearing is a serious event, and you are much better off having a lawyer represent you.
You Have a Claim Against a Third Party
By law, if you suffer an injury at work you can only file a workers’ compensation claim and you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer.
Nonetheless, if a third party plays a role in your workplace accident, you are entitled to file suit against them. Your attorney can handle your third-party claim from beginning to end to help make sure you receive compensation for your injuries.
What to Expect if You Handle Your Case on Your Own
You may consider handling your claim completely on your own. While you are not legally required to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, you are likely to find it is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side.
During the course of your workers’ compensation claim, you will undoubtedly encounter words, paperwork, and situations you are completely unfamiliar with. Not having the knowledge necessary to successfully handle your claim on your own, you run the risk of mismanaging your claim and possibly getting a negative outcome.
A workplace injury attorney has the skills and experience needed to help you get the outcome you desire. You can have some much-needed peace of mind knowing your lawyer fully knows how to handle your claim and is doing everything in their power to get you the benefits and compensation you need after a workplace accident.
Consult with a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Since 1962, The Zimmerman Law Firm has been fighting for injured clients. We’ve had the pleasure of representing thousands of clients in our many years of existence, and we can’t wait to serve thousands more.
With a combined 85 years of experience, we’ve established ourselves in our Texas community—and our opposition knows we mean business. At our firm, you can always expect outstanding attention to detail and the highest quality legal representation available. We offer free case reviews.
Contact our office today, and let’s discuss how we can help you.