There are times you may be hurt on the job, and you don’t need a lawyer. I know it sounds strange for a lawyer to ever tell you that you don’t need a lawyer. But, sometimes your employer and their insurer will do the right thing and your claim will go quickly if there is no dispute as to whether your injury happened while you were working. You might be satisfied with your recovery. There are some general rules that I tell potential clients as to whether or not you need a lawyer:
1. Have you missed more than 6 consecutive days of work? If you have then it is likely that you will want an attorney to assist you with your claim. You are not entitled to indemnity benefits for your first 7 days out work, but you might be entitled for that period if certain other conditions are met. You will need an experienced Workers Compensation attorney to assist you in calculating your Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments.
2. Does your doctor think that you will require surgery? If yes, there is no doubt that you need a lawyer. The insurance company might challenge your need for surgery or possibly force you to return to work sooner than you are able after the surgery. The medical evidence will be key to ensure that you are treated fairly.
3. Was there a death on the job? This will require the assistance of an attorney especially if it is not clear if the death is job related, which will occur if the death is a result of a heart attack or a stroke. It is inevitable that the insurance company will blame the death on something other than the job. Also, who gets the money and how much is a question only an attorney working for you can answer.
4. Is it time to settle your Workers Compensation case? If so, I promise you you will see more in your pocket if you hire an experienced Workers Compensation attorney to negotiate a settlement. There are many factors involved in a settlement including future indemnity benefits and future medical costs that must be calculated for you to ensure that you don’t settle your case for less than it is worth.
5. Was something or someone other than your employer responsible for the injuries? If so, then you have a third party claim as well as a Workers Compensation claim. It will be very important that Workers Compensation begins to pay your medical benefits immediately. The insurance company will, however, be seeking reimbursement later from the settlement you get from your personal injury case. We cannot allow the insurance company to recover this money! You will need an attorney experienced in workers compensation subrogation to ensure that you keep the money that you deserve.
Again, there are a lot times that you might not need a workers compensation attorney, but call me and let me tell you if I think you do or not. If you do not, I will let you know.