Getting injured at work can be risky business. It’s important to assess your situation critically, and know when it’s favorable to call for legal backup. The worker’s compensation system is designed for workers to easily use, generally eliminating the need for an attorney. While hiring an attorney isn’t always necessary, it can definitely be the right move under appropriate circumstances.
Need to know if you should hire a worker’s compensation lawyer? Read below to find out if you should seek legal aid.
You Won’t Need A Lawyer If…
In most instances, a work-related injury will not merit legal services. If you undergo a minor injury or have an injury that can be healed with proper treatment, you can eradicate the need for a lawyer entirely.
So, when will insurance companies not dispute a claim?
- If the injury is undeniably work-related
- If the claim doesn’t demand ample medical treatment
- If the claim doesn’t call for extended periods of time off work
- If the injury hasn’t resulted in permanent disability or defect
Let’s say you twist your ankle at work. You limp to the doctor’s office, and are sent home with bed rest orders along with a prescription for pain management medication and instructions to ice your ankle. After a week or so of minimal mobility, you find your ankle has sufficiently healed by its own means and you return to work comfortably. In this instance, the doctor’s visit would be covered by your insurance, but wage loss benefits typically wouldn’t be applied since you were out of work only for a handful of days.
You Probably Need A Lawyer If…
You should consider hiring an attorney if your employer or insurance company has opposed your claim. In such cases, you’d be expected to compile evidence proving your injury is work-related, which is where a lawyer steps in. To fight your insurance company’s dispute, you’d likely be required to take depositions and request independent medical examination, among other legalities. To simplify this process and ensure that all meticulous details are taken care of, it may be wise to hire an attorney to do the tedious work for you.
Here are some textbook scenarios that would require a worker’s compensation lawyer:
- Your injury claim was disapproved
- You’re experiencing difficulty getting proper treatment
- Your working abilities have been compromised
- You’re a government benefits recipient
- Your permanent disability rating was opposed
- You suffer from a preexisting condition
- Your working ability has been compromised
- You need a workers’ comp legal hearing
Is It Worth Paying For A Lawyer?
Unlike most lawyers who charge by the hour, workers’ compensation lawyers make their profits through contingency fees. This means your lawyer would receive a percentage of the workers’ compensation benefits that they helped you get. Generally, workers’ comp lawyers charge from 15%-25%, although depending on your case you could be charged as low as 10% or as high as 33% of your earnings. The percentage is typically dependent on your residential state.
How can you optimize your earnings? Chances are you’ll receive a higher settlement when an attorney is involved. Taking an insurance company or employer to court is a challenging process, and hiring a legal professional can help facilitate and optimize the process. It’s your lawyer’s job to argue your case and use the intricacies of the law in your favor, which is why the most successful workers’ comp cases are accompanied by a qualified attorney.
Do you need a workers’ compensation lawyer? Start your search now.