Injured employees generally receive more for their workplace injury claims when they have an attorney on their case. For this reason, you must allow your legal representation to guide you through the processes and represent you during negotiations.
What to Do First
If you suffer a workplace injury you need to follow the prescribed steps in seeking assistance. You need to immediately report the incident or accident to your employer. Even if at the time it seems like a minor injury, you must have a record of it in case of further complications developing down the line. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Sustaining an injury, developing an illness, or aggravating an existing injury while performing the duties of your job all count towards claims regarding workers’ compensation. A comprehensive medical evaluation will provide proof of the cause and extent of your injuries.
Your employer should provide you with a list of workers’ compensation approved physicians in the area. To ensure that you receive payment for time missed at work, the doctor will verify that your injury was sustained due to work-related circumstances. Should your claim be denied, or the benefits will run out before you can return to work, you need a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
Unfortunately, many workers face obstacles in getting the compensation benefits they deserve and require. Employers and their insurance companies aim to keep their costs down and do not always have the rights of the employees in mind. An attorney cannot guarantee a particular outcome, but their experience and insight should provide you with the maximum claim that you can expect. Through meticulous planning and effective negotiation on your lawyer’s side, you may receive a settlement offer that is higher than what you would get from going to trial. Allow your lawyer to negotiate on your behalf, remembering that they are unable to accept a settlement without your consent.
Your lawyer will start the process by gathering evidence to help support your claim. This includes medical records and reports, testimony from a vocational expert regarding your job’s requirements, workplace safety history, and statements from friends and family. Insurance companies use various tactics to try to get a lower settlement amount, but your experienced lawyer will see through these and advise you accordingly. Most businesses are required to have workers’ compensation coverage but these requirements do vary from state to state. In the majority of states, workers’ compensation is considered to be an ‘exclusive remedy’, meaning that employers are immune from lawsuits if workers’ compensation has covered the claim. In some instances, however, if the employer has been extremely negligent or has acted recklessly, then it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.
Injuries sustained can be devastating on a physical, emotional, and financial level and, in some cases, employees are unable to continue to work. Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers will provide the best advice and counsel to maximize your claim, helping you to receive the support you require, and for as long as you may require it.