The Value of a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation was created to help you if you are injured while you are at work. A work injury can range from minor cuts and scrapes to debilitating injuries that permanently prevent you from returning to your job. An added component is your employer’s response to your request for compensation.
Litigation is only necessary when you and your employer are in disagreement over payment for medical treatment or financial support for missed work time.
A workers’ compensation lawyer provides legal assistance if you believe that you should receive workers’ comp, or you think you should receive more benefits than you are receiving. A workers’ compensation lawyer will often provide a thirty-minute free consultation. During this visit, the lawyer will assess your situation and let you know the likelihood of your having a real case. Criteria for determining whether you require a lawyer include, but are not limited to, the following:
Your injuries require surgery
- Your injuries will prevent you from returning to work, either immediately or perhaps ever
- You had significant disabilities before the incident
- You need to dispute a decision made by your employer
- You have been refused medical assistance for the condition resulting from your injury
- Your employer has disputed a decision made by your state’s workers’ compensation department
Not every workplace injury will require a workers’ compensation lawyer. If you and your employer are in agreement over arrangements, you are unlikely to need a lawyer. You will not need one if:
- Your injuries are moderate and will heal in time
- You receive all necessary funds for medical treatment
- You receive appropriate weekly funds while recovering
As you might guess, a workers’ compensation lawyer is most needed when there is a serious injury, your employer disputes your claim, or the claim awarded will not sufficiently compensate for medical costs and lost wages. When these things are taken care of in an appropriate manner, a lawyer is not needed.
A workers’ compensation lawyer is a type of personal injury lawyer. As such, your workers’ compensation lawyer will have received the same training every lawyer receives: seven years of college, passing a board examination, and possibly even joining an accrediting organization that will have further stringent tests and requirements. He or she will be well prepared to help you through the maze of forms, necessary information, medical testaments or any other needed information.
Your lawyer will first evaluate your case and let you know if you have a good basis for filing suit. He or she will then diligently collect all necessary evidence, such as doctor reports, documentation of your employer’s response, and any other information needed to make a fair assessment of medical costs, lost wages and perhaps an even permanent loss of ability to work.
You might worry about being able to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer. However, they usually charge a contingency fee. That is to say, they earn a percentage of your award. The percentage varies, depending upon the lawyer. It can be as little as ten percent or as much as thirty percent. However, most states place a cap on the amount a lawyer can charge a fee. Hiring a lawyer is usually worth it because you will receive much more with a lawyer than without.