If you are ever injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation. According to Nolo.com, workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. In most cases, workers' compensation covers medical costs as well as provides disability payments in cases where the employee is unable to work. Since this is a state-mandated program, companies usually strive to make this a seamless process for employees to file on their own and they can receive their benefits without the need for a workers' compensation attorney. However in some cases, such as the ones that follow, the process is not as straightforward and an attorney may be needed:
- Your claim is denied. Some employers will just flat out deny a workers compensation claim because they feel the employee does not have a strong case and they do not expect the employee to appeal the decision. In this case, an attorney can help you to file paperwork to appeal the decision, gather evidence to support your claim and represent you in court if needed.
- You suffer a permanent disability. If your injuries are severe, this can result in a permanent disability or one in which your ability to work is greatly impaired. Companies will often fight these types of claims because they can result in expensive payouts to make up for a lifetime of lost wages. A good attorney can fight to get you all of the permanent benefits you need.
- You are offered an insufficient settlement. If your employer offers you a small settlement which will not cover your lost wages and medical expenses, a workers' compensation attorney may be able to help you. They can help by negotiating a settlement amount which works more in your favor.
In these cases a good workers' comp attorney can help by giving you a better chance of receiving all of the benefits to which you are entitled. There is a cost involved in hiring a workers compensation attorney. Per nolo.com, that cost may vary but can be as much as 10 to 20 percent of your settlement amount. However, you won't be required to pay these costs up front. In some cases, this cost may be well worth it. It is up to you to weight all of your options and decide if hiring a workers' compensation attorney is the right move for you.