Any type of on-the-job injury that left you with a significant injury – and out of work – is a challenging situation that can be difficult to address. Even if your employer is doing everything right to help you, seeking legal advice is a wise strategy to maximize the return of any compensation and to protect your rights before going back into the workplace.
Every state offers varying levels of benefits and protections related to workers compensation issues, regardless of who is at the fault for the injury, and the circumstances around the incident. Ultimately, if you were hurt while at work, then you should have some access to benefits. However, it’s not that cut and dry when it comes to work-related injuries, and it’s possible to be buried under an avalanche of confusing paperwork that draws out the process longer than necessary.
Utilize The Legal Benefits Of Workers Comp Laws
“Often, the injured employee is concerned that if they file a claim, the company will terminate their employment, or there will be some form of retaliation or retribution against them. However, the law clearly protects the injured employee from such action,” said Todd J. Leonard, a prominent workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey.
Keep in mind that each state has different laws related to worker compensation, so it’s important to consult with an attorney specializing in your specific geographic location. Trying to make sense of laws related to workers compensation is something that you shouldn’t try to do alone – and your attorney will be able to better explain each step of the process to you.
Proper Representation Helps Negotiations
Finding a qualified attorney will make it easier to fill out the necessary paperwork, negotiate litigation, prepare for trial, go before the workers’ compensation appeal board, or whatever else is required at that time.
Whether you haven’t received disability benefits, your employer won’t report the injury, refusing to pay anything, there are a number of different scenarios that could play out here. Retaining legal counsel will undoubtedly give you an advantage while trying to navigate your legal choices.
Open Up The Channels Of Communication
Your company’s attorneys and doctors very well could try to give you the run around. However, hiring an attorney will help make any communication with opposing counsel significantly easier. Not only will they be able to provide guidance and advice, but the attorney will also be able to tell you when it’s in your best interest to not speak with anyone.
Interacting with other parties also becomes easier because you’ll have assistance to speak on your behalf when absolutely necessary. If in doubt, it’s better to remain silent and let your attorney answer questions for you, or ask first before speaking with doctors and insurance companies.
All Of Your Questions Answered
When it comes to any type of dispute with an employer or insurance company, it’s not uncommon to have a long list of questions that you want to be answered. Working with an attorney ensures all of these questions will be properly answered – and if not by the attorney, then they’ll be able to point you in the right direction to help you. It can be a tedious process to collect medical records, fill out paperwork, collect witness statements, file court documents, and other necessary steps required for a successful workers compensation claim, with questions potentially popping up along the way.
Focus On Yourself And Family
There is enough on your plate after dealing with a worker’s compensation-related issue. Instead of worrying fully about work and the legal situation, hiring a lawyer gives you the opportunity to focus on healing – and potentially going back to work, once physically and mentally able to. It doesn’t matter if a claim was denied, preexisting conditions were seen as a mitigating factor, insurance companies are blocking you from getting paid or treated, or some other issue, the lawyer can help you efficiently cut through the red tape.
An injury at work and the subsequent bureaucratic hoops that you may need to jump through following an avalanche of paperwork can be a lot to overcome. Trying to secure long-term benefits very well could be difficult without guidance from experienced counsel, as the paperwork and legal proceedings can be extremely challenging if you’ve never been through the process before.
Do your research and don’t be afraid to look around, ask questions, and find the right law firm able to represent your best interests.
Know your rights!