Many people wonder if they need a lawyer to get compensation from work-related injuries or illness. The best answer is, “It depends.”
If you’ve suffered a minor injury, have a good relationship with your employer, and understand the process of employee compensation, you may not need a lawyer.
However, if you have suffered a serious injury or illness, or if your employer argues that you are not entitled to benefits, you should probably contact an experienced employee representation lawyer who can help you stand up for your rights.
Can you represent yourself?
In some cases, employees can represent themselves in an employee comp case and get a fair result. For this to be true, the following should be true:
- Your injury is relatively minor, such as a sprain, strain, or cut
- You haven’t missed a lot of work (if any)
- Your employer admits that your injury or illness is work-related
- They have no related injury or illness
If all of these are true in your situation, you may be able to go through the employee compensation process without the help of a lawyer. However, it’s still a good idea to meet with an employee representation lawyer who offers free advice on advice. The lawyer can give you an overview of the process and answer your questions.
In what scenarios or situations should you consult a lawyer?
As mentioned above, regardless of how straightforward the case of your employee representation appears, it’s probably a good idea to meet with an employee representation attorney who offers free advice.
And you should hire a lawyer to help you compensate your employees if something makes your situation more complex. Examples of problems that can complicate workers’ entitlements include:
- Your employer does not agree that your injury or illness is work-related, or that your claim has already been denied
- You will receive a comparison offer that does not include all of your lost wages or medical bills
- You cannot return to work because of your condition, or your condition prevents you from doing the same job
- You are receiving (or planning) social security benefits for the disabled
- There was a third party or employee who caused your accident; B. a negligent driver who hit you while driving a work vehicle
- You believe that you were treated unfairly or punished at work for filing an employee compensation lawsuit
Why Do People Hire Lawyers for Workers’ Comp?
Unfortunately, employers or their insurers often reject workers’ claims when they shouldn’t. Many people hire workers’ claims lawyers to help them get fair compensation.
Wanted to learn more about why injured workers hired lawyers, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) completed a survey of 6,823 injured workers.
Interestingly, they found that the majority of those with an employee comp case (71%) did not hire a lawyer. Of those who hired an attorney for their workers ‘comp case, most said they did so after feeling threatened – either from their employer or from workers’ comp litigation in general.
Surprisingly, almost half (46%) of respondents said they hired a lawyer because they mistakenly believed their claims had been denied even though their claims hadn’t even entered the system.
Other factors that led injured workers to hire lawyers, according to the survey, were the severity of their injuries, the size of the employer, the employee’s tenure with the company and the age of the employee.
What does a comp attorney do to an employee?
You may be wondering what to expect from an employee compensation attorney when you decide to hire one. Here are the jobs that employee comp attorneys do for their clients:
- Make sure all correct forms are submitted before the deadlines
- Communicate with the insurer on your behalf
- Gather medical evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate a fair deal with the insurer
- Write a settlement agreement to protect your rights
- If necessary, attend a hearing on your behalf
Many people find that in more complex cases, or in cases of serious injury or illness, going through the worker comp process alone can be very difficult. Workers’ lawyers offer advice and fight for fair compensation for their clients.
How Much Does a Worker’s Comp Lawyer Cost?
Most employee comp attorneys operate on a contingent fee basis. That means they don’t get paid until you get a statement. The fee depends on many factors, such as: B. Your geographic location and the lawyer’s experience. Many states have laws that limit the percentage of employee advocates to 10% to 20%.
This is a good question to ask the first time you consult an employee representation attorney.