Much of the time, a workplace injury claim is straightforward and the employee receives the benefits they are entitled to and there are no conflicts. But what about those other occasions? For instance, there might be a question of whether or not the worker was on the clock, or an injury that requires long-term care might create disputes between the employer and employee.
How can a workers compensation lawyer help you?
Generally, the system set up by the government to handle worker’s compensation cases works well, serving as an intermediary between employer and claimant. In some instances, however, a dispute over how to handle the case may force the parties to seek help from experienced lawyers. There are a number of instances when hiring a worker’s compensation lawyer becomes necessary and beneficial to one’s case. Here are some of the most common scenarios.
- The Claim Was Denied – Agents for the insurance company will look for reasons to deny your claim. They might say the accident didn’t occur while you were on the clock or they might suggest that the claim wasn’t filed within the allotted time. Whatever the reason, an attorney is likely more capable of navigating the appeals process than a someone unfamiliar with the legal system.
- Your Permanent Disability Rating is Questioned – In most cases, the dispute challenges the permanent disability rating granted by your doctor and, again, the insurance company will call this into question. They may require you to see a doctor of their choosing in an effort to get a lower rating and justify paying you lower compensation payments. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you retain that higher rating
- A Preexisting Condition Complicates Matters – If you have injured a part of your body that has already been identified as having a pre-existing injury or condition, the insurance company may use this as a means of disqualifying your case. An attorney can help prove the new injury was work-related and not the result of a worsening condition.
- Insurance Companies are Blocking You from Getting Treatment – The insurance company may delay, or deny altogether, the issuance of needed medical treatments. This can include required surgery or even medication. An attorney can pressure the insurance company into complying and doing the right thing by agreeing to a fair settlement.
- Other Government Benefits May Be Affected – Once you begin receiving compensation payments, other benefits such as SSDI payments may be reduced. A lawyer can minimize that reduction to ensure you receive the highest amount in benefits possible.
- A Worker’s Compensation Hearing is a Trial – Regardless of what you may have been told, a worker’s comp hearing is every bit as serious as a trial and, in this case, your livelihood is at stake. For this reason alone, it’s in your best interest to have a lawyer represent you at the proceedings.
In many cases, worker’s compensation may be the claimant’s only source of income or their only avenue for paying costly medical expenses. In these situations, they might wonder if a lawyer will cost more in the long run. Actually, most Glendale WI worker’s compensation lawyers don’t work for the usual hourly fee, but instead work for a percentage of the money they recover in your name. While this rate is usually between 15% and 25% of the recovered funds, the lawyer’s fee may be as low as 10% or as high as 33% in some cases. Many states have placed a cap, limiting how much a lawyer can charge in worker’s compensation cases. When meeting with a potential workers compensation lawyer, be sure to ask about their fee structure.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into workers compensation cases.