According to the National Safety Council, a workplace injury occurs every seven seconds in the United States. From accidentally cutting yourself while working in a pizza shop to breaking a bone after falling on a construction site, workplace injuries encompass a wide range of situations. If you’ve been injured on the job, you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim. It is a good idea to have an attorney help you accomplish this task in order to better ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
When You Can Represent Yourself
There are certain situations in which you can choose to represent yourself and have little problem doing so. One such situation is sustaining a minor injury, such as something that requires a few stitches or a sprained ankle. Other situations in which you can represent yourself are if you missed very little work due to the injury, you have no pre-existing conditions that could be used against you, or your employer freely admits you were injured (in a minor way) on the job. These examples are relatively uncomplicated and likely don’t require an attorney’s help. Even so, it’s a good idea to consult with one at least once, just to ensure there aren’t obstacles in your way that you haven’t considered.
When to Hire a Lawyer
If your situation is more serious than the minor injury scenarios noted above, the complexities of the claims process and the nature of the high stakes you face mean that you could benefit from working with an experienced attorney. “Going it alone” when you have been injured in a serious or long-term fashion could lead to a settlement that doesn’t cover all your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, as experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyers – including those who practice at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. – can confirm, employees who have sustained significant injury may have complicated legal needs that extend beyond the workers’ compensation claims process. You may be in a position to file a personal injury lawsuit, for example, or you may need to file for Social Security Disability. Working with an attorney can help to ensure that you understand your full rights and options under the law in the wake of sustaining work-related injuries.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer helps you in several ways. Even if your case is relatively clear-cut, they can ensure that you fill out all the necessary forms correctly and turn them in on time to avoid any delays. Your attorney can also help you gather evidence, find expert witnesses if needed, negotiate with insurance companies, and write an agreement that covers your bases so you aren’t forced to grapple with unanticipated issues down the line. A workers’ comp lawyer understands the court system and can work to further help you get the compensation you need and deserve.