Many people wonder if they need a lawyer to get employee compensation after a work-related injury or illness. The best answer is: "It depends."
If you have 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 your employer argues that you are not entitled to benefits, you should probably contact an experienced employee advocate who can help you defend your rights.
Can you present yourself?
In some cases, employees can represent themselves in an employee comp case and achieve a fair result. To do this, the following should apply:
- Your injury is relatively minor, like sprain, strain, or cut
- You haven't missed much work (if any)
- Your employer admits that your injury or illness is work related
- You have no related injury or illness
If all of this applies to your situation, you may be able to go through the employee compensation process without the help of a lawyer. However, it is still a good idea to meet with an employee representation lawyer who offers free advice for 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, it is probably a good idea to meet with an employee representation lawyer who offers free advice, regardless of how easy the case of your employee representative appears to be.
And you should hire a lawyer to help you compensate your employees if there is anything that makes your situation more complex. Examples of problems that can complicate the rights of workers 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 go back to work because of your condition, or your condition prevents you from doing the same job
- You receive (or plan) social security benefits for the disabled
- There was a third party or an employee who caused your accident, e.g. B. A negligent driver who hit you while driving a work vehicle
- You believe that you have been treated unfairly or punished at work for filing an employee compensation lawsuit
Why do people hire lawyers for Workers & # 39; Comp?
Unfortunately, employers or their insurers often reject workers' claims, even if they shouldn't. Many people hire lawyers for employee benefits to give them fair compensation.
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) wanted to learn more about why injured workers hired lawyers and participated in a survey of 6,823 injured workers.
Interestingly, they found that most people with an employee comp case (71%) did not hire a lawyer. Most of the people who hired a lawyer for their workers 'Comp case stated that they did so after feeling threatened – either by their employer or by the workers' Comp process in general.
Surprisingly, almost half (46%) of respondents said they had hired a lawyer because they mistakenly believed that their claims had been denied even though their claims had not even entered the system.
Other factors that prompted injured workers to hire lawyers, according to the survey, were the severity of their injuries, the size of the employer, the tenure of the worker in the company, and the age of the worker.
What does an employee's Comp lawyer do?
You may be wondering what to expect from an employee compensation lawyer if you choose to hire one. Here are the tasks that Comp law workers do for their clients:
- Make sure that all correct forms are submitted before the deadlines
- Communicate with the insurer on your behalf
- Collect medical evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate a fair agreement 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, it can be very difficult to go through the comp process of the workers alone. The workers' lawyers offer advice and fight for fair compensation for their clients.
How much does an employee's Comp Lawyer cost?
Most workers' Comp lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. That means they are only paid when you receive 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 workers' lawyers to between 10% and 20%.
This is a good question to ask when you first consult with an employee advocate.