All employees deserve safe and fair workplace conditions. Sadly, work accidents remain a serious problem throughout the United States. According to data published by the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 4.5 million Americans were injured on the job in 2017 alone.
Most workers are covered by a state-based no-fault workers’ compensation insurance program. Through workers’ comp, an injured employee can recover medical benefits and wage-loss compensation — regardless of whether their employer was to blame for their accident.
Not all injured workers need a lawyer to get their benefits. If you suffered a minor injury and you missed little to no time at work, you will most likely be able to handle your case on your own. That being said, for more complex claims, it is imperative that injured workers hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible after their accident.
Should I Get a Lawyer for Workers’ Comp? Five Questions to Ask
1. Did You Suffer Severe Injuries?
You should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. In the unfortunate event that you were forced to miss extended time on the job (more than a week) or if you are expecting to feel long-term or permanent effects from your injury, then you need a workers’ compensation attorney. Employers and insurers are far more aggressive in handling claims involving serious injuries.
It is crucial that you are able to present a strong, persuasive case so that you can obtain a full and fair workers’ compensation settlement. With severe injuries, it is generally best to work with a lawyer when you submit your initial claim.
2. Are You Preparing to File a Social Security Disability Claim?
You should hire a workers’ comp attorney. After a serious accident, an injured worker may be entitled to receive both Social Security disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits. Pursuing these types of overlapping claims can be complicated.
If your workers’ comp settlement is not structured in the proper manner, it could actually impair your ability to recover the maximum available Social Security disability benefits. Do not go it alone. You should consult with a Social Security disability lawyer who has experience representing clients who are also bringing workers’ comp claims.
3. Were You Offered an Inadequate Settlement?
You should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. It is important to remember that insurers want to settle work injury cases for the lowest dollar amount possible. Do not accept an unfair, low settlement offer.
You should be granted a settlement that offers you the full available financial support for your medical care, long-term rehabilitative costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and any permanent disability or impairment. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will represent you during settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives.
4. Was Your Workers’ Comp Claim Denied?
You should hire a workers’ comp attorney. Workers’ compensation claims are denied for a wide range of different reasons. Even though workers’ comp benefits are paid out on a no-fault basis, it can still be challenging for injured employees to get access to the full and fair financial benefits that they rightfully deserve.
If your workers’ comp claim was denied in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, or anywhere else in the United States, do not give up without a fight. Get your workers’ comp denial letter into the hands of an experienced attorney immediately. Your attorney will help you take the next steps needed to move your case forward.
5. Did a Third Party Contribute to Your Injuries?
You should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. Workers’ comp is an exclusive legal remedy. Generally speaking, injured workers cannot file a personal injury claim against their employer — even if their employer was negligent in causing their workplace accident.
That being said, injured workers do retain the right to file personal injury lawsuits against negligent third parties. If any party other than your employer — another contractor, a property owner, a manufacturer, etc. — contributed to your accident, you should call an experienced work injury attorney for immediate assistance. Additional financial compensation may be available. You may be eligible to bring both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Right Away
At the Cottrell Law Office, our top-rated workers’ comp lawyers are strong, committed advocates for injured workers. If you or your loved one was hurt on the job, we are prepared to help.
To set up a free, no obligation initial consultation, please contact our legal team today.
With offices in Rogers, AR and Joplin, MO, we represent injured workers throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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