Hiring a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim could be helpful, especially if you have a complex case. Some victims of workplace injuries choose not to seek the assistance of a lawyer if they have a simple claim. Regardless of the circumstances in your case, a lawyer can help protect your rights, assess the value of your claim, and pursue compensation for your past, current, and future medical bills and lost wages.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The Insurance Information Institute (III) states that workers’ compensation should cover the medical expenses related to the injury and some of your lost wages if your injury prohibits you from working. With that, attorneys and their teams can help you pursue recovery in your workers’ compensation case, no matter the severity of your injury, especially in more complicated cases, such as those involving temporary or permanent disability benefits.
Because you would likely receive these benefits on a long-term or lifetime basis, you must ensure that the amount your employer’s insurance company decides to cover coincides with your losses. While workers’ compensation may not cover all of the lost wages that result from your injury, it should provide for a portion of them.
A lawyer can assist you with your workers’ compensation claim, particularly if:
- You have suffered a serious or debilitating injury on the job
- You cannot return to work as a result of your injury
- You have a complex claim
- Your employer or insurance company denied your claim
- Your employer retaliated against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- A third party had involvement in your injury
A lawyer can oversee the claims process on your behalf and compare all documentation and decisions to your medical expenses and lost wages to help ensure sufficiency.
A Lawyer’s Assistance in the Settlement Process
If your employer’s insurance company contested your workers’ compensation claim, a lawyer can help you take the next step. Workers’ compensation cases can end in a settlement, as both parties typically try to avoid taking the case to trial. The Superior Court of California offers those involved in civil disputes several methods for resolving their case outside of court.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
By taking advantage of one or more Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs, both parties in workers’ compensation cases can usually come to an agreement on a fair settlement. If these do not result in a decision, you can move forward with trial proceedings.
- Negotiation: The two parties discuss the case amongst themselves either in person, by phone, or on a videoconference to try to come to a conclusion with which they both agree.
- Mediation: A neutral party, known as a mediator, hears each party’s side and helps them evaluate the pros and cons before encouraging them to reach a compromise. The mediator helps mitigate the dispute process but does not make any decisions regarding a settlement.
- Arbitration: An unbiased arbitrator acts as a sort of judge outside the courtroom by listening to both arguments and coming to a conclusion based on the facts of the case. In binding arbitration, the parties must consent to the arbitrator’s decision. In non-binding arbitrations, the parties can reject the decision and take their case to court.
You may find ADR easier to navigate with the help of an attorney.
Taking Your Case to Trial
If ADR programs do not prove successful or you choose not to attempt settlement proceedings outside the courtroom, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, cases that involve settlement procedures consist of complicated circumstances that insurance companies try to avoid because they cost them too much money.
If you have suffered an injury on the job for which you require temporary or permanent disability, you may receive these benefits on a long-term basis or choose a lump-sum payment that should reflect the extent of your injuries and losses. While workers’ compensation does not always cover all of your lost wages, it should provide a substantial portion of them. In addition, a lawyer can help you demonstrate the value of your injuries to a jury and seek fair compensation for you.
You May Have the Option to Pursue Additional Awards
Although workers’ compensation protects employers from different types of employee lawsuits, some cases allow you to pursue a personal injury claim against a third party, such as a contractor on a job site or the manufacturer of a faulty product, if their negligence played a role in your injury. Your employer has an obligation to provide for your injuries, and you have a right to hold others who caused you harm accountable for their actions, as well. Any recovery you may receive in a personal injury case can help you restore your financial stability.
Contact Our Law Firm for Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Case Today
Ultimately, you have the choice to pursue your workers’ compensation case on your own or to seek the help of a lawyer. While simple claims can have a straightforward process, you may find those that involve long-term benefits difficult to navigate alone, as insurance companies may try to avoid providing you with the compensation you deserve.
If you have suffered an occupational injury, illness, or disease, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you fight for adequate recovery in your workers’ compensation case. Call us today at (800) 529-9122 to discuss your free case evaluation with our legal team.