Work related injuries can affect more than just your ability to do your job productively. Injuries of this nature can also affect your personal life and even your mental well-being. If you have been injured in the workplace, the question you should be asking yourself is whether you need to hire an attorney. While it is never required that you hire an attorney for a workplace injury, we would ALWAYS recommend that you contact a lawyer to discuss your options and to fully understand all the benefits you are entitled to receive – many of which are difficult without the assistance of an attorney. We believe it is especially important to contact an attorney immediately if anyof the following circumstances apply to you.
Your employer denied your claim or is late with benefits
It is fairly common that claims are denied (many times unjustly), simply because workers don’t timely file for an appeal or don’t file the proper paperwork. Hiring an attorney will give you the experience and knowledge needed to properly appeal a denial, at no cost to you. Doing this by yourself can be confusing and difficult, leading to extended periods of time without benefits or having your appeal denied.
Your injuries limit or prevent you from working, resulting in lost wages
In order to receive proper compensation for the time you missed at work due to a workplace injury, it is helpful to have knowledge of workers’ compensation law, as well as experience with filing claims. You may be entitled to weekly payments, and an attorney is the ideal person to assess your situation. Many times, employers will choose not to pay you when you are injured at work and will contest lost-time benefits that you are entitled to. Without professional help, you risk significant losses in income.
Retaliation from filing a claim
Legal help will be needed if management retaliates against you for filing a claim. This retaliation can come in various ways, such as: demotions, a reduction of hours, reducing your pay, termination, or any other form of discrimination.
Employers typically will not settle your claim for a fair amount, or at all, without you being represented by an attorney
Your best settlement options will come from the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer. Employers understand that workers’ compensation can be complex for those who are unfamiliar with it, so they will seldom offer to fairly settle a claim. By working with an attorney, you give yourself the best chance at a fair settlement.
Employer’s serious misconduct was the reason for your injury
In some cases, legal action outside the normal parameters of workers’ compensation may be necessary. It’s essential to have legal help for these types of cases. A few examples of these cases are gross negligence or that your employer created the situation that caused your injury.
Every workplace injury is different, and there is no standard way to pursue a workers’ compensation injury. That’s why working with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can be so important. If you’ve recently been injured at the workplace, give us a call today for a free consultation. We’re here to help you in getting the most out of your workers’ compensation claim.
About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.