A Workers' Comp Attorney's Role in Securing Your Benefits
If you are injured in the course of your job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. However, such benefits are not awarded automatically. You will first have to file a claim with your employer, which will then hand the claim over to its workers' comp insurance carrier, which may deny your claim. If you feel you may have a difficult time securing your workers' comp benefits, you should contact a workers' comp attorney for help.
Why Hire a Workers' Comp Attorney?
However, claiming workers' comp is not always so easy. Employers and insurers alike are wary of workers' comp fraud. Fraud occurs when an employee either fakes or exaggerates an injury in order to get a sizeable payout. Additionally, from a business perspective, the workers' comp insurance carrier has a financial incentive to not pay out workers' comp benefits. Meanwhile, the employer does not want its premiums to increase, so it too has a financial incentive to deny the claim.
By hiring a workers' comp attorney, you can bolster your legitimate claim, so the insurer won't deny it. In addition, if the insurer does deny it, you and your lawyer will be able to appeal the decision to your state's workers' comp board. The board may be able to help force the carrier to pay you your benefits.
What Does a Workers' Comp Attorney Do?
A workers' compensation lawyer can help you with a number of things. One of the most important roles the attorney can fulfill for you is helping you understand and navigate your state's workers' comp insurance laws. Workers' compensation insurance law varies from state to state, so it is important to hire a local attorney.
In addition, a lawyer will be able to assess the details of your claim to determine its strengths and weaknesses. For example, the lawyer may look at your medical files to determine the extent of your injuries. He or she may also read your company's safety reports to see if there were any past violations. All this information can help bolster your case and secure your workers' comp benefits.
Also, the lawyer will know how to appeal to the state's workers' comp board if the insurance carrier denies your claim. Your lawyer can represent you at administrative hearings.
Your workers' comp attorney can also assess your medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and the extent of your disability, if any, to determine what the rightful workers' comp benefit payout should be according to state law.
Finally, the lawyer may be able to provide you with some information regarding alternatives to workers' comp that you can turn to while waiting for your claim or appeal to be processed. This can be critical for injured workers who do not have the money to sustain themselves without workers' compensation.