If you are injured on the job you have to deal with more than just the physical injury. There is the possibility of lost income due to lost time at work, as well as additional expenses that insurance may not cover. There is also the emotional trauma and uncertainty that can be a burden to your mental health.
There are workman compensation programs that can help. Good companies take care of their employees, both by trying to prevent injuries and by helping those that are hurt. Sometimes that does not happen, and sometimes negligence on the company’s part played a role in your injury. In those times you need an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side.
Sometimes injuries are not clearly work related. If a piece of machinery broke and cut you severely, there is no question as to what happened. Many injuries are not that straightforward, and in those cases, you would benefit from having a lawyer on your side. If there are conflicts about the severity of the injury you would also benefit from a lawyer.
The legal system is complex, and those that know it best have the advantage. A wrong move could affect your ability to collect what you are due later on. If you are having difficulties, you have enough issues without having to try to navigate the system on your own. A good personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Most lawyers will give you a free initial consultation to find out the details of your specific case. The attorney can advise you whether you have a chance of winning in court. Even if not, the attorney can help you through the application process for workmen’s compensation. Even workmen compensation claims can get complicated, so it is a good idea to have legal representation there as well.
The system itself is designed to be simple. If your employer is not disputing your claim, and its insurance company is not either, you may be able to do this yourself and get your claim approved without difficulty. If you slipped and sprained your ankle, and it required just one doctors visit, and you were only out of work a day or two, you would not even need to file a claim.
Life is not always that simple, however. If your employer questions whether the injury happened at work, you may need an attorney. If you use a computer a lot at work, for instance, and develop carpel tunnel syndrome your employer may claim your home computer use caused that medical issue. In situations like this you will need an attorney.
The same could be said if you injured yourself in some way and your employer felt you received that injury somewhere else. Repetitive stress injuries are complicated, and you will need help navigating those kinds of situations. It is similar to a situation where the employer or the insurance company claims you had a pre-existing condition that contributed to your disability status.
If your company’s insurance company denies your workmen’s comp claim, you may appeal, but you may or may not win that appeal. It is a good idea to have an attorney if your claim has been denied. If the appeal is denied you have the option of going to court.
Permanent disability is another area that can get complicated. Disability is rated on percentage. You could be 20 percent disabled, 50 percent, or any percentage. The employer could challenge that rating. The company could then require you to have an independent medical examination, and if there is a conflict in two examinations, it can get very complicated. The insurance company wants a lower rating of course, and your attorney may be able to convince a judge to keep it as it is or even raise it.
Sometimes insurance companies try to keep you from having surgeries or expensive medical treatments A good personal injury lawyer can pressure the insurance company to help you get the treatment you need.
Some injuries are so severe you will never be able to do that kind of work again. In these cases you need to maximize your benefits and spread them over a long period. If you can change careers, you will need additional training, and that is expensive as well.
A persona injury lawyer is also very valuable when you have other government benefits involved. If you are getting Social Security Disabled benefits, they may be reduced if you receive new workmen compensation benefits. If you are eligible for Medicare, you may also run into complications. You will need an attorney to help get the different agencies on the same page and get them working together for your benefit, instead of taking benefits from each other.
There are several ways a personal injury attorney can help you when you have been injured. Lawyers are often expensive, but there is good news in this area. Attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they will get a portion of the benefits you win instead of charging an expensive hourly rate. States also put a cap on what that percentage can be. It is as low as 10 percent in some states and as high as 30 percent in others.
In some cases you can also be compensated for pain and suffering in personal injury lawsuits. This is not part of a workmen’s compensation claim but is part of a regular lawsuit. You may also be able to get compensation for mental or emotional issues that have arisen because of your injuries.
You will usually get a higher settlement if you have an attorney working on your case. That higher settlement is usually high enough to give you more money and be worthwhile for the attorney as well. Time is also important when seeking compensation. Most states have a limit on how soon you must file after an injury. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove your case. It is wise to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after you are injured.