Over 2.8 million injuries occurred in U.S. workplaces in 2018, in private industry alone.
Unfortunately, injuries to workers are all too common in our country, and some of these accidents take place as a result of someone else’s negligence.
No matter the cause of the accident, many workers can find relief, thanks to workers’ compensation insurance. However, getting all the compensation you deserve isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s recommended that you have a workers’ comp lawyer on your side.
Keep reading to learn four things that workers’ comp lawyer can do for you and your case.
1. Gather Evidence to Make Your Case
When making a workers’ comp claim, it’s extremely important that you present sufficient medical evidence that clearly supports your case. Even if your claim is approved, if you don’t present enough evidence, you can face issues when it comes to getting all of the benefits and medical treatment you need.
When you have an attorney on your side, they will make sure you have all of the evidence you need. An experienced workers’ comp attorney knows what type of evidence is needed to increase your chances of a good outcome.
Your attorney will gather your medical records; conduct depositions of medical experts who can weigh in on your case; represent you at depositions the employer conducts to try and discredit your claim; gather opinions from your treating doctors; and even help you choose the best doctors for treatment. They may even arrange an independent medical examination to bolster your case.
Your attorney will also be savvy about other kinds of evidence that can be used to build your case. This includes presenting evidence of poor training procedures and lack of workplace safety in your place of work, taking statements from those who know you well with respect to how your daily activities have been limited, and even hiring a vocational expert to discuss the physical requirements of your job.
2. Negotiate A Settlement
Having an attorney on your side can help you estimate the value of your case and ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation.
They will take into account a number of factors, like the nature and extent of your injuries and how you have been limited by them. They will also consider your past and future medical expenses, and whether you will have a permanent disability.
Experienced workers’ comp attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies and avoid the tactics they often use on inexperienced claimants. Your attorney will have a better chance of getting you a fair settlement by negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
Your attorney will also make sure that your settlement agreement is written properly before you sign it, in order to avoid unintended consequences down the road.
3. Take Your Case to Trial
If you can’t reach a fair settlement without a trial, your workers’ comp case will move on to the next level.
At this point, your case will be presented at either an expedited hearing or a full benefit hearing in front of a judge who specializes in workers’ comp cases. Having an attorney at this stage is extremely important.
Since this process is all about investigation, your attorney will be critical during the discovery process. Your attorney will help you make your case by conducting written discovery, taking formal statements (depositions) from eyewitnesses, gathering your medical records and other evidence, and doing legal research about similar cases.
At this stage, they will also write legal documents that are submitted to the court on your behalf. These are called pleadings, which include petitions, motions, and responses to the other party (the insurance company for the employer).
As you can imagine, things can get complicated. Your attorney will make sure everything is done correctly and submitted on time.
At your hearing or trial, your attorney will present your case and explain to the judge why you should get the benefits you deserve. Your attorney will question witnesses, make opening and closing arguments, and even object to improper actions made by the insurance company representing the employer.
If the results of your hearing are not in your favor, your attorney can help you appeal the decision.
4. Make You Aware of All Your Options
A good workers’ comp lawyer won’t just handle your workers’ comp claim. They will also advise you on your other legal options related to your injury.
For example, you might be able to make a personal injury claim against a third party. If someone other than your employer was negligent and therefore contributed to or caused your injury, your attorney can help you pursue a civil suit against them.
Common examples of third parties who might be negligent include manufacturers of faulty products and at-fault drivers. These claims can actually be worth more than the workers’ comp part of a claim. This is because you can pursue damages like loss of future earnings and pain and suffering. Under Tennessee workers’ compensation law, you cannot pursue these types of damages against your employer.
Your workers’ comp lawyer can advise you about your eligibility for other benefits as well. These might include Social Security disability, short term disability through your state government, long term disability insurance benefits, vocational and rehabilitation assistance, and even wage reimbursement.
Do You Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
If you were injured in the workplace, you need an experienced workers’ comp lawyer on your side. A good workers’ comp lawyer will fight for you and make sure you get fair treatment by the insurance company.
Don’t try to go at it alone. We are here for you! Click here to get started by scheduling a free case evaluation today.