You have plenty of reason to worry about the on-the-job injury that left you in pain and out of a job. Creditors are calling, day and night. You may never return to your old job, because of your injury. And even if you do, how will you pay all the bills?
Sadly, this situation is one in which many people will find themselves. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a solution.
There is a way to get the money you need to pay the bills, receive proper medical treatment, and begin to move on from your on-the-job injury. How?
Hire a good workers’ compensation attorney. The decision to hire an attorney for your workers’ compensation claim versus trying to go it alone can be the difference between being successful with your claim or losing out on the benefits to which you might be entitled.
Let’s look at five key benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney:
1. Hiring a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Reignite Your Claim After Denial
Some people assume that collecting workers’ compensation will be easy. After all, they have an excellent, long-standing work record, the injury was witnessed by co-workers, and they even underwent treatment with a reputable doctor. But despite these factors, many of these people will face a bitter reality when their workers’ comp claim is denied.
It’s only then that they think about hiring a workers’ comp attorney.
A good lawyer can build a much better case for your compensation than you can. That’s because he or she knows the precise evidence that must be gathered in order to force the insurance company to a favorable settlement.
For example, an attorney knows that it might be best to schedule an appointment for you with specific physicians that have experience dealing with your type of injury. They know that those doctors will provide detailed medical records that will stand up in court.
An attorney can also arrange to record depositions of your doctors and other medical experts that might be needed for the case.
2. Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney Will Improve Negotiations with the Insurance Company
One of the more challenging aspects of self-representation in a workers’ comp case is dealing with the insurance company. While the lawyers for the insurance company have handled perhaps hundreds of cases, this is likely your first. Because of this, you won’t be aware of some of the routine maneuvers they might try to pull.
But an experienced workers’ comp attorney will know. They will be well aware of the fact that when the insurance company announces that “this is the final offer, take it or leave it,” they’re only trying to make you panic and sign an agreement to receive fewer benefits than you’re entitled to receive.
A good workers’ comp attorney understands what the law says you’re entitled to and how much you should receive. They also know when the other side is bluffing, and won’t cave in to pressure.
An experienced attorney will keep working on your behalf until they’ve received every possible benefit that you’re entitled to under the law.
3. Hiring a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Will Ensure That Your Agreement is Worded Correctly
Did you know that the wording of your settlement agreement could negatively influence other payments you might be seeking, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
For example, in some states, you’ll receive a lower SSDI payment if you’re receiving a certain amount of workers comp. This reduction is called an offset, and goes into effect if the monthly combination of your workers’ comp and SSDI is greater than 80% of your salary.
However, there are legal ways to maximize your benefits. And if you represent yourself, you might not be able to avoid the traps set by the insurance company’s lawyers to lower your payments.
A good workers’ comp lawyer can make sure that your agreement doesn’t contain any hidden clauses that can cost you money.
If you receive a lump-sum payment, your lawyer can state in the agreement that the payment is to be considered a lifetime payment. That means that they can arrange for your lump sum amount to be viewed by authorities as a monthly payment spread out over the entire course of your remaining life. This arrangement can eliminate or severely reduce the offset effect.
But It gets even better — even with this arrangement, you would still receive your workers’ comp as a lump sum. This technique is reason enough to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney to handle your claim.
4. Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney Strengthens Your Chances in Court
Not all workers’ comp cases are settled in an office conference room. Some proceed to trial before a judge. This can be costly, time consuming, and difficult to handle for someone representing themselves. It can also be difficult to posture the case in the best way possible.
After all, if you’re recuperating from an illness or injury, are you going to feel like chasing down witnesses, digging up medical records, or filing petitions and motions?
The insurance company’s attorneys are going to do their best to keep you buried under a mound of legal paperwork. That’s because they know that your lack of legal knowledge is bound to work in their favor. They’re confident that somewhere along the way, you’ll make a mistake that will damage your case.
So why take that chance? A competent lawyer with workers’ compensation experience can help you navigate the judicial system and get you the settlement you deserve.
5. Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help You Deal with Related Legal Issues
Sometimes a workers’ compensation case is highly complex. For example, suppose that you were injured on your job and seeking workers’ comp, and then you discover that someone else, or some other company besides your employer, may have contributed or caused your on-the-job injury. Now, in addition to your workers’ comp, you may also have legitimate grounds for a third-party negligence claim.
Your workers’ comp attorney will be an excellent source of advice on how to begin proceedings against the other person or entity. They would also probably be able to handle both matters at once, and explain how one case could affect the other. Your attorney is the best person to consult with about deciding how to proceed with both cases, and maximize your recovery for each.
Your attorney could also advise you concerning any additional compensation that might be available to you, such as SSDI and short or long-term disability insurance income.
There Are More Than 5 Key Benefits of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
We’ve detailed five key benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, but there are many more.
Regardless, by hiring an experienced workers’ comp attorney, you’ll immediately gain an ally who will patiently listen to your story. They will also explain each step of the journey, calm your nerves when you’re anxious about the outcome, and celebrate with you when together you achieve your goal.
Don’t try to fight the insurance company’s lawyers alone. Take an experienced legal professional with you. Hire a workers’ compensation attorney today by contacting Reasonover Law Firm for a free consultation.