What a Workmans Comp Attorney Can Do For You
Injured people do not always think to call a Workmans Comp Attorney right after they are hurt at work. But it may just be the smartest thing any injured employee can do.
A recent report indicated that fatal injuries in the U.S workplace in 2016 increased by 7 percent. According to the report, the transportation industry claims more workers than any other event, such as fire, falls, and exposure to chemicals.
If you or your loved one is injured at work, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and other losses. Before you pursue compensation, you need to determine whether you need a workman's comp attorney.
Proving a workplace injury does not involve examining negligence. But there are other several things that can prolong your case when overlooked, such as proving your injury is work-related. Some workplace injuries occur because you were ill or your own negligence.
Read on to learn how an experienced injury lawyer can help you.
1. Reviews Your Claim
Some work injury claims can be pretty complicated, especially when determining who was at fault. For example, it's important to establish whether your role at your workplace permitted to be at the scene or area of the accident.
Also, you have 45 days after a work incident to report the injury to your employer (and 3 years to file the case at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission). Failure to do that may void the validity of your claim. Some injuries may also not be eligible for compensation. This is why you need a lawyer to review your claim and determine whether you have a case.
A good injury law firm will tell you straight up if you have a case and give you the odds of getting a satisfactory compensation. Typically, you don't need to pursue a claim when you were at fault, or the injuries are reasonable.
2. Develops the Evidence
Well, you have a case, but do you have adequate evidence to back your claim?
The majority of unsuccessful workers' comp claims usually occur due to insufficient medical and vocational evidence. Some of this evidence, such as medical records, may take months to be given to you.
With a workman's comp attorney, it will easier for you to obtain medical records, get therapeutic options from physicians, and conduct depositions. In some cases, you may even get recommendations for certain medical experts.
Your medical records should reflect the true extent of the injuries. Usually, your doctor will highlight every injury your sustained and how each impacted your ability to lead a healthy life. For example, some injuries can lead to permanent disability such as blindness and inability to walk.
There are also other kinds of evidence your lawyer can help you collect, including statements from workmates, friends, and family members, proof of unsafe workplace, and inadequate training.
3. Files Your Claim and Lawsuit
The process of filing a worker's compensation claim is usually not an easy one. There is paperwork, deadlines, and accuracy of your details. You need to ensure everything is correct and filed properly if you want to secure your settlement.
Working with a workman's comp attorney can giving your peace of mind. They can tackle the technical parts of the process by ensuring are the relevant documents are completed accurately and filed. Keep in mind that different states have varying processes and deadlines for filing.
In some cases, your employer and the insurance company will speed up to settle the compensation after filing a claim. In some cases, the reward may not suffice your losses. A good attorney will advise whether to keep pursuing the claim or file a civil lawsuit.
4. Structures Your Compensation Agreements
Most victims usually don't know the value of their claims after a work incident. Some are likely to accept whatever amount their employer will offer to them as compensation. Keep in mind that some injuries can cause internal conditions, which may take weeks or even months to appear.
Your lawyer usually considers several factors when estimating the value of your claim. These include:
- the extent or severity of your injuries
- the resulting functional and physical limitations
- the state of your disability: partial or total
- your income loss
- the total medical costs for the injuries and your resulting limitations
Workers' comp lawyers understand the tricks that insurance companies use to negotiate the settlement amounts. As such, they're likely to determine and negotiate the right amount for your claim.
Your attorney will also ensure a proper structure for your settlement agreement. This is particularly essential if you're applying or receiving Social Security disability benefits. A poorly structured agreement can result in unexpected costs every month due to the workers' compensation offset.
5. Represent You In Court
In the US, about 95 to 96 percent of injury claims are usually settled pretrial. That leaves about 4 to 5 percent that usually proceeds to court. If yours is one of them, then it's best to have a workman's comp attorney by your side.
Court hearings and proceedings are another web of intricate processes that most people don't grasp. If you don't have a lawyer, you'll pin your hopes on a workers' comp judge to deliver a reasonable verdict. But that's usually not the case all the time.
Plus, it can be daunting to appeal a court's verdict after the case had been closed. You can avoid such setbacks by working with an attorney from the onset of your claim.
Your lawyer will prepare motions and pleadings, get witnesses, and acquire all the medical records to build a strong case in court. They will present the theory of your case, offer objections, make arguments, and examine all the witnesses. If you're unsatisfied with the court's verdict, your lawyer can help you appeal the judge's decision.
Workman's Comp Attorney - The Takeaway
Sustaining injuries while on the job can be a rather traumatic experience depending on the severity of your condition. When this happens, don't let anyone deny you what you're owed in a workers' compensation claim. Judges will approve your claim, but you can't rely on them to protect your interests.
As such, it helps to work with a workman's comp attorney who will help you file the claim, determine your claim's work and safeguard your interests. But make sure you work with an attorney with an excellent reputation whose clients really like him.
Shouldn't YOU Have The Best Liked Lawyer, Too?
"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life....5 star first class act who really knows his stuff."