A lawyer is a person who applies legal knowledge and expertise to resolve disputes. They perform legal research, depositions, and investigations, prepare pleadings, and litigate in court. Workers’ compensation lawyers represent injured workers at hearings, trials, and other actions and guide them through the application process. They can also offer insightful counsel on how to increase their pay.
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Depending on the nature of your work injury, it may take time to complete processing your claim. This may be because your employer or insurance company contests the facts of your accident or because significant medical expenses are involved. In addition, in some states, workers’ compensation settlements must be approved by a worker’s comp judge before they are finalized. Workers’ compensation attorneys understand the nuances of these laws and can help ensure your case is processed correctly. This includes providing that your average weekly wage (AWW) is calculated accurately and that the terms of your settlement are well written.
A good lawyer for workers compensation can also help you obtain a higher settlement offer. Settling a workers’ comp claim can represent a fresh start, freeing you from the burden of attending independent medical examinations and court dates. A workers’ comp settlement can give you the funds you need to rebuild your life. This can include addressing your financial concerns, paying your bills, and ensuring your injury is fully treated.
Filing a Lawsuit
Many people who file workers’ compensation claims without a lawyer are disadvantaged. They must rely on their employer and insurance company for information about their case. That can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. And it can keep them from getting the total amount of compensation they deserve. Workers’ comp covers medical treatments like surgery, doctor visits, medication, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. But there are some restrictions on where you can get these procedures done. Insurance providers might question the severity of your injury if you choose not to see a pre-approved physician or refuse specific procedures. An attorney can help you navigate these limitations and fight for the best possible outcomes. Some workers’ compensation cases may also involve civil lawsuits against a third party, such as if a defective piece of machinery caused your injury. A lawyer can help you file these claims and work to secure maximum noneconomic damages. They can also help you prepare for a hearing by collecting medical evidence and interviewing witnesses.
Rejecting Unwanted Settlement Offers
A workers’ compensation lawyer will answer your questions, guide you through the process, and handle any paperwork or documentation needed to file a claim. They will also fight to ensure the insurance company receives all relevant medical documentation. Workers’ compensation claims are often rejected for insufficient supporting medical evidence. An attorney can help you understand how your injury will affect your future and determine how much of a settlement you should accept. Some injuries will require a lifetime of care. A lawyer can help you estimate the cost of all your ongoing expenses, like replacing prosthetics and paying for transportation to medical appointments. They can also ensure that any settlement you receive covers your current and future needs. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer understands how the insurance companies work and can negotiate better offers than you could on your own. They may also assist with other issues during your workers’ comp claim.
Representation at Hearings
During the hearing, your attorney will present evidence of your injury to the judge and the insurance company’s lawyer. This evidence will include documents, accident reports, witness testimony, and legal arguments.
Unlike a typical trial, the injured worker and insurance company can testify in workers’ compensation. The presiding judge will administer an oath to you, saying, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” Having a workers’ compensation lawyer who understands the nuances of these laws can help ensure your case is treated fairly and quickly. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can also assist you with preparing for your hearing and filing all required documents. This can help speed up the process and make your claim more likely to succeed.