An employee suffering from grave work-related illness or injury must hire a lawyer to deal with workers’ comp claim. Usually, employers or claim adjusters or their insurance providers routinely deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. Many applicants give up and a few try to navigate the system by themselves.
Workers’ compensation law is extremely complex, and so it is necessary to locate one who specializes in workers’ compensation cases.
Certainly, you may find it hard to distinguish genuine workers’ compensation expert from dabblers (lawyers, who play or dabble with workers’ comp).
Reliable indicators of quality attorney
- Experience level
- In-depth knowledge
- Interested in details
These cannot be obvious in an advertisement, but some extra effort on your part can make a lot of difference.
Role of a good workers’ compensation attorney
- Developing evidence
Insufficient medical evidence has probably been the most common reasons for denial of workers’ comp. An attorney helps to collect medical records, recommend treatment with specific physicians, obtain medical judgment, and conduct statement from medical experts. Appropriately developed medical record helps to reflect the correct extent of lasting impairment, you can possibly have.
Other kind of evidence like vocational testimony related to your job’s physical needs, statements from family and friends regarding your routine activities or proof displaying poor workplace safety can bolster your case. A veteran attorney understands what evidence will strengthen your case to increase your chances of obtaining good benefit.
- Negotiate and structure settlement agreement
A lawyer is well-versed in estimating claim value that the injured employee. The following factors will be taken into consideration.
- Extent of your wounds and resulting functional limitations
- Disability rating
- Disability is permanent or temporary
- Disability is total or partial
- Previous wages
- Past and future costs of medical treatment
Lawyers are aware of negotiating tricks used by employer’s insurance provider from low offers to fake final offers. However, they engage insurers in productive negotiations with their skills.
A good lawyer ensures that your settlement contract gets structured properly. In case, you apply for the Social Security Disability benefit, then an inappropriately drafted settlement contract will cost you significantly, due to workers’ comp offset. The attorney helps you determine a reasonable estimate for future medical expenses, if necessary.
Settlements need to be approved in court and unrepresented claimants will need to depend on the judge to sufficiently defend their interest. However, hiring a lawyer will prove to be a wise decision in settlement negotiations.
Represent you in trial or hearing
Your case will be presented before workers’ compensation judge for trial, if you are not able to attain a settlement. Your attorney may perform legal research, request medical records, take witnesses statement, and prepare pleadings.
His theory of your case will be presented, before the judge at the hearing, make arguments, offer objections and examine witness. In case, you are dissatisfied with the hearing result, your attorney helps to appeal before panel of workers’ compensation judges. You can read more about their achievements in their respective websites and hire one.
Give advice on 3rd party claims
In addition to workers’ compensation claim, you may have physical injury claim against 3rd party’s negligence. Personal injury claims can be more valuable then workers’ compensation claims, because pains & suffering as well as loss of potential income get included besides damages.