How Can a Workers Comp Lawyer Help Me?
In nearly every state employers are required to hold workers’ compensation insurance. When you experience an accident or injury in the course of and arising from your work, you are likely eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim that can compensate you for medical costs, lost wages, and other damages you have experienced. In 2015, American employers paid out $61.9 billion in workers’ compensation benefits, split down the middle between medical costs and compensation for lost wages.
Workers’ compensation claims can be simple and straightforward, or they can be complex and disputed. For cases that involve injuries that are clearly work-related and are not disputed by the insurance company, you will likely be able to handle filing your own claim.
However, if the case involves any level of dispute with your employer or the insurance company, or you anticipate that the case will go to court, you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the process.
How Should I Begin the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process?
The process starts with notifying your supervisor, and then your employer will provide you with the necessary paperwork and contacts to initiate the process. Keep copies of all paperwork and forms that you file with your employer and the insurance company.
As you get necessary medical treatment, document your medical visits and any treatment you receive. Doctors typically screen for work-related injuries, and your medical records will be part of your claims process. Still, if there is any future dispute, it is best to have your own records and documentation that you can provide to an attorney if necessary.
What Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Do?
State laws vary for workers’ compensation, and one key advantage of hiring an attorney is that they will guide you through all aspects of a process that can be complex. If you decide to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, they will begin with a careful investigation of your case. Your lawyer will research your case, call expert witnesses if necessary, and advise you on whether to accept a settlement out of court. Many workplaces will attempt to reach a settlement outside of court to minimize damages.
How Much Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Many workers’ compensation lawyers do not work on hourly rates, but instead, base their charges on a contingency. This means that you will pay minimal or no fees upfront, but the lawyer will take a percentage of the benefits you are awarded if you win your case. That percentage generally ranges from 10 to 40 percent, and the lawyer should be able to provide you with some estimated costs.
Although hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer does not mean that you are guaranteed to win your case, the lawyer will make sure that you have your best chance of success in a disputed claim.