Q: Do I need a lawyer for my work injury claim?
After a workplace injury, workers’ compensation (WC) benefits will become your primary source of income for a while. This coverage helps you pay your medical bills and lost wages while you are out of work. It also protects you when you return to work, should you need to be on light duty for an extended period.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that it’s their right as employees, many workers face an uphill battle securing medical care and disability benefits. Their employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company may be less than sympathetic and even suspicious of their claims.
Their doubt (or indifference) can make it difficult and time-consuming to see any results without the aid of an attorney. In other situations, however, you might not need representation—it all depends on the specifics of your claim. So, how do you tell the difference?
It’s all about control, understanding, and injury severity.
When to Safely Pursue a WC Claim on Your Own
While the phrase “trust your gut” may not be an official legal term, it can go a long way in navigating your workers’ compensation claim. If your injuries are minor, and you feel that your employer and the insurance company are treating you kindly and reasonably, you’ll probably be okay without the assistance of a lawyer. Additional factors of your WC claim that may not require extensive debate or representation include:
- If your injuries do not require surgery or other aggressive treatments.
- If you’ll not miss much work due to your injuries, and you will not be restricted to light duty on your return.
- If you were otherwise healthy before the accident.
- If you were offered a settlement that was adequate and fair.
You’re always free to pursue a workers’ compensation claim on your own, but you may find that frustration and an inadequate settlement offer causes more pain than the initial injury. In those cases, having the representation of an experienced attorney may be your better option.
When to Hire an Attorney
Some people are fortunate enough to have only suffered minor injuries while working for a supportive, honest employer. With small claims and agreeable bosses, there is usually no need to involve an attorney.
When matters get complicated, however, an attorney’s presence may make the difference between a fair settlement and proverbial peanuts. When disagreements arise, or you find yourself coping with the effects of your injury for months or years, a solo claim isn’t going to get you the outcome you need—but an experienced attorney can.
When something seems off to you, your instincts are probably right. Do not sign or agree to anything that you feel unsure about until you have spoken to an attorney (our firm can offer you a FREE consultation), especially when the following factors are included in your claim:
- Severe or moderate injuries that may have long-term effects or affect your ability to work for an extended period.
- Pre-existing conditions that your employer may try to use against you.
- Denied medical benefits.
- Disagreement over the severity of your injury or whether it was truly work-related.
- Arguments or conflict with your employer or the insurance company.
When it comes to issues like your long-term health and earning potential, you do not want to take chances. An attorney can help protect your rights as well as secure your benefits. Call workers’ compensation attorney Steve Lee today (713-921-4171), or click on the live chat feature. A push of a button is all you need to be connected with a firm that will fight to ensure your life post-injury is as productive and financially secure as possible.