If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to worker's compensation. The compensation you receive may cover medical bills or may work as wage replacement as you recover. In some cases, receiving worker's compensation is straightforward and easy, but in other cases, you may want to hire a worker's comp lawyer.
Here are five signs you need a lawyer.
1. You already receive disability payments.
If you receive disability payments for the injury related to this claim or for another unrelated injury, you may want to consult with a worker's comp attorney. According to the Social Security Administration, if you receive a lump-sum worker's comp payment or even if you receive small payments, that can cause your disability payment to be reduced.
Ultimately, that can make it hard to cover your bills and as a result, your worker's comp payment may not cover what you need it to cover. To explain, imagine you use your disability check to cover your monthly bills and you plan to use your worker's comp check to cover medical bills. However, due to your worker's comp check, your disability check is smaller. As a result, you end up having to use some of your worker's comp payment to cover monthly bills, and some of your medical bills remain unpaid.
To avoid this type of scenario, talk with a lawyer. They can ensure the worker's comp is structured in a way that reduces this risk.
2. You have a preexisting injury.
If you have a preexisting injury, it's not just your disability payments that may be affected. Rather, your entire claim may be denied based on that injury. To ensure that your claim is as viable as possible, you may also want to turn to a worker's comp lawyer in this situation as well.
3. Your boss rejects your worker's comp claim.
If you have already put in a claim for worker's comp and your boss or the worker's comp insurance board for your state denies the claim, that doesn't mean that you should give up. Instead, you may want to contact a worker's comp lawyer to talk about the merits of your case. They can give you tips on whether or not your claim is likely to be approved with the right assistance.
4. Your proposed settlement is too small.
In other cases, you may have put in a claim that was approved, but the approved amount is too small. For example, the approved claim doesn't cover all your medical bills, or it does offer enough money to support you while you can't work. In these cases, don't agree to accept the compensation agreement offered to you. Instead, contact a lawyer to help you negotiate a better deal.
5. Your boss was negligent or holding the claim against you.
Worker's compensation has the caveat that you can't sue your boss for gross negligence. However, in cases where you have suffered a severe injury due to negligence, you may want to take your boss to court rather than submit a worker's comp claim. In these cases, you may want to consult with an injury lawyer rather than a worker's comp lawyer. They can help you bypass worker's comp and pursue other legal action.
Similarly, if you've already submitted a claim or told your boss that you plan to submit a claim, and your boss retaliating against you, you should also consult with an attorney. Examples of retaliation include threats of firing you or cutting your hours if you're still working.
If your scenario doesn't fall into the list above but you have concerns about the process, contact a worker's comp attorney at a law firm like the Walz Law Office today. They can help you get the best results possible.