You’ve been injured at work and you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim, but your claim was denied. You know you deserve compensation, and you intend to go after it, but is a lawyer really necessary? It seems obvious to you that you should receive some sort of recompense, so you’re not sure that you need to hire an attorney, and maybe others have told you it’s not a big deal. While you are certainly entitled to proceed with your claim alone, you may be putting a lot of work on yourself, and there’s no guarantee that you’re going to come out ahead. Here are 5 reasons a workers’ compensation lawyer might be extremely helpful to you and your case:
- They can represent you against other lawyers – No matter the size of the company that you work for, they’re likely to have legal representation. Odds are, they’ve been through the process before, and they want to avoid as much damage to their company as possible, so especially if they’re a large company, they’re likely to have a battery of lawyers working on their behalf. If you go up against their experienced team without representation, you’re less likely to get the compensation that you deserve.
- They can help develop evidence – A lot of cases are decided through medical evidence, vocation testimonials from people who can speak to the physical demands of your job, and information from various witnesses that an attorney can call to the stand in the event of a trial or hearing. A workers’ compensation lawyer will have plenty of experience with this side of your case, and will be able to collect relevant medical records and build a solid case in your defense, bolstering the likelihood of you receiving fair compensation.
- They can negotiate and structure settlement agreements – A workers’ compensation lawyer will have a very good idea of how much money you should receive according to the injury incurred, the wages you will have lost, and your potential to hold a job in the future. Many times an attorney will be able to recognize a “low-ball” offer from a company that is trying to cheat you out of the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can also ensure that your settlement is structured properly, meaning you aren’t losing unnecessary fees to social security, or the like.
- They can handle any appeals – In the event that your claim is denied, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the appeals process, generally conducted in front of a panel of workers’ compensation judges. They will be able to guide you through all of the extensive paperwork, meet deadlines, and explain the confusing legal jargon.
- They can advise you on third party claims and other potential benefits – In some cases, an injured worker may also have the right to file a civil claim against a third-party, called a personal injury claim. For example, say you were injured by another driver or by a machinery failure, you could sue that third party (either the driver of the other vehicle, or the equipment manufacturer) for the injuries they caused. These claims are often more valuable than a workers’ compensation claim because they allow for compensation of non-monetary damages like pain and suffering.
If you’re still not sure that you need a workers’ compensation attorney, but you’d like to get some questions answered, why don’t you give our firm a call at 773-522-7000? We always offer a free case evaluation, and we’d love to help you with your workers’ compensation claim.
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