Why & When To Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer For Your Workers’ Comp Claim
If you have been injured at work, you may be asking yourself “should I get a lawyer for my workers’ comp claim?” The short answer is yes. Time and time again people believe that they can handle a matter on their own or others convince them they don’t need a lawyer. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law is complicated and an experienced worker’s compensation attorney is the only way you can be sure your rights as an injured worker are protected.
What Does a Workers’ Comp Attorney Do?
Generally, workers in Pennsylvania are eligible to receive workers’ compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act for their work-related injuries and illnesses. If you were injured in an accident at work or you developed an occupational illness, you may be wondering whether it’s worth getting a workers’ comp attorney. If your claim is not being disputed by your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company, you may be able to navigate the workers’ compensation claims process by yourself.
When To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for a Work Injury
Most injured workers will benefit from having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on their side. There are some circumstances that require certain legal skills and expertise. Taking depositions, hiring expert witnesses, requesting independent medical examinations (IME), and gathering other evidence to support your claim are examples of tasks best handled by a qualified workers’ compensation attorney.
There are some instances in which having a lawyer on your side is necessary, or at least in your best interest. It largely depends on the nature of your case, the severity of your injuries, and the response of your employer or insurance company. The following 10 situations reflect very good reasons for hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer:
- Your claim is denied: Your employer or their insurance company may choose to deny your claim for many reasons, including if they believe your claim is fraudulent or your injury was not reported on time.
- Your disability is being disputed: Your employer’s insurance company may order an IME by a doctor of their choosing who will likely attempt to assign you a lower disability rating.
- You have a preexisting condition: It can be difficult to prove that your preexisting injuries are work-related, especially when they occur over time, like repetitive stress injuries.
- You are not receiving the necessary medical treatment: Insurance companies may delay or deny your medical treatments, particularly when the treatments are expensive or ongoing.
- You are not sure if you should accept the insurance company’s settlement offer: The insurance company will often try to save money by making you a settlement offer for much less than you deserve.
- You are permanently disabled: If your ability to work was affected or you are not able to work anymore, you may require new training as well as structured workers’ compensation payments.
- You are receiving other government benefits: If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, they may be reduced once you begin receiving workers’ compensation.
- You are involved in legal proceedings: If the insurance company refuses to settle or you do not accept their offer, you may be required to prove your case at a hearing.
- You are being retaliated against for filing your claim: Although prohibited by law, your employer may retaliate against you for filing for workers’ compensation.
- You were injured by a third party: Third parties other than your employer may be responsible for your injuries; in that case, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Almost any workers’ comp lawyer will advise you to hire a workers’ comp attorney no matter how large or small your claim. The key for an injured worker when hiring an attorney is to be sure they are an experienced workers’ comp attorney. This knowledge and experience within the workers’ compensation system will ensure neither your employer nor their insurance company prevents you from collecting the maximum amount due on your claim. In the event a fair settlement can’t be reached, you will want an experienced attorney by your side at a workers’ compensation hearing.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Could Result From a Workplace Injury?
The type and amount of benefits you may receive from a workplace injury will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. These benefits could include:
- Lost Wages: If you are unable to work while you recover from your injuries, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover a portion of your lost wages.
- Medical Bills: You may be entitled to have your medical expenses covered by workers’ compensation, including hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, prescriptions, and rehabilitative care.
- Death Benefits: If a workplace injury results in death, the surviving spouse and/or dependent children may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits.
- Permanent Disability: If you suffer a permanent disability as a result of a workplace injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your lost earnings as well as your costs of rehabilitation.
A workers’ compensation attorney will help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled so that you can focus on your recovery. When you call for a free case evaluation, the attorney will review the facts of your case and give you an honest assessment of your legal options. If you decide to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, they will work on a contingency basis, which means they will only get paid if they recover benefits for you.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for Injured Workers
If you need help with any aspect of your workers’ compensation claim, hire a workers’ comp lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. The workers’ comp lawyers at our law firm can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process to help you obtain all the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.