If you were hurt on the job, you’re probably wondering whether you should hire an attorney for help with your workers’ compensation claim. While you can certainly proceed on your own, there are several scenarios in which it’s wise to seek legal counsel. Generally speaking, the complexity of your case, which includes the nature of your injury or illness and the actions of your employer, will determine whether hiring a lawyer would be worthwhile.
If ALL of the following apply, you may be able to represent yourself without issue:
- You sustained a minor workplace injury that’s easy to prove, like a laceration that required a few stitches;
- Your employer acknowledged that you were hurt on the job;
- Your employer has adequate workers’ compensation insurance coverage and has acknowledged that it applies to you as an employee;
- You were able to return to work in full capacity fairly soon after treating your injury;
- You did not require extensive treatment such as emergency care, hospitalization, or ongoing rehabilitation; and
- You do not have a pre-existing condition that affects the same area of the body that was hurt.
If, on the other hand, you were severely injured or your employer seems reluctant to acknowledge that workers’ compensation allies, you should contact an attorney right away. A seasoned workers’ comp lawyer can:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into the incident in which you were hurt;
- Gather the evidence needed to prove that you have a legitimate claim for benefits;
- Remind your employer of their coverage obligations;
- Estimate the total recoverable damages to which you’re entitled including medical expenses, lost wages, and if applicable, permanent disability;
- Help you navigate the claims process;
- Handle all correspondence with the insurance adjuster;
- Negotiate for a fair settlement;
- Protect your job status should your employer attempt to retaliate; and
- Help you pursue additional compensation from any third parties who contributed to your injuries.
Unfortunately, both employers and their insurance carriers have incentive to deny or at least devaluate the workers’ compensation claims they face. Because your employer doesn’t want to incur higher premiums, for example, they may refuse to be cooperative. And since the insurer will want to protect their bottom line, they may try to shift liability to a third party, argue that your injury was not work-related, or assert that you had a preexisting condition.
As such, workers who have been seriously injured should expect some degree of resistance against their claim. An attorney can protect your rights and help you pursue the benefits you deserve. If you don’t have a lawyer by your side from day one, you could make a critical mistake early in the proceedings that hurts your chances of recovering compensation down the road.
Speak with a Spartanburg Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you were hurt while acting within the scope of your employment, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm for help with your workers’ compensation claim. Our team has almost 50 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call 864-585-3873 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Spartanburg.