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Workers' Compensation Claim: When to Hire a Lawyer


The workers' compensation system was designed to be a straightforward administrative process that offers a safety net for injured workers. Indeed, there are instances where you could obtain your due compensation on your own. However, some situations can be complex, and in such cases, it is necessary to work with a lawyer.

This blog evaluates workers' compensation cases so that you can know when to hire a lawyer.

Claims Denial

If your employer or their insurer denies your claim, then you should contact a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you appeal the denial through the state's board of workers' compensation. A lawyer can help you to obtain a favorable outcome from the appeals process. Remember, the state board may deny a workers' compensation appeal and a lawyer has the expertise you need to prevent a denial.

Underpayment of Benefits

Generally, the workers' compensation benefits you receive will depend on certain factors, such as whether you can return to work in some capacity and the severity of your injuries. If you do not believe the insurance company is paying you the appropriate amount, then consider speaking to an attorney who can help you receive the maximum amount of benefits you are eligible for.

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability can limit your work options. In addition, some insurance companies may try to avoid paying weekly benefits or lump sums for medical bills and lost wages, especially to permanently disabled claimants.

If your injury will require further medication or if your injury will prevent you from returning to your previous job or hinder you from doing any work, then an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the system so you can obtain a favorable settlement.

Social Security and Medicare

Hire a workers' compensation attorney if you are on Social Security Disability (SSD) or think you may need these benefits in the near future. Workers who are eligible for SSD may also receive workers' compensation benefits.

However, you may not be able to receive the full amount of SSD and workers' compensation at the same time. Social Security usually reduces disability benefits to account for workers' compensation. The same policy applies to Medicare.

This process and the related rules are complex. A skilled attorney is necessary to ensure that your settlement contract considers the implications of Social Security Disability benefits as well as Medicare.

Employer Retaliation

If you are injured at work and are eligible, you have a legal right to file for workers' compensation without fear of retaliation from your employer. To protect your legal rights, contact a worker's compensation attorney if your employer discriminates against you, or reduces your hours and pay, or fires or demotes you.

Speak to your lawyer before making any formal complaints or entering into any negotiations with your employer. When you speak to your lawyer, you can ensure that you won't agree to something that will work against you when you decide to file a case.

You may be able to handle your workers' compensation case successfully if your work-related injury is a minor one, does not require extensive medical attention, and your employer agrees that your injury is workrelated. Self-representation could also be feasible if you do not have a pre-existing medical issue that affects the same body part that was recently injured and if your injury does not adversely affect your ability to work.

However, even if you think your case is simple, it is a good idea to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer. A lawyer can guide you through the claims process, help you avoid common mistakes, and give you an honest assessment of your case.  

If you have been injured at work, then get in touch with Cofield Law Firm today. We have a reputation for advocating rigorously for our clients to ensure that your employer obeys the law and that you receive the compensation benefits you deserve.