Not every workplace accident resulting in injury requires representation from a worker's compensation attorney. If your employer has agreed that the accident happened while you were at work, or if you didn't suffer a serious injury, you may be able to represent yourself. However, for some worker's compensation claims, an attorney will be able to help you recover income from missed days at work, cover your medical costs, or get you back to work. Here are some of the reasons to hire a worker's compensation attorney.
You've Been the Victim of Retaliation
Some employers may retaliate against employees who have filed a worker's compensation claim. Retaliation could include your having your hours reduced, being refused the chance to come back to work, or being harassed while you are on the job. If you feel you have been retaliated or discriminated against as a result of your injury and worker's compensation claim, be sure to document every instance when you have been treated unfairly and present the documentation to your lawyer.
Your Employer Is Guilty of Negligence
Workplace accidents happen, even when employers provide safe working conditions. In some cases, however, an employer may ignore laws and regulations about workplace safety or knowingly put employees at risk when they come to work each day. If this is the case for your situation, you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit. You may also be able to file if you were injured by a defective product or if your employer does not have worker's compensation insurance. The process for this may be complicated, as worker's compensation cases don't always meet the parameters for a civil suit, which is why having an attorney can be helpful. Your lawyer will let you know if you have a case for this type of suit and help you to build the argument for additional compensation.
You Are Permanently Disabled
If your injury caused a permanent disability that has made you unable to return to work, you should consider hiring an attorney. Your employer may be required to make regular weekly or biweekly payments to you as part of your benefits, or you may be entitled to a lump-sum payment. A worker's-compensation attorney can help you to get these benefits and help you to navigate the paperwork needed for the disability payments.
Getting seriously injured on the job can be a scary proposition, but a worker's-compensation attorney can make the process of getting what you are owed easier. If you think you have a case, be sure to contact an attorney, such as one at Lovett Schefrin Harnett, as soon as possible to get the process started.