States began adopting workers’ compensation laws in the early 1920s to protect workers and employers. Unfortunately, laws have changed very little over the years, leaving workers with an archaic system that does not serve their needs adequately. If you have been injured on the job, you must know the workers’ compensation laws and your rights as an injured employee. Sometimes, hiring a lawyer to help you through the claims process becomes necessary.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides cash benefits to injured workers and pays their medical bills. Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system and injured workers can pursue injury compensation until they can return to work or a settlement, should they become disabled permanently.
The employer’s insurance company pays the claim if they agree the injury happened on the job. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims are often wrought with denials, and many eligible victims get mistreated and must appeal.
While not all workers’ compensation claims require legal intervention, many do for various reasons. Injured workers sometimes find it challenging to deal with the insurance company and receive a fair outcome. It would be best to consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer for the following reasons.
1. Employers May Drag Their Feet on Claims
Workers’ compensation laws require employees to report their injuries promptly. Employers and their insurance companies must also respond quickly. The entire process should require no more than 30 days for completion.
Unfortunately, employers sometimes drag their feet and fail to report an employee’s injury. A workers’ compensation lawyer holds the employer and the insurance company accountable, ensuring the process is fair and handled expediently.
2. Employers Deny the Injury Happened at Work
Because of the setup of the workers’ compensation system, employers may try to deny the injury that happened at work in an attempt to avoid paying for the claim. If an employee has a previous injury worsened by their work, things become more complicated.
Most injured workers will need a lawyer working on their behalf. A workers’ compensation lawyer becomes an advocate for the injured and helps them fill out paperwork and file the claim to hold their employer responsible. Lawyers can also gather evidence to help ensure the injured worker can prove their injuries happened on the job or as a result of their work.
3. The Insurance Company May Deny Your Claim
You can appeal if the insurance company denies your workers’ compensation claim. Legal help from a lawyer during the appeal will help protect your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You will have greater peace of mind if a lawyer represents you in the appeals process.
No one can take away your rights regarding becoming injured on the job. If your employer or the insurance company is giving you the runaround, you can seek legal help from a lawyer. One of the first steps is to schedule a consultation appointment. The lawyer will review your injuries and give you sound information on your options for legal recourse. Consulting with a lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation can empower you with the knowledge and guidance necessary to navigate the legal complexities and pursue the appropriate course of action to protect your rights and seek fair compensation for your injuries.