Workers compensation claims can arise from any work-related injury as part of any job. A secretary, a factory worker, and a mechanic could each be hurt on the job and need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation is a benefit available to workers injured at work to aid in their recovery. The general theory is that if you get hurt at work and file a claim, you should be provided with some level of benefit. Unfortunately, it does not always work so straightforwardly.
Companies and their insurance providers may place any number of hurdles and obstacles that can interfere with recovery after a work-related injury. Valid claims may be wrongly denied by an employer or their insurance company. They may complicate, delay, or outrightly deny access to treatments. These complications and hurdles can have a very costly and harmful effect on the recovery of someone after being injured.
When this happens, injured workers often start to consider whether they should contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The right time to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer is as soon as possible following the work-related injury or as soon as possible once one learns that an injury may be work related. Outside of this, there are other times that injured workers commonly consider and should seek a consultation with an attorney.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you should consult with a workers compensation attorney. A claim may be denied by an insurance company for any of a number of reasons, for example:
- The employer may deny that they were appropriately notified of the injury;
- The employer may deny that the injury is work related;
- The medical records and accident report conflict;
- Refusal to cooperate with employer’s insurance company;
- And more.
The employer may dispute your disability rating. Settlements for workers’ compensation cases are commonly connected to an assessment of permanent disability (also known as “impairment rating”). This is a rating from a doctor that determines the extent of disability. If the insurance company disputes this rating, they may require that an independent medical examination (IME) be performed. If and when these ratings disagree, it is important to contact an attorney to determine the best course of action for ensuring you receive the benefits you deserve.
Similarly to a dispute over disability ratings, the presence of a preexisting condition, especially one that affects the work-related injury, can complicate the process of settling a workers’ compensation claim. In an effort to reduce the benefits paid, insurance companies commonly blame preexisting conditions for the work-related injury or for the seriousness of the injury. An attorney can help argue your claim with the insurance company.
Another tactic that insurance companies often employ rather than denying benefits outright is to deny or delay specific medical treatments. This commonly occurs when a work-related injury requires costly surgery. A skilled workers compensation attorney will be a strong advocate for advancing your recovery and can help remove unnecessary delays and barriers to treatment.
Tragically, some work-related injuries may result in a diminished ability to work or may even mean that one will not be able to work again. This may mean that education and training are necessary or long-term benefits may need to be sought. When this is required, an attorney will fight for right to the benefits and retraining that you are entitled to.
Workers’ compensation benefits can also affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Receiving a workers compensation settlement or payment can influence the amount someone receives for Social Security. If you or your loved one receive SSDI benefits, it can be beneficial to hire an attorney to help maximize your recovery.
How Much Does a Workers Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Having a workers’ compensation attorney on your side can be invaluable, but it is normal to want to know how much hiring a lawyer will cost. The Law Firm of Thomas J. Ueberschaer, P.A. offers free consultations and you will not pay anything unless we win your case.
About Our Florida Law Firm
For over 20 years, the attorneys of Thomas J. Ueberschaer, P.A., have fought for the rights of injured workers in Florida. At our law firm, consultations are free and we pride ourselves on providing personal service to our clients.