It would be nice if we lived in a world where workers’ compensation insurance was as simple as it initially sounds. Workers’ comp is supposed to do two things: protect the employer from being sued and ensure that an injured employee get the compensation they need to heal from an injury that occurred on the job. In an ideal world, an employee would submit a claim and they would quickly and efficiently receive compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages.
Unfortunately, this often isn’t how applying for workers’ comp goes for most injured workers and they may find that they need the assistance of an attorney to get what they need. But how can a workers’ compensation attorney help you?
They Can Determine If Your Injuries Qualify You For Workers’ Comp
After reviewing your case, an attorney can let you know why you may or may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. A work-related injury is typically usually coverable. These injuries are ones that occurred while you were doing work on the behalf of an employer. But sometimes, if the employee was disregarding safety rules in the workplace they may not be eligible.
They Can Assist You With Filling Out Forms
Filing a claim by filling out workers’ compensation forms may sound simple enough but the fact is that incorrectly filled out forms are one of the most common reasons that injured workers receive a denial letter. An attorney can make sure that these forms are filled out correctly and can also inform you of the dates you need to have the claim submitted by.
They Can Handle An Appeal
No one expects to receive a denial letter but it happens is a large percentage of workers’ compensation cases. In order to make an appeal, a new set of forms needs to be correctly filled out and evidence needs to be gathered so that when a hearing is scheduled it can be shown that the claim should not have been denied.
An attorney can help to fill the additional new forms out, gather the necessary evidence and represent you at an appeal hearing.
They Can File A Lawsuit Against A Third Party
While it is true that filing a workers’ compensation claim prevents the injured employee from pursuing legal action against their employer, it does not prevent them from filing a lawsuit against a third party whose negligence resulted in the accident and injuries. The compensation that can be obtained in a lawsuit may cover not only medical expenses and lost wages, but also physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
They Can Inform You Of Additional Benefits Which You Might Qualify For
In some cases, injured workers may be eligible for more than just workers’ compensation. Workers whose injuries are so severe that they are disabled may also be able to collect social security disability benefits as well as workers’ compensation. An attorney can also assist you with filing for and obtaining disability benefits.
Can An Attorney Help Me With A Work Related Illness?
Yes. If you believe that you may be suffering from a work-related illness, it is highly advisable that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney. It is important to do so because it can be much harder to prove that an illness was caused by working conditions than an injury. Examples of work-related illnesses include:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- black lung disease
- contact dermatitis
These illnesses are frequently caused by exposure to chemicals and toxins. While OSHA has created regulations that employers are required to follow in order to keep their employees safe, many cut corners in order to save time and money. When corners are cut, employees suffer.