Most people do not go to work expecting to get hurt. But, of course, it does happen. Let’s say you’re working in a busy hospital, and you slip and fall on a slick spot on the floor while rushing to get to a patient. This results in you fracturing your arm and needing to take time off work. There was no caution sign anywhere to be seen, but you are unsure of whether this accident was your fault or was something that your employer could have prevented.
You know you’re going to have to deal with workers’ compensation, but should you contact a workers’ comp lawyer? How do you know which one will best fight for you?
Your Employer Retaliates Against You
Let’s say you’ve become ill after being exposed to toxic chemicals in the nail salon where you work. You file workers’ comp, but your employer decides to slice your hours, demote, or full-out fire you. Or, perhaps, they try to get you to return to work far too soon. Any of these circumstances can seriously impact your livelihood and your finances. If this happens, a Chicago workers compensation attorney can help you fight against these unjust penalties.
Your Claim Gets Dragged Out
Something that happens all too often is that companies drag out workers’ compensation claims. Even if you promptly notify your employer of your injury and initiate the reporting process, companies don’t always follow through with providing you the paperwork to report your case to the state workers’ comp board in time.
While reporting deadlines vary by state, on average, you have an average of 30 days from the date of the injury to file a claim with the company’s insurance carrier. If you’re approaching that benchmark and haven’t received paperwork from your employer, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
You are Unable to Fully Return to Work
Let’s say your injury is so severe that it has caused either partial or total permanent disability. This means that you will not be able to fully return to work and earn the money you usually make. This not only causes immense stress, but it puts you and your family in jeopardy.
Insurance companies know how expensive these claims are and are even more likely to contest them to avoid the expense. Without a skilled attorney on your side, you could have a lot of trouble winning your case.
The Insurance Carrier Denied Your Claim
If your employer’s insurance carrier has already denied your claim, you have the right to appeal that decision – but it won’t be easy. If you truly feel you have a legitimate claim, you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney to step in and help. This proves to the court and the defendant that you are serious and want your employer to be held accountable in providing fair compensation.
You Intend to File for Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are now disabled due to your workplace injury, you might wish to file for Social Security disability (SSI or SSDI) benefits. Doing so, however, can be tricky. Many people who file without a lawyer on their case get rejected and have to file an appeal.
You can save yourself some time and worry by getting a workers’ comp attorney on your case from the get-go. Your lawyer can help structure your settlement in order to reduce the offset as much as possible.
No matter what the circumstances are surrounding your case, a workers comp lawyer can help you get your claims approved. The damages you get awarded can at least assist you in covering your income losses, including your medical expenses. Otherwise, you might not get the compensation you need to recover and adjust to living with your injury.