If you have gotten hurt on the job (or working has aggravated your injury), you may have a workers’ compensation case. However, before you go running to a lawyer, you may want to get a little more information.
Here are some common questions that you may be having.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the insurance system that was designed to protect both employers and employee with injuries, illness, or death that occurs at work. Employers have to pay for workers’ compensation insurance which is meant to protect them against any injuries that occur at work.
What do I need to do if I get injured at work?
If you are injured at work, you need to notify your supervisor or employer right away. They may or may not send you to the doctor. You have a right to choose your doctor, and you will need to follow all medical advice from your provider. You may want to contact a lawyer at this time, just to be safe.
Can I still get workers’ compensation if I wasn’t following the rules?
This may be a gray area but you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation even if you weren’t doing what you were supposed to. If you were goofing off around machinery or you fell asleep and got hurt, you may still have a valid case that you could pursue or settle.
Why would my workers’ compensation be denied?
There are many reasons why your compensation gets denied. Some of these include:
- Self-injury. If you purposely injured yourself on the job, you may not be eligible for worker’s compensation.
- Intoxicated or Under the Influence. You should never show up to work intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. This is only asking for problems.
- Missed deadlines. If you waited too long to talk to your supervisor and seek medical attention, you are going to need a lawyer to help you with filing your claim or settling your case.
- Disputed case. Some employers and their insurance companies will do whatever they can to avoid paying workers’ compensation. They may fight you if they don’t believe that you got hurt at work or that you are injured at all.
Do all cases end with a settlement? Or will I be expected to go to court?
The honest truth is that most worker’s compensation cases end in a settlement. The insurance companies often offer a lump sum of money or weekly payments for a certain amount of time. This money should be used to pay for medical expenses, along with missed income at work. You may want to hire a lawyer if you think that you should be eligible for more money.
Do I need a lawyer?
Technically, you don’t need to have a lawyer for a workers’ compensation case. However, it may be a good idea to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. The insurers often do not tell you what benefits you may be eligible, so they do not offer as much money for a settlement. You have rights and your lawyer will make sure that you are being treated fairly and compensated for everything you are entitled to.
What are some reasons that I should definitely talk to a lawyer before settling my case?
You are going to want a lawyer on your side if you have any of the following:
- Fair compensation for all claims you settle. Don’t settle your entire case for a value of just a few benefits.
- You have pre-existing conditions, which may make the insurance company not want to pay you anything reasonable.
- You may need to have surgery because of your injury.
- You are going to be off of work for a significant amount of time.
- You may also want a lawyer if you are going to struggle to hold a job for the rest of your life, due to your injury.
If you are unsure about whether or not you have a workers’ compensation case, you need to talk to a lawyer right away. Don’t hesitate to contact us right away. We will be able to talk to you about your case and your options so that you can decide how you want to proceed.