If yes, then you may be qualified for workers’ compensation. Generally, it refers to the benefits that employees can claim if they get injured at work or if they developed an illness because of the nature of their job. It provides financial assistance.
Signs You Should Get a Lawyer
Claiming workers’ compensation benefits include a filing process. You also need to see a doctor authorized by either your employer or their insurance provider.
As you go through the necessary steps and documents, you may start to wonder whether you should hire a lawyer or not. While it is not a requirement, a workers’ comp lawyer offers many benefits.
If you are unsure whether it is in your best interest to get an attorney, consider the following signs:
• Your employer or their insurance company is denying that the accident causing the injury happened at work. There are many cases when employees do not report slight injuries they have incurred at work. Such injuries can be aggravated further at work and turn into something serious. However, the employer or insurer may claim that the original injury did not happen in the workplace. This scenario also often happens when exposure to a certain element in the workplace result in a disease.
• Your employer is dragging out the process. It is important to inform your employer of an injury or illness you have gotten on the job as soon as possible so that you can start the process. The company has to give you the paperwork necessary and report the case to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. Your employer should also file a claim with their insurance provider.
• You are suffering from permanent disability. It can be partial or total. Some injuries and illnesses prevent an individual from ever returning to their work. There are insurance carriers that try to contest claims for these situations as they can be expensive.
• The insurance company does not want to pay for the treatment recommended by the doctor. Some insurers claim that certain rehabilitation visits and treatments are not necessary. So, they refuse to pay for them.
• The insurance provider denies your claim. If you think that you have a legitimate claim, but the insurance company denies it, you can appeal.
• If the employer or insurance provider offers a settlement, but it is not enough to cover all medical expenses and lost wages. It is not advisable to settle with your employer or their insurance company without consulting a lawyer.
• You have a pre-existing condition. If you already have a condition before the accident, the insurance company or your employer may try to blame your injury or new pain on that condition. In such a case, you will have to provide evidence to show that is not the case.
• Your employer fires or demotes you. If the employer pressures you to return to work immediately, it is best to hire a lawyer to protect your rights. An attorney can also help you if you are unfairly demoted or fired or if your employer cut down your working hours as a form of retaliation.
• You are thinking of filing for Social Security Disability benefits. Some workers are also qualified to get Social Security Disability benefits, also known as SSDI. When that happens, the benefits may be reduced because of the workers’ compensation benefits. A lawyer can help you minimize or even eliminate the said offset.
If you see any of these signs, it is time for you to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. That said, it is best to consult a lawyer even if you are unsure about your case. An attorney can give you the best legal advice to protect your rights as an employee and get fair compensation.