Do I Need To Hire A Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
The following article will provide some information to help you determine whether you should hire an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation claim.
What is the role of a workers’ compensation attorney?
A workers’ compensation attorney is an attorney who focuses on the state’s workers’ compensation law and who has experience handling workers’ compensation claims. A workers’ compensation attorney will typically take on some of the following roles:
- Gathering evidence: A workers’ compensation attorney will obtain strong medical evidence that supports your case. This task may include gathering medical records, arranging or recommending treatment with certain physicians, obtaining medical opinions from your treating physicians, and conducting depositions of medical experts.
- Negotiating settlement agreements: Many workers’ compensation claims end in settlement. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to determine how much your case is worth based on various factors, such as the extent of your injuries and resulting physical limitations and your past and future medical expenses.
- Representing clients at a hearing or trial: If for whatever reason you are unable to reach a settlement, a workers’ compensation attorney will represent you in an administrative hearing or trial. At the hearing, the attorney will present a case on your behalf regarding why you should receive the appropriate benefits. Furthermore, if you are not satisfied by the result of your hearing, your attorney can help you appeal the decision.
Do I need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney?
After being injured on the job, it may be confusing trying to determine whether you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney. The following section will provide some details regarding situations where you should consider hiring an attorney, versus situations where hiring an attorney may be unnecessary.
You will probably not need an attorney if you:
- Don’t require medical treatment
- Don’t involve time off work
- Only have minor injuries
You probably should hire an attorney if:
- You’re in a dispute with the insurance company. If you are in a dispute with an insurance company, you will need to gather evidence in order to challenge the insurance company’s position, which a workers’ compensation attorney can do.
- Your claim is denied. If your claim is denied, an attorney can help you obtain the information and documentation you need to file an appeal and will ensure that your appeal is timely filed.
- You have a pre-existing condition. If you have a preexisting injury or condition involving the same body part you injured at work, you may have a difficult time proving to the insurance company that that work injury exacerbated that previous injury. This is where medical expert testimony, obtained by an attorney, can be helpful.
- You’re having trouble getting the treatment you need. Sometimes, insurance companies will intentionally delay the approval of expensive medical treatments. An attorney should be able to get the insurance company to approve necessary medical treatments in a timely manner.
- You’re receiving other government benefits. If you were receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits prior to getting injured at work, these benefits may be reduced if you start to receive workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney will be able to help you take advantage of your workers’ compensation benefits without significantly impacting your SSDI benefits.
- You’re seeking to maximize your recovery. Workers’ compensation attorneys know the ins and outs of the Workers’ Compensation Act and a client’s entitlement to benefits. They are in the best position to assess what a case is worth and the best strategy to maximizing that recovery based upon years of experience.
Do You Have Questions About The Workers’ Compensation Process? Speak To A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have additional questions regarding the workers’ compensation process, Connolly Injury Law can help. Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about filing a personal injury lawsuit.