Work-related accidents happen all the time even though employers set up necessary measures to avoid them. If you ever find yourself a victim of a work-related accident or illness, you might be wondering if you are entitled to any compensation from your company. If you feel that your company must compensate you for the injuries you suffered at work, it might do you a lot of good to hire a workers compensation lawyer Atlanta.
Deciding to hire a workers’ comp lawyer depends on a number of factors such as the scope and severity of your injury, the complexity of your case and the actions of your employer (or their insurance company). So, if you’re ever thinking of hiring one, it might be a good idea to do your research first. However, do note that getting the help of a lawyer is better than filing a claim by yourself.
You Can Represent Yourself
In general, it is possible for you to represent yourself if all of the following statements are true:
- The workplace injury you sustained is only minor (for example, a twisted ankle, or a cut that requires only a few stitches)
- Your employer acknowledges that the injury happened at work
- You missed a few days of work or had to stop working due to your injury
- You don’t have a pre-existing condition that affects the same part of your body that sustained the injury (for example, an old back injury from a car accident that you already had even before you hurt your back while working)
Even in relatively uncomplicated cases, it’s still a good idea to get in touch with a workers compensation lawyer Atlanta and get a free consultation regarding your case. The lawyer can guide you through the entire claims process, inform you of potential risks and give you their honest opinion on whether you can handle the case by yourself.
Is It Time to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Still unsure when to hire a worker’s comp lawyer? Basically, when you come across any complexity in your case, then it simply means it’s time for you to hire a workers compensation lawyer Atlanta. Below are some other examples of situations that require the assistance of a workers’ comp lawyer:
- Your employer (or their insurance company) denies your claim or refuses to pay the benefits you’re owned to –employers and workers’ comp insurers usually reject legitimate workers’ comp claims, because they’re confident many workers fail to file an appeal. This happens most of the time. But you can prevent this from happening to you by hiring a workers’ comp lawyer. It costs nothing to hire one up front, and you also improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement or award for the injuries you’ve sustained.
- The settlement offered by your employer doesn’t cover all your lost wages or hospital bills –if you’re unsure whether a settlement offer is enough to cover your medical bills and/or lost wages, then speak up about it. Don’t rely on the workers’ comp judge to make sure you’re getting what you deserve. While a workers’ comp judge must approve wall workers’ comp settlements, they usually sign off on any agreement as long as both parties get what they deserve. If you want to get a fair end of the deal and the best settlement possible, it’s time for you to lawyer up.
- Your medical problems prevent you from going back to your previous job, limit what you can do at work, and/or disable you from doing any work at all –if you’ve become permanently disabled due to the accident, you may be entitled to weekly payments (or paid a lump sum) to make up for all your lost wages. Cases like this can be very expensive for insurance companies, so they’ll do everything they can to find a loophole and avoid paying you what you deserve. An experienced workers compensation lawyer Atlanta is necessary in cases involving work-related illnesses and permanent injuries.
- You are planning to apply for or already receive Social Security disability benefits –if you’re settlement isn’t properly structured, or is unclear, there’s a huge chance that it can negatively impact your workers’ comp benefits. For instance, you might find yourself being given lower Social Security disability payments. If you work with an experienced lawyer, you won’t have to worry about a thing because they know how to draft your settlement agreement properly, thereby minimizing or eliminating this offset.
- Your employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ comp claim –there are cases where employers retaliate against a worker that has filed a workers’ comp claim by firing, demoting, cutting down their work hours, reducing their pay, or discriminate them. If this happens to you, don’t hesitate to contact a workers’ comp lawyer so you can protect yourself from unfair treatment.
- A third-party or your employer’s negligence caused your injury –the worker’s compensation system was created to prevent civil lawsuits for work-related accidents and injuries. But, there are cases where you are allowed to sue outside workers’ comp, including when someone other than your employer (a third-party) caused your injury (for example, a negligent driver who hit you while you were on the way to work), your employer caused your injury, or when your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance. An experience workers’ comp lawyer will be able to guide you through how the system works and how the law works in your situation.
Benefit of Hiring a Good Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Besides making sure that you file all the necessary forms and documents on time, a good workers’ comp lawyer will know how to put together enough evidence to support your case, negotiate with the insurance company, reach a settlement agreement to avoid unnecessary consequences.
If you’re unable to reach a good settlement, your lawyer can prepare and represent you at the hearing or trial after.
Hiring a good workers compensation lawyer Atlanta will definitely help turn the tide to your favor. And because workers’ comp lawyers don’t charge any fee upfront, you won’t have to worry about any expenses. They’ll only receive a small percentage of any settlement you win.