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Five Major Reasons a Workers’ Comp Attorney Should Be Hired after a Work Injury

Posted by attorney Brenton Adams

Hiring a Workers' Comp attorney in Dunn is important when a work injury is serious. This may be the only way for a worker’s rights to be protected and to ensure that his or her claim is handled fairly.

Reasons to Hire an Attorney after a Serious Work Injury

Minor injuries at work typically require a trip to the doctor and possibly taking a few days off. But when an injury is serious, it could mean being out of work for weeks, months or even longer.

One issue that could arise is if the employer decides to retaliate. This can include not only denying benefits the injured worker is entitled to receive, but the employee also could be harassed, threatened or even fired. An attorney knows how to handle these types of issues.

A second reason to hire an attorney is that the employer or insurance company may try to avoid paying benefits, or what’s offered could be much less than the employee deserves.

An attorney can explain the medical expenses that are covered, including future care such as rehabilitation. Additionally, the injured worker will know how much disability payments should be.

Employees may not fully understand the scope of benefits available, especially if the injuries are serious enough that they prevent them from returning to the same position. Legal counsel can share the vocational benefits that could be accessible, such as retraining.

A third reason is that the insurance company’s doctor may try to downplay the severity of a worker’s injuries to avoid paying out any more than is minimally necessary, or the doctor may say the employee is able to return to work when he or she really isn’t. This is sometimes the case with employer-chosen doctors. An unfortunate reality is that some of them are “in the pocket" of the employer and do not review a Workers’ Comp accident case fully and accurately in order to keep the employer happy. This is one such case in which a Workers’ Comp attorney in Dunn would be useful.

It may be possible to see another doctor, including the employee’s own physician. An attorney can explain the rights a worker has when it comes to medical care and treatment.

Fourth, there may be other legal options available that the worker hasn’t considered. In some situations, such as an employer intentionally causing injury to the employee, it might be better to bypass Workers’ Compensation benefits and file a personal injury claim for obvious reasons.

Finally, there may be time limits that employees aren’t aware of, which could destroy their chances of receiving compensation. It seems unfair, but a lack of planning on the part of the injured employee, whether or not he or she is busy recuperating and unfamiliar with law, can be used against him or her. By seeking legal counsel, workers can know what state laws pertain to the timeframe in which a claim must be filed.

What to Consider When Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney

The following are some of the issues an employee might want to consider when deciding to hire an attorney after a work injury:

  • level of experience (number of cases handled, percentage of practice devoted to these types of claims);
  • knowledge (appears to understand how the law applies to the case, state laws);
  • fees (clear understanding of the legal costs); and
  • comfort (professionalism, interest in case, seems like a good fit).

Injuries at work are not uncommon. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 the rate of nonfatal work-related illness and injury that required time off from work was 117 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

Workers who have suffered serious injuries on the job might consider consulting the law office of Brent Adams & Associates. An attorney may be able to help explain legal options available.

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