Lot’s of people believe that they have no need for a Workers Comp lawyer. This could be for a number of reasons, including: they don’t think they have a claim or don’t wish to file a claim, they believe that the system is “fair” and they they can handle their case on their own, or perhaps they just don’t like attorneys and don’t want to hire one. Still others are scared of some sort of retaliation by their employer (which is illegal, by the way).
Obviously, I am a bit biased here, but if you have been injured at work, and there is any chance at all that you might miss a prolonged period of work, I strongly recommend that you contact a lawyer. Here are a couple of reasons why:
- Worker’s Comp lawyers generally will not charge you for the initial consultation
- There are a lot of “issues” or “disputes” that might arise that would most people won’t fully comprehend
- A lawyer can help you the most when they have been involved from the very beginning – i.e. they can coach you through the recorded statement and other communications with the insurance company
- They can answer your questions so that even if you decide to proceed without a lawyer, you will have information you need
Although workers comp may appear to be fairly straight-forward and simple, there are a number of “disputes” that can arise during the course of your case. One dispute might be as to the amount of your weekly average wage, another might be as to your right to be compensated at all.
When the employer has workers comp claims made against it, the insurance company will increase the insurance premiums it collects to cover the increased risk of future claims or payouts. Accordingly, the employer has a substantial incentive to decrease the number of claims filed against it, and assist in getting them settled for as little as possible – leading to conflict between the worker and the employer when there is a potential claim.
On the flip side, the insurance company makes money by paying out as little money as possible. They have lots of very smart attorneys working for them to interpret the rules and statutes in a way that most favors the insurance company – which leads to lots of “disputes”.
Many people feel that they don’t need an attorney if the insurance company accepts their claim. However, even in those cases where liability is undisputed, the lawyers working for the insurance company will make sure that you are paid the least amount possible – sometimes much less than you would receive with competent counsel.
If you have been injured at work and aren’t sure about your rights, give us a call at (919) 460-5422 for a free consultation.