When Do You Need To Seek The Advise Of An Attorney?
Dealing With The Insurance Company
What You Can Expect From Your Employer
How Much Will An Attorney Cost
State laws vary as to the exact compensation available, but as an injured worker you may be entitled to:
Temporary total disability while you can’t work at all (usually 2/3 of your previous actual earnings)
Payment of your medical bills
Permanent partial disability
Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance may be responsible for job displacement benefits, so that you can work at some meaningful job that is geared to your current abilities.
If there are permanent restrictions, your employer is generally responsible to offer you a modified position, if there is one available within the restrictions of what you can now do. If there are no such jobs, there is no guarantee of future employment with your employer.
Workers’ comp is your exclusive remedy, which means that you can’t sue your employer, but are only entitled to benefits under your state’s workers’ comp laws.
In some cases, however, you can file a lawsuit against another party other than your employer.
The Administrative Process
The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, not the courts, usually decides whether your worker’s comp claim for benefits should be granted.
The administrative decision will be based on what’s in your worker’s comp file with the agency, and the evidence presented at an administrative hearing.
Make sure you provide your lawyer with all the medical information you have, so that your lawyer knows everything you do about your medical condition.
If your lawyer asks you to round up information or paperwork, make it a priority to get it done as soon as possible. Your lawyer wouldn’t be asking for the information if he or she didn’t see it as important.
Keep copies of everything you send to your lawyer, and all the hearing paperwork.
Be prepared for a long wait while your workers’ comp claim is processing. It is not unusual for claims to take years to resolve.
An "Industrial Accident" is any accident that happens to you while you are on the job. When you become injured, you should immediately seek medical attention. Avoid "putting it off until tomorrow" to see if you'll feel any better. There could be serious underlying injuries that may not manifest that quickly, and you could cause further injury to yourself by delaying medical attention.
You have the right to see a doctor, without charge to you, for any accident at the workplace, regardless of how trivial it may seem. Your employer will issue you a form to fill out and return; do this as soon as possible!
In most cases, Workers' Compensation covers your medical treatments until your treating physician releases you to go back to work doing your normal job. However, there a times when your medical coverage is covered even while you are back to work. These issues are better dealt with on an individual basis with your attorney.
When you're injured, you should seek the advise of an attorney as soon as possible. When you try to represent yourself, the insurance company is required by their company to offer you the absolute minimum settlement possible, if any at all. In order to protect your rights under the workers compensation laws, you should seek legal advise before signing anything that would, in effect, give up your rights to medical treatment or monetary compensation.
Your employer, regardless of how much he may genuinely care for you as an employee, knows that the longer you are off work, the more it costs him. He or she will want you back on the job as soon as possible; either at your regular job, or some type of modified position. Be aware that if you are brought back in a modified position, the employer only has to pay you 85% of your pre-injury wage. Workers' compensation pays the difference.
Unlike civil cases or criminal cases, there are no "up-front" fees to be paid to an attorney. The costs incurred by the law firm handling your case are deducted from your settlement and a modest amount of 12% to 15% that the attorney receives is dictated by the workers' compensation board.