What Exactly Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Do?
If you suffered an accident on the job, you may have been advised by a family member or co-worker to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. These payments, paid by your employer’s insurance company, are designed to cover any medical expenses related to your injury, replace some of your income while you recover, and help you train for a new job if you’re unable to return to work.
Before a person can receive these benefits, there are a series of forms to submit and processes to comply with. Unfortunately, even the smallest mistake or missed deadline can result in a denied claim, leaving an injured worker to face a complex system of appeals. At a time when stress is already high, many applicants give up and forfeit their right to workers’ compensation. Others try to navigate the system on their own. No matter where you are in the process, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney will give you the best chance at getting the maximum benefits you deserve.
A workers’ compensation attorney can:
Answer questions and guide you through the workers’ compensation process
Communicate with the workers’ compensation insurer on your behalf
Make sure you file the necessary forms and meet important deadlines
Help you navigate the appeals process if your claim is denied
Arrange medical care with specific physicians
Gather medical evidence to support your claim
Communicate with your supervisors on the status of your injuries
Negotiate a good settlement
Represent you at your workers’ compensation hearing
What a good workers’ compensation attorney should do for you
When you file for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer’s insurance company will have attorneys on its team looking for any possible way to deny your claim. Therefore, it’s smart to have a lawyer on your side that will represent your best interests. A good workers’ compensation attorney will go above and beyond to understand the intricacies of your case and tilt the scale of justice in your favor.
Develop Medical Evidence
One of the most common reasons workers’ compensation claims are denied is the lack of sufficient medical evidence. Relying on an “independent” physician who performs exams for insurance companies to make an unbiased diagnosis is a common and costly mistake made by unrepresented claimants. A workers’ comp attorney will develop medical evidence that accurately documents the severity of your injury. He or she can gather your medical records, recommend treatment with certain doctors, obtain medical opinions, and call on expert witnesses to testify to the physical requirements of your job to strengthen your case.
Negotiate Settlement Agreements
An experienced workers’ comp attorney helps countless injured workers navigate the system and settle their claims. This deep knowledge and insight gives lawyers the advantage of being able to estimate how much you should receive based on the extent of your injuries and physical limitations, future medical expenses, and whether your employer owes you past temporary disability payments. A workers’ comp attorney will structure and negotiate a good settlement agreement that works in your favor.
Represent You at a Hearing
If your attorney and the insurer are unable to reach a settlement, your case will advance to a hearing. Your workers’ comp attorney will present your case to the judge, make opening and closing arguments, examine witnesses, and make objections when necessary. Prior to the hearing, a workers’ comp attorney will perform a discovery process where he or she may take depositions from witnesses, gather sufficient medical evidence, and make sure all documents are submitted on time.
Have you been injured at work? See what a workers’ comp attorney can do for you.
When you’re hurt on the job, you need an experienced attorney to defend your right to full and fair compensation. During this stressful time, having an expert on your side to help you navigate the complex legal process is invaluable. At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, our workers’ compensation lawyers have decades of collective experience fighting for the rights of injured workers. From gathering evidence, negotiating a good settlement agreement, to representing your best interests at your hearing, we’re with you every step of the way.
Call us at (619) 528-9800 to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.