In most cases, workers' compensation is simple as it only has four requirements. The first requirement is that you should be an employee of the company where you were injured. The second requirement is that your injury must have occurred while at work or while handling work-related duties. Thirdly, your employer should have workers' compensation insurance. You also need to report your injury before the deadline lapses.
However, there have been cases where companies have opted not to pay the injured employees or reduced their compensation to the bare minimum. In such cases, you need a compensation lawyer to help guide you through your compensation claim. Other instances include:
i. Immediately after you're injured
Once you're injured at work, you should seek treatment and contact a reputable compensation lawyer. The weeks following the injury will be critical as they will determine how your claim goes. You need to make the compensation claim within 6 months of the injury. However, there are several exceptions that warrant an extension.
For example, if you developed a medical condition due to years of working for a company. You can make your claim even when you discovered the condition years after it developed.
Reporting immediately after you get the injury is always better than waiting as your employer can always spin it and claim that your injury is from your weekend escapades. Also, don't let the fear of termination or discrimination convince you not to make your compensation claim.
ii. When the settlement is too little
If you've had a severe injury and once you made your claim, the settlement offer was too little, you might want to get a lawyer. You may have been involved in a work accident that left you temporarily or permanently incapacitated, but the initial offer from the insurance company was too low. In such cases, you need to hire a compensation lawyer.
The lawyer will help you calculate the necessary compensation by taking into account the economic damages, non-economic damages as well as medical expenses, both current and future. The lawyer will also advise you on the settlement by helping you understand the extreme ends of the deal. How high and how low is the insurance likely to go? What's the lowest that you're willing to accept? You need to discuss all this before you enter negotiations.
Typically, compensation lawyers work on a contingency basis. Therefore, you can agree on the percentage they take if they get a better offer. If the insurance company decides not to pay you, the compensation lawyer also gets nothing.
For more information, reach out to local compensation lawyers.