Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workers Compensation Claim?
If you’re injured on the job, making a claim for workers compensation benefits is, most likely, going to be your only option to recover damages like medical bills and lost income. But when you have the workers compensation process in place, do you need to work with a lawyer to handle your claim?
In some cases, a person might have a claim that is simple and uncomplicated – only minor injuries are involved, recovery time is minimal, and the employer isn’t disputing anything. But, unfortunately, workers comp benefits cases aren’t always that cut and dry. There is a wide range of factors that can complicate matters. So when should you contact a lawyer for help?
An Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Compensation Insurance
Michigan law does not necessarily require all employers to have workers compensation insurance. But even if your employer should have workers compensation insurance, there’s a chance they might not actually have the coverage they need. In any case, if your employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance, this would be one of the few situations where you may have other options to collect damages instead of going through workers comp.
Your Claim is Denied or Disputed
When you’re injured, it’s very important for you to get the care you need without delay. But workers compensation is a type of insurance and it’s important to remember that insurance companies have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible and often hope you won’t want to deal with appealing your claim. Things could be complicated further if your employer is disputing any aspect of your claim, such as if they’re trying to argue your injuries weren’t work-related or are trying to downplay the severity of your injuries.
You Have Pre-Existing Conditions
Pre-existing conditions are a very common reason why workers comp claims get denied or disputed. Insurance companies and employers often try to use this as an excuse to argue that they weren’t at fault, that an injury wasn’t even work-related, or the pre-existing condition is what’s worsening the severity of your situation.
You Have High Expenses
When claims involve severe injuries, the expenses involved are going to be higher and the recovery time will be longer. It’s important to make sure all of your needs are being taken care of and that you get all of the lost wages you’re entitled to. Having a lawyer on your side can help you avoid being pressured into accepting a settlement for less than you need.
Your Injury Affects Your Ability to Work
In an ideal scenario, a person will be able to eventually return to their normal job after recovering from an injury. But, unfortunately, the reality is that not everybody is able to do that. Depending on the type of injury involved and the severity of those injuries, it’s possible that a person won’t be able to do certain aspects of their current job or they may need to find an entirely new job. In this case, a lawyer will be able to help you get all of the benefits you’re entitled to.
You Receive Government Benefits
If you receive government benefits like SSDI or Medicare, or will in the near future, working with a lawyer can be particularly helpful. When you’re in a position where you would be receiving both SSDI and workers compensation benefits at the same time, it could impact the amount of money you receive through SSDI. In the case of Medicare, part of your settlement will need to be earmarked for your future medical care. Working with a lawyer will help make sure your case is handled correctly to minimize impacts on these benefits.
A Third Party is Involved
If the accident that caused your injury involves a third party, this is another situation where you may be able to recover damages by filing a lawsuit in addition to workers compensation. For example, was your injury caused by a defective piece of equipment? If so, you may have a claim against the manufacturer or that equipment.
Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer
Even if you think you have a simple workers comp claim, it can still be worth contacting a workplace injury lawyer for a consultation. Talking to a lawyer will help make sure your case is handled correctly from the very beginning and give you a chance to get answers to any questions you have. This will help make sure you get all of the benefits you’re entitled to and don’t miss any key deadlines.
At Scott Goodwin Law, you’ll be able to speak with a lawyer experienced in handling workers compensation claims in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.