Work injuries are much more common than you might think. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.0 million non-fatal workplace injuries were reported in 2013, resulting in an alarmingly high incidence of 3.3 cases for every 100 full-time workers. Although many of these accidents occurred in traditionally hazardous workplace environments (eg, construction sites, coal mines, and oil rigs), most were reported by employers in relatively safe settings.
What is Workers’ Comp?
The good news is that most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation, which is a form of insurance that covers work-related illnesses and injuries. The bad news is that there is no guarantee that you will be fully reimbursed for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experience as a result of a workplace accident. With that in mind, here are five reasons why you might decide to contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
1. You can no longer work
Serious workplace accidents can result in a disability that prevents you from working again. Because the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage are not in the habit of cutting large settlement checks unless they absolutely have to, you will need the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle negotiations for you. It is important to note that permanent disability settlements must last you and your family for the remainder of what would have been your working years. Expert legal representation is necessary to ensure the greatest possible resolution.
2. Your employer did not have insurance
Because workers’ compensation can be expensive, some unscrupulous employers don’t carry it. If you were injured on the job and your boss informs you that he doesn’t have insurance, you can sue him for compensation. As an employee, you have the right to be reimbursed by your boss for any medical expenses, lost wages due to the injury as well as your pain and suffering.
3. Your employer rejects your claim
Because insurance premiums get more expensive the more claims you file, employers are often reluctant to approve a claim unless they have to. An experienced attorney can make sure your boss understands the legal ramifications of denying a legitimate claim just because it could end up costing him more money to cover.
4. Negligence was involved
Even if an accident caused the injury, gross negligence is the basis for a lawsuit. Whether the negligent party was your boss or another employee, you should explore your legal options with the help of an attorney.
5. You need surgery
Once again, insurance companies are often reluctant to approve operations unless they are deemed necessary. An experienced attorney may be able to convince the insurance company that your surgery is not only necessary, but also cost effective.
If any of the above are true, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.