Depending on your line of work, workplace accidents are not uncommon from time to time. More often than not, these accidents result in injuries, some of which could interfere with your quality of life as well as your productivity as a worker. As a matter of fact, some severe injuries may result in disability to the victim, which can be permanent or temporary, total or partial. To the victim of such workplace injuries, the aftermath can be really frustrating, considering that there will be medical bills to pay, not forgetting the pain and (perhaps) the trauma that could come along with it.

Thankfully, workers’ compensation law is there to fight for the rights of workers who get injured in workplace accidents or suffer diseases caused by hazards at the workplace. Worker’s compensation insurance provides benefits such as medical costs and lost wages, among others; and as explained by a Baltimore workers compensation lawyer, Steve Heisler, you may also be eligible for a third party compensation claim, in case your injury or accident was caused by recklessness or negligence of some sort in the workplace. In this and cases such as where your compensation claim has been denied, you would definitely need to work with a compensation attorney. But there are many ways through which compensation attorneys help workers in the workplace. Starting with the various benefits, workers are entitled to under the compensation laws, some ways a compensation lawyer can help include the following:

Workers' Benefits under Compensation Law

Depending on the type of injury, here are some common benefits that the law permits workers injured on the job to pursue:

  • Medical benefits (covers medical costs and treatment)

  • Disability benefits (permanent-partial, permanent-total, and temporary-partial disability benefits)

  • Lost wages reimbursement benefits

  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits

A personal injury compensation attorney can help you get compensation for the above benefits where applicable, precisely through the following:

Gathering and Developing Evidence (Medical, Vocational, and Other)


 

Before your workplace-related injury claims are approved, medical reports and other pieces of evidence such as witness statements are required. The amount of compensation you receive will also depend and they kind of evidence you provide. But sometimes navigating through the process after an injury can be quite daunting if not impossible on your own. Compensation attorneys can help gather and compile strong evidence that can be used to support your case even in a court of law when it comes to that. They can also gather evidence to prove your employer’s history of negligence and poor workplace safety measures, gather testimonials and testimonies from your colleagues and friends, all of which could be useful in supporting your case and get you the benefits you deserve. An expert attorney will have a strong understanding of the kind of evidence needed based on the strong and weak points of your case, which will improve the chances of getting a satisfactory outcome.

Settlement Negotiations

After sustaining injuries in the workplace and seeking treatment, the next important phase is usually to sit at the negotiating table with your employer’s insurer for compensation. When it comes to that, a compensation attorney can help determine the estimate of how much you should receive in compensation, based on the extent or severity of your injuries as well as the associated past, current, and medical expenses resulting from the injury. Any temporary or permanent impairment will also be factored in. Your attorney will also consider any lost wages during the period of treatment and after your recovery, both short-term, and long-term.


 

Additionally, insurers are sometimes known to employ certain tricks and tactics in an attempt to keep their injury compensation offer as low as it can get. Negotiating with the insurance company in the presence of an experienced worker’s comp attorney can see you get a higher amount of compensation compared to going alone.

While at it, your lawyer will also, at the point of compensation, there’s a properly written settlement agreement to ensure that no negative consequences will arise thereafter. For instance, a workers’ compensation settlement agreement that is improperly designed may result in a reduction of Social Security disability benefits, were you to apply for the latter in the future. To avoid this, your lawyer could ensure that any future medical expenses as a result of the injury will be taken into account in your settlement agreement. All these are solid proof that your compensation lawyers will be highly essential in the settlement negotiation table.

Representation in Hearings

Cases where compensation is denied and injured workers were unable to reach a settlement with their employer’s insurance company as not uncommon. When this happens, the case may have to proceed to compensation’s court. While the judges will be there to ensure that justice is served and that you get the benefits you deserve, they’ll always provide a ruling based on the evidence and facts that are presented before them, as well as the arguments provided alongside factual proof during the hearing. Additionally, court cases have some requirements, rules, and regulations. For instance, petitions should be filed on time and evidence presented in good timing. The same case applies to your pleadings as the plaintiff.

This is not to forget that the defendant (your employer or their insurance company) will also have a strong legal defense team representing or defending their case. Your compensation attorney, in short, will represent you in all court matters to ensure that you are well compensated for your workplace injury. In case the outcome of the first hearing is not satisfactory to you, your comp attorney can also help you file a workers’ compensation appeal.

They Provide Legal Advice

Workers’ compensation claims should be filled in good timing. The actual deadlines may differ from one place to the other, but it is often 1-3 years from the time of the injury in most jurisdictions. As hinted earlier, compensation attorney will advise you appropriately on such matters as well as how to approach the entire process and how much to expect from the case. In addition to this, they’ll also provide you with the necessary information that you need in case you need to file a third-party suit (usually a personal injury claim), which can sometimes be more valuable than worker’s compensation. Some issues that may warrant suing outside of workers’ compensation may include:

  • Workplace accidents where the employer lacks compensation insurance

  • Injuries from toxic products

  • Injuries caused by defective products

  • Injuries from an employer’s intentional misconduct

  • Injuries caused by third-parties in the workplace


 

In summary, there’s a lot that a workers’ compensation attorney can do for workers in the workplace. From providing them with legal advice to assisting them to get fair compensation after injuries at the workplace, these lawyers are a worker’s best friend. They can help reduce your stress and frustration after an injury, by ensuring that your medical costs, treatment/disability expenses, and lost wages are paid for. The thought that you have someone who can represent and defend your rights in the event of an injury at the workplace can be a motivating factor to increase your productivity at work.

Published by Mohaned Gadnne