Throughout the United States an employee who suffers injuries as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment can expect to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Although the workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, it is always prudent for an injured worker to rely upon a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer to enable the worker to collect the benefits to which he or she is entitled.
When presenting a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, there are many steps that an injured worker must take. A workers compensation law firm can help the injured worker avoid procedural pitfalls that will delay the worker’s receipt of benefits or prevent the worker from receiving benefits at all. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer will take the necessary steps to comply with the procedural requirements governing compensation claims in the injured worker’s state, and will prepare the necessary proofs to enable the injured worker to collect benefits.
One benefit that is generally available to an injured worker is temporary disability that replaces wages while the worker is completely disabled from work. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer will push the insurance company as needed so that his or her client, the injured worker receives temporary disability benefits sooner rather than later. Receiving prompt payments from the insurance company may be the difference between paying rent or facing eviction, or paying a mortgage or facing foreclosure, and an injured worker should retain a workers’ compensation lawyer instead of risking those disasters by presenting a compensation claim alone.
Another benefit that an injured worker is generally entitled to receive payment of bills for healthcare needed to treat the injuries that he or she suffers in a covered workplace accident. Unfortunately for the injured worker, the workers’ compensation insurance company that provides benefits is generally more concerned about the bottom line than about the injured worker’s recovery. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help an injured worker overcome resistance by the insurance company and receive authorization for needed treatment faster than the employee might otherwise receive it.
Once an injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement, which means that he or she has recovered as much as he or she will recover, then the injured worker is entitled to a permanent disability benefit. Generally that benefit depends on the severity of the permanent injury. The injured worker and the insurance company will each present medical reports, and if necessary live testimony, from an appropriately qualified expert (and sometimes from multiple experts) to try to establish how severe the permanent injury is. Presenting inadequate medical evidence can cost an injured worker thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars over the course of his or her life. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help an injured worker avoid that risk.
In some instances an injured worker has an obligation to repay a workers’ compensation insurance company. Where the worker’s injury resulted from the fault of a third-party, the insurance company will have a lien on the injured worker’s claim for damages from the third-party. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney will have a better chance of negotiating successfully with the insurance company, so that the insurer accepts less from the injured worker to satisfy the lien.
Even though the law is on the side of the injured worker, there are many pitfalls and complexities that an injured worker must overcome to collect workers’ compensation benefits to which he or she is entitled. A workers’ compensation law firm will help the injured worker make the most of his or her claim.