Navigating the workers compensation claim process can be confusing. You are likely already dealing with medical concerns and loss of employment worries. Now, you have to deal with filing legal forms, hiring an attorney, and filing for workers compensation benefits. Hiring a workers compensation lawyer, however, should be the first step on your list. A workers compensation lawyer can provide you with clarity, assistance, and an easy filing process.
How to choose a workers compensation lawyer
It is likely that there are many workers compensation lawyers in your city. It is also possible that your place of employment has already recommended that you use their worker’s compensation lawyers. Generally speaking, it is best to hire your own to prevent a conflict of interest. Choosing the right worker’s compensation attorney can ensure that you file properly and that you receive the best compensation possible. If you are unable to work or your work hours will significant decrease due to the work related injury, you will need additional compensation to maintain your current lifestyle. Make sure you choose one that can successfully represent you.
Follow all medical orders
It might be tempting to go back to work earlier than the physician recommends because you rely on the money. However, it is important that you do not. For one thing, you don?t want to injure yourself worse because you returned to work without fully recovering. You also don?t want to give off the image that you are fine to work. This could end up harming your worker’s compensation case. Your lawyer is attempting to prove the point that you qualify for workers compensation because you are no longer able to work, yet you are currently working. It could potentially result in a reduced payment or no compensation payment at all.
Consider your entire employment package
If you are unable to work anymore due to a work related accident, you need to file for your entire worker compensation. Wages and salaries make up about 70% of compensation costs, benefits make up the remaining 30% of compensation. Don?t forget to include benefits, work sponsored savings accounts, and monthly spending accounts in your compensation claim. This is another reason that it is so important to have a qualified workers compensation lawyer. They are familiar with the best filing practices and are more likely to get you the added benefits, like the entire employment package compensation.
Back pay is sometimes possible
Workers compensation claims can get stuck in court for many months, even years. In the meantime, you are struggling financially with your inability to work. When this occurs, it is important to also file for back pay. Back pay will add up the agreed settlement amount, starting at the date of the injury. Although it might not save you from losing your house or car, it can be very helpful in finding a new house or vehicle to get around with. Benefit payments under workers? compensation programs totaled $60.2 billion in 2011, which was a 3.4% increase from the revised 2010 benefit figure of $58.2 billion. Workers compensation does pay out, it just sometimes takes some time.
Be careful about workers compensation forms
You will find that much of the legal process for any type of claim is filing the right forms, at the right time. This is what makes the legal system so confusing and overwhelming. When you work with a workers compensation attorney, however, they will help you with filing all of the appropriate legal paperwork. Do not lose out on owed compensation, because you missed a filing date for one form.
Workers compensation is a popular program in the United States. In fact, 917,100 occupational injuries and illnesses resulted in missed days of work in just the year of 2013. Many of these injuries will also file for worker?s compensation. Hiring a workers compensation lawyer will help you navigate this popular, yet tricky legal process.