What Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Do?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Workers’ Compensation
Put simply, a workers’ compensation attorney handles workers’ compensation claims on behalf of injured workers. Millions of such claims arise each year. Unfortunately, far too many workers lose their claims because they failed to hire a lawyer. Below is a list of only a few ways that a workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you.
Evaluate the Viability of Your Claim
Depending on the complexity of your case, an attorney might be able to determine whether you have a viable claim at a free initial consultation. Were you acting within the scope of your employment duties at the time of your car accident, for example? Because of the lawyer’s contingency fee structure, they probably won’t agree to represent you unless they believe you have a viable claim.
Help Your Prepare Your Claim Documentation
Claim documentation is not terribly difficult to prepare in most claims. Nevertheless, every little bit helps, and the assistance of an attorney can’t hurt. In some cases, this help could be critical to avoiding denial of your claim.
In other cases, the participation of an attorney can speed your claim along. Ensuring that your claim package includes proper documentation is one of the best ways that your attorney can expedite your claim.
Fight Back Against Unfair Objections to Your Claim
Below are some examples of excuses that employers and the workers’ compensation system might use to deny your claim:
- Pre-existing condition: Your injuries are the result of a pre-existing condition that has nothing to do with your workplace accident.
- Your accident didn’t happen at work.
- You can still perform a job at your company, even if it is much lower-paying than the job you did before your accident.
- Your medical documentation is insufficient (no matter how expensive it might be).
The insurance company has dozens of more excuses ready to use against you should the slightest opportunity present itself.
Handle Negotiations for You
To get a fair response to your workers’ compensation claim, you are likely going to have to do some negotiating. Or, you could have your lawyer do it for you. Your lawyer can negotiate medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits such as vocational retraining.
Represent You at Your Mediation Hearing
If negotiations fail, you will need to attend a mediation hearing to try to resolve your claim. The mediation hearing will include you, the insurance company, the mediator, and (preferably) your lawyer. The mediator cannot impose a solution, but they are skilled at reaching solutions that are acceptable to both parties in a dispute.
Represent You at Trial
Your claim probably won’t go all the way to trial. Most people’s claims don’t go that far, anyway. If it does, however, you have the right to an attorney to represent you. You should definitely exercise that right. Your attorney’s knowledge of the law can greatly improve your odds of winning at trial.
Appeal a Benefits Denial
It is typically difficult to appeal a benefits denial. Nevertheless, successful counterexamples abound, and these success stories disproportionately involve claimants who hired attorneys. Your chances of winning aren’t very good on your own.
Help You Fight Back Against a Retaliatory Denial
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer is deliberately making your work life difficult because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, a motivated attorney can help stimulate an “attitude adjustment” on the part of your employer.
Explain Workers’ Compensation Law to You
Even if you hire an attorney to represent you, the more you understand about workers’ compensation law, the better your chances will be. Let your lawyer act as your tutor so that you can play an active role in the claim process.
Help You Obtain Extra Benefits
Medical expenses and lost earnings are not the only types of benefits available under the Florida workers’ compensation program. You can also receive benefits for:
- Travel expenses if you need them to access medical care.
Your family can even receive death benefits in the tragic event that you die from a workplace injury.
Determine Whether You Have a Third-Party Claim
The worker’s compensation system doesn’t pay out much compared to personal injury claims against third parties (someone other than you or your employer). In a third-party claim, for example, you can demand non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
If you are a high-income earner, you can receive much more in lost earnings benefits. Following are some examples of situations that might generate a third-party claim in your favor.
Suppose, for instance, that you suffer an injury due to a dangerous condition at a construction site that your employer does not own. You probably have a personal injury claim.
If you suffer an injury caused by a defective product, you may have a product liability claim. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the product manufacturer. You don’t even have to prove that the manufacturer was at fault to win your claim.
General Contractor Negligence
If you work for a subcontractor, the general contractor might bear responsibility for many safety features. If you suffer an injury because they failed to ensure a safe work environment, you might have a personal injury claim.
Factory Floor Injuries
Suppose you twist your ankle, or even break a bone, after slipping in a pothole on a factory floor. Further, suppose that fault lies with the factory company, a third party. You can pursue a claim against the maintenance company for failing to secure a proper work environment.
You Don’t Need a Dime Upfront To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation attorneys almost always work on a contingency fee basis., This means you pay nothing upfront, and if you lose your claim, your attorney’s fees will total precisely $0.00. If you think you might have a claim, schedule a free initial consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney at your earliest convenience.
Contact the St. Petersburg Workers’ Compensation Lawyers At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg workers’ compensation law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,