If your employer meets the qualifications in your state and must carry workers’ compensation insurance, you are entitled to receive benefits if you get sick or hurt at work. However, it can be hard to obtain those benefits when you need them most.
A workers’ comp lawyer in your area can help. They will explain the application process, medical proof, and other evidence you need to file an effective claim. An attorney can also explain how to file an appeal if your initial claim application gets denied. Consider the following 10 questions to ask your workers’ comp lawyer when you are ready to apply for benefits.
How Do I Know if I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
To qualify for workers’ comp’s medical and financial benefits, a medical professional must diagnose you with an occupational illness or disease or you must have suffered an injury in a workplace accident. The accident does not have to occur inside your workplace, but you must be able to show that your injury or illness is related to your job.
If you were hurt at work, while driving a company truck or other vehicle, or performing any of your duties, review your case with a local workers’ compensation lawyer. They will review your case, explain your qualifications, and navigate the claims process for you.
Can I Get Benefits if the Accident Was Fully or Partially My Fault?
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to anyone who gets hurt or seriously ill at work. These benefits are available to all injured workers regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Workers’ comp operates on a no-fault system. If you are denied benefits and told the reason is because you caused the accident, a lawyer can appeal that decision.
How Long Do I Have to Apply for Benefits?
The workers’ comp application process includes several notification and filing deadlines you must meet. In general:
- You have 30 days to notify your employer in writing of your accident. The sooner you report an injury, the better.
- You have one year from the accident to apply for benefits.
You should avoid delays in consulting a workers’ comp lawyer. Doing so could jeopardize your right to recover medical and financial benefits.
If My Workers’ Comp Application Is Approved, What Benefits Will I Receive?
Upon approval, you will receive the medical care you require. Medical care related to your workplace injury or illness will continue at no cost until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).
You will also receive monthly financial compensation. You can generally expect to receive a portion, perhaps two-thirds, of your average weekly salary throughout your recovery. Your lawyer will fight to ensure your salary is calculated accurately.
Can I Choose My Doctor?
Choosing the physician who treats your workplace injury through per-designation is possible. If you do not take this added step, your employer may have selected a workers’ comp health care provider.
If you do not, or cannot, per-designate, a doctor or medical practice, you must receive care from the doctor your employer provides. If you are uncomfortable with this provider, your workers’ comp lawyer will explain the steps you can take to find another provider.
Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
While you are not required to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation case, your case could benefit greatly from having one. Even a seemingly simple case should have legal guidance and support. You should also consider hiring a lawyer if:
- Your employer disputes your claim.
- Your injury is permanently disabling.
- You had a per-existing condition.
- You are concerned about retaliation.
A lawyer can also help you build a strong case backed with compelling evidence and negotiate a fair and appropriate workers’ comp settlement.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer From Your Firm?
Many workers’ compensation lawyers will not charge any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses when you hire them. They will do all the following at no cost:
- Review the case
- Investigate your workplace accident.
- Absorb all case-related costs
- Compile medical and other documents to establish your claim
Your lawyer receives payment only if you receive compensation. If you do not receive a financial award, you will not owe any attorney’s fees.
Have You Represented Other Injured Workers?
This is one of the most important questions for workers’ comp lawyers. Worker’s compensation law is complex, so hiring a lawyer with experience in this area is important. When your lawyer brings familiarity with state and local law to your case, you can gain peace of mind and focus on your injuries. You also want a lawyer who can give your case the individual attention it needs.
Can I Get Fired While on Workers’ Compensation?
You can be fired from your job while you are on workers’ comp. Your employer can fire you for issues related to:
- Job performance
- Personal attendance
- Company restructuring
- Disregarding safety protocols
If you are fired in retaliation for pursuing workers’ comp benefits, you could pursue additional compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against your employer.
My Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied – Can You Help Me File an Appeal?
You do not have to accept a denied application for benefits without fighting back. The appeals process can involve multiple steps and phases before reaching a settlement agreement.
Your workers’ comp attorney can help you understand and navigate the appeals process. They will gather evidence like details about your initial application and take statements from you, your current or former coworkers, and other witnesses who support your case.
Contact Us Today – We Can Answer Your Questions for a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Applying for workers’ comp’s medical and financial benefits can be complex. If you were hurt at work, you deserve time to heal. While you do, our legal team will review your case and help you fight for benefits.