Ways That a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You If You Get Injured at Work
Filing a workers’ compensation claim and getting treatment for your work-related injuries should be a straightforward process, but in reality, it does not always work out that way. You do not even need to prove that the injury was the employer’s fault, so you would think that employers would happily pay for workers to receive the treatment they need in order to return to work. Having to pay for your own treatment is not even the worst way that workers’ compensation cases can go wrong. Employers have been known to reduce workers’ pay, refuse to make accommodations that would enable them to continue working, or even fire employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims. Consulting with a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can help you prevent or remedy many of the things that can go wrong with workers’ compensation claims.
What to Do Before Contacting a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The sooner you contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, the better, but a few other matters are so urgent that you should do them even before you contact a lawyer.
- Go to the emergency room and get treatment for your acute injuries.
- Formally notify your employer of the injury by filling out an incident report in the human resources office.
- Notify your work supervisor so that they can start the process of getting workers’ compensation insurance to pay for your treatment.
Even if you do not anticipate any problems in dealing with your employer or the insurance company, you should talk to a lawyer promptly. The lawyer can alert you to complications that may arise with your claim and how to deal with them.
If Your Employer Disputes the Cause or Severity of Your Injuries
Your workers’ compensation insurance will pay for treatment for your work-related injuries, but it gets to choose the doctors who diagnose and treat your injuries. The workers’ compensation might be quick to attribute your injuries to pre-existing conditions instead of to the workplace accident. If that happens, your employer might deny your claim. The workers’ compensation doctor might also insist that you are healthy enough to go back to work, even though you know otherwise; there are no lab tests to measure pain, so it is your word against theirs. If you run into either of these problems, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help.
If Your Employer Retaliates Against You
It sounds unfair, and it is unfair, but sometimes employers punish injured workers who report their injuries and file workers’ compensation claims in relation to them. Your employer might find excuses to reduce your pay or even to eliminate your position. If you request accommodations while you recover from your injury, such as being able to sit down to do certain work tasks for which you used to stand up before the accident, the employer might refuse to make those accommodations or might even come up with an excuse to fire you. If this happens, you definitely need a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Lawsuits Against Parties Other Than Your Employer
While employers are legally obligated to offer compensation, through their insurance compensation, for treatment and, if applicable, lost income, for work-related injuries, sometimes going the workers’ compensation route is not always the best option. If the accident was clearly because of the negligence of a party other than your employer, suing that party might be an option. For example, if a car crashes into you while you are driving a work vehicle, you might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the car. In personal injury cases, you can sometimes even get noneconomic damages for pain and suffering.
Let Us Help You Today
The time to contact a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer is now, even if the accident that caused your injury happened very recently. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld to discuss your workers’ compensation case.