In California, there were 451 fatal workplace injuries in 2019 and over 161,000 nonfatal workplace injuries. Despite regulations at both the federal and state level, workplace injuries are all too common in the US. From slips and falls to illnesses to inadequate safety precautions, workplace injuries have several different causes. If you have been injured at work, you may need to consider speaking to a work related injury lawyer.
In certain situations, you may need legal counsel to make sure you are adequately compensated for your work injury.
Read on to learn more about situations that call for a personal injury lawyer who specializes in workplace injuries.
1. Your Employer Denies Your Claim
If you have a preexisting medical condition in the same area as your injury, your employer could try to deny your claim, saying that the preexisting condition caused the injury or illness. If this is the case, then you would not be eligible for any type of workers’ compensation.
Your employer also may try to deny your claim, saying that the injury was your fault due to your own negligence, unsafe behaviors, or being under the influence.
If your claim is denied, you will need an attorney to represent you. They can appeal this denial and represent you all the way to a court hearing in front of an administrative judge if necessary. Don’t just accept the denial without trying to fight it, especially if your employer is wrong in their denial.
2. You Have Severe Injuries
If your workplace injuries are severe and will require years of medical treatment or render you permanently disabled, you should speak with an attorney. You need someone to fight to make sure your future medical expenses and lost wages are covered.
These types of claims are expensive for employers and insurance companies, so they will often try to deny that they were responsible for them or try to deny that you are as injured as you say. An experienced attorney will know how to value your case and will know how to show that your employer is liable for your injury or illness.
3. You Were Fired After Getting Hurt on the Job
If you are fired after getting hurt on the job, you are still entitled to benefits. However, things become complicated and you will likely need an attorney to advise you during this process because things such as the date of the injury, the date of termination, and when you filed your workers’ comp claim.
In general though, as long as your injury happened while you were employed and you are receiving benefits your employer cannot put a stop to them. If you were fired for what you feel is an unjust reason, you also will need an attorney, as this may be considered retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim.
4. Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp Insurance
Most states require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, but not all of them do, and it is typically based on the number of employees a business has. If your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp because they are not required to or have refused, you need an attorney. Otherwise, you are not covered and your medical claims and other expenses may not be paid.
Additionally, if your employer is supposed to have workers’ comp insurance but does not, you could sue them for not having proper coverage. If there was negligence on the part of your employer and they don’t have workers’ comp, you also may be able to file a personal injury suit. If this is the case, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer to handle the process for you.
5. You Also Have a Third-Party Claim
In addition to your workers’ comp claim, you also may have a third-party claim as well. If you get hurt on the job using a defective product, for example, you have a comp claim as well as a potential personal injury suit filed against the product manufacturer.
If you get into an accident while driving for work, you have a workers’ comp claim and also may have a personal injury case against the other driver. These situations can get complicated and are best handled by an experienced attorney.
6. You Don’t Pay Unless You Win
Most injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay them unless you win your case. You typically do not have to come up with any money upfront, and any fees come out of the settlement that you receive from your employer and the insurance company.
7. You Can Focus on Recovery
The workers’ comp process can be long and seem overwhelming. It’s easy to make mistakes when you are more focused on recovering from your injuries than completing paperwork and meeting with insurance company representatives.
An attorney can handle all of this for you. They will complete the appropriate paperwork, speak on your behalf to insurance adjusters, negotiate a settlement, or take the case to trial if necessary.
Let a professional handle the legal side of things while you focus on your recovery.
Don’t Wait on Hiring a Work-Related Injury Lawyer
If you have experienced a work-related injury and are struggling with the process or to get your employer and insurance company to adequately compensate you, you should speak to an attorney immediately. Don’t shortchange yourself and accept their denial or inadequate settlement.
Contact us at Sweet Law for a free case consultation. Our attorneys specialize in personal injuries and on-the-job injuries and can evaluate your case.