In this do-it-yourself world, it may seem the first choice to handle workers’ compensation claims on your own. However, there are a myriad of reasons as to why this path could lead to a denied claim, delay in payment, and even leaving money that is owed to you “on the table.”
COMPLEX FORMS TO COMPLETE: When you have experienced an injury on the job, there are complex forms and other paperwork that need to be properly completed, filed, and delivered to different parties and organizations. It can be an overwhelming task to navigate paperwork for you or your loved one when your focus should be healing and recuperating.
CLAIMS MAY BE DENIED: Many workers’ compensation claims can be denied by the employer and insurance if appropriate evidence is not supplied. At the point of denial, you are back to square one in uncovering the evidence you were previously lacking. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer will help you in planning proper medical exams, tests, and documentation to get your claim moving swiftly the first time around.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: Not only are there timelines and statues of limitations that you must adhere to, delays in properly completing paperwork and supplying appropriate evidence also means a delay in your payments. Your medical and household bills will still come regularly. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer knows the streamlined process to quickly submit your claim so that your benefits can begin as soon as possible.
THE INSURANCE AGENT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND: Injured workers often mistakenly believe that the workers’ compensation insurers are agents of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. This erroneous thought process leads injured workers to believe that the adjuster is trying to protect them. To the contrary, workers’ compensation insurers want to spend as little money as possible as a result of the workers’ injury. After all, the insurers are in business to make money.
As the individual adjusters have usually handled hundreds or even thousands of claims, they are experts in minimizing the money paid to the workers on his or her behalf. One tactic used by some adjusters is to initially cooperate with the injured worker and to voice concern. In doing so, they understand that such cooperation and empathy can sometimes lull a worker into not asserting their rights. If a worker later tries to pursue their rights—they may find out that the statute of limitations has expired.
SERVE AS YOUR REPRESENTATIVE: Should the case have a hearing or go to trial, you will want good legal counsel to represent your best interest. Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from the beginning will better prepare your case and expedite the process should this need arise.
FULLEST BENEFITS FOR YOU: Unlike the employer’s and insurance adjuster, a strong workers’ compensation attorney will fight for the maximum benefits owed to you. They will negotiate a settlement to the fullest, often compensated as a percentage of your cash award. Because of their experience in navigating workers’ compensation cases, an educated workers’ compensation lawyer will also be able to advise in holding other third-parties responsible should there be any others whose negligence contributed to your injury.
THE HUNTER LAW FIRM IS HERE TO HELP: The Hunter Law Firm strives to ensure that injured workers are fully protected. We have the experience to help you navigate the legal waters of worker’s compensation. Because we have served as counsel for employers and workers’ compensation insurers for more than a decade, we can use that knowledge and experience to help you.
If you have been injured at work, contact us online or call one of our four convenient offices.