No job is entirely safe from accidents. People fall off stairs or break their backs from carrying heavy boxes. Even office environments and typing work can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. When things like these happen, workers can get the short end of the stick because they lose their work hours and have to shell out money to pay for their medical bills for the time being.
Medical insurance plans offered as benefits vary per job description. Nevertheless, workers’ compensation laws issued by state and federal legislation require professional jobs overall to provide benefits to employees for on-the-job accidents. These laws effectively make the employer liable for such accidents regardless of negligence from both parties.
Depending on the injury, a worker can get different benefits, such as wage reimbursement, rehabilitation, and partial or total disability benefits. After seeking medical attention, the injured employee can file a compensation claim. Typically, there would be no need to initiate legal action against the employer to receive compensation. So, what use is a workers’ compensation attorney in these matters?
What is a workers’ compensation attorney?
Workers’ compensation top-rated attorneys represent the injured employee and make sure they receive their benefits. State and federal statutes may require employers to comply with workers’ compensation laws, but some, unfortunately, escape this responsibility by denying the employee’s compensation claim.
While an injured employee may not need a lawyer to file the claim, the employer will undoubtedly have a defense workers’ compensation lawyer. Hence, lawyers representing the claimant or the injured party make sure both parties stand on equal ground and enforce the employer’s compliance. A workers’ compensation lawyer will gather evidence and records to get a complete picture of the accident as it happened. It would necessitate going over the following:
- On-site evidence such as security cameras
- Medical records
- Testimonies from the injured party and the medical experts
- Developments or changes in workers compensation laws
Claimant Workers’ Compensation Attorney
To assist the employee, a claimant workers’ compensation attorney handles the following:
Claims filing process
The lawyer representing the claimant is obligated to review the claims filing process and explain them thoroughly to the employee. Most blue-collar workers in accident-prone work environments don’t know the whole process of obtaining the claim, so the lawyer must make sure they’re aware of their rights.
A workers’ compensation attorney makes sure that everything will reflect on the paper trail. They communicate with the medical providers and the company’s insurance company to clarify the legal process and avoid muddled paperwork. They can also refer to these as evidence during negotiations.
The employee’s claim process can go several ways. The workers’ compensation attorney can help them with the first filing of the claim. If their claim gets denied, the lawyer can also help them file for a petition. No matter what kind of proceeding both parties may choose to settle the dispute (e.g., trials, mediations, arbitrations, depositions, etc.), the lawyer’s duty is to represent the employee’s interests.
Defense Workers’ Compensation Attorney
On the other side, a workers’ compensation attorney can also represent the defendant or the employer and help cushion the employer’s liability during the accident. There are instances that the employer’s insurance company may deem that the injury is non-compensable and does not meet the state’s requirements for compensation coverage. These may include:
- The employee was suffering from a pre-existing injury.
- The employee lacks personal supporting medical documentation.
- The insurance company has never received documentation of the injury.
To provide a defense against the claimant, a workers’ compensation attorney does the following:
Like the claimant workers’ compensation attorney, the defense can represent the interests of the employer or insurer during the proceedings.
The defense attorney thoroughly reviews the conditions surrounding the accident. It entails going over possible problem areas such as missing paperwork or documentation and reviewing the claims.
On behalf of the insurance company, the defense can negotiate for settlements and manage the compensation costs. For example, they can argue for partial compensation under the employee’s pre-existing medical conditions.
Get in touch with a competent worker’s compensation lawyer
Having that extra assurance in making sure you receive compensation for getting injured or falling ill in the workplace is beneficial. If you encounter these unfortunate incidents in the first place, contacting a legal professional should be next to seeking medical attention. A reliable law firm such as the Kampf, Schiavone & Associates will persistently assist you in pursuing the benefits that you deserve. Most firms will provide a free consultation with experienced lawyers and prepare you for the process of receiving your claim.