Workplace injuries happen every seven seconds. That is equivalent to 12,900 every day, which adds up to about 4.6 million workplace injuries every single year.
Your employer has a responsibility to provide safe working conditions for you while you are on the job. However, as the statistics above prove, injuries can happen at any job site any day of the week.
Should you suffer from a workplace injury, it is critical that you have an experienced workers’ comp attorney fighting for you in the following weeks and months.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can mean the difference between your bills getting paid while you are taking time off work to heal versus you receiving no additional help and getting slammed with a sky-high medical bill.
We have outlined everything you need to know about navigating the workers’ compensation claim and when is the best time to hire an attorney.
Who Is Most Likely to Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
There are some industries where employees are more likely to experience workplace injuries than others. If you work in any of the following industries in the Chicago area, make sure you know of a qualified workers’ comp attorney you can call should an unfortunate injury happen to you.
These are the industries that result in the most amount of days away from work following a workplace injury.
- Service, including law enforcement and firefighters
- Transportation and shipping
- Installation and maintenance
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
It can be difficult to know when to hire a workers’ comp attorney.
First off, it may seem like a hassle. You’re already dealing with an injury and you may feel like you have no energy to go through the process of hiring a lawyer.
You might live alone and have no one to assist you in finding the right workers’ comp attorney you need.
Or, you may not want to hire a workers’ comp attorney right away because your employer may have offered to assist you with the workers’ compensation claim.
Whatever the reason, it is critical that you understand when is the best time to hire a workers’ comp attorney if you experience a major workplace injury that impacts your ability to earn an income.
Hire a Worker’s Comp Attorney Right Away
Some people put off hiring a workers’ comp attorney because they want to wait and see how everything with play out.
That is not the strategy you want going into a workers’ comp claim.
It is important to know that the best time to hire a workers’ comp attorney is right after you become injured on the job. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to prove your claim and get medical benefits in a timely manner.
If Your Employer’s Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Hire a workers’ comp attorney in the event that your insurance claim gets denied by your employer’s insurance company. There could be various reasons as to why this happens.
Sometimes, insurance companies will deny a perfectly valid claim. When this happens, some people will assume that it was denied for a reason and decide to never appeal it. These people are losing out on valuable medical compensation they are rightfully entitled to.
Other times, your employer’s insurance company will deny a claim because there was incorrect information on the original claim. Having a workers’ comp attorney by your side can help make sure the necessary information is filled out.
If You Do Not Get Your Medical Benefits Within a Reasonable Amount of Time
Insurance companies can commit to delay tactics to prevent paying out your medical benefits in a timely manner.
When you are recovering from an injury, there is no time to waste by waiting for medical benefits.
Experienced workers’ comp attorneys know how to best negotiate with insurance companies to speed up your medical treatment and the payout of your medical benefits.
If You Work in Construction
Construction workers account for a majority of the more serious workplace injuries. In fact, they suffer the most from the “fatal four” workplace accidents. These include electrocutions, falls, getting caught in between objects, and being struck by objects.
Construction workers’ compensation claims can be tricky. This is usually because there are so many different organizations and third parties involved in the workplace injury.
Different equipment responsible for the injury is often owned or rented by different groups. Training is often conducted by different agencies. Because of these factors, construction workers’ comp claims can quickly become extremely convoluted.
If You Experience Retaliation at Your Job
Hire an attorney immediately if you ever experience any sort of retaliation from your employer or their insurance company. Retaliation can take the form of a demotion unrelated to job performance, reduced hours, termination, or even getting dropped by your insurance.
Know that it is illegal for employers to retaliate against you if you get injured on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim.
With this sort of retaliation following a workplace injury and compensation claim, you could be entitled to punitive damages. It is important you have a workers’ comp attorney to help you claim your rightful compensation in this case.
If You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
If you currently receive social security disability benefits and you experience a major workplace injury, you need to hire a workers’ comp attorney.
There is a possibility in cases like these that your social security benefits will be reduced should you receive benefits from a workers’ comp claim.
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you to continue to receive your full social security disability benefits in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits.
If an Injury Is a Sign of an Ongoing Trend
A sprained ankle or wrist may seem like a minor inconvenience if it happens once. A little bit of rest, ice, compression, and elevation may be enough to make it feel as good as new.
It certainly wouldn’t feel serious enough to hire a workers’ comp attorney.
However, if a sprained ankle or wrist is happening repeatedly because of negligence on behalf of your company, you may be entitled to a workers’ compensation claim.
If injuries are part of an ongoing trend and your company is taking no measures to improve the situation, it could be time to hire a workers’ comp attorney.
If You Have Pre-Existing or Additional Medical Issues
Having pre-existing medical conditions can complicate your workers’ compensation claim. Either insurance companies or your employer may try to claim your workplace injury was actually a result of a pre-existing medical condition rather than company negligence.
You need to hire a workers’ comp attorney if this happens to you.
Additionally, medical issues stemming from your original workplace injury can arise months or even years later. This can cause you to miss additional work or incur additional medical bills.
Talk with an attorney to hear your options for proceeding with a claim.
How Do You Pick The Right Workers’ Comp Attorney?
In the event of a workplace injury, it can seem that you have a number of options for your attorney. But how do you find the right attorney that will fight for you and your claim?
One way to find the right attorney for you following a workplace injury is to look for customer references. You should hire a workers’ comp attorney that has proven their ability to get their clients the help they need.
Look for a law group that specializes in workers’ compensation claims. These will be the lawyers who can help you navigate the entire process from start to finish.
They will be able to tell you whether you are entitled to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, as well as what other injuries are qualified for workers’ compensation in the state you reside in.
Hire an Experienced Attorney Today
You never know when a workplace injury can happen. It is best that you know your next course of action in case it does.
Workplace injuries can cause devastating injuries that impact your finances and quality of life. Should this happen to you, you need a workers’ comp attorney you can trust.
If you live in the Illinois area, trust your workers’ compensation claim to the Eames Law Group. Contact our team of legal experts and lawyers with a proven history of winning workers’ compensation cases.
We will fight for you to get you the most compensation possible.