Occupational injuries are much more common than you might think. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported in 2013, resulting in an alarmingly high incidence rate of 3.3 cases for every 100 full-time workers. Although many of these accidents occurred in traditionally risky workplace environments (e.g., construction sites, coal mines, and oils rigs), most were reported by employers in relatively safe settings.
What Is Workers’ Comp?
The good news is that most companies are required carry workers’ compensation, which is a type of insurance that provides coverage for work-related illnesses and injuries. The bad news is that there is no guarantee you will by fully reimbursed for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experience as a result of an accident at work. With that in mind, here are five reasons you might decide to contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
1. You Can No Longer Work
Severe occupational accidents may result in a disability that prevents you from working ever again. Because the insurance companies that provide workers’ comp coverage are not in the habit of cutting huge settlement checks unless they absolutely must, you will need the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle negotiations for you. It is important to note that permanent disability settlements must last you and your family for the rest of what would have been your working years. Expert legal representation is needed to secure the largest possible settlement.
2. Your Employer Did Not Have Insurance
Because workers’ comp can be expensive, some unscrupulous employers do not carry it. If you were hurt on the job and your boss informs you that he does not have insurance, you can sue him for damages. As an employee, you have the right to be reimbursed by your boss for any out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages due to the injury, as well as your pain and suffering.
3. Your Employer Denies Your Claim
Because insurance premiums get more expensive the more claims you submit, employers are often reluctant to approve a claim unless they must. An experienced attorney can ensure that your boss understands the legal ramifications of denying a legitimate claim only because it might end up costing him more money for coverage.
4. Negligence Was Involved
Even if an accident caused the injury, gross negligence is grounds for a lawsuit. Whether the negligent party was your boss or another employee, you should explore your legal options with the help of a lawyer.
5. You Need Surgery
Once again, insurance companies are often reluctant to approve surgeries unless they are deemed necessary. An experienced attorney may be able to convince the insurer that your surgery is not only necessary, but also cost-effective.
If any of those mentioned above are true, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.