Some simple workers’ comp claims can be resolved by the injured employee communicating directly with their employer and their insurance company. In other instances, injured employees will need to hire an experienced work injury lawyer in Orange County.
Here are 10 signs you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney.
1. The employer or their insurance company denies the injury or illness occurred at work.
This may occur if a workplace injury wasn’t reported or is further aggravated at work. Even if the injury or condition was reported, some insurance companies deny the claim anyway.
2. The employer isn’t meeting deadlines for addressing your claim.
Ideally, the injured worker should notify their employer of the injury or illness as soon as possible. The employer is then required to provide the worker certain paperwork, and report the injury to their insurance company or administrator. If the employer is dragging their feet in getting the paperwork done, you may consider talking to an attorney for help.
3. You may have a permanent disability.
If you think you may have permanent injuries, you should know that the insurance company has probably figured it out as well and may send you to doctors to minimize the effect of your injuries, or follow you around with a surveillance camera.
4. The insurance company refuses to pay for treatment.
When all you are doing is trying to get better, and the insurance company is denying treatment your doctor says you need to get back to work, it’s time to think about getting some help.
5. The insurance company denies the claim.
Knowing the evidence that needs to be gathered to prove your case is not always easy. Insurance companies routinely deny your right to get medical evaluations to prove your case. Sometimes a judge has to order the evaluations and force the insurance company to pay for them.
6. The settlement offer is inadequate.
Remember, insurance companies want to close your case as cheaply as possible. That’s their job. If you feel like you are getting “low balled” by the adjuster, get some feedback from a lawyer so you know where you stand.
7. You have a preexisting condition.
Insurance companies often try to blame a preexisting injury or condition for your current medical challenges. They call it “apportionment”, but what they are really looking for is a discount off what they really owe you. The reality is that the insurance company must meet VERY STRICT rules before they are entitled to a discount off what they owe you for permanent disability.
8. You intend to file for Social Security disability benefits.
Coordinating your workers’ compensation benefits with social security benefits is CRITICAL to maximize your monthly income.
9. Your employer retaliates against you.
If you are fired, demoted, have your hours cut, or are pressured to return to work too soon, you may have additional rights against the employer.
10. The injury was caused by a third party.
If a person or business caused or contributed to your work injury, you may have an ADDITIONAL claim, outside of the workers’ comp system.
The Next Step
Choosing a competent work injury lawyer in Orange County is the best way to make sure you receive all of the benefits you deserve. To discuss your claim with award-winning attorney Thomas F. Martin, call us today at 714-547-5025 or reach out to us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.