Do I need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Laura Beth York, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Attorney:
The Workers’ Compensation system can be hard to navigate when you are injured at work, and inevitably you will have lots of questions where you don’t know the answer. You are generally depending on the insurance company to tell you what your rights are – without knowing if the insurance company is telling you the right information. At Rainwater Holt & Sexton our goal is to make sure you get the right information.
Generally speaking, if your employer’s insurance carrier has accepted your injury, sent you to the doctor, paid for your medical bills, and you did not miss any time from work, it is probably safe to say that you do not need a workers’ compensation attorney. Insurance companies are, however, notorious for NOT doing what is in your best interest. Here are some reasons to consult a Rainwater Holt & Sexton Workers’ Compensation attorney:
(1) YOUR CASE HAS BEEN DENIED
When your employer or the insurance company tells you that they will not pay for any of your medical treatment or for your time off of work, chances are that they are trying to intimidate you into not pursuing the benefits to which you are entitled. Calling an attorney quickly after the denial will help you to know what the best course of action will be to ensure the best result.
(2) YOU HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF WORK BY A DOCTOR
When your doctor takes you off work, you may be entitled to Temporary Total Disability benefits – which is payment for your time off of work. Generally, the insurance company determines what it is that you will be paid, but how do you know if it is correct? Did the adjuster calculate your benefits off of your gross wage or your net wages? These are questions that an attorney can review and determine if you are properly being paid. What if you don’t get a check? An attorney can file the proper paperwork and get a judge to order that these benefits be paid to you.
(3) YOU DON’T SEEM TO BE GETTING ANYWHERE WITH YOUR DOCTOR
The insurance company gets to choose your doctors. That means that they will generally send you to doctors that are pushing you to return to work rather than to address your medical needs. An attorney can help you in navigating this system of doctors and may even file a Change of Physician and request a specific doctor. An attorney can review your medical files and determine which type of doctor may be best for you to see.
(4) YOU ARE TERMINATED BY YOUR EMPLOYER
Employers cannot terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. So what benefits are you entitled to if your employer does terminate you after filing a claim? An attorney can help you address what your particular type of lawsuit you should file. If this happens, you may have two separate claims against your employer.
(5) YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN AN IMPAIRMENT RATING
At the end of your treatment, your doctor will assign you an impairment rating based upon the AMA Guides to Permanent Impairment, 4th Edition. Depending upon the type of injury you have, this impairment rating is equal to a dollar amount. How do you know if your doctor gave you an impairment rating? How do you know if the insurance company is paying you the correct amount of money? What benefits are you entitled to in addition to that impairment rating? These are all questions that you need to be asking, and an attorney can help answer these questions.
These are only a few reasons why consulting a Rainwater Holt & Sexton workers’ comp attorney can mean a big difference in your workers’ compensation claim. An attorney can help you to navigate this confusing area of the law and help you to obtain every benefit that you are legally entitled to receive.