If you are injured on the job, you will be in need of compensation to help you navigate the road to recovery. To do so, you may decide to seek workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, this can be a challenging process and you may want someone to help you through the process and advocate for your needs. Like many injured workers, you may decide to hire an attorney who specializes in this area of law. But before you do, take some time to think about the various pros and cons associated with this move.
Explain Your Options
When you hire a lawyer who handles workers’ comp cases, one benefit is that they can explain the various options you may have moving forward. Since workers’ comp cases can be very complex, having an experienced attorney on your side can make the process much easier. For example, your lawyer can advise you to say as little as possible about your case, let them handle negotiations with insurance companies, and avoid posting anything about your case on social media until your case is resolved. This is especially important when considering that you are going to the doctors and dealing with recovery. Especially if you are trying to process all of the information and make the right decisions while you may be on pain medication and not able to think the best on your own.
Many employees who retain an attorney to handle their workers’ comp case are able to ultimately receive a larger financial settlement from their employer’s insurance company. If you consider that the goal of an insurance company is to make as much money as possible each year, the insurance companies will try hard to pay out as little if anything to injured workers. In comparison, your attorney typically makes a percentage of your settlement so it is in their best interest to get you as much money as possible so that they can get more out of the settlement as well. In addition, a workers comp attorney is familiar with all of the ins and outs of what constitutes a larger settlement, how much is available per your situation, and what information needs to be provided so that you can get the maximum return for your needs. Letting your attorney handle these negotiations will help you and your family minimize the effort you personally need to put in for the compensation, which will help you avoid difficult financial circumstances and will enable you to focus more on recovery.
Most companies that deal with employee injuries and workers comp regularly, such as those at factories or on construction sites, often have a plan in case of an employee injury. Much of those plans relate to minimizing the impact on the companies insurance so that their premiums don’t increase. Unfortunately, this typically results in putting pressure on the manager or the owner of the business to minimize what the employee does to seek compensation. Though it isn’t personal, it sometimes feels personal to both the employer and the employee. By the employee hiring an attorney, this may create conflict with your employer. Especially since your employer may feel conflicted in that they want you to get the compensation you deserve but they don’t want the negative impact that may come from higher insurance rates. There is a possibility that the employer may try to retaliate against you in many ways. Although it is illegal for your employer to fire you after you file a workers’ comp claim, they may engage in intimidation and other acts in an attempt to make you quit. Also, they may choose to discredit you in any way they can, all in an effort to make your case that much tougher to win. If this happens, it’s ideal to work with your attorney for ways to respond and what steps you need to take to handle the situation.
Attorney Percentage of Settlement
If you have a workers’ comp lawyer representing you in your case, they will likely receive a percentage of your settlement as payment for their services. Though this may be considered a con, since you may get the same compensation without an attorney, it is actually more of a pro for hiring an attorney. Since the settlement will dictate how much the attorney gets in return for their work, it is in their best interest to make that settlement as high as possible. This aligns with your needs as well, to get the highest return possible. While this amount paid to the attorney may be somewhat substantial, it is nevertheless a small price to pay for a possibly much larger settlement that you get. Additionally, the effort that you put into the settlement when you represent yourself may outweigh the percentage of the cost that would come if you had just hired an attorney. With that being the case, if you are unable to work due to your injury, then it is likely that you will benefit much more by paying the percentage to the attorney than it would be for you to navigate and handle the worker’s compensation process.
Once you evaluate the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ comp attorney, you’ll soon realize having experienced legal counsel on your side will increase the chances of a successful outcome. This is especially true if you have a long recovery process and are unable to work for a period of time.