Although worker safety should be a top priority for employers, safety hazards are often overlooked. Employees may face safety threats daily, and on the job injuries are a common occurrence.
A prevalent problem
In 2016, nearly 3 million workplace injuries were reported in the U.S. Almost 140,000 of those injuries happened to New York workers. If you are an employee who suffered a workplace injury or illness, you might be eligible for workers' compensation insurance benefits. Workers' compensation benefits include cash benefits and/or the coverage of medical expenses for workers injured on the job. The cost of the insurance is paid by the employers in order to provide the benefits to employees.
Barriers to a successful claim
After a workplace injury you might be wondering if hiring an attorney is really necessary. In most cases, an attorney will get you better results than if you attempted to represent yourself. Although the workers' compensation legislature was designed to protect employees, the employee faces an uphill battle when trying to file a claim against their employer. The employer's insurance company has a strong legal team to defend them, and you should as well.
Employers and their insurance companies can deny your claim for a number of reasons. Even after a claim has been accepted, employers can retaliate against you or refuse to pay all your lost wages or medical bills. Even if the employer agrees to pay the lost wages and medical bills, they may not be paying them in a timely manner, leading to mounting debt and unnecessary stress for the injured employee.
How an attorney can help
The sad reality is legitimate workers' compensation claims are frequently denied. Proving the damages of your injury is where most claims are denied; the claimant fails to gather sufficient evidence to support the claim. An attorney will help you navigate the legal logistics and develop a strong medical record.
An attorney is experienced in negotiating compensation and will help you get a fair settlement. If your case faces litigation, your attorney will represent you in the courtroom. If your case is denied, your attorney can help with the appeals process.
Navigating the logistics of a workers' comp case is difficult. Having legal representation will even out the playing field against the employer's insurance company's legal team. An experienced attorney will know all the filing deadlines and the ins and outs of presenting information in the best possible way. They can offer advice and help you through the entire process.