If you suffer a Florida workplace injury (or work-related illness) and all goes as it should, workers’ compensation insurance will provide quality, no-cost medical care and partial replacement of lost wages.
But…many potential roadblocks can prevent your collection of full workers’ comp benefits, especially if you are seriously or permanently injured. If it looks like you are not being treated appropriately under the law, you may wonder, “Do I need a lawyer for workers’ comp?” And, in fact, you may.
For a minor injury, most employees are well equipped to handle a workers’ compensation claim on their own. This applies if, for example:
- Your injury is slight and easily treated.
- You are back at work within a day or two.
- Your employer is cooperative and helpful with your claim.
- You have not aggravated a pre-existing injury (which could cause complications down the line).
However, if there is any doubt, it does not hurt to discuss the case with a qualified attorney. An experienced Florida workers’ comp lawyer fully understands your entitled benefits and can help you prevent costly mistakes.
When You May Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney
In any of the following circumstances, you may need legal help with a workers’ compensation claim or workplace injury:
- Your employer or insurance carrier is denying or limiting your claim – Many claims are unfairly denied, or benefits are delayed or reduced prematurely. You can always appeal an unfavorable claim decision and should seek help from to an attorney to do so.
- You’ve been seriously injured – In many cases, the initial settlement offer for a serious or permanent injury is inappropriately low and should be negotiated. The workers’ comp judge will not automatically ensure you receive a fair settlement, but an experienced lawyer can positively affect your outcome.
- Your ability to perform customary work is limited – If you are partially or totally disabled after a workplace injury or illness, you should receive a generous settlement, vocational training, and other benefits. Insurance companies frequently attempt to minimize claims for permanent injury, and you will likely need the help of an attorney for a disability.
- Your injury involves a third party – If an outside driver, equipment manufacturer, or other party is to blame for your injury, you may have a civil lawsuit. Under workers’ compensation laws, you can pursue legal damages in this instance, and you should talk to a lawyer.
- Your employer has engaged in misconduct or illegal activity – If your employer retaliates against you after you file a workers’ comp claim, you may have an employment lawsuit. You should also speak to an attorney if your employer does not carry workers’ comp coverage or engaged in egregious (intentional) conduct that caused your injury. Learn more about your workers’ comp rights and benefits.
- You collect (or plan to apply for) Social Security disability – In this case, the structure of your settlement agreement is very important and should involve an attorney.
- You are confused or overwhelmed by the workers’ comp process – After an injury, it can be difficult to mind the important details of a workers’ compensation claim. An attorney can handle your case from start to finish, ensuring your best outcome.
Ask Yourself, Do I Need a Lawyer for Workers’ Comp?
Remember, insurance companies are represented by lawyers who seek to protect their bottom line. To make sure your interests are best represented after an on-the-job injury, seek help from the seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers at Feldman Williams.