Get What You’re Due: 8 Benefits of Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney
Louisiana has the 2nd lowest non-fatal injury rate in America, only coming second to Washington DC.
However, the state still gets its fair share of workplace accidents. If you or a loved one find themselves in this predicament, hiring a worker’s comp lawyer is the best way to get the settlement you deserve.
We will tell you why and go through the principles of worker’s compensation as well. Read on.
What Is Workers Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a type of insurance that pays benefits in the form of money to workers injured or disabled in the course of duty.
When an employee agrees to receive workman’s compensation, they also give up their right to sue their employer for negligence. This is meant to protect both employer and employee.
As an employee, you give up other channels of recourse against your employer in favor of guaranteed compensation.
The employer, on the other hand, consents to a level of liability, while avoiding paying higher damages resulting from a full-on negligence lawsuit. Ultimately, the high fees associated with trials are avoided.
Most plans cover medical fees for injuries suffered at work, as well as payments to the dependents of a worker that dies on duty.
While this bargain plan eliminates the possibility of an employer being sued for a tort of negligence, compensation is still not a foregone conclusion.
One of the disputable things is whether or not an employer is indeed liable for injuries to a worker. It’s not uncommon for workers to sustain injuries elsewhere and claim they got them from work.
Unlike other forms of insurance, workman’s compensation does not cover unemployment. Another key difference is that the compensation monies are tax-free.
8 Benefits of Hiring a Worker’s Comp Lawyer
While you can seek workman’s compensation on your own, getting a lawyer is likelier to give you a more favorable outcome.
Here are the main reasons why.
1. They Are Highly Skilled
The legal field is complex and dynamic. An attorney spends a lot of time studying the system, understanding new laws and legislation for their client’s benefit.
A workman compensation attorney is an expert in worker’s compensation laws and procedures as well. This means that once they take you on as a client, they are able to hit the ground running.
Similarly, if you get a local attorney, they are well-versed on the laws in your particular jurisdiction.
This means they will not need to take up any time familiarizing themselves with state laws before beginning the actual work on your case.
Whether you have taken a fall or gotten a burn injury at work, the skills and expertise from a lawyer are invaluable.
If you are like most people, you want to get through this process quickly and get on with your life.
2. They Provide Direction
Most people do not know what to do after a work accident happens. The way you handle the situation right from a few minutes after the accident can make or break your case.
This is why it’s advisable to call your lawyer immediately after getting first aid. Your lawyer will tell you which hospital to go to, for example.
One of the foundations of your case will be what your injuries are and how they affect you now and in the future.
The amount your attorney will be going for will have in mind, among other things, the extent of your injuries.
Your lawyer is well aware of this and will work within the law to get you a favorable settlement.
At times, having the right doctor to document your injuries and correctly present them can give your case more prominence.
With their years in the field, your attorney probably knows one or two doctors who can do this correctly and procedurally so as not to jeopardize your case.
3. They Are Expert Negotiators
More than 80% of lawsuits are settled out of court, at any point during the trial.
Remember, the longer a case remains in trial, the more you pay in attorney’s fees. Aside from the money, litigation is time-consuming and mentally draining.
It’s therefore in your best interest to settle a case as soon as possible.
Here, your attorney being an expert negotiator can look out for your interests.
For one, lawyers know what the precedence on your type of case is. This means that they know what the judgments were in cases similar to yours.
Therefore, they know where to start the negotiation talks with the insurer so that you are not low balled.
If you were to handle this yourself, you’re unlikely to be privy to this information. This, coupled with your rising expense bills can put you in a situation where you take whatever is offered.
Often times, this figure will be several times lower than what a lawyer would have gotten you.
Secondly, the players in your case are likely to be fairer in their dealings with you when you are represented rather than when you represent yourself.
4. Research and Investigation
Attorneys handle these types of cases all the time.
This means they have made all the mistakes, so you do not have to. They have also acquired some skills and some goodwill along the way.
When you make a claim, the other attorney is working hard to dispute your application and make you lack credibility, more so if you go to trial. Your employer might also dispute that you got injured at work.
Your attorney, on the other hand, will seek to build a stellar case. This might include doing some investigations and groundwork on your case.
If you can’t reach a favorable settlement and choose to go to trial, your attorney will also prepare you for this.
During the trial, the other team’s lawyer will cross-examine you to find loopholes, inconsistencies or otherwise punch holes in your case.
Your attorney will have a good grasp of this process and will guide you on how to handle yourself during dispositions and at trial. All these actions are geared toward putting up an iron clad case that you can win.
Without an attorney, you are essentially flying blind.
5. Lawyers Are Comfortable with Trial
About 5% of workman’s compensation cases end up in trial. Trials can be intimidating, to say the least. This is irrespective of which side you are on.
For an attorney, this is part of their job that they are ready for.
The defense team is well aware of this fact as well, and even this knowledge can incentivize them to keep settlement talks open.
As an employee, the burden of proof lies with you, meaning you will be seeking to substantiate your claims during the hearing.
Failure to table some admissible evidence will cause you to lose your case.
There are two types of evidence hearings.
One is a hardship hearing. You or your lawyer will request for this when there are disputes about medical treatment, payment of temporary disability or both.
The second one is the final hearing. Either side can institute a final hearing after all medical treatment has been completed. This hearing results in a judge issuing a final ‘award.’
An award, in this case, means a judgment. The term ‘award’ is used regardless of whether or not there will be monetary compensation.
6. They Can Help You Access Medical Help
Insurance companies can deny or delay the medical help you require on your work-related injury.
Depending on the degree of your injuries, this can bring more pain and desperation to your situation.
Having a lawyer by your side means you have someone to pressurize the insurer to avail medical treatment in a timely fashion. These negotiations with the insurer will take different forms until you reach a final settlement.
7. They Are Cost Effective
Overall, hiring a lawyer might be more cost-effective than representing yourself.
Not only will you fumble and make costly mistakes, but a lawyer is much likelier to get you a higher settlement than what you can get yourself.
If you get a lawyer who will take up your case on contingency, it means you pay nothing until your matter is settled and you get a settlement.
This incentivizes your lawyer to fight hard for you, and you do not get stuck with unmanageable legal fees and a lost suit as the end of it all.
8. They Provide a Support System
A work-related injury can be a trying time for you. For most people, having someone to discuss the issue with can provide some comfort.
By law, the information given to your lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege. This means your lawyer is someone you can discuss the case with in-depth, without any worries about the information leaking to third parties.
Sharing information about your case with your kin might cause them to be called in as witnesses if you go to trial. Your lawyer can, therefore, act as the objective sounding board you need.
Your lawyer will look out for your best interests even in matters regarding discrimination or reprisal from your employer as a result of your claim.
Get the Help You Need
A worker’s comp lawyer will fight for your rights and provide the support and advice you need along the way.
At Babcock Trial Lawyers, we understand how difficult moments like this are to our clients and their families. Our goal is to walk you through the process and leave you financially whole.
Do you or your loved one require expert legal help? Contact us now for a free review of your case.
If you’ve been injured, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you. Your case and your future will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee. If you have any questions about this article or want to visit with a lawyer for free, call Stephen at (225) 414-6499 or contact us here. Or if you prefer, feel free to take advantage of our live chat system. Get Even. Call Stephen. -Stephen Babcock