According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over three million people are injured as a result of workplace accidents every year. If your Employer is subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act and you are injured in the course and scope of your employment you are entitled to file a Workers’ Compensation claim for income and medical benefits. Since every case is different, it is best to consult an attorney regarding your specific circumstances to learn your rights and responsibilities as soon as possible.
It is important to remember that you have responsibilities within a Workers’ Compensation claim too, which include notifying your Employer immediately, seeking treatment from company physicians if offered and attempting light duty job offers. There are also shorter time frames in which to file Workers’ Compensation claims compared to personal injury claims. Of course, the following circumstances are also signs that you need to see an attorney sooner rather than later:
Your claim is denied – Claims are denied for a variety of reasons, some valid and some invalid. Quick action is necessary to be sure evidence is preserved and the appropriate path is laid for success at a hearing. Attorneys who specialize in Workers’ Compensation are in the best position to prepare the legal arguments necessary to win or position you for a good recovery.
Some expenses are not covered – Workers’ Compensation benefits include income benefits, medical treatment, prescriptions, some rehabilitation expenses, and mileage and meals reimbursements under certain circumstances. If an insurer is telling you that something isn’t covered, consult an attorney.
You are unable to return to work –Lost time claims are far more likely to result in denials or termination. Insurers often drag their feet starting payments, trying to force you back to work to avoid financial difficulties. If you have been or are expected to be out of work for more than 7 days, consult an attorney.
Your employer retaliates – If you are treated unjustly or terminated as a result of your injury or claim an attorney can help you determine your next steps.
You have a 3rd party claim – If you believe another person, company or product contributed to your injuries, consult an attorney who handles both personal injury and Workers’ Compensation claims to be sure you are maximizing your recovery. While the two claims may seem unrelated, there is often significant overlap and having an attorney who understands both claims is the key to ensuring you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
It is important to remember that every workers’ compensation case is unique and requires special consideration. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, contact the specialists at Reynolds, Horne & Survant today at 478-405-0300 or 1-800-537-3238.