Do you need an attorney? If so, when? How your employer reacts to your report of an accident or work related condition will be your guide. Most employers will complete an incident report and direct you to a company approved physician. You will receive communication from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with information about your claim including your claim number and your contact person. Because the insurance company has the absolute right to choose the doctors, your benefits will be directed by the insurance adjuster. The adjuster’s role is to authorize treatment, arrange appointments and pay the doctors’ bills as well as any temporary disability benefits that you are due if you must be out of work while you recover from the injury.
Under these circumstances, you can wait until after the doctors have released you from treatment having done everything they could to cure your condition before you hire an attorney. If your injury has a permanent impact on your life after treatment has concluded, you are entitled to an award of money. In a few instances the insurance carrier will voluntarily issue you a payment. However, you will want to contact an attorney to ensure that you maximize the amount of money you are eligible to receive.
If, on the other hand, your employer does not report the injury to the workers’ compensation carrier or direct you to a doctor, you will want to immediately contact a lawyer who can advise you as to your legal rights. Many claims that are initially denied are successfully litigated resulting in the payment of medical bills, temporary disability if you have to be out of work while you are recovering from the injury or illness and an award of money.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you decide how best to proceed given your particular facts and circumstances. At Stark & Stark, our attorneys and legal staff have the experience to make sure you are fully compensated. If you have been hurt at work, please call us to schedule a consultation at no cost to you.