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A work-related injury or illness can happen to anyone. It happens more often than some imagine, and now you have to deal with it. Many people think they can fight this case alone while others hire a professional. The following points should make the decision easier for you.
Why do Some People Represent Themselves?
Most people who opt to represent themselves in these types of cases usually want to save money, but there are other reasons professional help may seem unnecessary. The following are some of those reasons:
- The injury or illness is minor
- The employer admits guilt and offers to deal with it
- No work or little work was missed
When is Hiring a Lawyer the Right Move?
You will know you need a lawyer if certain conditions are not met. For example, your employer offers to pay some but not all of your expenses and lost wages. At this point, your case became more complicated, and you will need professional services from an experienced attorney.
The following are some things that could make things difficult for you:
Delay in Payment
Obviously, you need to take your employer to court if the claim is denied, but you may also need to take action if the employer takes too long to pay. Medical professionals provide a service and must get paid; they’ll only work without payment for so long. This means those medical expenses need to be taken care of quickly, but some employers delay payments, which could put you in a bad position. Not getting the care you need could make things worse for you in the long run.
The Settlement Doesn’t Cover Everything
Sometimes, employers appear to be on an injured employee’s side but end up stiffing the person in the end. The settlement does not cover all the expenses or lost wages. This is your livelihood, and you will be hurt if you are not taken care of financially. This is why you need a good worker’s comp lawyer on your side. Keep in mind that judges are not there to fight on your behalf and will probably agree with the settlement as long as it is relatively fair. You do not want to rely on relative fairness because every dollar counts when your health and the stability of your family is involved.
You Suffer Retaliation
This may seem unlikely, especially if you know your employer well, but some people can retaliate after you file for workers comp. You need to make sure you are protected if your employer fires or even demotes you after filing your claim. It is a delicate situation and emotions run high, which is why discrimination against you is possible no matter how unlikely.
Mental Trauma is a Problem
Emotional or mental illness is another reason people seek a professional because it is hard to prove. Strom & Associates says that emotional illness “can be attributed to the witnessing of a traumatic event in the workplace or through other work-related factors,” which can be hard to argue. This issue is often denied though you may be entitled to it, so make sure you fight the fight.
These are just some of the reasons why you need to make sure you hire an experienced representative. Your employer has more resources and can probably hire a good attorney to fight, so it is only right for you to do the same. You are hurt and your family is hurting after this injury. Perhaps this may not feel like the best time to fight a legal battle, but this is the only chance you are going to get. There are deadlines that need to be met, and your lawyer can help lift this weight off of your shoulders.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.