This is a question asked quite frequently amongst injured workers. In fact, a question I am asked nearly every time I meet with someone about a work comp claim. An easier question to answer would be “when is it a good idea to talk to a lawyer about my work comp claim?” Talking to a lawyer is not necessarily the same as hiring a lawyer. The easiest answer is it is never too early. The sooner you speak to an attorney the better.
Often injured workers wait too long to contact a Redding Workers Comp Attorney, and the attorney has to play catch up, rather than leading the claim. It also allows the injured worker the benefit of having an attorney on their side.
Whether you have a claim the insurance company is already paying or whether you are considering filing a claim, there are many situations where it’s a good idea to check with an attorney. These are just a few:
You aren’t sure whether to file an injury report: You’ve been hurt or have a medical condition you feel is related to your work or job duties, but don't know if you have a claim against your employer.
Your claim has been denied: The insurance company has denied your claim. This is one situation where you definitely need to speak with a lawyer, and the sooner the better, because claims have deadlines. Don’t give up your claim without talking to an attorney.
You think the insurance company has calculated your wages wrong: Temporary disability benefits paid to you are based upon your “average weekly wage” on the date of injury. Calculating the average weekly wage can be complicated and may include overtime and other compensation. If the insurance company gets this wrong, they may be paying you less than they should.
Your benefits have been discontinued: Your temporary disability or permanent disability benefits have been discontinued and you disagree. Definitely give us a call. We need to get on this A.S.A.P. There is a dispute over your work restrictions: The insurance company may send you to their doctors for a Qualified Medical Examination (or a QME). Often, the doctor will disagree with your treating doctor about everything from diagnosis to treatment and restrictions. The insurance company will then frequently use the QME doctor’s report to cut off your wage loss and/or medical benefits. The insurance company won’t pay a medical bill: This can occur for many reasons, but often occurs shortly after you receive the QME report. The insurance company won’t approve a medical procedure: The insurance company will not agree to authorize surgery, injections, physical therapy, an MRI, a second opinion, a change of treating doctor, a referral to a specialist, etc.
The insurance company offers you a settlement: If the insurance company wants to settle your case, make sure to at least consult with an attorney before you do so. An insurance company is far more knowledgeable about workers’ compensation than you are. They have an army of lawyers, adjusters, and specialists working to get them the best deal possible. You should too! While settlements must be approved by a workers’ compensation judge, this does not mean you received the best settlement available. The insurance company's goal is to save money, not spend it!
Or, maybe you just have a few questions…
A workers’ compensation claim can be a confusing, frightening and frustrating ordeal. Please don’t be afraid to contact us, anytime, if we can answer some questions for you. We offer a FREE consultationwith our attorney to discuss your injury, work comp benefits, and whether you need a lawyer to represent you. Remember, you are dealing with an insurance company which handles hundreds or thousands of claims every day. They have experienced claims adjusters and attorneys managing their files.
Even if you don’t need a lawyer at the moment, a little information about how the work comp system works can make a big difference for you in your dealings with the insurance company.
If you decide to hire Redding Law Offices, whether now or at some later time, there are no costs or expenses to you. There are no upfront money and our office only gets paid when we win.
Our Redding work comp lawyers are ready to evaluate your specific case and work for the assistance you need to receive the benefits you are entitled. Call us at (530) 222-9700 or toll free at 1.800.368.8410; or e-mail us to schedule a free initial consultation.