Workers’ Compensation can often be difficult for most workers and their employers to understand. Due to the many complexities and legal nuances involved, unrepresented workers are at risk of receiving an unfair award. Working with an experienced lawyer can help injured workers avoid costly mistakes, and ensure that they receive the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled.
What a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Do for You
An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer will develop a solid case that incorporates necessary medical evidence and witness testimony to prove the cause and severity of the work injury. He or she will also make sure that all filing deadlines are met. Claimants who are not represented by counsel often rely on the “independent” doctors who perform medical examinations on behalf of the insurance companies. However, these physicians work for the insurance company, and therefore have an incentive to downplay or minimize the severity of the injury and associated costs.
A lawyer can also help arrange for vocational experts to testify about the requirements of the job, and medical experts to testify about restrictions or tasks that the worker can no longer perform because of their work injury.
Moreover, an injured worker may have a claim outside of the Workers’ Compensation system against a third party. Potential defendants in these cases include anyone whose negligence contributed to the work accident and resulting injuries, with the exception of the victim’s employer or coworkers. Third-party liability claims commonly arise out of work-related car accidents, and injuries caused by defective tools or equipment. A skilled Workers’ Compensation law firm can identify any such potential claims to maximize financial recovery for the injured party.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You should hire a Workers’ Compensation lawyer as soon as possible if any of the following are true:
- Your employer denies your claim for benefits. This happens far too often. Worse, many employees are reluctant to appeal the denial of benefits for fear of retaliation. If you have been injured on the job, you have rights.
- The settlement you have been offered does not cover all your medical bills and lawful lost wages. Do not rely on the Workers’ Compensation judge to ensure you receive a fair settlement. Judges will usually approve any settlement that is not blatantly unfair, but that does not mean it is a settlement in your best interest.
- You have sustained an injury that requires surgery.
- You are no longer able to return to work on a regular basis in your current job.
- You are no longer able to return to work on a regular basis in any job, because you have been severely disabled. If so, you may be entitled to lifetime weekly payments or a single lump sum for permanent partial disability, or permanent total disability. Insurance companies often fight these types of claims the hardest, because they are the most costly. It is essential that you hire an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer in these types of cases to get the settlement you deserve.
- You have a pre-existing disability.
- You want to make sure that you get the best settlement possible, and would feel more comfortable knowing that someone is representing your interests.
- You receive Social Security disability
- You are fired, demoted, or given a reduction in hours or pay because you filed a Workers’ Compensation claim.
- You suspect that you have a claim against a third-party (such as an equipment manufacturer, a motorist, or property owner) for your work-related injury.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are Dedicated to Fighting for Injured Employees
The experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are prepared to answer your questions and help you start building your case. Call us at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or contact us online today.
Our offices are located throughout South Carolina where we proudly serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.