Do I Need a Workers Compensation Lawyer?

Find out if your business needs a workers compensation lawyer to handle your claim.

When it comes time to file a workers compensation insurance claim, you might be wondering if you should hire a lawyer to protect your business’s assets throughout the claims process.  This concern makes sense as there is a lot of money and quite a few entities (insurance providers, medical practitioners, the employee, and your state’s Workers Comp board) involved in the claims process.  Luckily, the reality is that few businesses actually need to hire a lawyer.  This is because very few workers comp claims actually turn into lawsuits.  However, many employees do choose to hire a lawyer to guide them through the often-confusing process.  Here’s what you need to know about what a workers compensation lawyer actually does.

When an Employee Gets a Lawyer

While they don’t usually need legal representation, many employees hire a lawyer when filing a workers comp claim because it makes them feel more comfortable.  Having a lawyer on their side ensures that the process is handled correctly and gives them the confidence of knowing that their case is properly prepared.

When a lawyer gets involved in the claims process, they help employees with the following:

  • Navigating workers compensation laws– Each state has their own workers comp laws and every rule must be followed perfectly for an employee to be eligible for benefits. Employees often feel more comfortable working with a lawyer who has an in-depth understanding of the laws they must adhere to.
  • Building their case– A lawyer is also well equipped to analyse and organize the details of a case to improve the chances of an employee receiving benefits. They do the necessary research and legwork to ensure that their client’s case is as strong as possible.
  • Determining an appropriate benefit– Lawyers can also help employees assess the cost of their injury or illness and determine how much compensation they should receive. They will take medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and the type of disability into account when doing so.

When Small Business Owners Get a Lawyer

Generally, workers compensation claims can be settled without a lawyer.  However, there are some instances when a small business owner might benefit from legal counsel.  For instance:

  • When an employee appeals an insurer’s claim decision– This normally happens when a claim is denied. Should a dissatisfied employee appeal the decision, then your insurance provider will likely appoint you an attorney.
  • When your employee rejects their rights to benefits– When an employee files a workers comp claim, they waive their rights to sue the business. However, they can choose to reject workers comp benefits in favor of suing.  This is known as an employers liability lawsuit and most workers compensation policies offer coverage for the business’s legal costs—including the cost of hiring a lawyer.
  • When you don’t carry workers compensation insurance– If you have decided to break the law by not carrying workers compensation insurance, then you will definitely need a lawyer. You will likely be found liable for penalties and the cost of the lawsuit.  You will need a lawyer to advise you in this tricky legal situation.

This is the role that a workers compensation lawyer will play during the claims process.  Do you have further questions regarding your workers compensation insurance claims process?  Then turn to the experts at PMC Insurance Group.  Contact us today to learn more about getting competitive coverage for your small business clients.

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