“How hard can the worker’s compensation process be?” – That is the question that many an injured worker have asked themselves before deciding to handle the process themselves without legal representation. Unfortunately, too many of these DIY worker’s comp claims end up with the injured party getting a lower settlement than they really deserve or the worker getting frustrated and calling a lawyer much later in the process than they should have.
Neither of these situations are preferable. You were hurt on the job and you deserve the proper compensation for it. Definitely not some lower settlement just because someone saw the seat for your lawyer empty and pulled the wool over your eyes. Even if you do get a lawyer later, it may be too late to do much to salvage your claim.
This is why it is crucial that clients understand that hiring a lawyer early is the key to a successful claim. However, while a successful claim is the overall goal, there are a few more benefits to hiring a worker’s comp lawyer early.
You Get All of the Legal Services You Are Paying For
A select few will put off calling a lawyer because they believe it will cost them less, but in most cases this isn’t true. In worker’s compensation cases, a lawyer will be paid from a fee on the permanent partial disability award. This fee will remain the same whether you hire them after the injury or right before your settlement evaluation. By hiring an attorney at the end of your claim, you are actually cheating yourself out of valuable legal services that you are still paying for.
Think of a Worker’s Comp Lawyer as a Guide
While it is true it is your lawyer’s job to handle any legal issues and making sure your claim goes through, clients should think of them as more of a guide. They will explain each part in the worker’s compensation process, advise you on what you need to do, how long you have to do it, and what will happen afterwards.
Worker’s compensation lawyers are trained to not only know employment law, but they can advise you on the doctors that provide the best care in your area, make sure you are paid on time, and help you through any employment issues like retraining that occur from the injury. You are essentially paying for the help of someone who has been through the worker’s comp process a thousand different times and knows what to expect even if the unexpected happens.
The Best Law is Preventative Law
In every aspect of life, it is easier to stop a problem from happening rather than fix it after it does. This is why it is so difficult when clients come near the end of their claim. They spend months stressing over it when they should be healing only for their new lawyer to be brought in too late to do anything other than mitigate more damage.
What lawyers will often see when brought in late into a claim is that the adjusters have been acting improperly. Adjusters see someone representing themselves, and then decide to test the waters to see just how much the injured party knows of their own rights. If it proves to be very little, they start to impede on those rights, and that is a problem that can be hard to fix after certain phases of the worker’s compensation process have passed.
Can a Claim be Fixed If You Wait to Get a Lawyer?
If you decided to go through the worker’s compensation process alone, and find that it has gotten to be a bit too much, you should contact a worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Every lawyer will tell you it is best to contact them at the beginning of your claim, but sometimes it is not too late to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve.