Many employees feel that the workers’ compensation claim process is a straightforward transaction between the injured worker and the employer’s insurance carrier. Unfortunately, while it might appear to be a seamless process, there are numerous levels of complexity that can lead to a claim being delayed or denied.
It is wise to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side providing guidance and fighting on your behalf when the process gets derailed. Here are four reasons it is best to work with a lawyer rather than approach the claims process on your own.
- Honest communication: It might be obvious, but it should be reiterated that your attorney works for you. Throughout this process, the lawyer will keep your best interests as the main priority. It might be unethical or even illegal, but it is not uncommon for your employer to deliver mixed messages or even threaten retaliation if you put your needs above those of the company.
- Handling denial: While it is possible, even common, to appeal a claim denial, it is easiest when everything proceeds smoothly from the very beginning. There are countless forms to fill out, numerous strict deadlines to meet and multiple requests for additional paperwork to be satisfied. It is better to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands the process and anticipates potential snags.
- Confusing paperwork: Medical claim forms are not intentionally confusing, but they are confusing, nonetheless. Especially in your current situation, you might be experiencing a higher-than-normal level of stress. Answering even a straightforward question on a form incorrectly could spell disastrous results.
- Experience is key: Workers’ compensation attorneys have experience dealing with this process on a daily basis dozens or hundreds of times a year. You will never match their level of comfort with the language, the process, the forms or the needs of the insurance carrier. Even if your claim is initially denied, your lawyer has encountered this before.
No matter your injury – single accident, toxic exposure, repetitive stress – it is important to seek the benefits you are entitled to. Do not hesitate to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can provide the guidance and representation you need.