Typically, when you are injured at work, workers' compensation insurance pays for medical bills and lost wages. Usually, these cases are cut and dry because you don't have to prove fault. However, there are some times when it may be best to hire an attorney for your claim. Check out these five reasons you may need to hire an attorney for your workers' compensation claim.
Your Employer Doesn't Have Workers' Compensation Insurance
It's usually legally required for every business to have workers' compensation coverage, but some companies are exempt and some simply don't follow the rules. If your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance (or enough coverage), you'll need to sue the company to get reimbursed for medical expenses and lost income, and an attorney is your best ally in any lawsuit.
Your Employer Claims You Weren't Working
In some cases, your employer may claim you weren't working at the time of the injury. This may happen if the accident occurred while you were goofing around instead of working. It's also common if an employee was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident. Last, if you were driving for a business errand and you decided to run a personal errand at the same time, your employer may say the accident occurred on your personal time. For example, if you are headed back from a business meeting and stop to grab a cup of coffee, your employer could say the accident occurred while you were taking a break to run a personal errand.
You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
If you have a pre-existing condition, especially one related to the accident, you should hire an attorney. In many cases, if a pre-existing condition caused the injury, you won't get a workers' compensation settlement. Your attorney needs to prove that the injury worsened the pre-existing condition and that it would have caused injury even without the pre-existing condition.
Your Employer Purposely Hurt You
If a coworker purposely hits you at work, you can usually sue them because it was a malicious act. However, this is also true if your employer purposely hurts you. Even if they have adequate workers' compensation insurance, you can file a claim and sue the employer. The benefit is that you can get more in your settlement. However, you may need to repay some of your workers' compensation insurance if you win this type of lawsuit.
A Defective Product Injured You
If a defective product you use at work injured you (chair, tools, equipment, etc.), you may also be able to sue the manufacturer while still filing a workers' compensation claim. Again, by suing, you get more money that you are owed. However, it is still a good idea to file the workers' compensation claim. Since you don't have to prove fault, you can get your workers' compensation claim approved fast while you and your attorney fight to win your case against the defective product manufacturer.
If you've been injured while at work, you likely qualify for workers' compensation coverage. However, there are some times when you need a workers' compensation attorney to help you get all the money you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney in your area today.