Why you Need an Attorney in Workers Compensation Cases
There are few certainties in life, but some things you can count on – growing older, gaining knowledge, and discovering your purpose are some of the joys of living. On the flip side, becoming injured at some point in your life is a likely certainty that most people try to avoid. We often think of injuries in relation to our childhood and growing up, but do you ever consider how often are you putting yourself in harm’s way during your professional life?
The latest data released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in November 2020 reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019 – a number that was unchanged from 2018. So what happens if you are an unfortunate part of that 2.8 million? What next?
Gayle McFadden, paralegal with Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren in Thomasville, GA, encourages seeking legal counsel if you encounter an ongoing workers compensation case.
1. Insurance companies are not always helpful. Insurance is great to have in most cases, but sometimes, insurance companies can run you around in circles. In Gayle’s experience, insurance representatives might discourage medical treatment and may not always have the client’s best interest at heart. “They are a business and are diligent about keeping their expenses – your payout – to a minimum,” she explains.
2. We can help ensure you are paid the correct amount. “With workers compensation,” McFadden says, “you are owed two-thirds of your salary, and any additional costs for medical care related to your injury.” This can include medication, treatment, doctor visits, even transportation to appointments. But keep in mind, the insurance company wants their expense for your case to be as little as possible, which means they may attempt to cut corners – something you cannot afford in your healing process.
3. We can assist cutting through the red tape. Your attorney’s expertise with workers compensation will help you through the process. The intent of workers comp, for the program as a whole and employers alike, is to set the injured worker up for healing and make sure he or she returns to profitable and meaningful work. “It's not just a payment for your injury and time at home,” reminds McFadden. “It's making sure you have the resources to heal and go back to work as soon as possible. Having a lawyer in your corner just makes life easier so you can concentrate on getting better.”
4. Sometimes employers take it personally. Fear of retaliation from your employer should not hold you back from filing a workers comp suit. However, for many, this fear is crippling. Employers should know that it’s not personal – it’s about protecting their people. Your lawyer, acting as an intermediary, can help navigate any tension that may arise in your relationship with your employer, just as we do with the insurance companies.
“If you do have an injury on the job, report it immediately,” urges McFadden. “Don’t wait to see if the pain will go away on its own.”
Tell your supervisor as soon as possible and complete the accident report in a timely manner.
“If you heal on your own and don’t need to file the workers comp claim, that’s great. But if you wait too long, your claim is harder to prove, “McFadden says. “When a claim reaches 30-days post injury, it’s increasingly difficult to defend.”
If you find yourself injured on the job, call us at WBW and ask for Gayle. We are happy to answer your workers compensation questions and guide you through the process as pain-free as possible.