If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of your employment or work environment, you may be eligible for worker's compensation. However, many people wonder when it is necessary to use a worker's compensation attorney in a worker's compensation claim, considering that the process of filing the claim is pretty straightforward. This article will discuss when an employee can represent himself or herself and when to seek the services of a worker's compensation attorney in Anchorage.
Employees can usually get by without an attorney if the following are true in his or her case:
- You suffered a minor workplace injury, for example a twisted ankle or wrist or a cut that requires a few stitches
- You missed little to no work as a result of your injury
- Your employer admits that the accident occurred at work
- You do not have a pre-existing condition
While this may seem pretty straightforward, it is always advisable to contact an attorney for a free consultation about your case. The attorney will basically walk you through the whole process, advise you of potential roadblocks and give you an honest opinion as to whether you can handle the case on your own or not.
If ever there is anything complex introduced into your claim, that is the moment when you should hire an attorney. Some situations that call for the immediate contact of an attorney are:
- Your employer denies your claim or you fail to receive your benefits - it is said that employers and worker's compensation insurance companies will routinely reject valid claims in the hope that the employee will not appeal the claim. And the reality is that they are correct. Almost 80% of individuals who are injured at work simply accept that their claim has been denied without appealing the denial. By hiring a worker's compensation attorney, it gives you the best chance of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
- Your employer's settlement offer does not cover all your lost wages and or medical bills - if your settlement offer is not good enough or does not cover some part of your losses, do not rely upon the worker's compensation judge to decide if this is fair or not. To get the best possible settlement you will need an attorney on your side.
- Your injury or illness stops you from returning to your previous job or from performing any work at all - if your injury or illness results in permanent partial disability or permanent total disability you may be entitled to lifetime weekly payments or a lump sum payment to cover your lost wages. Such cases are extremely expensive for insurance companies and they often go to great lengths to avoid paying what you deserve. Therefore, you will need an attorney with in-depth knowledge of worker's compensation laws in Alaska to handle your case and to get you the settlement you deserve with respect to permanent partial disability or permanent total disability.
If any of the above situations apply in your case, seek out a law firm of renowned professionals for advice and representation in your worker's compensation claim.