When an injury occurs in the course of and arising from your work, you will likely become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Nearly every state requires all but the smallest employers to hold workers’ compensation insurance because accidents and injuries happen, even when everyone is conscious about safety precautions. The workers’ compensation process is generally handled by the insurance company once you have submitted the details of your claim. Most companies treat this process as an administrative system, designed to be fairly easy for employees to navigate.
If your workers’ compensation claim is simple and the case is not disputed by your employer or the insurers, it is possible that you can handle the claim yourself. However, when dealing with more complex circumstances, you can benefit from the services of a NJ workers’ compensation lawyer.
When You May Not Need a Lawyer
Your employer’s insurance company probably will not dispute a claim that:
- Clearly involves work-related injuries
- Does not require a long period of recovery time away from work
- Does not require long-term or extensive medical care
- Does not result in any permanent injury
In these cases, it is possible that you can resolve your claim without assistance from a lawyer. However, as the legal team at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. can confirm, it can still be helpful to have a knowledgeable attorney in your corner – even when dealing with a relatively straightforward case. Our team can help to ensure that your claim is properly prepared, submitted, and paid out at a fair value without unnecessary delay.
When You Should Hire a Lawyer
If any aspect of your workers’ compensation claim could potentially be disputed by the insurance company, this is when a lawyer may be necessary. The insurance company may deny your claim if it asserts that your injury or illness stemmed from causes that weren’t work-related, or if you filed the claim too late according to your state’s laws. Additionally, if your claim has already been submitted and was denied, a lawyer can assist you in the appeal process.
When you are pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, your physician may assign you a permanent disability rating that the insurance company will use to calculate your benefits. If the insurance company disputes this rating, it may assign you to attend another independent medical exam with a doctor the company chooses. A dispute in your disability rating is another sign that a lawyer could potentially assist you in reaching a fair settlement.
You should also consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer if you are having trouble getting the medical treatment you need — for instance, if the insurance company denies or delays your approval for surgery. If your ability to work has been affected permanently, a lawyer may help you maximize your workers’ compensation benefits and make a plan for your next steps.