Key Facts About Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In Michigan, private employers with more than three people must have workers’ compensation insurance. It provides financial support to employees who have been injured at work and whose injuries have affected them financially.
The great thing about workers’ compensation is that employees receive a certain amount of benefits without going through a court case. However, it isn’t comprehensive and, in most cases, strips you of your right to sue your employer for negligence.
What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
In the state of Michigan, the principal areas workers’ comp covers are medical costs, lost wages, death benefits, and job retraining. If an employee dies while at work, the following family members could be eligible for workers’ comp death benefits:
- Children and grandchildren
- Parents and grandparents
When to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney
An injured worker that plans on filing a workers’ compensation claim is not legally obliged to hire an attorney and may represent themself instead.
However, working with an attorney from a law firm specializing in workers’ comp law is usually a wiser choice, particularly if your case is complicated. Consider working with a lawyer if your employer denies that your injury is work-related, your settlement offer doesn’t cover all your medical bills, or you are also receiving Social Security disability benefits.
A Lawyer Can Better Ascertain Your Workers’ Comp Eligibility
Another disadvantage of workers’ comp is that it’s not available to everyone. Federal employees, including railroad and postal workers, independent contractors, employees of businesses with less than three employees, and volunteers, do not usually have access to workers’ comp benefits if they sustain a personal injury on the job.
However, there are cases where employees are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits but don’t know it. An attorney who is experienced with workers’ compensation laws will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
They Are More Experienced in Dealing With Insurance Companies
If you’ve ever had to make any kind of insurance claim, you know that insurance companies will do anything they can to give you the lowest payout possible. Workers’ compensation attorneys are well versed in their tricks, as well as your rights, and will fight to make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
They Can Help You Appeal a Denied Claim
In a surprising number of cases, workers’ compensation claims are denied. This is more likely to happen when the injured employee represents themselves due to their lack of expertise in the area. If this has happened to you, now is the time to hire a workers’ comp lawyer.
In some cases, appeals are eligible for mediation, meaning you can avoid a trial, but often appeals must be solved at a hearing. These hearings are held in front of a magistrate (similar to a judge), and there is a strict protocol for presenting witnesses, submitting evidence, and marking legal arguments.
They Know When You Can Sue Outside of Workers’ Compensation
In some compensation cases, even if you qualify for workers’ compensation, you may be able to sue. For example:
- If your employer is not the only party responsible for your injury, you can also file a third-party claim. For instance, if a faulty piece of equipment is partially to blame for your accident, you could sue the manufacturer and receive damages that workers’ comp doesn’t cover, such as pain and suffering.
- If your employer intended to cause harm with their actions (or inactions) that led to your accident.
Considering Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you have been injured on the job and plan to file a workers’ compensation claim, you are more likely to be successful with the help of an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. will work hard to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.
For more information or to arrange a free consultation, call us today at (866) 642-4529.