If you’ve been injured on the job and are deciding whether or not you want to hire a personal injury attorney in South Carolina, then you’re not alone. Hiring a lawyer can be a confusing process, especially if you’ve never been through the experience before.
Many people who have been hurt at work believe that they can handle their situation on their own. While that can certainly be true, a lot of people just aren’t equipped with the knowledge to take care of their claim.
Also, if your employer’s insurance company sees that you’re alone, they may be more likely to try to take advantage of you. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to decide if you need a personal injury attorney for your worker’s comp claim. Below, you’ll find out if making this selection is in your best interest.
Spoiler alert – it is.
Should You Represent Yourself in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In almost any legal matter, a person has the right to represent themselves in civil and criminal cases. Injured people can also file a workers’ comp claim on their own and negotiate with their employer on the terms.
There are times when representing yourself in your claim can work, but this is usually not advisable. Think of it this way: you could rewire the electrical system in your home yourself – but should you? In most cases, it’s best to hire a professional to take on jobs like this. Similarly, when it comes to your legal rights, you should work with an experienced lawyer who will get you the benefits to which you are entitled.
There are some situations in which you probably do not need a lawyer, however. These include the following:
- Your injury was minor and had no complications, such as a small cut.
- You didn’t miss any days of work or only a few at most.
- You don’t have any pre-existing injuries that can further complicate matters.
Although you may find yourself in one of these situations, you may want to contact a lawyer for a free evaluation just to be sure. They can warn you of potential complications that can arise during your filing for workers’ comp. Besides, contacting an attorney will help you feel better informed when dealing with your employer and the insurance company.
Reasons Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer has several benefits. Among these benefits, you’ll take advantage of the professional legal experience of someone who can fight for your rights while you can focus on recovering from your injury.
With that said, here are the major reasons for hiring a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim.
Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney to Evaluate Your Claim
Even if your employer is working with you to process your workers’ compensation claim, you should work with a lawyer to determine the true value of your claim. In many cases, you can be offered a lump sum payment for your injury. Before accepting a settlement, you will want to make sure that it provides you with adequate benefits for your lost income and medical costs.
Find a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to File Your Claim
Sometimes, people who were injured at work may not experience serious pain until the next day or a week after the incident. For this reason, you should hire a lawyer to file your worker’s compensation claim.
Here are a few ways an attorney can help you get started with filing your claim.
- Collect significant details of the incident and document it accordingly
- Make sure that you see a medical provider as many times as needed
- Notify your employer
- Respond to the workers’ compensation insurance provider and employer to request more information
- Ensure that all of these actions are completed in a timely manner
A Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights
An experienced lawyer will work with you to protect your rights. Your attorney is on your side and will advocate to resolve your case as favorably as possible. Workers’ compensation insurers and employers want to save as much money as possible. A workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure that you are treated fairly and that you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled under the law.
A Lawyer Can Assess Third-Party Liability
Many times, an employee has only one choice: to file a worker’s comp claim against their employer. However, there are situations in which the employee can file a traditional personal injury claim against a third-party instead. For example, if a defective work tool caused your injury, you could potentially recover compensation from the tool manufacturer or retailer. Similarly, if a third-party independent contractor at a job site causes an injury, you may be able to file a claim against that contractor. Because personal injury claims tend to result in significantly more compensation than workers’ compensation claims, you should always discuss your options with a lawyer.
An Attorney Can Appeal a Denial
Oftentimes, a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. The injured worker could have filled out the claim incorrectly or waited too late to file. They may have left out important information as well.
A lawyer can review your case and decide if an appeal is feasible. One common reason for denial can be that a doctor determined that your injury was the cause of a pre-existing one instead of the current workplace injury. If this happens to you, you’ll need an attorney to appeal this decision and gather evidence to prove the contrary.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Today!
Employers can either do two things when you file a workers’ comp claim: deny that your injury happened at work or try to settle it outside of your best interest. As a result, you should hire a personal injury attorney to fight for you.
To learn more, give us a call at (864) 388-9100 or contact us online to speak to a member of our legal team and request a consultation.