Should I Get a Lawyer For Workers' Comp?
Do you need a Workers' Compensation lawyer? As a Workers' Compensation law firm, Pacific Workers' Compensation has an obvious interest in seeing injured workers retain attorneys. However, we also want to make sure you have the information you need to make the right choice for you. Workers' Compensation is complicated. It involves a lot of paperwork and specialized knowledge, and it takes a lot of time to follow up with doctors and insurance adjusters and keep your case moving. It's always more convenient to have a Workers' Comp. attorney. That being said, there are some situations in which it may be appropriate to handle your own Workers' Compensation case. Here are some questions you should answer while deciding whether or not you need a Workers' Compensation attorney.
What is your case status?
If your case has been denied or delayed, you need an attorney -- no ifs, ands, or buts. If your case is accepted, there might be some situations in which you can handle your Workers' Compensation case yourself.
Will you have any permanent disability from your workplace injury?
If you are going to have a permanent disability, you probably need a Workers' Compensation attorney, unless you're prepared to negotiate with the insurance company's adjusters and attorneys to get the settlement you deserve. Keep in mind that they do this for a living. Making sure the insurance company pays out as little as possible is their job. Do you think you can negotiate on that level? A Workers' Compensation attorney can.
If your injury is something simple and easy to recover from, and all you need is some TD payments while you recover, you might be able to handle your Workers' Compensation case yourself -- if the case is accepted.
Do you have a specific injury or a cumulative trauma?
California Workers' Compensation allows you to get compensation for a specific injury -- say, falling down at work -- or a cumulative trauma that comes from years of working, such as carpal tunnel or a bad back. If you have a cumulative trauma, you need an attorney. If you have a specific injury -- as long as it's mild, and your case is accepted -- you might be able to handle your Workers' Compensation case yourself.
Are you getting the medical treatment you need?
Minor injuries can turn into major injuries without prompt, necessary treatment. Most Workers' Compensation insurance companies will send you to facilities like US Healthworks and Concentra. Make no mistake, the doctors at these facilities are doing what the insurance companies want, not what you need. Do you have the time and knowledge to find yourself a better Workers' Compensation doctor? Remember, you can't treat with your regular doctor for a Workers' Compensation injury. Treatment for your Workers' Compensation injury will also have to be approved by Utilization Review. Do you know how to handle a denial?
Review your answers to these questions -- if you have an accepted case for a mild, specific injury that won't lead to any permanent disability, and you're satisfied with your medical care, you might be able to handle your own Workers' Compensation case. If you answered any other way, you need a Workers' Compensation lawyer. Pacific Workers' Compensation offers free, no-obligation consultations. Schedule yours today.