After an injury, workers quickly realize that navigating their own workers’ compensation claim can be a confusing and frustrating process. Many people wonder if it is worth it to hire a lawyer when they are injured on-the-job to ensure they do not risk missing important deadlines or losing benefits they are entitled to. From what we have seen and heard from our years of experience representing injured works is that hiring a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer is the best possible way to obtain maximum benefits.
Sometimes it boils down to being shortchanged. You may feel relieved when your workers’ compensation carrier offers you a voluntary settlement, particularly when you hear of the difficulty some workers encounter when trying to obtain coverage following an injury. Keep in mind, however, you will likely get about one-quarter of what your case is actually worth without having a lawyer represent you. After all, insurance companies are motivated to save money where they can and offering you quick and inexpensive settlement is to their advantage. It is better to have a knowledgeable and experienced advocate on your side to get maximum benefits paid when you are injured.
Sometimes recipients of workers’ compensation hit a brick wall when they seek benefits for medical care recommended by their doctor. Although the carrier is allowed to pick your authorized doctor, they have a responsibility to provide what the authorized doctor prescribes such as needed medication or a referral. Unfortunately, some carriers try to cut expenses when they think they can get away with it, so it may be necessary to work with a workers’ comp lawyer to ensure that the carrier is meeting their obligation of care.
A work injury or illness can have unanticipated, long-lasting effects. Usually, your workers’ compensation claim will close two years from your last day of treatment or the last payment of weekly benefits. If you work with an attorney to file an employees claim petition and receive a settlement in addition to treatment and wages, you may be able to extend the statute of limitations. The sad truth is that sometimes an injury’s long term effect is not known right away and you may require further treatment or disability compensation long after an injury incident. Putting more time on your side in the aftermath of an injury can help you to get the care you need.
The reality is that seeking the help of a workers’ compensation attorney after a work injury or illness will likely result in obtaining maximum benefits. Knowledge and experience go a long way when dealing with a workers’ compensation insurance carrier to avoid the typical pitfalls many encounter. Contact our workers’ compensation team at the Davenport, Iowa Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson, PC for help initiating your workers’ compensation claim or resolving denied workers’ compensation issues. We have helped many Iowa and Illinois workers in the Quad-Cities area get the benefits they are entitled to and welcome the opportunity to assist you. Email us or call today at 563-355-6478.