Suffering injuries in an on-the-job accident could be a shattering experience. In Virginia, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance, which is a no-fault system. After getting injured, you are required to report your injury to your employer and must file the workers’ compensation claim. On paper, the process looks simple and easy to follow, but complications are not rare. Should you really consider hiring a Newport News workers comp attorney? Here’s an overview.
When you can manage without an attorney
Just because you were injured doesn’t mean you need a lawyer. You can file your workers’ compensation claim on your own. It is still wise to err on the side of caution. Top law firms in Virginia usually offer a free initial consultation, which can be really handy. You can possibly do without a lawyer if –
- Your injuries are minor and likely to heal soon
- Your employer admits that your injury is related to a workplace accident
- You haven’t missed on work
- You don’t have pre-existing conditions
When you definitely need a lawyer
There are some circumstances when hiring an attorney becomes more important. Talk to an attorney without further delay if –
- Your workers’ compensation claim has been denied
- Your injury prevents you from returning to work
- Your injury limits the work you can do
- You are unlikely to find gainful employment ever again because of your injury
- Your employer has retaliated against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Your settlement offer doesn’t cover your lost wages and medical bills
- You are unhappy with your settlement
Working with an attorney
As someone filing the workers’ compensation claim in Virginia, the burden of proof is on you. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you don’t settle for less. They can also take steps if your claim is denied on flimsy grounds. While you cannot sue your employer for your injury, you can take legal action if you have been wrongfully fired or demoted from the job because of the accident. Lastly, with an attorney on your side, you don’t have to worry much about paperwork and evidence, especially if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied and you need to appear for the hearing.
Don’t let the insurance company dictate your workers’ compensation claim. Let your attorney evaluate and check what the claim is worth and how you can get a fair settlement.