How Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Protect Against Insurance Giants
Accidents are common in the workplace and can happen to anyone, regardless of their line of work.
The resulting injuries are not always catastrophic, and those involved can quickly return to work. However, there are also instances where injuries are severe enough to render employees unable to work for an extended period, if not indefinitely.
According to data from the Indiana Department of Labor, there were over 10,000 workplace injuries in Indiana in 2021. Of these, 731 resulted in fatalities, and 8,188 resulted in injury or illness. Additionally, approximately 47% of workplace injuries occurred in the manufacturing industry, followed by construction with 22%. Workers aged 31-40 accounted for 25% of workplace injury fatalities during this period.
Knowing your rights regarding workplace injuries and compensation is important for every worker. Different states have specific worker’s compensation laws, but employers must set up worker’s compensation insurance to provide benefits. Under the scheme, workers receive compensation for damage in the line of duty. Compensation may include payout for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, disability payments, etc.
Unfortunately, insurance giants often try to take advantage of injured workers and deny or reduce their claims. That is why you should hire local legal firms like Klezmer Maudlin PC to protect your rights and guide you through the claim process. The following are some of the ways attorneys help clients.
File Your Claim Correctly
One of the most important things a workers’ compensation lawyer can do is ensure that your claim is filed correctly and on time. Things can go haywire if you miss a deadline or make a mistake on your paperwork; your claim could be denied.
A lawyer can help you fill out the necessary forms, gather the required documentation, and ensure that everything is submitted on time.
Worker’s compensation lawyers can help you gather evidence to support your claim. Of course, following an accident, you need to act fast by calling 911 and seeking medical attention. You will also need to report the injury to your supervisor.
Your employer must notify OSHA, gather information, evidence, and photos, and file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance. However, some employers may fail to follow these guidelines properly, or their insurance may refuse to play ball.
This is why having legal help is crucial. A lawyer can help gather medical records, witness statements, and other documentation that shows the extent of your injuries and how they have affected your ability to work. Strong evidence can make it more difficult for insurance companies to deny your claim or offer a low settlement.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Once you retain legal counsel in a worker’s compensation claim, they’ll represent you in the dispute resolution. This is important because insurance companies are often more willing to negotiate with a lawyer than an individual worker.
Lawyers can use their knowledge of the law and their experience with insurance companies to get you the best possible settlement.
Present Your Case to the Worker’s Compensation Board
In Indiana, disputes not resolved through the Informal Dispute Resolution process proceed to the WCB. Your lawyer can help you apply an adjustment of claim form SF 29109. After receiving the case, it will be designated to an individual within the WCB known.
The individual is referred to as a Single Hearing Member and will be responsible for resolving all outstanding issues. With the assistance of your attorney, you can effectively present your case and clarify why you are entitled to receive benefits, ensuring that the board fully comprehends your position.
Once the hearing has concluded, the Single Hearing Member will draft and provide an award to the parties involved. The award will contain the details of any agreed-upon stipulations, factual findings, and conclusions of the law that were determined.
If you are unsatisfied with their determinations, your attorney can assist you in submitting an appeal to the Board. The board will schedule a hearing, typically within 90 days.
It is important to understand that award appeals are not fresh hearings; instead, they involve legal arguments made by both parties to the Board, which usually consists of the Chairman and Single Hearing Members.
In 2020, the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board received 76,076 workers’ compensation claims. The average settlement per compensation claim in Indiana was $22,719, which includes medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.