Many people in New York represent themselves in workers’ compensation claims. If your case is relatively straightforward and your injuries are minor, you may be able to achieve a fair outcome without a lawyer. However, there are some situations where having a lawyer to represent you may be beneficial. Here are five reasons you might need a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim:
#1: Your injuries are life-altering
If your workplace accident resulted in severe life-altering injuries, you may need a lawyer to advocate for you. Injuries that are disabling will result in a permanent loss of income, and the financial damages may be difficult to calculate. Insurers may also be reluctant to pay for the full scope of your losses because they will be so great.
#2: Your employer is disputing your claim
There are many workers’ compensation cases that involve employers and employees that disagree about what happened. If your employer is claiming that you were engaging in horseplay before your accident, for example, your claim is at risk of being denied.
#3: You have a preexisting condition
Just because you have a preexisting medical condition or injury doesn’t mean that you can’t be injured again at work. However, insurers and employers sometimes use a worker’s preexisting conditions to argue that their workplace injuries are not compensable.
#4: There was a third party involved in your accident
Your work-related accident may involve a third party who holds liability for your injuries. If this is the case, a lawyer may help you file a third-party claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. Doing these two things alone can be time-consuming and complicated.
#5: Your initial claim is denied or you don’t like the settlement offer
Many people file workers’ compensation claims by themselves and then hire a lawyer when things don’t go the way they expected. After a claim gets denied or an insurer offers an unfair settlement, an injured worker might hire a lawyer to represent them.