Workers’ Compensation: You Can Win Your Case
You’ve been injured on the job and you won’t be able to return to work for several months. Beyond the disability insurance your employer may offer, you will need to apply for worker’s compensation to manage your living expenses while you are out of work.
Winning a worker’s compensation case is not automatic. Indeed, even with your doctor backing your claim and your attorney advising you that you have a sound case, neither one can guarantee a positive outcome. Moreover, you may need to hire an attorney experienced in injury law such as Dworkin & Maciariello to assist you. The following should be kept in mind as you seek assistance.
First Things First
Get medical help first. You cannot win a worker’s compensation case without receiving medical treatment first. The priority here is to get stabilized medically before taking legal action.
See a medical doctor and follow the prescribed treatment. Know that if you are not diligent about taking care of your medical needs, an opposing attorney can shoot holes in your claim, making it difficult for your injury law attorney to advance your case.
Time and Location as Factors
Worker’s compensation claims typically arise when an employee realizes that he or she isn’t physically able to resume work once recovered. Remember, only work-related illnesses and injuries are covered under worker’s compensation — you cannot file for a claim apart from work.
Even if you are involved in a work-related event, you may not have a worker’s compensation claim. For instance, if you are on a lunch break and get injured while walking into a nearby restaurant, you cannot claim workers’ compensation. However, if you are injured while on company business or while attending a company event such as the company Christmas party, you should be covered.
Speak with an Attorney
Your attorney or her firm may be skilled in many areas of law. However, you need to be properly represented and only an attorney in injury law should represent your workers’ compensation case.
As soon as possible, make an appointment with such an attorney and explain your plight. Know that there are certain time limits in each state for filing a claim, thus do not delay meeting with an attorney as soon as possible.
Understand State Law
Given that workers’ compensation is managed by each state, you should become familiar with your state’s laws. Know your rights and review these with your attorney. Your attorney will outline the steps involved to having your case heard.
In New York , for example, the employee should notify the employer as soon as possible about the accident and most definitely within 30 days. Your doctor must also file a preliminary medical report and your employer will notify the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board within 10 days. There are several other steps to take — your injury law attorney can help you there.
Work With Your Attorney
It is important that if you are to win your workers’ compensation case, that you work closely with your attorney along the way. The claims process isn’t always cut and dry; your attorney may send you to another doctor for a second opinion, for instance.
Your case is unique too and may take longer to complete than you would like. With your cooperation, your accident injury attorney can process your claim as fast as possible and work with the other parties involved to ensure that your case is heard.
Lastly, you must do your part to ensure your recovery. That means following all medical advice and taking the steps necessary to get better. You won’t win your case if it can be proven that you were negligent in your personal recovery.
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