Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for Workers Compensation?

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You may not need a workers’ compensation attorney to handle a small claim that keeps you off work for a week or less. If your claim is significant, however, remember this — the larger the claim, the harder the insurance company will fight it. The Kentucky workers’ compensation system is complex and arcane, so if you have a claim worth fighting for — yes, you need a Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer. Following are a few of the most important reasons.

Reason #1: An Attorney Can Help You File Your Claim

Filing a workers’ compensation claim requires more than simply filling out a form. An attorney can help you with:

  • Finding the right doctor to examine your injury, if necessary.
  • Collecting details of the incident.
  • Issuing written notice of the accident to your employer, in proper form with all relevant information included.
  • Responding promptly and accurately to requests for more information from your employer or from the workers’ compensation insurance company.

Reason #2: An Attorney Can Help You Collect Evidence

Evidence is critically important to winning a workers’ compensation claim, even if you end up settling your claim with the insurance company. Some evidence is more useful than other evidence, however, and some evidence simply cannot be used at all. Indeed, if it can’t be used at a hearing it will be of little value even in negotiations. Your lawyer can help you locate, obtain and organize the most effective possible evidence for your claim.

Reason #3: An Attorney Can Help You Negotiate With the Insurance Company

Workers’ compensation insurance companies face business pressures and limited budgets, whether they are private or public. And insurance company adjusters could be classified as professional negotiators, because negotiating is a large part of what they do every day. Your Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney can do the negotiating for you — while leaving it up to you (after providing proper advice) whether to accept a settlement.

Remember that any workers’ compensation settlement must be approved by the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims

Reason #4: Your Medical Records Can be Used Against You

Although you are generally entitled to use your own doctor to treat a work-related injury, you will have to submit to an Independent Medical Exam (IME) conducted by a doctor selected by the insurance company. This doctor might not look at your disability the same way your own doctor does.

If, for example, you have a pre-existing medical condition that was worsened by your work-related accident (a back injury, for example), the insurance company may try to blame your disability entirely on the pre-existing condition and deny your claim altogether. If this happens, or if something similar happens, you will need a workers’ compensation attorney to help you fight back.

Reason #5: You May Need Someone to Represent You at a Hearing

If you settle your case, you won’t need a hearing. If you cannot settle, however, a hearing will be necessary. Hearings are governed by complex rules of evidence, procedures, etc. that most non-lawyers are not familiar with. Fortunately, you are entitled to be represented by a Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney at your hearing.

Reason #6: Someone Other Than Your Employer Might be Liable for Your Injuries

Unfortunately, the Kentucky workers’ compensation system does not offer damages for “pain and suffering”, a component of personal injury damages that often amounts to well more than half of the total award. If you can find a third party — such as a product manufacturer or a property owner — who is responsible for your injury, you might be able to win far more compensation that the workers’ compensation system can offer.

Time is Against You Unless You Act Quickly and Decisively

If you think you may have a valid workers’ compensation claim, don’t delay — call Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney Glenn Martin Hammond at (606) 437-7777, or fill out our online contact form. We serve clients in Lexington, Pikeville, Winchester, Paris and elsewhere in the state of Kentucky.

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