While we do not handle workers compensation claims, we refer those types of clients to the trusted, reputable workers comp attorneys who we work with in the area. Below are six key useful workers compensation claim tips for those employees who have been injured at work and who deal with various related issues, such as having their workers comp claim denied, etc:
- First and foremost – you should absolutely consult a workers compensation attorney regarding your work related injury. You have absolutely nothing to lose. Most attorneys will provide a free consultation. If an attorney ends up taking your case, his fee is limited to about 15% contingency, which is a very modest price to pay for having an expert handling your workers comp claim on your behalf.
- Your workers comp claim is handled independently of any possible civil case you might have against your employer for discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, etc…. It is also handled separately from any union grievance that must have been filed on your behalf or any other dispute with your employer. The workers compensation claims system is designed to compensate workers for any physical (and in some case psychological) injury suffered in a course and scope of their work. How strong or weak your other claims are does not impact your workers comp case one way or the other.
- Any unfair treatment that you have been dealing with at work and any conflicts that you had with your co-workers or management has no or very little relevance to your workers comp claim. Generally, the only thing that matters is the extent of your injury, resulting disability and the (potential) cost of needed treatment.
- Even though workers comp claim process is separate from other cases, as noted above, having a pending workers comp claim can be used effectively in settlement negotiations of a parallel civil case (i.e. discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination). The employer who is ready to mediate the civil case is very likely to be interested to reach a “global” resolution, where both the civil case and the workers comp case will settled and resolved at the same time. This is something that’s worth considering and discussing at the time of preparing for mediation.
- The fees of workers comp attorneys are set by law at around 15% contingency. Thus, as an injured employee who intends to file or challenge the denial of a workers comp claim you don’t need to worry about any upfront lawyers fees when your retain a workers compensation attorney for your case.
- Retaliating against employees for filing a workers comp is unlawful. If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you by trying to demote you or set you up for termination, you should consult a reputable employment attorney in your area to discuss your right. Besides, filing a 132(a) claim under a workers comp law for unlawful retaliation, you may also have a valid disability discrimination case, especially if you have been terminated shortly after filing a workers comp claim.