You don't always have to hire a workers' compensation lawyer; some workers' compensation claims follow a straightforward path. In some cases, however, complications arise that may result in workers' compensation insurance rejection or lower claims. Below are a few examples of such complications and how a lawyer can help.
A pre-existing condition is any medical condition that you had before your workplace accident. A preexisting condition complicates your workers' compensation claim. Your employer and insurer can easily argue that the injuries you supposedly incurred during a workplace accident are part of the pre-existing condition.
In California, you deserve workers' compensation benefits even with your pre-existing conditions. All you have to prove is that your current accident or injury has worsened or is not related to the previous injuries. Although your employer might reject your initial claim if you have a pre-existing condition, a lawyer can help you overcome the denial and get your benefits.
Workers' compensation covers employee injuries that an employee may suffer as they go about their employment duties. Your employer might argue that the insurance only covers employees injured in the course of their normal duties or on the employer's premises. Such an argument might complicate your claim if you sustained injuries off your employer's premises.
The truth of the matter is that where you were injured is not the main thing that determines whether you get your benefits. The main determinant is the activities you were engaged in at the time of your accident. For example, a secretary who gets in an accident while on an errand for their employer deserves the benefits.
Wages replacement benefits are an integral part of workers' compensation benefits. Unfortunately, the wages replacement benefits can be quiet high for an employee who has suffered permanent disability. In such a case, the employee should receive compensation for the wages they would have received in the future, too.
Since permanent disability benefits can be quite high, your employer may seek to minimize the benefits through unorthodox means. Not only that, but many employees also don't know how to value their permanent disability benefits. If you find yourself in such a situation, a workers' compensation lawyer can help you with both issues.
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Many victims of workplace injuries file for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and workers' compensation benefits. Unfortunately, SSDI will ensure that your benefits don't exceed 80% of your pre-injury wages. A workers' compensation lawyer can help you minimize the effect of your SSDI on your total benefits so that you don't lose much of the benefits.
Post-Settlement Medical Complications
Your medical condition may worsen after you have settled and received your workers' compensation benefits. California gives you five years within which you can reopen your case if you develop a "new and further disability." Since the "new and further disability" clause is open to interpretation, you may not always get your benefits when your injuries worsen.
You need evidence that your condition or disability has worsened. In many cases, you may have more difficulty when you re-open a case than you did when you filed the case in the first case. At this point, a lawyer would be very beneficial to you.
If you have a workers' compensation claim, you can't just change a doctor if you don't agree with the current one. California workers' compensation law determines which doctors can treat you, when you can change doctors, and even how many times you can switch doctors. These restrictions can hurt your treatment if you don't know how to navigate them.
Although you don't need a workers' compensation lawyer to get your benefits, you have a high chance of success if you have a lawyer. At The Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Greenberg, we can help you deal with the complications so that you can enjoy your benefits. Give us a call, and we will review your case and advise you on the way forward.