Most people don’t plan for a workplace accident and, as such, when a workplace accident occurs, they are caught totally unprepared and are unsure of how to proceed. At the law offices of Henness & Haight, our workers’ compensation lawyers know that being involved in a workplace accident can be upsetting and unsettling. If you have been harmed at work, our team is available to help you recover the compensation that you deserve and ensure that you get the financial award you need.
If you’re wondering when to hire a workers’ comp lawyer, our team can answer questions about when you need a lawyer and when’s the right time to reach out to a lawyer. For a free consultation, please get in touch with us today.
Should I Represent Myself After Being Injured at Work?
After you are injured on a job, there are a few steps that you should take immediately, even before deciding whether or not you’re going to represent yourself in your workers’ compensation claim. Most importantly, you need to provide your employer with notice of the accident and should do so in writing as soon as possible. You also should seek medical care, and be sure that the provider from whom you seek care is an approved provider. If you don’t seek medical care from an approved provider, you’ll likely have to pay for this care out of pocket.
After you have done both of these things, it’s time to think about whether or not you should represent yourself. Legally, there is no requirement or obligation to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer; however, doing so could prove to be very valuable. This is because there are many steps in the workers’ compensation claims process, and a small error made along the way could put your claim in jeopardy. Unless you feel absolutely confident in navigating the process on your own, working with an experienced lawyer is probably a better idea.
What Are Some Signs that I Need to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While not every workplace accident may demand the counsel of a workers’ compensation lawyer, many do. In fact, if you can say any of the following about your claim, we strongly recommend hiring a lawyer as soon as possible:
- Your employer won’t report your injury. After you have been injured at work, you have seven days to report the accident to your employer. From there, your employer has the duty to fill out the report of an industrial injury or occupational injury report form and file this form with their insurer. If your employer refuses to do this, this is a sure sign you need a lawyer.
- Your claim is denied. Perhaps your employer does indeed report your injury, but the insurance company makes the decision to deny your claim, potentially arguing that your injury was preexisting, that the accident didn’t occur at work, or that your own gross negligence was the cause of the accident. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision – a lawyer can help.
- You’re offered less than you deserve. Another situation where you should think seriously about hiring a lawyer is in the event that you are offered a workers’ compensation settlement that is less than you deserve or there is another dispute about the degree of your injury/disability or when you should return to work.
- You think someone else may be to blame, too. Finally, while workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy in Nevada, which means that employers who provide workers’ compensation coverage will be protected from personal liability, if you think that a third party may have been to blame for your accident (such as an equipment manufacturer), you can bring forth a third-party liability claim for damages. This will certainly require the counsel of an attorney.
What Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Do?
Before you jump to hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, you’d probably like to know exactly what a workers’ compensation lawyer does an what their role will be during your claim. A workers’ compensation lawyer wears many hats, including that of the investigator, negotiator, litigator, and even friend throughout the process. At the law offices of Henness & Haight, our workers’ compensation lawyers will:
- Help you to prove that the accident happened at work or while you were performing work-related duties, and therefore should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance;
- Help you to understand your right to workers’ compensation and the various types of benefits available;
- Represent you in all conversations with the workers’ compensation insurer and your employer;
- Assist you in appealing a denied claim;
- Negotiate your workers’ compensation settlement; and
- Prove that your injuries were not preexisting, or that preexisting conditions were exacerbated by your workplace accident.
Throughout the process, we will also advise you of best practices and what to do and what not to do to improve the chances of a successful claim.
When to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer After a Workplace Accident
If you are injured at work and are thinking about hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, you may be wondering when the right time is. The answer: as soon as possible. While you may be unsure of whether or not you need an attorney and therefore hesitant to hire one from the get-go, acting sooner rather than later is always a good idea. The earlier you call an attorney, the faster that evidence for your case can be gathered and the stronger your case will be.
Because most good workers’ compensation lawyers, including the lawyers at the office of Henness & Haight, offer consultations free of charge, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation and getting answers early on.
Reach Out to Our Nevada Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Being injured at work can be scary and stressful, opening up the door for many questions about the future. When you call the office of Henness & Haight to schedule a free consultation with our workers’ compensation lawyers, we will provide you with the information that you need to make a smart decision about how to proceed with the claims process. Reach us today online or by phone to get started.