How Does Having an Attorney Help Me Get Full Benefits?
In Missouri, the workers’ compensation system is in place to provide a way for people who are injured or sickened at work to recover benefits. To obtain help, you can file a claim with your employer to recover benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Since the process might initially seem straightforward, it is common for workers to ask, “How does having an attorney help me get full benefits?”
Like other insurance companies, workers’ compensation insurance carriers are in business to make a profit. Claims adjusters and the lawyers who work for the insurance carriers strive to minimize how much the companies might be forced to pay out on claims. As a result, they often reject claims for dubious reasons or try to avoid paying all of the benefits to which an injured worker should be entitled.
Good workers’ compensation attorneys know the steps to take to help their clients recover full benefits for their injuries. So when you retain a lawyer, you will have a better chance of receiving the benefits you deserve. Your attorney can help you in a variety of ways . . .
They help you understand the types of benefits available.
Workers’ compensation benefits include more than coverage for medical expenses. According to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation, all of the following types of benefits might be available:
- Medical expenses without copays or deductibles
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Enhanced total disability or death benefits for toxic exposures
- Survivors’ benefits
Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with a better chance of obtaining all of the benefits you deserve. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company for you, gather critical evidence to support your claim, work to secure a fair settlement, and represent you if your case goes to a hearing.
They gather evidence to support your claim.
A common reason why companies deny workers’ comp claims is not having enough medical evidence. If your claim is approved, you will also need medical evidence to ensure you receive all the medical care and benefits you need. A lawyer can do the following to help you build sufficient medical evidence for your claim:
- Collecting all relevant medical records
- Providing referrals for treatment with certain doctors
- Getting medical opinions from your doctors
- Arranging an independent medical examination
- Completing depositions of medical experts
- Getting a vocational expert’s opinion about the physical requirements of your job and how your injuries affect your ability to perform them
They negotiate with the insurance company.
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help to value your claim and the benefits you should receive based on the extent of your injuries, your limitations, your medical expenses, the costs of future care, and others. They can then negotiate with the insurance company for you to try to secure a fair settlement offer. A good lawyer understands the various tricks insurance companies try to use to limit their claims and can productively negotiate on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
They represent you at a hearing or trial.
If you can’t resolve your claim through a settlement, your attorney can represent you at an administrative hearing or trial. To prepare, your lawyer can depose witnesses, gather your medical records, draft and file your pleadings, and ensure that all deadlines are met. Your attorney can present your theory of the case at the hearing or trial, examine witnesses, and make legal objections.
They explain any available third-party claims.
Depending on what happened, you might also have an available personal injury claim against a third party who contributed to your workplace accident in addition to the workers’ comp claim with your employer. Your attorney can examine your case and identify any other potentially liable parties. If a third party’s negligence also contributed to your case, you can pursue a lawsuit against the third party while also seeking to recover workers’ comp benefits from your employer’s insurance company. This can greatly expand the types of compensation that might be available.
Talk to the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave
After a workplace accident, you must meet several deadlines to make certain that you preserve your rights to receive benefits. Contacting the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave can help you pursue your claim and work to recover full benefits. Call us today for a free consultation at 417-322-2222 (Springfield) or 417-624-4258 (Joplin). You can also contact us online.