If you've been injured at work, there are a lot of financial and healthcare concerns to think about. Thankfully, the most immediate issues are taken care of; workers compensation (workers comp) covers your workplace injury-related medical bills and provides a percentage of your normal pay, but there are other issues that can make these benefits fall short of what you need. If you're just starting your workers compensation, here are a few strategic points to consider to make sure you get a fair deal.
Delays? Signatures? Get A Lawyer
Workers compensation is supposed to take care of your bills fairly quickly, although the time requirement is different in every state. The bills should be handled by workers compensation insurance before any threatening calls or credit bureau reports.
If you're getting bills, threats, collections calls, or any kind of treatment that makes you feel like you're responsible for the bill at any level, get a lawyer. Don't compromise, don't "work things out", and don't try to fix it yourself. If you're worried about your company getting in trouble and are sure that they've done no wrong, a lawyer can handle it. If you don't want your career to be in danger, a lawyer can work on that as well--but you need to follow through.
If you have to sign paperwork, read it carefully. It's possible for documents to include language that absolve employers, insurance agencies, or other parties of responsibility. In many cases, these documents can be thrown out of court for being deceptive, but why waste time with the fight? That's time you could be getting compensation, instead of time spent suffering while arguing.
Establish Your Future Rights Early
The legal situation between you and the injury coverage can be one of the most risky, important parts of your financial life. This could be the time that you said "it'll be alright" or "I'll be fine", only to be saddled with follow-up appointments and an increasingly expensive painkiller regimen.
It could also be the time that you made sure your rights were protected and that future workers will have additional protection.
A workers compensation lawyer can help you analyze the situation and figure out what your possible next steps should be. There's no telling whether you'll be permanently disabled, dealing with long-term additional hardship, or dealing with any kind of byproduct of the industry situation, and it's easier to figure out what paperwork to file or what plans to enact if you get it done while on an injured break from work.
Your lawyer can begin contacting medical professionals with legal system experience who can figure out if you need to pursue additional compensation outside of the workers compensation system. If your current job is too hazardous or if you won't be as competitive for promotions because of the injury, retraining toward a respectable--and possibly higher-paying--job is possible through multiple problems, and a lawyer can connect you to the proper systems.
Contact a team of workers compensation lawyers to begin analyzing your rights after a workplace injury.