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When Do You Need a Workers\’ Compensation Attorney?

When you suffer an injury at work, you can seek financial aid through workers\’ compensation. Workers\’ comp in Minnesota pays for all of your medical expenses related to your injury as well as 66% of your usual paycheck during your recovery.

Most of the time, your workplace will work with you to ensure that you receive the assistance you need while managing your injuries. You may not need a workers\’ compensation attorney if everything goes smoothly during your convalescence and recovery. Unfortunately, there are times when things may not go according to plan. There are several circumstances under which you may need a workers\’ compensation attorney to help you manage your claim.

  1. You suffered permanent disability as a result of your workplace injury.

If you suffer a small injury due to a workplace accident—a broken bone, for example, that heals within 6-8 weeks—you may draw on your workers\’ compensation benefits to get you through the recovery period, then resume work as usual. With no complications and no questions, you may not need an attorney to help manage your claim.

On the other hand, if you suffer permanent disability due to workplace injuries, you may need an attorney to help you understand your legal rights. Often, workers\’ compensation will pay out a settlement that will discharge the company\’s responsibility to you and offer compensation for your losses. An attorney can help you understand how much compensation you really deserve, maximizing the settlement you can receive for your injuries.

  1. Workers\’ compensation will not pay out for the treatment your doctor says you need. 

Workers\’ compensation must approve every procedure and expense as you manage your treatment. Unfortunately, sometimes, the insurance company may deny your claims. If you suffered serious injury and need treatment for it, including physical therapy or surgical procedures, and the insurance company denies your treatment, you may have no idea what to do next.

An attorney can help. Not only can an attorney help connect you with doctors who can offer an independent medical evaluation, which may give you a better idea of your treatment options and help you get the treatment you need for your injuries, the attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company and help fight for approval of those needed treatments, even treatments that the insurance company may try to deny that you need.

  1. Your company fights any of your benefits. 

As the victim of a workplace injury, you have the right to claim workers\’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, you may find your company fighting them: refusing to pay you for those lost hours, delaying your checks, or refusing to pay for medical treatments related to your injuries, including emergency medical treatments delivered before you had a chance to move your claim through the workers\’ compensation approval process for your workplace.

If your company fights giving you the benefits you deserve for your injuries, an attorney can help give you a full picture of your rights, then fight to help you achieve the compensation you deserve.

  1. The doctor chosen by your workers\’ compensation provider does not seem to provide adequate treatment for your injuries, but you have no other options for treatment.

Generally, you have the right to choose your doctor.  However, workers\’ compensation may have sent you to a specific provider for medical treatments related to your workplace injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes, those doctors will also cut corners with their treatments in an effort to lower costs or to move you through the office faster. You may feel as though your doctor does not fully understand your injuries, or that your doctor has not selected the treatment options that most reflect your needs following serious injuries.

If you want to choose a different doctor or seek a second opinion, you may be able to do so.  An attorney can help you understand your rights, find a doctor who can work with you, and give you a better picture of your legal options related to your treatment. Often, this can help you make better decisions about your treatment options.

  1. Your employer tries to force you to return to work before your doctor clears you.

Sometimes, employers will try to force their employees to return to the job as soon as possible, even after a serious injury. They may pressure you to return before your doctor clears you to work again. In some cases, this can worsen your injuries and leave you with more severe problems than if you had been given adequate recovery time. If your employer tries to force you to return to work, or if you return to work and suffer more severe injuries as a result, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

  1. Your employer will not make needed, doctor-recommended accommodations for your return to work, but expects you to return anyway.

Often, after serious injuries, your doctor will offer an assessment of what it will take for you to return to work: specific accommodations that will get you back in your workplace without potentially worsening your injuries or causing you to suffer unnecessarily. Depending on your injuries, accommodations could include anything from limited hours at work immediately after your return to a special chair or sitting, rather than standing, while you complete your job duties. Your employer can determine that the cost of offering those accommodations exceeds the benefit of bringing you back to work, leaving you on workers\’ compensation while you complete your recovery, but cannot refuse to provide needed accommodations while requiring you to return to work. An attorney can help you better understand your legal options if your employer does not seem to understand or support your needs.

  1. You have any questions about your rights or your claim.

Often, employees do not fully understand workers\’ compensation or how it works. If you have any questions about your legal rights or your claim, contact an experienced workers\’ compensation attorney for a full explanation of your legal rights.

Do you have questions about your workers\’ compensation claim and your legal rights? Contact Harvey & Carpenter, Attorneys at Law today.


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