Many different types of injuries can occur in the workplace. These injuries can range from broken limbs to muscular injuries due to overworked muscles or repetitive movements. Some of these injuries can be relatively easy to prove while others can be a bit more difficult.
If an employee fractures a bone, such as a broken leg, does he or she need an attorney to help prove the claim? We have asked attorney, Alaina Sullivan, and here is what she had to say:
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a form of insurance provided by an employer to compensate an injured employee who was hurt due to an accident or illness that happened while at work. The incident can happen in connect to job duties or simply have occurred while on-the-job.
Workers’ compensation will provide benefits to pay for past and future medical expenses, as well as lost wages due to partial or full, temporary or permanent disability.
However, if the employee chooses to seek benefits from workers’ compensation, he or she does this by waiving the right to file a third-party personal injury claim against the employer.
When an Attorney Is Need for a Workers’ Compensation Case
An attorney can be needed for many different types of claims. Normally, if any of the employee’s claim is being disputed, it is almost always recommended that an attorney be hired. If the initial workers’ compensation claim comes back with a denial, an attorney is normally needed.
Even if the reason for the denial is something as simple as a clerical error on the first application, the process of appealing a denial is still very technical and requires knowledge of legal procedures to be successful.
Some of the following situations apply when it comes to needing an attorney, especially if the injury that was sustained involved a broken leg.
The Broken Leg Injury Required Surgery
If the injured employee’s broken leg injury was severe enough that it required surgery, the claim may be harder to push through. The employer may try to dispute the fact that surgery was needed in lieu of a simple cast.
Many times, following a surgery on a broken limb, the patient will need physical therapy to follow up, which can be just as expensive as the surgery and hospital stay.
If that is the case for the employee, it may be encouraged to contact an attorney to help accumulate the medical evidence to support the claim and to ensure that it is all properly submitted in court.
The Injuries Are Moderate to Severe
A broken leg may seem like a relatively simple injury, requiring very little recovery, but if the doctor’s opinion is that because of the injury, the employee’s health will not return to where it was prior to the injury, the employee may be given a designation of permanent partial disability, which means that he or she may need permanent accommodations to make it possible for him or her to work again following the point of reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI).
The employer may dispute this given the fact that making accommodations to help the employee work again may be very costly. In these situations, an attorney can assist in ensuring the claim is proven properly.
Confusion over the Process
Most normal individuals are not well-versed in workers’ compensation law, so any time a claim needs to be made for a work-related injury, they are already at a disadvantage. Most employers have attorneys already retained to help with any claims, so the employee will automatically be going up against an experienced attorney who knows how to dispute a claim and win, if needed.
Given the fact that the employee is hurt and probably already in a great deal of stress and anxiety over the process, having an attorney can help take the burden off him or her to get the benefits the employee deserves.
Most workers’ compensation attorneys do not take an up-front legal fee and are paid via a settlement or workers’ compensation award. Therefore, the fear of legal fees should not be what deters that person from getting professional assistance when it is needed. It pays in the long run and makes the process much more seamless and efficient.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are in the process of pursuing workers’ compensation and have questions about whether an attorney is needed for your claim for a broken leg, a workers’ compensation attorney can help review your case and discuss your options.
An attorney can listen to the facts of the case and can best advise you on how to proceed. Contact an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law to schedule a consultation today.