Were You Injured at Work?
If you were injured while at work, this can be a stressful and overwhelming time. First, you need to report your injury to your employer and seek out proper medical attention. Then you need to seek out an experienced East Helena workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Workers’ Compensation Assistance
Unfortunately, workplace accidents are not unusual. Work injuries can be sudden, such as a slip and fall accident. Repetitive stress can also lead to pain and suffering.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to most injured employees to help them get their lives back on track; however, the process of collecting these benefits is highly complex. Being injured is hard enough, you do not want to enter into battle over your workers’ compensation claim.
What is workers’ comp., and how does it work?Workers’ compensation benefits help account for medical care and lost wages whenever you are hurt or get sick while on the job. In most workers’ comp. cases, fault does not matter. For example, if you work in construction, and are hurt by a power tool and have to miss months of work while you recover, workers’ compensation benefits will cover the losses from your time when you are unable to work. When you are hurt, you will file a claim for workers’ comp. and typically visit a doctor to evaluate the extent of your injuries and whether you are eligible for benefits.
How is workers’ comp. calculated?In every state, your workers’ compensation benefits will cover a specific percentage of your average weekly wage. Whether your injury is ruled a total or partial injury, whether you are a temporary or seasonal worker, and how long you’ve been on the job will also affect the amount that you receive.
What does workers’ comp. cover?Workers’ comp. benefits cover medical expenses, lost wages, lost wages, any ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses related to workplace injury or illness. In some cases, a surviving spouse may be entitled to survivors’ benefits as well. In other cases, such as if your injuries are so severe you will never be able to return to your job, there may be benefits available to retrain you for another position.
How long can you stay on workers’ comp.?Most states have limits for how long workers’ compensation benefits can last, many times less than five years. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to work, you will likely want to explore your eligibility for disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, for when your workers’ comp. benefits expire.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.
Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer
- What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
- What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
How to Find the Right Attorney
- Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
- Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
- Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.
Common legal terms explained
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.