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 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.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
What to Expect from an Initial Consultation
- Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
- It’s important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
- Discuss how the practice’s billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.
An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.
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
Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.