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 Missoula 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.
Best Time to Seek Legal Help
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation
- Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
- Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
- Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
- Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.
Tips on Hiring an Experienced Lawyer with Workers' Compensation Cases
The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.
Common legal terms explained
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.