Workers' compensation insurance is provided to help those hurt as a result of their jobs. This type of insurance covers hurt workers by paying part of their salary as well as their medical bills connected to the injury or occupational illness. Most of the time, workers' comp performs just as needed and the injured worker is able to go back to their previous position after a period of healing and recovery. In some cases, however, the situation takes a turn for the worse. Read on to find out how to know when you need legal help with your worker's compensation case.
Your claim is being held up by your supervisor or others at your job
In most cases, your immediate supervisor is responsible for filing a claim with the workers' comp insurance carrier on your behalf. Until a claim is filed and approved, you cannot take advantage of the benefits. Some supervisors, however, may appear to be dragging their feet in regard to your claim. The reasons for this delay can vary but you may need to speak to an attorney if your claim is being held up. Some common reasons for claims being held up include:
1. It is thought that your injury was not work-related.
2. You are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
3. The supervisor is claiming that your injury is the result of a preexisting condition.
You are being asked to go back to work
Only your workers' compensation doctor can order you to return to your job. You should be fully healed and ready to resume your duties and if you are not, you must take action. When the time comes to evaluate your medical condition, you may be asked to be examined by a different workers' comp doctor. The results of that exam could result in you being asked to return to work. There are also two other scenarios possible:
1. You are found to have a permanent disability and cannot return to your previous job.
2. You are found to need more time to recover.
You are entitled to appeal any workers' comp findings so speak to a workers' comp attorney for more information.
You have been ruled to have a permanent injury
When you cannot return to your job, you are eligible for a number of benefits including a lump sum payment. You must understand that the amount of your lump sum settlement is entirely negotiable and you must take care not to accept an inadequate offer. Speak to a worker's compensation defense attorney for help in getting the full suite of benefits to which you are entitled.