When Is It Time To Call A Workers Compensation Lawyer?
The feeling that a workers compensation claim might end up being denied is a legitimate one. According to one survey of people who had received compensation in relation to their claims, 47% said that their requests were initially denied. A lot of folks end up needing the services of a workers compensation lawyer, so it's a good idea to know when you might need to talk with one.
Starting a Claim
You don't need to necessarily retain counsel from the moment you start thinking about filing a claim, but you should seek a free consultation right away. This will give you a chance to ask a professional what the requirements in your state are. Most states expect workers to submit initial paperwork sometime between 30 and 90 days within the occurrence of a potentially compensable injury.
This paperwork usually does not begin a claim, but it serves as formal notification that you might. After that paperwork has been submitted, you'll have between one and three years to file an actual claim, depending on the state you live in.
There are also a number of other deadlines built into the process. Insurance companies usually have between 12 and 21 days to render an affirmative or a negative response to a claim once one has been filed. If there is no response within a specified time frame, usually 90 days, the claim is considered accepted.
The most difficult claims to pursue are the ones that have something unusual about them. For example, contract workers tend to have a harder time pursuing claims. Similar issues occur with people whose claims involve mental or emotional stress. Pre-existing injuries that were aggravated by repetitive activities in the workplace also can be challenging cases. If you're fairly sure your case might be a bit of an oddball, it may be wise to hire a workers compensation attorney as early as possible.
An employer might try to challenge whether the circumstances constitute a work injury. A surprising number of claims are potentially compensable. People have successfully obtained compensation for injuries incurred due to horseplay involving other workers, lunch break injuries and other problems caused by tangentially work-related incidents.
You don't have to be at work to be compensated. If your boss asked you to drop off a package for shipping on your way home you may be compensated for an injury that occurred. Contact a firm, like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP, for more help.