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Injured at Work? Yes, You Are Entitled to Compensation
Unfortunately, many employers will do whatever it takes to dispute your workman’s comp claims. They’re willing to hang you out to dry so their premiums don’t go up. Some employers may even accuse you of trying to fake your injuries just so they can save a few dollars…even if you’ve been serving them, faithfully, for years.
And insurance companies? They don’t want to pay you a dime if they can get away with it. As soon as you file a claim they begin looking for ways to minimize it or avoid it altogether. They don’t care that you’re in pain, that your life has been changed forever, or that you’ve got bills to pay. They’re looking at the bottom line.
Don’t stand for it. For your sake, and for your family’s sake, take a few moments to read this page in order to gain a better understanding of workman’s comp, and your rights. Then, call Scott Galiger Law. You’ll get the personalized attention of an experienced injury, disability, and workers compensation lawyer…even if he has to drive to your house or hospital bed to give you the support you need.
What is workman’s comp?
Workman’s compensation is a mandatory insurance program employers must carry in case an employee gets hurt or injured on the job. It is designed to pay for lost wages, medical expenses, and permanent disability from workplace injuries.
It sounds like filing a workman’s comp claim and gaining the resources you need to move on with your life should be simple. But nothing could be further from the truth. Many accident victims soon find themselves in the battle of their lives as they attempt to receive benefits they thought they could rely on.
What happens when you file a workman’s comp claim?
After the injury, you are expected to file a written report to your employer within 30 days. Your employer then files a claim with their insurance company. The insurance company will contact you to determine eligibility for workman’s compensation.
At this stage of the game, it is already a very good idea to have an attorney by your side. The insurance company will ask questions—a lot of questions. They’ll ask you about your accident, your health before the accident, and more. Many of these questions will seem innocent, even innocuous. But they are not. Many of the questions you will be asked are designed to trip you up so the insurance company can justify denying or minimizing your claim. Every word out of your mouth could have a significant impact on your claim or on your case. You need expert guidance from day one.
Remember. Insurance companies are big businesses. They are not here to help you. They want to increase their profits: period. And they are under a great deal of pressure to handle claims quickly, preferably without paying you a dime.
Thus, calling a workman’s compensation attorney almost as soon as you get out of the hospital or doctor’s office is a smart move if you want to protect yourself.
How do workman’s compensation attorneys get paid?
Many people are nervous about calling an attorney. And why not? You’re already nervous about paying medical bills. Most people have never hired an attorney before and might well assume they can’t afford one.
But there is no risk. Scott Galiger works on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay anything out of pocket. Scott gets paid when you get paid, and he gets paid a percentage of your overall claim. Since you are likely to receive far more money with an attorney’s help than you would without one, there truly is nothing to lose by calling Scott Galiger as early as possible.
Here are some of the dirty tricks insurance companies will try to play on you.
Insurance companies may try to blame your current injury on pre-existing conditions, even though the law says pre-existing conditions are covered. They may try to cut the wages you are entitled to by failing to include bonuses or overtime pay in your wage calculations. But you are owed that money, and it needs to be included.
Employers and insurance companies may also try to send you to “their” doctors. Usually you’ll be pressured into going to an Urgent Care facility instead of to a specialist, so the long-term impacts of your injury are not taken into account.
At Scott Galiger law, we fight to ensure you can see the specialist or doctor of your choosing so you can heal and feel better.
What should you do when you are being asked to return to work?
Often, employers will ask you to return to work, promising to place you on “light duty” while you are healing. A qualified attorney can help you determine both whether or you are obligated to do so and whether it is a good idea for you to do so. Many factors will play into this decision, including:
- The type of work you do
- The date the injury took place
- Your restrictions
- The physician’s opinion
Other factors may play into this decision as well. Tread carefully! Making the wrong choice here could have a severe impact on your case.
For example, once you return to “light duty” the insurance company may try to terminate your benefits. Yet the employer can also try to terminate your benefits for refusing a job offer!
Avoid this “rock and a hard place” scenario. Scott Galiger law will help you make the right choice about working while fighting to ensure your benefits are not terminated.
What you should know about workplace injuries that cause long-term or permanent disabilities
Your doctor will give you a permanent disability rating—but it is your choice whether to accept that rating or not. Consult an attorney first. Accepting a disability rating is a complicated legal decision. Any number of issues may need to be examined, including:
- Whether or not you are currently working
- Your current work restrictions
- Your current wages
- The extent of your disability
It may be beneficial to get a second opinion. Another recovery may also be appropriate to your case. Which jobs can you apply for? What happens if you can’t do the new job? How far away from your house do you need to search? All of these decisions can have a huge impact on your case. As a Board Certified Specialist in Worker’s Compensation, Scott Galiger can guide you through these issues and ensure you continue to receive all the benefits you are entitled to as you reconstruct your life.
Have you been offered a settlement?
Settlements are very common—and very tempting. Sometimes taking a settlement is the right move, but it isn’t always appropriate. If you need major surgery or are still out of work, the settlement amount is likely too small to be fair.
Scott Galiger will only recommend a settlement when the offer is fair and in your best interests. Remember. Too many worker’s compensation cases are settled too early, causing serious future medical and vocational questions to be left unanswered.
What happens when a workman’s compensation case involves a third party?
Sometimes, employees are injured as the result of someone else’s negligence. Automobile accidents while on the job, for example, are quite common. These cases get complicated quickly. Scott Galiger works to maximize your recovery from all sources, including workman’s compensation, automobile insurance providers, or social security disability.