A lawyer must assess your workers’ compensation claim to help you get the benefits you need to recover from or manage your injury. This entails learning about your injury or illness, understanding how it was sustained, and evaluating the losses you’ve taken as a result of it.
Once your workers’ comp attorney has assessed your claim, they’ll be able to determine if you’re eligible to pursue benefits. They’ll also have the information they need to calculate how much you’re owed and fight for the benefits you need to support yourself.
Assessing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
To make your workers’ comp claim as fruitful as possible, your attorney will assess every aspect of your case. They’ll use the information they glean to support several important parts of the claim-filing process, including:
Determining Which Benefits You’re Eligible for
To ensure you get the compensation you need to replenish all your losses and support yourself during your recovery period, your attorney must assess your workers’ compensation case and determine which benefits you’re entitled to receive.
To do so, your lawyer will need to find answers to the following questions:
- How severe are your injuries?
- How significantly has your condition affected your ability to work and earn money?
- Will you need ongoing care or future medical treatment?
- Has your injury disfigured your body?
- Do you have any permanent impairments?
Once a lawyer has the answers to the questions listed above, they’ll be able to figure out exactly which benefits you need. If your claim is successful, you’ll likely receive payments for each loss you’ve taken on.
Calculating Your Settlement Value
Once your attorney has determined which benefits you’re eligible for, they’ll have to calculate how much you’re owed for each one. In order to assign an accurate monetary value to each benefit, they’ll need to review the following documents and pieces of information:
- Your age
- Your medical bills
- Your past paychecks
- The estimated cost of your future care
The information above will help your attorney assess how much your workers’ compensation claim is worth. Knowing the value of your claim will help your lawyer demand the correct amount of compensation for your injury. It will also assist them if they have to negotiate a settlement with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider.
Proving That You Deserve Compensation
Having a lawyer assess your workers’ compensation claim will help you when it comes time to prove that you’re owed benefits for your injuries. Here’s what your attorney will do to convince insurers that they’re legally obligated to offer benefits:
- Gather medical records: Your attorney will need access to your medical records to prove that your workplace injuries are legitimate. They’ll use your medical charts and documents to prove to insurers that your condition is as severe as you claim.
- Collect evidence: Your attorney will also gather evidence related to the incident or safety hazard that caused your injury. The evidence they find will help them prove that the accident you were harmed in actually occurred. Your lawyer may also investigate for signs that your employer has been liable for other employee injuries in the past.
- Work with medical experts: Once your lawyer has collected a good deal of evidence, they’ll work with medical experts to demonstrate how the accident negatively affected your physical well-being. This aspect of assessing a workers’ comp claim is crucial to the success of the case.
- Work with a vocational expert: A vocational expert can speak to duties that your job requires regularly. Your attorney will use their testimony to prove that your current condition makes it impossible for you to work and earn money.
- Interview witnesses: If any of your coworkers or colleagues witnessed the incident you were injured in or were harmed in a similar fashion, their testimony might be invaluable to your case. Your lawyer will interview eyewitnesses and use their statements to support your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You Meet Important Deadlines
Once your workers’ compensation lawyer has assessed your claim and found the information and evidence they need to make your case as successful as possible, there’s still more to do. They’ll need to file your claim within the statute of limitations for workers’ comp cases.
According to S.C. Code of Laws § 42-15-40, you have two years from the date of your accident or the discovery of your condition to file a claim. Claims filed after the two-year mark will likely be denied, so getting your’s in on time is essential.
Hiring a Lawyer Is Crucial to the Success of Your Workers’ Comp Claim
There are so many things an attorney can do to improve your chances of receiving the workers’ comp benefits you need to manage your injuries and replace your lost wages. In addition to assessing your workers’ compensation claim, they’ll also negotiate with insurers, appeal denied claims, and advise you on your legal options throughout the process.
If your claim is denied more than once, you might have to resort to filing a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, your lawyer will prepare a compelling court case and fight for your compensation at the trial. They’ll also make sure your lawsuit is filed properly and on time. Contact the South Carolina workers’ comp attorneys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward today.