After a workplace injury, it’s not always an easy task to figure out who to talk to. Do you talk to your employer or their worker’s compensation insurance company? What if they’re the same – what then? Well, read on for answers.
Employers and Their Insurance Companies
If you are injured due to a work-related accident, illness, or injury, you have a right to file a worker’s compensation claim. Your employer is required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. To process your claim quickly and fairly – and avoid expensive litigation – most employers will tell you to report your injury directly to their workers’ comp insurance company, so they can manage the claim.
Workers comp insurance companies are in the business of settling claims and will often try to settle your claim for as little money as possible. The process can be frustrating and confusing – and if you feel like your worker’s comp insurer isn’t giving you a fair deal or withholding information, that might negatively affect your case. It is best to contact an experienced legal professional to help you work through the system as soon as possible.
Employers and Their Attorneys
If you are injured due to a workplace accident, illness, or injury, your employer might hire an attorney to represent them in your worker’s comp claim. The decision of whether to hire an attorney is up to your employer. A worker’s comp claim can be complicated and time-consuming and might require expert testimony. Attorneys with experience in workers comp often represent employers or their insurance company – which we will refer to as the “insurer” for simplicity’s sake.
If you are represented by an attorney who works for your employer or your employer’s insurer, then your employer will have a say in what information they release to you and when. In some cases, a lawyer representing your employer or insurer might not let you look at your file or discuss the case with you until after settlement. This can make it difficult for you to know what is going on and whether you are getting a fair deal. Also, keep in mind that all legal fees must be paid by your employer – not by you out of pocket.
Employers and Their Employees
If your employer hires an attorney to represent them in your worker’s comp case, they will most likely hire another lawyer to represent you. This is called “dual representation.” The main difference between a lawyer representing your employer and one representing you is that your job site accident lawyer will work for you, not your employer. Your interests are the only ones they are concerned with. There can be situations in which it’s in your best interest to hire a second worker’s comp lawyer to represent you if the first one isn’t doing a great job of it.
Remember, hiring a lawyer who is on your side, and looking out for you first and foremost, might be the best decision you make following a workplace accident or injury.