Injured at Work in Kamuela? Get Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
Suffering a work injury can make you feel like it’s all on the line. Unable to earn wages and facing substantial medical bills, you need compensation for the sake of your family.
Olson & Sons understands the importance of workers’ compensation. That’s why we are passionate about helping injured workers. If you have been injured at work in Kamuela, Olson & Sons is here to help.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In a perfect world, everyone would cooperate for the best interests of the injury victim. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to protect employees and their families from suffering as a result of the victim’s efforts to make an honest living. With many occupations, risks are involved, and a certain percentage of workers inevitably sustain serious harm.
The purpose of workers’ compensation laws is noble because they ensure that honest, hard work never results in a person losing more than they gained from employment and possibly suffering long-term disability without compensation. It is only fair that injured workers, like soldiers on the battlefield, can depend on the organizations they work for to care for their medical needs and necessary living expenses while suffering determinant effects from their service.
But as anyone who practices workers’ compensation law knows, the system is far from perfect. Many injured workers are denied all or a substantial portion of their benefits.
The reasons for these injustices are manifold. Sometimes, the employer denies that the worker suffered the injury at work. In other cases, overzealous claims adjusters try to save their employers money by fighting valid claims. Also, some workers’ compensation claims are more complex and require additional evidence to prove.
For instance, a pre-existing medical condition may complicate the question of whether the injury is work-related.
Regardless of the reason, injured workers need a workers’ compensation lawyer when they face a claim’s denial. Furthermore, they may need a lawyer to negotiate on their behalf if they have a large claim resulting in heavy medical bills and long-term disability. Having an attorney makes the difference between suffering unrecoverable financial losses and the security of a full settlement.
Reasons to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney
The reasons to hire a workers’ comp attorney abound, including the following:
Your Claim Has Been Denied
Claims denials are the most common reasons injured workers hire a workers’ compensation attorney. To receive benefits under the workers’ compensation plan, you must appeal the denial of the claim. In appealing, you have a legal obligation to follow the prescribed process and must file your appeal within the allotted time. Failure to do so allows the denial to stand.
Claims denials can be full or partial. A full claims denial means the insurance company refuses to take any responsibility. For instance, the insurer may allege the injury is non-existent or not work-related. Therefore, it has no liability.
Partial claims denials exclude some of the benefits you requested. For instance, while the insurance company may agree to pay some medical expenses, it may deny a surgical procedure you need to recover fully.
Some insurance companies routinely deny workers’ comp claims. This is part of a strategy to reduce claims payouts. The insurers know that a certain percentage of claimants will accept the denial, saving them the entire claim cost.
However, when you hire an attorney to fight the claim’s denial, you turn the tables on the insurance company. Instead of saving money, the insurer is forced to pay more because they are on the hook for legal expenses plus the claim’s value.
Serious Work-Related Injuries or Illnesses Call for a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Insurance companies are willing to invest more in defending large claims than small ones. If you have a claim for a small medical bill, the insurer is likely to spend little time fighting it. So long as it’s clear the injury happened on the job, the claim will likely be paid promptly.
On the other hand, moderate to severe injuries lead to significant medical bills, long periods of lost income, and higher permanent disability awards. Accordingly, insurers have a strong interest in defending against these claims.
When the insurance company decides to fight your claim, it may have little to do with the merits. Your case may be excellent, but insurers invest in clever lawyers who know how to use the system to obstruct your claim. Often, they use tactical delays to force early, low-ball settlement offers onto plaintiffs in need of money. They may also resort to demanding independent medical examinations and trying to represent the injury as fraudulent.
A workers’ compensation lawyer fights back against these hardball tactics. Your attorney handles the appeals process and can take the insurance company to court if it refuses to offer a fair settlement.
A Preexisting Condition That Complicates Your Claim
Arguing that a preexisting condition caused the injury is a typical insurance company strategy. While personal injury legislation makes it clear that preexisting injuries aggravated by work are compensable, the defense may argue that it was not work but some other factor that worsened the condition.
A difference of opinion by medical professionals may further complicate cases involving pre-existing conditions. For example, some doctors may conclude that a preexisting condition was aggravated by work, while others may conclude they result from genetics or the aging process.
For example, suppose an office worker experiences intense back pain and can no longer function at work. During the claims process, it is revealed that the worker has a history of scoliosis. A doctor concludes that long hours in the office aggravated scoliosis, resulting in the worker’s injury.
The defense may seek another medical opinion, and the doctor may conclude that the scoliosis was not aggravated by working in the office. Instead, advancing age caused the condition to worsen. This diagnosis plays into defense and gives the insurance company leverage in negotiations.
A workers’ compensation lawyer gathers the evidence needed to defeat these claims. Alternative medical evidence, witness testimony, and expert witnesses can all help to establish that your claim is work-related.
Inability to Return to Work
When your work-related injury makes it impossible for you to return to work, a workers’ compensation attorney is essential. Long-term disability benefits are based on the disability rating. A disability rating corresponds to a measurement of long-term limitations. For instance, paralysis receives a higher rating than a back injury. A paralyzed person may never work again, while someone with a back injury can switch to another occupation.
Your personal injury lawyer builds your case so you receive the maximum disability rating your injury entitles you.
How Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Help You Win
When your employer or the insurance company contests your workers’ compensation claim, you need the help of a killer workers’ compensation lawyer. Olson & Sons employs workers’ compensation experts who never give up the fight until our clients win, all to which they are entitled. Some of the ways we help our clients win include the following:
Initial Case Evaluation
Our first task is determining the merits of our client’s claim. During the initial consultation, we listen carefully to your story and ask the key questions that determine the likely trajectory of your case.
In addition, we review the details of the work-related injury or illness, look over medical evidence, and analyze the insurance situation.
Our lawyers build solid cases by gathering strong evidence to support the workers’ compensation claim. For instance, they obtain medical records, diagnostic test results, expert opinions, witness statements, accident reports, and other proofs. These forms of evidence prove the injury occurred at work and that the damages claimed resulted from that injury.
Navigating the Claims Process
Our workers’ compensation team guides clients through the claims processing maze. They help complete and file the required paperwork, ensure deadlines are met, and communicate with the insurance company. Olson & Son’s lawyers are experts with Hawaiian workers’ compensation legal requirements and can ensure that all necessary steps are taken.
Case Presentations That Win
Having the facts and law on your side is insufficient, even with substantial evidence. To win, you need the case presented in a persuasive and organized manner. Our legal team prepares through written arguments, gathers supporting documentation, and crafts the legal strategies that win.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
Workers’ compensation lawyers negotiate with the insurance company. They advocate for their client’s rights and interests, using evidence and legal arguments to compel fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other benefits. Olson & Son’s workers’ compensation team has experience negotiating with insurance adjusters, allowing them to skillfully navigate the claims process and achieve the best possible outcome.
Representing Clients in Hearings and Appeals
Sometimes, the insurance company or employer remains unreasonable despite all of the evidence pointing to the claim’s validity. In those cases, we take the fight to them.
Olson & Sons provides aggressive representation in administrative hearings or appeals. We prepare the legal arguments, present compelling evidence, cross-examine opposing witnesses, and make persuasive oral arguments that defeat specious defense counsel arguments.
After a workplace accident, you must obtain all the compensation you deserve. The only way to do this is to maximize the settlement or award.
Olson & Son’s workers’ compensation team has developed a deep understanding of the value of different injuries, disabilities, and impairments. They work to maximize their clients’ settlement offers by gathering irrefutable evidence, calculating the appropriate compensation, and negotiating hard.
Providing Legal Guidance and Support
Throughout the workers’ compensation claims process, Olson & Son’s lawyers provide legal advice, answer their client’s questions, and offer support. They keep their clients informed at all times and explain all of the legal options. You will always make informed decisions.
When your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, or the insurance company offers less than total compensation, you need legal help right away. Olson & Son’s Kamuela workers’ compensation lawyers work hand in hand with clients to win their claims. We ensure no worker is left behind.
For a free workers’ compensation legal consultation, contact Olson & Sons.