Do I Need a Lawyer To File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

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Do I Need a Lawyer To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Do I Need a Lawyer To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Oct 20, 2020

Injured workers can greatly benefit from hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle the numerous, complex facets of a work comp claim. Though hiring an attorney is not required, it can make a significant difference in the likelihood that your claim will succeed, and is strongly advised in the majority of workers’ compensation and employment law cases.

The workers’ compensation system involves an administrative process that may be navigated by non-attorneys in rare instances where a claim is simple and quite straightforward (although this is a highly unusual scenario). For instance, if the employer or insurance company never takes action to dispute your claim, an attorney may not be required and you might be able to prevail without any additional assistance.

However, in the majority of cases there are multiple complications that impact each claim (and affect what methods are needed in order to proceed effectively). Without knowledge of the legal system, winning a typical claim can be very difficult for workers. The legal profession exists to help workers secure the benefits they deserve without having to worry about being taken advantage of by insurance companies or employers.

Often times, injured workers wait too long to contact a personal injury attorney after an incident. Such a delay can put the attorney at a disadvantage, and make their job more difficult. If an injured worker hires an attorney immediately after an injury, the attorney is in a more advantageous position from the outset.

Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney from Dordulian Law Group on your side means your case is in good hands and you have an aggressive advocate fighting for you every step of the way. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are fighting against an insurance company that handles thousands of claims per week. These companies have unlimited resources, experienced attorneys, and skilled claims adjusters, all of whom are your adversaries. You deserve equally matched representation when filing your claim, which is why it’s in your best interest to reach out to a DLG attorney as soon as possible after your injury. We’ve recovered over $100 million for our clients throughout the years, and our previous success rate, years of experience, and personal care and attention for each and every client is what makes us the premier workers’ compensation and employment law firm in Los Angeles and throughout California.

When It Is Important to Hire an Attorney

Whenever the insurance company has a dispute against your workers’ compensation claim, you should hire DLG – the most qualified and experienced legal representation available. If you want to oppose the insurance company’s position related to your claim, you require skills specific to expert DLG attorneys, such as deposing witnesses, vetting and hiring expert witnesses, and generating persuasive arguments that will prove your claim.

Specific Issues Where a Workers’ Compensation Attorney’s Experience Can Help You

  • When you are unsure if you should file a claim: If a person was injured at work or developed a work-related medical condition but is unsure if he or she has a valid claim, speaking to a DLG lawyer can be very beneficial (and often means the difference between a significantly larger settlement). Sometimes it is difficult to discern whether or not a worker has a valid injury if the negative effects are delayed, or manifest after a worker has left for a different job.
  • When your claim is denied: Insurance companies can deny workers compensation claims for various reasons. One such common reason is filing a claim “too late.” However, simply because a claim is denied does not mean the worker is without a valid injury or legal recourse. Workers can appeal claim denials, but the process is less straightforward than filing the original claim. Therefore, injured workers appealing a denial greatly benefit from hiring a DLG personal injury lawyer familiar with the legal formalities and with access to valuable legal resources. It is imperative that you contact an attorney sooner rather than later because workers’ compensation claims have strict deadlines.
  • When your permanent disability rating is disputed: Most workers’ compensation settlements and awards are based on the injured worker’s permanent disability rating. Typically, the worker will provide the insurance company with a doctor’s report outlining his or her disability. If the insurance company does not agree with the doctor’s report (a common occurrence), the worker may be required to undergo an independent medical examination with the insurance company’s chosen physician. These insurance company doctors often recommend a much lower settlement or award than outside doctors, as they are, in effect, working for the insurance company and helping to protect the company’s bottom line.
  • When you are having difficulty obtaining proper medical treatment: Throughout the claims process, insurance companies often delay or deny certain medical treatments-particularly those which are quite expensive. An experienced lawyer can assist in these situations by pressuring the insurance company to issue the worker any funds required to undergo necessary treatment as soon as possible.
  • When you cannot work due to your injury: If the worker has been permanently injured so severely that ever working again in his or her lifetime is highly unlikely, it is vital to obtain a substantial settlement or award. Even if the injury forces the victim to make a drastic career change, a large settlement is also deserved. For instance, if a construction worker’s accident resulted in two broken legs, she may be forced to find another career. This process may be long and difficult, and require enrolling in school to learn a new trade. She may also experience difficulty securing employment in her new field as a novice without experience.
  • When receiving government benefits at the time of your work-related injury: If an injured worker is receiving benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), these benefits may be reduced if the worker is granted workers’ compensation benefits. DLG’s lawyers have the expertise required to help ensure that your SSDI benefits are not reduced, thereby maintaining your quality of living.
  • When you have a workers’ compensation hearing: If an insurance company offers the worker an unsatisfactory settlement, or simply refuses to settle, the worker must prove his or her case at a hearing. These hearings are similar to trials (albeit much shorter and smaller), and it’s essential to have legal representation fighting for you. Representing yourself in such hearings can be a risky endeavor.
  • When the insurance company incorrectly calculates your wages: Temporary disability benefits are based upon the injured worker’s “average weekly wage.” The process of calculating this average weekly wage is complicated, and requires multiple factors to be considered, such as overtime, bonuses, commission, etc. There are multiple variables that the insurance company can factor incorrectly, resulting in the worker being paid less than he or she rightfully deserves. Having a DLG attorney on your side means such incorrect calculations will not be tolerated.
  • < u>When your benefits have been discontinued: If an injured worker was awarded temporary disability or permanent disability benefits, but those benefits were wrongfully discontinued for whatever reason, the worker should immediately hire a lawyer. Temporary disability payments only last 104 weeks, so if the deadline is looming and you anticipate a discontinuation, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer today.
  • When the insurance company refuses to pay a medical bill or approve a necessary procedure: After the insurance company has obtained the “quality medical assessment,” it may refuse to pay certain medical bills for any number of reasons (e.g. the date of the treatment). The insurance company may also refuse to authorize a medical procedure if it does not fit within their own doctor’s assessment of your injury.

Overall, you are much more likely to obtain a higher settlement offer when you have legal representation from the moment you begin pursuing your workers’ compensation claim. People call on lawyers for help in these types of situations because of their unique experience. Attorneys have a refined knowledge of the law, are expert negotiators, and have access to many tools and resources that can be invaluable to the success of your case. Even after the contingency fee, people who hire lawyers to help with their workers’ comp claim are often better off financially than those who do not (i.e. an individual’s workers’ compensation benefits package is actually larger when represented by an attorney than when pursuing the claim individually).

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

California Workers Compensation Laws are Time-Sensitive

In California, an injured worker has 30 days to provide written notice to an employer of their work-related injury. After the notice has been submitted, the employer must give the worker a claim form within one day of receipt. Injured workers can receive a variety of benefits, such as medical care (hospital services, doctor visits, prescriptions, lab tests, x-rays, etc.), temporary disability payments (lost wages while recovering), permanent disability payments (for mental or physical impairments), educational or career training payments, and death benefits (paid to the deceased worker’s dependents).

Employers in California are required to provide workers’ compensation to all employees, with a few exceptions. Additionally, an employer must provide the injured worker with a claim form and authorize medical treatment up to $10,000 throughout the pending claim.

Why You Should Contact DLG About Your Work-Related Injury

A workers’ compensation claim can be a daunting, confusing, and overwhelming ordeal. DLG attorneys are here to provide you with superlative representation and help you determine the exact type of legal strategy to ensure we succeed in your unique claim. California’s workers’ compensation laws are complicated and constantly changing. DLG can provide you with the most current information available, applying relevant laws to design a personal analysis that will produce a strategy to help you recover the largest possible benefits and awards package.

DLG’s Workers’ Compensation Division is led by Charles Rondeau, a certified specialist with the State Bar of California who has over 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of workers. Mr. Rondeau is also the former Chairperson of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Law Commission of the State Bar of California, and is a proud member of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (“CAAA”), the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (“CAALA”), the Consumer Attorneys of California (“CAOC”), and the California Employment Lawyers Association (“CELA”).

Mr. Rondeau and his team of workers’ compensation experts provide clients in Los Angeles and throughout California with unparalleled legal representation and support – consistently achieving the most successful outcomes.

If you are a worker and have suffered an on-the-job injury, please do not wait to file a claim to start receiving your workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation or call 800-880-7777. We are here for you 24/7, and will do everything in our power to help you get back on your feet with peace of mind that comes from obtaining the benefits you deserve to feel safe and secure (and able to properly recover without worrying about mounting medical and legal bills).

If you’ve been injured at work, contact our certified workers’ compensation specialists online or by phone for a free consultation today.

With our two decades of experience and a 98% success rate at trials, DLG is the best choice for handling your workers’ compensation case. With DLG, you can be confident knowing you have the top-rated workers’ compensation lawyers in California fighting for you every step of the way.

But Doesn’t Hiring a Lawyer Cost a Lot of Money?

If you’ve been injured at work and are already having to deal with the stress of additional expenses, you may be under the mistaken impression that hiring a lawyer (let alone one who is highly-experienced, top-rated, and qualified) is simply impossible given your situation. With Dordulian Law Group, you never have to worry about such concerns.

DLG’s workers’ compensation attorneys understand your concerns, which is why we charge you absolutely nothing unless we win your case. At DLG, our no win/no fee guarantee means you never pay a penny unless we win your claim and recover the compensation you deserve. DLG cares about you and your family’s well-being, and we want you to be confident in our representation. Allow us to handle the stressful aspects of the legal process so you can focus on what’s most important – your recovery.

Whether, you’re in the middle of a workers’ compensation claim, have an outstanding claim from a previous job that needs to be filed, have a lingering injury that just keeps degenerating, or simply have questions about filing a claim, contact us right now for a free legal consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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