Some of our Milford clients have accepted workers’ compensation cases. This means that the employer is not challenging that you suffered a workplace injury. You can get necessary medical treatment, and your employer will compensate you for lost wages while you are out of work. The goal for everyone involved will be your safe return to work. Unfortunately, accepted cases are not the norm today. Instead, most workers’ compensation cases are challenged by employers in contested matters.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Many injured workers question whether they need a lawyer to represent them in their workers’ compensation cases. The answer is YES! They may have thought, “I don’t need my own lawyer. It’s just a workers’ compensation case. My employer will look out for me.” Like them, you might have these same thoughts. Your employer, its attorney, and its insurance carrier, certainly hope that you do. Your employer is not going to take care of you; they are going to take care of themselves, even if it means failing to provide fair compensation. If you do not get an attorney to represent you, you run the risk of losing out on the money benefits that you deserve, and you might even lose your job in the process. Now, more than ever, workers injured in Milford need attorneys by their side. If you have been injured in Milford, and you go it alone, you are jeopardizing your case.
Your employer may question or contest many things in your case. They may question if you were actually on the job when you were injured, if your injury resulted from a prior injury, if you exceed the statute of limitations (one year) on the case, etc. If the employer wants to contest your claim, they file a Form 43 within 28 days of their receipt of the official notice of your claim. In our experience, employers are fighting Milford workers’ compensation claims more often than in the past. When employers contest workers’ compensation claims, they do so with the help of doctors, attorneys, and insurance carriers. They have many resources at their disposal.
Don’t Face This Situation!
Consider this example of a contested case: Sharon works in a warehouse in Milford. Sharon injures her lower back moving some heavy file boxes while at work. She doesn’t report her injury because she doesn’t think that it’s a big deal. She doesn’t see a doctor or report the injury. Instead, she uses her personal time to take a few days off and recover. She feels some lingering pain, but works through it.
Three years later, Sharon’s lower back is really bothering her. This time things are worse. She can barely stand, let alone work. She thinks that her pain increased after she helped a co-worker move furniture in the office. This time, she files Form 30C and starts a workers’ compensation claim. The company doctor relates the cause of her present condition entirely to her prior injury.
Unfortunately, Sharon has ruptured one of her discs and now needs surgery. The employer, acting through its attorney and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, contests her claim by filing a Form 43. They don’t want to pay for her surgery. Sharon is denied wage replacement benefits. She is denied payment of her medical treatment bills. Sharon’s employer moves to dismiss her workers’ compensation claim because too much time has passed. Because she cannot perform her job properly, the company fires her. Sharon loses the workers’ compensation case. Sharon is out of a job, and she faces medical debt that she has to handle on her own. In addition, she is unable to work because of her back condition.
Sharon’s entire situation could have been avoided. A workers’ compensation attorney would have argued that Sharon’s second workplace injury was a new injury. A workers’ compensation attorney would have selected a different attending physician to evaluate and treat Sharon besides just working with the company doctor. Sharon would have received a specialized evaluation. An attorney would have obtained wage replacement benefits, and would have contested Sharon’s employer’s legal maneuvers. Sharon’s attorney would have asserted a claim of wrongful retaliatory discharge when the employer fired her. Perhaps most importantly, Sharon’s lawyer would have advised her on her legal options every step of the way and would have spent time counseling her on her decisions. Sharon would not have fought this battle alone.
Get the Help You Need
These are the protections we offer to our injured Milford clients at Ruane Attorneys. This is why clients like Sharon need lawyers to represent them in workers’ compensation matters. There is too much on the line to try to handle this situation alone.
If injured on the job in Milford, contact our office for legal representation. We are here for you during this process and will ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.