Workers are injured in Stratford workplace accidents all the time. Some of them try to go through their injuries and subsequent workers’ compensation claims without an attorney. Many injured workers think that the situation is not serious and does not require legal help. Like them, you might have these same thoughts. But do not be fooled – your employer is not going to take care of you; they are going to take care of themselves, even if it means failing to pay out your fair compensation. If you do not get an attorney to represent you, you run the risk of losing out on money benefits that you deserve, and you might even lose your job in the process. Now, more than ever, you need legal representation to assist you. If you go it alone without a lawyer, you are in danger of missing out. You are jeopardizing your present and your future.
Accepted vs. Contested Cases
Many workers’ compensation cases are accepted by employers. This means that the employer is not challenging that you suffered a workplace injury, nor will your employer challenge the nature and extent of your injury. You will be permitted to get the medical care and treatment that you need, and your employer will compensate you for missed wages while you are out of work. The goal in this situation will be your safe return to work.
Unfortunately, not every compensation case is accepted by the employer – in some cases, the case may be contested. The employer may question aspects of your claims and try not to pay you. Regardless of their reason, the employer must file a Form 43 to contest your claim within 28 days of their receipt of the official notice of your claim. In our experience, employers are fighting workers’ compensation claims more often than in the past. When employers contest workers’ compensation claims, they do so with the help of attorneys, doctors, and their insurance carriers.
A Cautionary Tale
Consider this example of a contested case: Rebecca works in a warehouse in Stratford. Rebecca injures her lower back while lifting heavy boxes at work. She doesn’t think that the injury is a big deal, so she doesn’t report it, see a doctor, or consult with a lawyer.
However, Rebecca never really feels back to normal after this initial injury. Two years later, she still faces back pain, and now she is missing work because of it. She thinks that her pain increased after she helped a co-worker pick up a table for cleaning. This time, she files a Form 30C and starts a workers’ compensation claim. The company doctor relates the cause of her present condition entirely to her prior injury. Unfortunately, Rebecca has ruptured one of her discs and now needs surgery. Her employer contests her claim by filing a Form 43. The employer doesn’t want to pay for Rebecca’s surgery. Rebecca is denied wage replacement benefits. She is denied payment of her medical treatment bills. Rebecca’s employer moves to dismiss her workers’ compensation claim as being untimely (more than one year after the date of her initial injury). Once Rebecca uses up her saved vacation and personal time, the company fires her. She loses the workers’ compensation case. She is out of her job, and she faces tremendous medical bills.
Rebecca’s entire situation could have been avoided. A workers’ compensation lawyer would have argued that her second workplace injury was a new injury. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney would have selected a different attending physician to evaluate and treat Rebecca. Rebecca would have received an orthopedic or neurological evaluation as warranted by her symptoms and condition. An attorney would have obtained wage replacement benefits, and they would have contested Rebecca’s employer’s legal maneuvers. Rebecca’s attorney would have asserted a claim of wrongful retaliatory discharge when the employer fired Rebecca.
Perhaps most importantly, Rebecca’s lawyer would have advised her on her legal options every step of the way, and would have spent time counseling Rebecca on her options and the best choices for her. Rebecca would not have fought this battle alone.
A Stratford Lawyer Can Help
At Ruane Attorneys, we vigorously represent our workers’ compensation clients. Our goal is to obtain every possible compensation benefit for you while you are recovering from your workplace injury. Our lawyers pride themselves on their understanding of the law and in our innovative solutions to our Stratford clients’ problems.
If you face an injury at work in Stratford, contact our office for legal representation. We won’t charge you unless and until we recover specific compensation benefits on your behalf. You do not have to face this on your own.