When Should You Hire an Attorney For a Missouri Workers' Compensation Case?

January 14, 2012,

282848_law_library.jpgWhen injured workers are trying to decide whether or not they should hire Missouri workers' compensation attorneys, there are a number of factors to consider. In this post, we provide an overview of the services a workers' comp attorney can provide, and outline the different situations where it would be in a worker's best interest to obtain legal representation.

Here are some specific points to think about when determining whether or not you need a lawyer:

Hiring an experienced Missouri Workers Compensation Law Firm helps to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries or disabilities. The Missouri Department of Labor defines a workers' comp case as a legal proceeding. Although the workers' compensation system was designed to be a simple no-fault benefit system, the law has been repeatedly changed over the years: it can be a complicated system. Also, you can be sure that your employer and his insurance company will have a lawyer present at all docket settings before the Division of Workers' Compensation--in fact, it is required by law.

In general, attorneys are able negotiate higher permanent partial disability settlements. Also, workers' comp claimants typically need to undergo a series of evaluations to get disability ratings and to assess future medical issues that may arise. An attorney can facilitate those and many other processes.

Any cases that involve Social Security Disability, Medicare, unemployment benefits or Second Injury Fund claims are bound to have complications that a layperson might not understand. A workers' comp attorney makes sure all your interests are represented: after all, the settlement you receive can strongly affect your life for years to come.

The Department of Labor recommends hiring a qualified Missouri workers' compensation attorney in the following situations:

• Your employer or his insurance carrier is denying your claim.
• You have been unable to receive appropriate medical care.
• Although your doctor says you cannot work, you are not receiving benefit checks.
• Your employer's insurance company claims a penalty against you.
• You are being penalized by your employer because of your workers' compensation claim (including being fired, demoted or harassed at work).
• You have applied for (or are receiving) social security disability benefits.

For a full list of the Department of Labor's recommendations, click here.

You will definitely need the services of a Missouri Workers Compensation Lawyer if your claim cannot be resolved through a settlement, and will require an evidentiary hearing (essentially, a trial).

An experienced Missouri workers' compensation law firm can:

• gather essential evidence.
• combat any existing negative evidence.
• ensure that all paperwork is properly filed with the appropriate court or agency
• perform any necessary legal research that could further your claim.
• represent you in court.
• appeal your case to a higher court.
• examine witnesses/cross-examine vocational and medical experts.
• depose medical experts.

Perhaps the most important reason to employ a Missouri workers' comp attorney is to give you peace of mind and let you concentrate on healing. Meanwhile, your lawyer can work on negotiating the best possible settlement.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether or not to hire an attorney. Remember, you are entitled to legal representation at any point in the process, so even if you started off handling your case on your own, it is your right to engage legal help at any time. If you'd like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact our office at 1-888-777-AUTO.

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