While there’s no legal requirement to be represented by a job accident lawyer in a workers’ compensation claim, self-representation is often insufficient and can have a negative impact when an attorney is eventually engaged. About the only time it’s likely your claim won’t be denied without legal representation is if your case is not complex, you’ve missed little to no work, or your employer agrees that you suffered a workplace injury. Otherwise, you should at least schedule a free consultation with a legal professional to determine if you have a viable claim.

Are All Pennsylvania Employers Required to Carry WC Coverage?

Workers’ compensation programs vary from state to state, and so it’s important to understand the laws and statutes in the state where you reside or where the injury occurred. According to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, an employer may be excluded from the requirement to insure its workers’ compensation liability only if ALL employed workers fall into one or more 11 identified categories.

Situations Where You Probably Need an Attorney

  • If your claim has been denied, it’s best to have your attorney work to get it accepted. Unfortunately, many injured workers accept denied claims that should have been approved. Don’t let an initial denial stop you.
  • If your claim has been approved, but you’re not receiving your benefits in a timely fashion and having difficulty paying your bills, a lawyer can represent your interests.
  • If you’ve suffered a permanent or partial disability as a result of a work-related injury, an attorney can help you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.
  • If your employer retaliates against you for making a claim, speak to a lawyer.

How Can an Attorney Help?

  • If you plan on applying for Social Security disability benefits, your attorney will make sure your settlement is property structured so your workers’ comp benefits don’t negatively impact your SSDI payments.
  • An experienced WC attorney or construction accident lawyer will ensure that all the necessary forms are filed and deadlines are met.
  • Legal representatives, including nursing accident lawyers, know how to gather the evidence to support your case.
  • Attorneys are experienced negotiators.
  • They can carefully craft an agreement that can prevent unintended consequences.

How Much Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Charge?

Workers’ comp lawyers usually only charge if they win, which is their incentive to work hard for you. There are other benefits to this contingency fee arrangement.

  • Injured workers have the opportunity to receive quality legal representation without having to pay substantial up-front costs.
  • Your limited financial resources won’t reduce your chances of winning your case.
  • Your attorney will receive a percentage of your total workers’ comp settlement.

Is It Possible to Collect Both Workers’ Compensation and SSDI Benefits?

Injured workers often collect both types of compensation, but it’s not a given. There are several factors that impact the decision.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration.
  • Workers’ compensation programs vary from state to state.
  • Since they’re completely separate programs, you may qualify for one but not the other. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to tip the scales in your favor.
  • Since the total income you receive from both programs combined cannot be more than 80% of your previous income, the SSA will deduct enough money from your SSDI to ensure that you don’t receive a higher amount of money to which you’re entitled.
  • The requirements for qualifying for workers’ compensation may be very different from those for qualifying for disability through SSDI.

Applicants’ SSDI claims are often denied because they:

  • Have not been disabled for the 12-month minimum amount of time
  • Are still working during the application period and earning more than the Substantial Gainful Activity allowance
  • Didn’t provide adequate medical advice
  • Didn’t follow recommended treatment

If you or a family member has been injured at work, don’t try to go it alone when you can schedule a free consultation with workers’ compensation lawyer Attorney Crag Voorhees. His office is located in Sommerville, NJ, but he is also licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Check out his web page, follow him on Facebook, call him at (908 200-2297), or email him at craig@voorheeslawnj.com. He’ll assess your situation, and if you have a viable claim, he’ll be your advocate.

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