Every year millions of people suffer some type of on the job injury. Workers are open to many different types of injury even if the job is not a physical one. It could be a fall in the workplace caused by wet floors, or an accident occurring somewhere on the property.
When workers are injured, the typical practice is to contact workers compensation attorneys, particularly if the injury will cause the individual loss of work time and pay. After a three to seven day waiting cycle, workers compensation pays 100% of the victim’s medical costs and pays them cash for their time lost from work. Workers compensation attorneys are there to intercede on behalf of the worker and make sure the individual receives proper retribution for their injuries and loss of pay.
Serious injuries can happen on the job, even just resulting from routine actions that workers perform every day. Someone could fall from a ladder and break a bone, or pull muscles in their back from lifting heavy boxes or equipment. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by overuse of the muscles in the hands and wrists. All of these are reasons for workers to need workers comp. Statistics show that in 2013 alone the average number of work days missed due to on the job injuries was eight.
Injuries are not the only occupational hazard that can be suffered by employees.Certain jobs come with risks of exposure to harmful toxins in the air or even the possibility of infection. Medical professionals are open to all kinds of bacteria and germs in their daily work day. Although the highest precautions are taken, particularly the constant washing of hands, exposure is still a possibility in some cases. In addition to susceptibility to disease, there is also the very real likeliness of back and muscle injury to medical personnel whose job it is to lift and move patients and sometimes heavy medical equipment. Hospital orderlies and nursing assistants are estimated to be three times more prone to injury than construction workers are.
Workers compensation lawyers are contacted by workers from nearly every profession. Workers compensation laws provide for injured workers in a variety of ways. They implement the distribution of permanent total or partial disability benefits, or temporary benefits as called for by the situation. Workers comp laws provide for wage reimbursements, medical benefits, and rehabilitation benefits. Workers compensation laws vary from state to state, and federal employees are also covered by certain federal laws. For a workers comp claim to be valid, the injury must take place within the compass of the job, time and place specific. Independent contractors, however, are not usually covered by workers compensation laws.
The responsibility of workers compensation attorneys is to collect all medical reports and records, to do legal research on the specifics of the case, and to stay current and within designated laws regarding workers comp. It is also the attorney’s job to litigate the case in court. When hired by the injured worker, the attorney is required to have all paperwork properly completed, represent the client in court, and assist the client through the workers compensation process and benefits, which would include receiving medical care. The lawyer would, in addition, be the one to communicate with the client’s employer regarding the status of the employee, and would handle all negotiations on the client’s behalf.
Regarding representation of the employer in a workers compensation case, workers compensation attorneys would assist with the investigation of possible problem areas at the workplace, and gather and submit reports and paperwork on behalf of the employer. In addition, the attorney would represent the employer in court and negotiate settlements.
In order to be effective as a workers compensation attorney, there are certain skills that are essential to a lawyer’s success. They must have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, strong trial and litigation experience, and they must be able to work independently as well as part of a team. Excellent negotiation skills are imperative for the benefit of their client, and an understanding of the details of the case; for instance, the workplace involved, including equipment, products, and construction.