Maybe not. The workers’ compensation system is designed to be usable by injured workers without the help of an attorney.
The goal was to make it clear and easy-to-understand. However, it’s important to remember that the system was designed by attorneys, and their definition of easy-to-use may be different from yours. You can try filing the basic paperwork on your own, but if you begin to have trouble, an attorney can help.
However, if you encounter any of the following situations, an attorney can be very helpful:
- Your employer (or his insurer) is refusing compensation
- Your employer claims you were injured off-the-clock
- Your employer claims the injury was pre-existing
- You do not think the doctor selected by your employer is giving adequate care
- Your injury was caused by someone other than your employer or a fellow employee
In these cases, an attorney can make a significant difference in the amount of compensation you receive. And in all these cases, compensation for the attorney will be taken out of the amount that they increased your compensation, so your workers’ compensation attorney will only get paid (with the exception of a nominal $100 fee), if they help you, and only in proportion with the amount of help they give.
If you are trying to file a workers’ compensation claim but are having difficulty, you should seek the help of an attorney.