If you have suffered a work-related injury then you may be wondering whether it’s worth it to hire a work accident attorney in Houston, TX. The answer will depend on the severity of the injures, the overall complexity of the case, and the actions of the employer or insurance company.
Can You Represent Yourself?
You could be able to represent yourself if it was a minor injury, such as a sprained ankle, your employer admits the injury happened at the workplace, you missed little work due to the injury, and you don’t have an existing condition that affects the same part of your body. Even if it seems like it’s a relatively uncomplicated situation, it can usually be a good idea to contact a work accident attorney in Houston, TX, for a consultation. An attorney can give you an idea of the process, what to avoid, and if it is possible to handle your case on your own.
When to Hire a Lawyer
As soon as there are any complexities in your case, you need to hire an attorney. There are some examples that you should pay attention to.
The Employer Denies the Claim: Employers and insurance companies regularly reject claims since they feel like many workers won’t appeal. They are usually correct. Hiring an attorney may cost you nothing upfront and can give you the best chance to get a fair settlement.
The Settlement Doesn’t Cover All Your Bills or Wages: If you aren’t sure the settlement is good enough then you need a lawyer. Judges will usually sign off on any agreement that isn’t grossly unfair.
Medical Issues Prevent You from Returning to Work: If you have suffered a permanent disability then you could be entitled to weekly payments to make up for lost wages. The cases are expensive for insurance companies so they want to avoid paying you what you deserve.
You Plan to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits: If the settlement you receive isn’t structured correctly then your workers’ comp benefits may lower the Social Security disability payments. An experienced attorney will help draft the settlement to minimize this offset.
Your Boss Retaliates Against You: If your employer has demoted you, fired you, cut your hours, or reduced pay because you have filed a claim then you need a lawyer to protect your legal rights.
You Were Injured because of Serious Misconduct: The workers’ comp system was designed to prevent civil lawsuits for work-related injuries. However, in certain situations, you are allowed to sue outside the workers’ comp process. An experienced attorney can help explain when this law applies to you.
Besides helping with the forms and meeting deadlines, an attorney knows how to gather evidence that is needed for your case and can negotiate effectively with the insurance company.