Employer negligence is common in most workplaces, especially those involving physical labor. Common examples of employer negligence include:
- Ignoring potential health risks.
- Not providing personal protective equipment.
- Lack of supervision and care.
- Inadequate training.
Whatever the case, if you have been a victim of employer negligence, you can file a compensation claim. And a worker’s compensation lawyer can make life easier. A worker’s compensation lawyer will help you prepare for a lawsuit against your employer and get financial compensation for the damages incurred.
If you think you can handle the lawsuit yourself, think again. It is challenging to manage a legal case alongside taking care of your health. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the following reasons before making an informed decision.
Not every case is valid for worker’s compensation. If your claim is eligible, you may have to file a lawsuit promptly. While there may be some exceptions, most states in the USA allow workers to apply for compensatory benefits. For instance, victims of asbestos exposure, diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness are eligible to file a lawsuit.
Though banned in the 1980s, asbestos exposure had already impacted military veterans of the Gulf and Vietnam Wars as the defense industry used asbestos. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center provides financial aid, healthcare, and legal advice for veterans in case of a mesothelioma diagnosis. Since asbestos-related illnesses are incurable, you can seek monetary compensation to cover medical expenses and provide for your family. To ensure your case is valid, you must discuss it with a lawyer.
In case of your eligibility for worker’s compensation, you must make sure you meet your state’s criteria for claiming compensation from the lawsuit. Since every state has slightly varied criteria, a worker’s compensation lawyer will help you navigate your case. As an overview, keep the following in mind when preparing for a worker’s compensatory lawsuit:
- Evidence to prove the employer’s negligence
- A medical diagnosis for an injury or illness
- Reporting to your employer regarding the illness or injury
Remember that these aren’t the only conditions you must meet to become eligible for a compensatory reward. Legalities of any case are difficult to understand if you are not well-versed with the law. Therefore, it is safe to hire a compensation lawyer so that you are aware of what you might gain out of the lawsuit.
Types of benefits
A worker’s compensation lawyer can estimate the financial reward you may be eligible for. The attorney will determine your eligibility by reviewing your case, whether it is medical, vocational, disability, or all types of benefits. Filing a lawsuit against your employer is not simply claiming an amount to cover expenses. Instead, a worker’s compensation lawyer will review your diagnosis and the extent of harm caused by your employer’s negligence before giving you an estimate of what you can claim.
Not knowing what to ask for may give you less than what you deserve. Often victims of employer negligence have to decide between a settlement outside court or filing a lawsuit. You can get financial compensation both ways, but the range of benefits differs, and that’s where an attorney may help.
Other than which benefits to seek, an attorney will help you decide how much to expect from a lawsuit. For example, if you have a terminal illness like mesothelioma, you may be out of work for longer than expected, impacting your financial standing and that of your family. A specialized attorney will help you gain maximum compensation from the lawsuit to pay for medical expenses and provide for the future.
Simply filing for a worker’s compensation doesn’t imply you will gain financial benefits. For example, many companies have insurance for worker’s compensation, which can impact what you gain from a lawsuit. In addition, the lawsuit may or may not go in your favor. A worker’s compensation lawyer will help you review your company’s financial standing and insurance policies so that you can get maximum benefits from the lawsuit.
Contesting the Defendant’s Claims
In most cases, companies you file against may resist compensating you for an injury or illness. Especially if the company has an insurance policy, the insurance company may refuse to give a financial reward or other types of benefits. It is also possible that your company or the insurance company may blame you for being negligent about your health or deliberately causing an injury. Some insurance companies also refuse to compensate without an explanation.
There is also the hurdle of the insurance company terminating your reward and benefits too quickly. It is not uncommon for victims of employer negligence to face hurdles along the way; however, you can overcome these with the help of a worker’s compensation lawyer.
Settlement vs. Trial
Sometimes, a settlement may be the way out rather than going for a trial. For example, if the insurance company or your employer fails to compensate, you can negotiate an amount outside of court. If the settlement takes place outside court, you may receive less than initially demanded, but you get to save trial costs, which may even out in the long run. To make it through the decision of filing a lawsuit or seeking a settlement, an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer may be helpful. Since the worker’s compensation attorneys have experience handling such cases, their insight can help you make an informed decision.
If you’re willing to file a lawsuit against your employer, seeking an attorney’s advice would help sufficiently. In most cases, victims of employer negligence are unaware of what to demand and expect. Therefore a worker’s compensation attorney can help you gather essential documents for evidence, prepare for the trial, and get adequately compensated.