In the final video of this series, I answer the question of whether you need a lawyer or not in your workers’ compensation claim. As with most lawyer questions, it depends. But the simple answer is, why would you not want legal advice?
Hello this is Darrell Castle. I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and on this video, I’m talking about whether you need an attorney to handle a workers’ compensation case, or a case where you’ve been injured on the job.
And the answer to that question depends of course like most lawyers, or most lawyer questions, the answer is, it depends.
It depends on whether you have a disabling injury or not. We talked about what a disabling injury is on the previous video. But one thing you can be sure of – if you go into the workers’ comp system, in other words, you’ve been injured at work and you’re off work for a period of time where you’re going to receive workers’ compensation benefits – they’re going to replace part of the salary that you’re losing for being off work. You can bet that your employer’s insurance company, and that is the person whose actually doing this, or the company rather, whose actually doing it all. That’s the person you’re negotiating with. That’s the person who is going to decide whether you receive this compensation or not. You can bet that company has many many lawyers and wouldn’t do anything of the legal nature without seeking legal advice. So, why should you not have legal advice? What’s wrong with it?
Sometimes people in the insurance company, or even your employer, will say you don’t need an attorney – we can take care of you, we’ll help you with it – that sort of thing. If that happens, just ask the person, “How many lawyers do you have? Are you proceeding without legal advice?”
So the answer to that question is, you know, why shouldn’t you have legal advice to help you with it.
The other issue is that they’re are many things in workers’ compensation that are very complicated. The level of your disability – your partial disability – will determine whether or not you receive lump sum compensation.
I would say, under most circumstance, you will not get the compensation that you are fully entitled to unless you have legal advice.
There are other situations where you are injured and you’re off work for quite a bit of time. Your doctor says “go back to work,” but you can’t. You don’t feel like you’re able to perform that same duty. You’d be strongly advised to seek legal advice. You know, if you quit your job under those circumstance, it will cost you monetarily in ways other than your employment. It will cost you money – part of your lump sum benefits. You should always get legal advice before you do something like that.
So, those are many reasons why you would need an attorney to help you with the workers’ compensation claim.