Making Changes To Your Life

Important Questions To Ask Your Workers' Compensation Lawyer

by Kristin Hawkins

If you have sustained injuries while at work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. However, the workers' compensation system is difficult to navigate on your own. For this reason, it's advisable to hire a workers' compensation lawyer. Here are some questions you should ask your lawyer before filing a claim.

What Injuries Are Covered by Workers' Compensation?

Many people believe workers' compensation covers injuries such as head trauma or a broken bone. Workers' compensation also applies to less serious injuries. Generally, an injury you sustain while on the job or any medical condition you contract while employed qualifies for workers' compensation.

Injuries such as hearing loss arising from long exposure to loud noises and breathing problems because of exposure to harmful chemicals are covered under the system. Also, a stress-related condition like a heart attack qualifies for workers' compensation. However, you'll need to prove the injury or condition you're suffering from was a direct result of your working conditions.

If the Injury Was Your Fault, Will It Impact Your Claim Negatively?

If an accident occurs because of your own careless actions, like failing to wear safety gear, you still qualify for workers' compensation. The workers' comp system doesn't look at fault. This means unless you were involved in some illegal act or notorious behavior like fighting or intoxication, fault doesn't matter and will not affect your claim.

This may become more complicated if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury. Therefore, you need to prove that your injuries either happened by mistake, due to negligence, or because of forgetfulness to receive compensation.

What Should You Tell the Claims Administrator?

A claims administrator handles claims for workers' compensation on behalf of the company that has insured your employer. They'll have to speak to you to gather details about your injuries and treatment. You should ask your lawyer to prep you before meeting the claims administrator.

You need to avoid incriminating yourself when talking to a claim's administrator. Keep your statements as brief as possible to avoid contradiction. If you aren't confident enough to handle the questions of the claim's administrator, ask your lawyer to represent you.

What Do Your Workers' Compensation Benefits Cover?

Workers' compensation benefits are meant to help you recover your losses. Generally, the benefits you're eligible for will vary depending on the extent of your injuries. You're entitled to compensation for medical expenses. 

However, not all forms of treatment are covered. For example, physical therapy and chiropractic care may not be part of the compensation. You may also receive temporary disability benefits for lost wages. For severe injuries, you'll receive permanent disability benefits.