How Workers Compensation Works
When you are hurt at work, you have a workers compensation claim. Lets talk about the stages of that process.
Injury Law News brought to you by the Shanks Law Firm
I’m Randy Shanks and my firm represents victims in workers compensation cases in Omaha, NE. Today we are going to talk about the stages of a workers compensation claim.
WHAT YOU’RE ENTITLED TO
Injured Nebraska workers are entitled to three things under workers compensation, or work comp law. You’re entitled to have your medical treatment taken care of and paid for. You are entitled to a portion of your wages while you are unable to work; either while you are healing, or while you are on restrictions from your doctor. And finally, you are entitled to a lump sum for whatever disability you have due to the injury. The first two parts should be handled throughout your case and should move pretty easily, the last part, however, the part about your disability, is where most folks need an attorney. You may need an attorney to get the medical care that you need or to get your wages while you are off work, but you are certainly going to need an attorney to get your disability payment for you. Here are the stages of that process.
STAGES OF A WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM
When you are hurt at work it is important that you give notice to your employer immediately. At that point your employer may file a notice of injury or a claim for compensation for you, but they typically don’t, and you can’t count on that, so your lawyer should file a claim for compensation- that starts the process and gets a file open for you at the division of workers compensation.
Your lawyer and the insurance company’s lawyer will then show up for the prehearing, and tell the judge where you are on the case to make sure things are moving along as they should and that you are not dragged out longer than you should be.
AT THE prehearing stage, if you are done with your treatment, the parties will request what is called mediation. Now at the mediation you will most likely need to be at the division of workers compensation with your lawyer. The judge will want to hear from you and find out how you are doing and how you are getting over your injury and the judge will suggest a reasonable range to resolve the disability portion of your claim.
If you can’t agree with the insurance company, the next step is a hearing, and it is rare that cases go to hearing, a very small percentage of them are not resolved at either prehearing or mediations, but at the hearing your lawyer will put on evidence of your rating, the amount of your disability. Your lawyer would have sent you to a doctor to get your rating and the insurance company will have chosen a doctor to give a rating that will benefit them. The judge will hear all the evidence and make a decision, and at that point your case should be over. I fit is not there may be appeals and that is a whole separate step of the process. It can take months or even years to go from your injury to the final end of your case. It’s important to have a lawyer who is experienced with workers compensation law and the process to keep things moving along, remember that the insurance company is happy to delay as long as possible because they don’t want to pay you. You need someone fighting for you on your side, and it is important that you hire a lawyer that you believe in, and that you trust.
Call my office if you have questions about workers compensation law, or contact us at the website at the bottom of the screen. We are happy to visit with you without cost or obligation and point you in the right direction for your workers compensation claim.
The Shanks Law Firm is dedicated to the needs of injury victims and their families.