Is an attorney required to file a claim for workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation programs were originally developed by states not only to relieve employers of the cost of litigating all the workers’ personal injury claims, but also to relieve the workers from the cost of hiring attorneys to help them pursue their claims. Therefore, the programs provide a process that is more expedited and more informal than a lawsuit filed in court so that workers, if they choose, may make a claim without the assistance of an attorney. However, as in any area of the law in which not only facts, but terms, are subject to differing interpretations even by reasonable people, many find that workers who hire an attorney may be much more successful in being awarded benefits.
Fortunately, state laws generally provide limits on attorneys fees in workers’ compensation cases. As in personal injury law, attorneys who practice in the area of workers’ compensation usually base their fees on contingency, so that workers only pay the attorney when they are awarded benefits. In most states, experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are able to provide free consultations regarding the merits of individual cases, helping workers to decide whether or not to pursue claims, giving assurance to those who are unsure about their claims, and saving time, inconvenience, and worry to those whose claims are unlikely to succeed.
When do I need an attorney?
When you receive a job-related injury or illness, you should report to your employer immediately. However, you have up to two years to report an injury, and there is no time limitation to report an occupational disease. Once your employer has actual knowledge of your injury, they have seven days to report it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
In turn, after receiving the employee’s claim, the insurance carrier has 14 days to file all injury reports involving compensable claims with Wisconsin’s Workers’ Compensation Division. Should your Wisconsin workers’ compensation claim be denied, the insurance company must notify you within seven days of receiving the claim and include their reasons for denial.
If your claim is denied, you should contact an experienced Wisconsin work injury claims attorney to discuss your rights. As a highly experienced workers’ compensation attorney, Lisa Pierobon Mays will represent your interests as an injured Wisconsin worker against insurance companies attempting to deny you workers’ compensation benefits.
Can I afford a lawyer? How is compensation paid?
The injuries sustained in an industrial or construction accident are often so severe that they require a substantial recovery period. During this time, you may be unable to work, therefore unable to earn an income. How then do you afford an attorney?
Under Wisconsin state law, a Wisconsin workers’ comp lawyer can only charge up to 20 percent of the amount of recovered compensation. This attorney fee is simply deducted from your payments; therefore you do not pay attorney fees until you receive compensation for your injury or illness. At Mays Law Office, we offer free consultations before you hire us to represent you for your workers’ compensation claim.
Of course, nothing can compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured following a work-related injury. However, receiving the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to is an important step on the way to recovery. Lisa Pierobon Mays can help guide you through the Wisconsin workers’ compensation system, working to ensure that you file the necessary paperwork within each specific time frame.
For more information about how we can help you, contact Lisa Pierobon Mays at (608) 257-0440 for a free consultation.