Suffering a work-related injury can be a traumatic and devastating event. A serious injury can result in significant medical bills and missed time from work (or even the inability to return to your prior employment). If you or a loved one is struggling with a work injury, you may be wondering whether it makes sense to hire a Greenville workers’ compensation attorney. You have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation pro-se (i.e. without an attorney) and represent yourself. However, it makes more sense to have a skilled, experienced Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer on your side to ensure you receive benefits. Here are some important reasons why.
Workers’ Compensation Law is Complex
Representing yourself without the benefit of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Greenville means you will have to learn to navigate the workers’ compensation system and develop an understanding of applicable workers’ compensation laws and regulations. For example, the law requires you to file specific forms, present certain evidence to a judge and comply with certain statutory deadlines. If you fail to meet these requirements, you claim could be denied or outright dismissed.
Along with risking the denial of your claim, trying to manage your own case means you are probably going to spend large quantities of time trying to learn the workers’ compensation system. This is not the best use of your time. You should be focusing on your physical therapy and getting back to as close to 100 percent as possible.
The Other Side is Going to Have a Defense Attorney Working Against You
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer will likely notify their workers’ compensation insurance company. That company will then assign your claim to one of their seasoned insurance defense attorneys to try and reduce or deny your claim. If you file your claim pro se, your employer and their workers’ compensation insurer are more likely to reject the claim in the hopes that you will fail to appeal in the time allowed under the law. Unfortunately, this bet usually pays off for the employer and their insurance company. The vast majority of workers (up to 80 percent, in fact) who suffer a work-related injury simply accept the denial of their workers’ compensation claim without filing an appeal.
An experienced Greenville workers’ compensation attorney will not simply accept a denial on face value. They will immediately work to file an appeal on your behalf and work to get the compensation you deserve.
Hiring a Greenville Workers’ Compensation Attorney Requires No Upfront Costs
The vast majority of experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Greenville, SC work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means your lawyer will not take a fee, or charge you on an hourly basis, for representing you unless they recover income benefits on your behalf. When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, they will ask you to sign a fee contract and it will be filed with the South Carolina State Board. The Board will actually determine an appropriate legal fee that your attorney will receive. Generally, the Board will not approve a fee in excess of 25 percent of your award of weekly (income) benefits or settlement.
Contact an Experienced Greenville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with a work-related injury in or around Greenville, South Carolina do not fight the insurance defense lawyer alone. Get an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Greenville on your side. The Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm is here to help. Contact his office today to set up a no-cost consultation.