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Do I Really Need a Lawyer for my Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Do you always need to hire a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claims? That is a question asked by injured workers quite frequently.  You may be surprised by our response: “not always”.

While workplace accidents are quite commonplace, most of them are usually minor injuries. In cases of negligible injuries, the employee is usually compensated immediately. Medical bills for small injuries are usually taken care of by the employer, or the insurance company responsible for workers’ compensation claims. In the aforementioned cases, where the employer or insurance company fulfills the legal responsibility without hesitation; no attorney is needed. However, questions from an injured worker are always welcomed by us.

However, if you are faced with a situation where the injury is severe and the employer or insurer refuses to take responsibility; call a lawyer immediately. If your injury is severe and refuses to heal, you are denied the medical care you are rightfully entitled to, or an adjuster writes you a letter denying your claim, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

We think the most disturbing aspect about workers’ compensation is that it is highly complex and by no means an easy process. That is why you need the help of an attorney to make sure your rights are secured. An attorney can maximize the medical and financial compensation you are legally entitled to under New Mexico Law. It is very easy to walk into a pitfall that may limit your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits.  Our attorneys can help you prevent such circumstances or completely avoid them.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the fees for hiring an attorney for compensation cases are quite reasonable. Attorney fees for such cases are regulated by the Worker’s Compensation Administration.  Judges have to review and approve attorney’s fees.  Often the fees are 20% of  the compensation you might collect, and you only then pay half the fee.

In most cases, the attorney obtains the attorney fee from the payments made for future benefits only after the victim has medically recovered. Because recovery from serious injuries take time, an attorney can do more for you if you hire him sooner rather than later, and for the same amount of money he will eventually earn.

The Workers’ Compensation Act was initially put in place for the purpose of proving quick and efficient benefits to injured workers. That is why the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration is swift in dealing with any conflict you may have with your employer or their insurance company. It is always prudent to talk to a lawyer regarding your Worker’s Compensation Claims to be sure you are receiving the benefits you deserve.  Preliminary consultations are always free of cost, and at Dorato and Weems we are always eager to speak with an employee regarding his/her work injury and explain your rights to you in clear and understandable terms.

Article by Derek Weems

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