A lot of our clients have said, “I didn’t want to get to the point of hiring an attorney, but I had to, they forced my hand. I’d done everything they asked me to do, and they weren’t doing anything for me, and I didn’t want to lose my house. I’ve already spent all the money I had saved up.”
That’s the reality our clients have faced while being an injured worker. Workers’ compensation is a set of laws designed to protect an injured employee, but when the Employer is not following the law, the employee is left on his own. An employee who is too hurt to work and can’t afford medical care can only maintain that situation so long before they are forced to work while hurt or make some other decision to survive that may not be in their best interest long-term.
Even when employers are providing the benefits allowed by law, it can be tough on the employee because they’re making less money than they were prior to their injury. If an injured worker is taken out of work completely, they are owed benefits that equal 2/3 of their average weekly wage. If the doctor releases the employee to light duty, they are probably going to be in a lower paid position, and workers’ compensation is only responsible for 2/3 of the difference between the original pay and the lower pay. Until the workers’ compensation claim is resolved, the employee will be making less money because of their injury, and especially to someone living from paycheck to paycheck, that can be a struggle.
The reality of being an injured worker can range from annoying to devastating, depending on how the Employer/Insurer handles the claim. It would be difficult to predict an accurate value of hiring an attorney, but there is value in knowing that an attorney will make sure every dollar owed is paid.