Posted on: 22 December 2014
If you've been injured at work, you may have doubts about your ability to collect the workers compensation that you need. That's because there are some pervasive myths about workers compensation that discourage workers from pursuing their employer's insurance company for the funds that they deserve. If you believe that you are better off without a lawyer, or that you have to put up with delays and stall tactics, you may have fallen prey to some of these untruths. Take a look at the truth behind these common myths that discourage injured workers.
Myth: Paying a Lawyer Isn't Worth it, Because The Lawyer Will Take Most of Your Settlement
Many injured workers avoid lawyers because they're convinced the attorney's fees won't be worth what they'll receive in workers compensation benefits. It's in your worker' compensation insurance company's best interest for you to continue believing this, so don't expect the insurance adjuster handling your case to enlighten you. However, the truth is, workers who are represented by an attorney tend to end up with a larger settlement than workers who are not represented by an attorney.
What's more, attorney's fees are almost always capped in workers compensation cases. The amount of the cap varies depending on what state you're in. In California, the fee can be as low as 10%, whereas in Texas, it can be as much as 25%. In either case, the workers compensation attorney can't just charge anything that they want. What's more, you don't pay anything unless you win, and consultations are usually free.
In short, you're apt to get a better settlement with an attorney, and it's very unlikely the attorney's fees will be high enough to eat up the difference. It's true that not all workers compensation cases require the help of an attorney, but anyone who tells you to avoid an attorney to save money isn't looking out for your best interests. In a complicated case, consulting an attorney is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Myth: Workers Compensation Has to Be Difficult to Get, Because Fraud is Rampant
Too many people are under the impression that it's normal to have to jump through hoops and put up with delays while waiting to be approved for benefits because insurance companies have to guard against fraud. This is a common claim any time people are perceived to be getting something for nothing – you can hear the same claims in regards to Social Security Disability, most forms of welfare, and even personal injury lawsuits.
But while complaints about workers compensation fraud are common, fraud itself is very rare. Studies done on workers compensation claims have shown that at most, 1% to 2% of claims are fraudulent – hardly rampant criminal activity. Most workers simply want to be compensated for their injuries and treated so they can return to work. And workers compensation isn't "getting something for nothing" – it's your right as a worker.
The insurance companies know most claims are legitimate. They also know you need your medical treatment paid for, and you need a regular paycheck. By stalling, delaying checks, and making unreasonable demands, they can make you feel desperate to settle – so desperate you'll settle for less than what you deserve, just to start getting the bills paid again.
You shouldn't have to settle for less. If the insurance company is placing unreasonable restrictions on you or preventing you from receiving the money you're owed, there are ways to put a stop to it. An aggressive workers comp attorney can be a good ally when you find yourself in this situation.
Don't let misconceptions about workers compensation scare you away from pursuing what you're owed, or trick you into putting up with more hassles than you should have to. When you work hard and you're injured in the course of doing that work, you deserve to get paid for your treatment and your time off work without a lot of extra hassle.Share