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Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workers' Comp Case?

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By Andrew Lu on December 26, 2012 9:02 AM

You may think you need a lawyer for any injury or accident. But do you need a lawyer for a workers' compensation case?

The whole point of having a workers' compensation system to handle workplace injuries is to remove these cases from the civil tort system, reports

Yet lawyers are often involved in workers' comp cases, and some corporate managers suggest that this is leading to unnecessary delay and expenses. Injured workers, however, may beg to differ.

In a survey of 6,823 injured workers, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) sought to find out why injured workers hired attorneys.

There were some interesting findings in the survey. For example, the majority of those with a workers' comp case did not hire an attorney, reports Only 29 percent of those surveyed felt the need to seek outside counsel.

When those who hired an attorney were asked why they did so, most said they felt threatened -- either by their employer or by the workers' comp process in general. Surprisingly, almost half (46 percent) of those surveyed said they hired an attorney because they mistakenly believed their claims were denied, when in fact, their claims had not yet even entered the system.

Other factors that led injured workers to hire lawyers included the severe nature of their injuries, the size of the employer, the employee's tenure with the company, and the employee's age, according to the survey.

So should you hire an attorney to handle your workers' comp case? The best answer is: "It depends." If you suffered a minor injury, have a good relationship with your employer and truly understand the workers' comp process, then you may not need an attorney.

But if you suffered a serious injury, or your employer is arguing that you are not entitled to any benefits, you will likely want to contact an experienced workers' comp lawyer who can help you stand up for your rights.

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