Injured workers are not required in Illinois or Missouri to retain a lawyer for workers’ compensation claims. However, these cases are legal proceedings, and most employers and insurance companies will have an attorney present at all events.
If an employee is filing a workers’ compensation claim, it means he has been injured or suffered an illness that will affect his ability to work and earn income, potentially for the rest of his life. The outcomes of these cases are legally binding and can seriously affect the future for the injured worker and his family.
Why Hire a Lawyer for an Illinois or Missouri Workers’ Compensation Case
Workers’ compensation cases can be complicated, with laws constantly updating and changing. Additionally, members of the commission and the judge are impartial parties and are forbidden from offering any legal advice. Without an attorney, it is the sole responsibility of the injured employee to:
- File appropriate paperwork
- Track the claim
- Talk with the legal team for the employer or insurance company
- Appear at hearings
- Present evidence to support his case if necessary
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can handle all these issues for the injured worker while he focuses on recovering from his illness or injury.
Complications That May Require Legal Counsel
Some simple workers’ compensation cases may be resolved quickly if the injury is not severe and little or no time off work was required. However, most cases involve some complication that could make it more difficult for an employee to handle on his own. Officials in both states do suggest retaining an attorney is many situations.
These situations include:
- If an employer denies the claim.
- If the case must go to trial.
- If medical bills are not being paid.
- If the injured worker receives Social Security or qualifies for Medicaid or Medicare.
- If the employer or insurance company offers a settlement contract.
- If the employee has been fired, demoted or harassed at work due to the claim.
- If the injured worker feels at all uncomfortable proceeding with the case.
If you or someone you love has been injured at work, the experienced legal team at the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm wants to help. If you are ready to take the next step we invite you to fill out a contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation.