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Injured Workers Should Promptly Seek Legal Counsel
Sustaining an accidental injury or becoming disabled as a result of an occupational disease can be a life changing event. Seeking legal counsel early on in the process can be a vital step in the ultimate outcome of a workers’ compensation case. The decisions an injured worker makes in the first couple of days and/or weeks of his or her case can have lasting effects – effects that go beyond the value of claim and perhaps effects that impact the remainder of the worker’s life. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Jenkins, Block and Associates often find that injured workers who wait until there is a conflict with either their employer or the insurance company before seeking counsel, tend to make mistakes that devalue the claim, making maximizing benefits much more difficult than necessary.
Generally, an injured worker is not going to be familiar with the ins and outs of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation system. The employer and the employer’s workers compensation carrier, have knowledge of the system and often times use this to their advantage early in the claim. For example, an unrepresented claimant may freely volunteer to provide a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster within days of the accident. The insurance company may use the recorded statement to later deny the compensability of the case. Very rarely is it in an injured worker’s best interest to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company.
The attorneys at Jenkins, Block & Associates also advise our clients regarding the insurance company’s use of private investigators in cases. It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to hire a private investigator to obtain surveillance video of an injured worker in hopes of obtaining video that can be used to deny medical treatment and/or indemnity benefits, such as temporary total disability benefits or permanent partial disability benefits. Being aware of such tactics used by insurance carriers is important in maximizing the value of a workers’ compensation claim.
Hiring an attorney early in the process may also help in setting reasonable expectations for the case. Many workers’ are living paycheck to paycheck when they are injured. An on the job injury may lead to a period of income loss or income reduction. During these periods bills continue and may build up overtime. Loss of income leads to obvious stress, and early planning for the financial impact of a work-related injury can be of vital importance in allowing the injured worker to keep his or her vehicle and/or his or her home.
Obtaining quality medical treatment early in a claim is also important. Good, sound decisions regarding medical treatment can lead to a quicker, better recovery which, in turn, may lead the injured worker back to work and earning a paycheck in a more expedited fashion. While the insurance company often wants to limit the amount it must pay for medical treatment for an injured worker, the attorney representing the injured worker should fight to make sure that his client receives the best care possible.
If you have been injured on the job, do not delay in seeking quality legal representation. Call the lawyers at Jenkins, Block and Associates at 1-800-243-7122. Legal consultations are free.