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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

5 Reasons Why You Need a Workers' Comp Attorney


Workers’ compensation exists to provide employees with the financial support they need after suffering an injury at work. Its purpose aside, many who try to go through the system on their own soon realize just how user-unfriendly it can be.

When the money needed to afford the cost of medical bills and lost wages are at stake, going at it alone might not be the safest way to pursue workers’ compensation.

Why Having a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Is Important

Whether you have already filed for workers’ compensation benefits or have yet to do so, consider the following reasons for hiring an attorney to help you with this process.

1. Your Employer Refuses to Report Your Injury

Under California law, your employer is obligated to report your injury to their insurance company. This can be done by phone or email and there may be some extra paperwork to be done, but your injury must be reported. You should also expect to receive a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) to complete.

If your employer failed to report your injury or refuses to do so, seek legal representation immediately. This can be a sign that your employer is worried about something important, which can be anything from not having workers’ compensation insurance (which is illegal in California) to concerns about known safety violations.

Having an attorney on your side can ensure your employer won’t just ignore your injuries and the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

2. Your Employer Refuses to Pay

Your employer usually gets the money it needs to pay your workers’ compensation benefits from its insurance company. If your employer or their insurance company is withholding this money or refusing to pay it for any reason, a lawyer can provide the legal representation you need to pursue it.

Your attorney can help you fight for compensation such as:

  • Medical care costs
  • Occupational therapy and medication costs
  • Lost wages (temporary disability)
  • Reimbursement for a loss of earning capacity (permanent disability)
  • Travel costs associated with your medical care

3. Your Employer or Their Insurance Company Disputes Your Injuries

Your attorney can help if your employer is disputing basic facts about your injury that could disqualify you from receiving benefits. There are many reasons why your workers’ comp claim can be denied, and you should expect your employer and their insurance company to use them if they can.

Such facts can involve your employment with the company (claims that you are an independent contractor), that your injury wasn’t work-related, or that your injury isn’t covered under workers’ compensation law. If you were injured at work and your claim is unfairly scrutinized, call an attorney for help.

4. Your Compensation Doesn’t Include Disability Benefits

There are circumstances where employers or their insurance companies will pay out for medical care costs but refuse to pay disability benefits. This compensation is important because it covers a portion of the wages you’ve lost and will lose by being unable to work on either a temporary or a permanent basis.

If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you should qualify for some form of disability benefits. Contact an attorney like one of ours at Smolich and Smolich to learn more about legal options that may be available to you.

5. You Are Presented with Any Kind of Offer

Sometimes an employer or their insurance company will come forward with some kind of offer – like a lump sum payment – that might sound good at first, but you should never agree to anything before discussing it with your attorney.

Those who are making you an offer do not have your best interests in mind, so you shouldn’t expect a settlement that provides you with all of the compensation you need or are entitled to receive. This value can be assessed by your attorney, who can also help you fight for the settlement you deserve.

Call Smolich and Smolich at (916) 571-0400, or contact us for your free case review.