When Should I Consult A Lawyer

You have the right to consult with a lawyer, or have a lawyer represent you, at any step in the process. Here are some situations in which a lawyer may be needed:

  • You report your injury to your employer but they refuse to report the injury to their insurance company or to the Division of Workers’ Compensation
  • Your employer or the insurance company will not tell you which doctor to see for treatment
  • Your employer wants to pay for your medical treatment through their health insurance plan rather than through their workers’ compensation insurance
  • The insurance company is denying your case
  • You are not getting the medical care you believe you need
  • The insurance company’s doctor releases you, but you are not fully recovered from the injury
  • The insurance company hires someone to monitor your progress and attend your doctor’s appointments
  • Tests or surgery ordered by the authorized treating physician are denied or canceled
  • You are not getting weekly benefit checks while the doctor says you cannot work
  • The insurance company won’t talk with you
  • The insurance company is claiming a penalty for a safety violation or for use of drugs or alcohol
  • You feel intimidated by the process, or you feel you are being treated unfairly
  • You are confused about how to proceed
  • You have been fired, demoted or harassed at work because of your work injury, or because you are asserting your workers’ compensation rights
  • You have applied for, or are receiving social security disability benefits
  • You have qualified for Medicare, or you may qualify for Medicare within the next five years
  • Mo HealthNet or Medicaid has paid for your medical bills
  • You believe you are permanently and totally disabled, that is, you believe that you cannot work at any job
  • Your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage at the time of the injury
  • Your medical bills are not being paid, even though you have only gone to medical care providers authorized by your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company
  • If your case has not settled within a year from the time you were injured
  • If you feel uncomfortable proceeding with your case without consulting a lawyer first

A lawyer is almost always needed, when:

  • The case cannot be resolved by settlement and must be resolved by an evidentiary hearing (trial)
  • The workers’ compensation insurance company strongly advises you to get a lawyer
  • An administrative law judge strongly advises you to get a lawyer