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Workplace injuries: Complicated claims might need legal counsel

Many employees in Oklahoma are unfamiliar with the procedures to follow when filing workers' compensation claims. Victims of workplace injuries have every right to seek legal counsel for assistance with the claims process. While simple claims might be straightforward, complexities in some cases can pose many stumbling blocks.

Complications can arise when an employer objects to a workers' compensation claim, or discriminates or retaliates against a worker who filed a claim for benefits. Some employers fail to carry the required insurance or, if they do, awarded benefits might not be paid out correctly. Problems may arise if the insurer challenges the medical treatment options, or it might claim that the injury was a pre-existing condition and therefore not covered.

A lawyer can also help to make sure the injured worker receives full benefits for an occupational illness or an injury that results in permanent disability. In some cases, the insurers offer settlements that do not cover the necessary medical expenses and wage losses. Workers who also receive Social Security or other benefits may also need legal advice.

Workplace injuries can be caused by a third-party such as a delivery driver from another company or a manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment that malfunctioned. When this happens, an attorney can assess the circumstances and determine whether a civil lawsuit can be filed along with a workers' compensation benefits claim. An experienced Oklahoma lawyer can explain the worker's rights to benefits as well as alternative options there might be to secure the financial support that the injured worker deserves.

Source: consumersafety.org, "When to Hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer?", May 23, 2018

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