Many Kansas employees that work in hazardous jobs like public safety, construction, agriculture, manufacturing and other occupations suffer on-the-job injuries. When employees are injured in a work related accident or suffer a repetitive motion injury or occupational illness, they often attempt to precede pro se without an attorney. While there is no requirement that workers compensation claimants be represented by an attorney, empirical evidence establishes that claimants who are represented by a Kansas workers compensation attorney fair more favorably than those who are unrepresented.
The Missouri Lawyers Weekly conducted a study after the state significantly modified their workers compensation statutes in 2005. The study revealed that workers compensation claimants represented by attorneys received settlements that were almost forty percent higher than those who were not represented by an attorney. The disparity was even greater after the legislative changes with represented clients receiving settlements that were double that of those who did not have an attorney representing their interests.
As this research demonstrates, the fact that an injured worker can pursue a workers compensation claim without an attorney does not mean that it is a good idea to do so. Workers compensation attorneys typically have in-house counsel on staff that review claims and provide legal advice on how to mitigate the amount of a claim or deny it entirely. When a party proceeds through the workers compensation process without legal representation, the workers compensation insurer has a significant advantage in terms of resources, experience, medical experts and legal advice.
While receiving reduced benefits without a Kansas workers compensation attorney is a significant disadvantage, the speed that one receives benefits also will typically be compromised. Workers compensation insurance representatives handle an enormous volume of claims. Because they have limited time to handle claims, they must prioritize which to move to the top of the stack for processing and which to defer until later. Experienced Kansas workers compensation attorneys can use court appearances to force the workers compensation carrier to explain of justify unjustified delay. This means additional costs are incurred so there is less motivation to drag the process out when a claimant is represented by a workers compensation lawyer.
If you or someone close to you has suffered a work-related injury, experienced Kansas workers compensation lawyer Michael R. Lawless can help you pursue medical treatment, lost income and benefits for permanent disability. Our Lenexa, KS workers compensation firm is dedicated to balancing the scales of justice so that you can obtain the compensation that you deserve. We invite you to call us toll free at 1-800-734-3771 or visit our website and submit a case inquiry form today.