What is a Worker's Comp Lawyer?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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A worker's comp lawyer is an attorney who defends a company, an insurer, or a worker in a worker's compensation dispute. This type of lawyer can assist parties in filing a worker's compensation claim or in evaluating whether a worker's compensation claim should be paid. A worker's comp lawyer can also represent his client in hearings before an administrative board or before a court.

Worker's compensation is a compulsory system of workers protection in place in every state in the United States. It is an alternative to a tort system of litigation. Under the worker's compensation system, work injuries are governed under rules of strict liability, and if an employee is injured at work, the employer must pay certain expenses in almost every situation.

Employers must purchase worker's compensation insurance based upon the number of employees they have. While the exact rules differ by state, in most jurisdictions, if a business has even one employee, it is required to purchase worker's compensation insurance. The worker's comp insurer should then pay any legitimate claims that are filed.

When a person is injured in the scope of his employment, his monetary recovery is limited to worker's compensation. This means that a worker cannot sue his employer in order to recover damages when he is injured at work, except in rare situations where an employer intentionally injured him. Instead, state statutes determine the extent of the money he can recover.


Recovery under the worker's compensation system generally includes lost wages and medical bills. An injured worker may also be able to recover short- or long-term disability payments and other benefits based upon the nature of the injury. Death benefits are also paid if a worker dies as a result of a work injury.

The requirements for filing a worker's compensation claim vary by state, but in most cases, strict procedure must be followed. A worker's comp lawyer can help a client to file the appropriate paperwork in order to ensure that his claim is processed appropriately. A lawyer who works for an insurer or company can help to evaluate the paperwork to determine if a claim should be paid or denied.

Once a worker's comp claim is filed, the insurer must either approve or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, a worker's comp lawyer can represent the injured worker in an appeal. Appeals for worker's comp denials are generally heard by the state worker's compensation agency. The attorney will usually appear in front of this agency in order to represent either the injured worker or the company in the appeals hearing.



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