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Choosing A Workers Compensation Attorney – A Complete Guide

Want to know about workers compensation attorney? What do they do and why are they important? You might also be looking for tips to choose the right attorney. Let us understand it with the example below.

workers compensation lawyer

Have you got injured or received an illness while at work? Treatment might be the first priority but you are also entitled to compensation. You can file for compensation on your own but you fear that it might get rejected. Here an experienced compensation lawyer can help you.

Who is a workers' compensation attorney? – Meaning and definition

A workers' compensation attorney is an attorney or lawyer who helps workers get the right compensation after a workman meets an injury or got ill while at work. They play a vital role in workman welfare as sometimes insurance adjusters fail to provide appropriate compensation to victims. Here these attorneys provide them with legal help.

Fee of workers compensation attorney – How much they charge

The workers' compensation attorneys or lawyers charge you nothing. They get a certain amount of compensation if they are given compensation for your injury or illness period or a certain percentage of the lumpsum amount. Their fee is regulated by the respective governments.

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Reasons why should I hire a workers' compensation lawyer

There are times when you have been hurt at work and you are in a dilemma about whether or not you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer. As you might be losing wages and paying big amounts in medical bills, there should be no dilemma regarding hiring a workers' compensation lawyer. Here we give compelling reasons for it.

Your employer is in denial mode

There are instances where a workman got injured while working and the employer is not accepting it. Sometimes employers go into denial mode and don’t accept that the workman has got injured at their premises.

If this is also the situation with you, a workers’ comp lawyer could be of great help to you. Such an attorney can help you establish that you have got hurt while working besides establishing your employment with the firm.

Change in employers’ attitude

Most employers are initially sympathetic when an employee gets injured. But their attitude changes when they find that he won’t be able to come to work for long. They start forcing them to return to work very soon or face forced termination.

If you are also facing such a situation, you should immediately consult a lawyer who will not only ensure job safety but also get the right compensation.

You don’t know how to file a complaint

Most employees don’t know the finer nuances of law regarding workers' compensation. So when they got injured while working they don’t know how to safeguard their rights.

A good workers’ comp attorney knows how to file the claim so that the rights of workers can be well safeguarded. He will prepare your case and help get you desired results.

Your employer does not offer workers' compensation insurance

The US law has a provision that an employer must offer workers compensation insurance. So, if after injury, you have learned that your employer is not offering insurance for workers, it is the right time to see an attorney with a specialization in workers' compensation. Such an attorney will tell you about the options available before you.

Workers with a preexisting condition

Some workers have a preexisting condition that makes their compensation claims highly difficult. Your employer, insurance company, or even insurance company may cite this preexisting condition as the reason for injury. It weakens your workers' compensation claim.

Even if you have a pre-existing condition, it is not a lost case for you. A workers' compensation attorney may offer you respite. He evaluable your preexisting condition and use his expertise in law to make your case strong. These lawyers work with various experts who help them prepare a better case.

Employer doesn’t acknowledge your injury

You may have a difference of opinion with your employer regarding your injury. Your employer might not acknowledge your injury. He may have a team of lawyers who will be arguing in his favor. All these things may drive you to the point of hopelessness.

But you shouldn’t lose hope as a workers' compensation attorney might help you in this regard. He has access to a team of doctors that will collect evidence to establish your injury.

Your medical expenses are too high

It is very difficult to assess the cost of injury and your medical bills could be way too high than what you have expected. You may have imagined that your back or head injury is normal but it gets complicated and your medical expenses rise meteorically. You might have to go through multiple surgeries and in some cases, it may require intervention from other medical professionals like a physical therapist and occupational therapist among others. Here having an experienced workers’ comp attorney with doctors in their team can ask for a claim that covers all the aspects of your treatment.

Your compensation is being reevaluated

You got injured, received treatment, and got compensation. You thought that things have got settled. What if your employer’s insurance company files a request for reevaluation? They may think that your injury is not life-altering and you have been paid more than appropriate.

If such a situation arises, you may not be able to handle it on your own and you have to hire an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

You are not given the benefits

It happens. Compensation to a worker may be denied. If it happens to you then what would be your option? Here a workers comp lawyer can help you.

An attorney understands the reasons behind the denial of your claims. They know what documents and evidence your case may be lacking. He also finds out even the minutest lack in your preparation. After knowing these things, he prepares your case accordingly. Well-prepared cases don’t get denials and have high chances to get benefits.

You are looking for lost wages

After the injury, you are not able to work and as a result, you may lose your wages. As most workers find it hard to survive even after working full time how can you survive without wages?

A good workers' compensation attorney understands this situation and exercises provisions in the law to get wages so that your family doesn’t suffer.

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Benefits of hiring a workers' compensation lawyer

Hiring a workers' compensation lawyer is totally worth it. There is a huge difference between handling a workers' injury case on your own and having an experienced attorney fighting it for you. You can clearly find the benefits of working with an attorney. Here we list the benefits of hiring a workers' compensation attorney.

They check your eligibility

Your workers' compensation battle should start with checking your eligibility. As per law, most employees injured on the workplace, deserve workers' compensation. But there are certain exceptions to it. Domestic help, farm workers and seasonal workers are the exceptions to it. As you get in touch with a workers compensation attorney, he checks your eligibility before proceeding further. It saves you a lot of time, resources and energy. Some of the eligibility criteria are as follows.

  • You’re legally employed
  • Your employer offers insurance
  • Your injury is related to work
  • You reported the injury or illness in time
  • You visited a doctor recognized by the employer

They revive your case after the denial

When we meet an accident while at work we become very much assured about the compensation. After all, there are so many witnesses around and you have got treated at a recognized hospital. But you get surprised when your claim is denied. Having witness and medical certificate is no guarantee of getting compensation.

Here an experienced workers compensation lawyer can make a difference. An experienced lawyer knows how to prepare a strong case. Through his experience, he knows what is the precise set of evidence and documents that no court or insurance company can deny. He might be in touch with some doctors who know how to prepare strong medical records for your injury. Apart from the doctors, he also has excess to several professionals who help them with evidence collection.

They better negotiate with the insurance company

Lawyers of the insurance company are crack negotiators. They have handled several cases of workers' compensation so they have mastered the art of maneuvering. Most of the workers have not found themselves in a legal tangle before so they are not a match for these negotiators.

Here an experienced workers' compensation attorney can anticipate their moves and prepare the case accordingly. They know how insurance companies trick people into accepting an offer that is just not sufficient. An experienced lawyer has a fair idea about what can you get and he sticks to it until your insurance company complies to it.

A workers' compensation lawyer documents your agreement precisely

The wording of your agreement is highly important as it may make or break the chances of getting the desired settlement amount. As you are not an expert at it, you should not take a chance and leave it to some experts. No doubt with superior knowledge of law and expertise in documentation, workers' compensation lawyers are ideally suited for it.

They know what wording to use to maximize your benefits. A well-worded agreement makes more chances of getting additional benefits like social security benefits. If you are to get a settlement amount, he reads its terms and conditions to safeguard your interests.

They help you win at the court

Not all workers' compensation disputes are settled out of court. If an agreement is not reached, you have to take the matter to the court. Here you have to represent your case in a highly efficient manner. it becomes difficult if you are representing yourself that too for the first time.

Here an experienced workers’ comp attorney can represent your case before a judge in a much more convincing manner.

By handing over this responsibility to him you can rest assured that your case is being properly tracked and your chances of getting compensation is high. We all know that insurance companies have a highly skilled team of lawyers and you can’t equal them without the support of a workers compensation attorney.

They look after related legal issues

Some workers' compensation cases are not black and white as some degree of complication is attached to them. An attorney looking after your case also looks after the related legal issues. For example, if you have got injured at your workplace due to the negligence of someone who is not related to your employer then the matter gets complicated. In such a case your attorney handles these related complications as well.

With them, you get breathing time

With a workers' compensation attorney working on your case, you can rest assured that your case is being properly tracked. Having peace of mind during an illness or injury helps you with a speedy recovery. it is one of the major advantages of hiring a legal counsel.

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How to choose a workers' compensation lawyer

Workplace injuries or illnesses are very common and employees have to hire an attorney to safeguard their rights and ensure sufficient compensation. Here we give you valuable tips on how to choose a workers' compensation attorney.

Make a list of potential attorneys

In every city, you will have some names that are known for their legal skills and help to get workers' compensation. You should prepare the list of attorneys. You can prepare this list from local directories, bar association websites or from people who have fought a workman compensation case earlier. Once the list is ready, selecting the workers' compensation attorney gets easy.

Know about those shortlisted

Once you have prepared the list, the next stage is performing background checks on these lawyers. Know about their strengths and weaknesses, ask about how many years they are working, and any disciplinary action they are facing. Your state bar association website can help you a lot while doing a background check.

Among other things to know while doing a background check is their area of specialization. Is he a jack of all trades and master of none or does he specialize in workers' compensation law? It is always better to go with a lawyer with a relevant specialization.

Conduct a meeting with your potential workers comp lawyer

Once you have done your primary research, it is time to convene a meeting with your potential lawyers. This step can’t be missed. Even if you have got tons of positive reviews or talked to him over the phone, the importance of an in-person meeting can’t be undermined. During your meeting ask your prospective lawyer to evaluate the case and let you know what can be expected from it.

Know about their experience

They say there is no substitute for experience. It well applies to the selection of a worker's compensation attorney. You should know about your prospective lawyer’s experience. Know about how many years he has been practicing workers' compensation law. Also, know what are the different types of workers' compensation cases he has handled.

It is good to go for lawyers with maximum experience but if a lawyer with a few years of experience is getting good results you should also consider him.

Know their success rate

They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Likewise, there couldn’t be a better test for a workers' compensation lawyer than his success rate.

Some of the lawyers may not tell you their success rates citing legal reasons. But there is no harm in asking as some lawyers can proudly say this.

Feedback matters

You should ask about your prospective lawyers before finalizing him.  You can contact their client, check online forums, or even post a question asking about him on popular websites. It is better to verify than be sorry.

Ask about their way of communication

Communication with the attorney is important while you are fighting for workers' compensation. You need to know recent developments in your case. For this, you should know how your lawyer communicates and what are his communication preferences.

Different lawyers have different preferences like call, text, or detailed email. Know about their preferences.

Check if you are comfortable

Workers’ compensation cases are time-consuming and you have to keep in touch with your attorney for a long. So, there should be a certain comfort level. On your meeting with him, you should check if you would be working with him for a long. If not, it is time to look for other options.

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