In 2015 alone, injured workers received more than $61.9 million in settlements for work-related injuries. While most employers are quick to look out for their workers and are willing to do anything they can to help them recover quickly, others are less willing.
If you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim and are fighting tooth and nail to get the money you need to recover, you’re not alone. And you don’t have to struggle on your own.
You just need help from an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.
Once you schedule your consultation, ask these important questions before they start working on your case.
1. Do I Really Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
If your company and their insurance provider accepted your claim and you’re on your way to receiving benefits, you don’t need to work with an attorney.
But if your claim gets denied or the company is stalling, it’s worth getting legal help. A workers’ compensation attorney can help speed up the process of getting the money you need and deserve.
2. Is Workers’ Compensation Your Primary Focus?
It’s normal for attorneys to specialize in more than one area of law. But it’s always best to work with individuals with experience.
Ideally, choose an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. They’re familiar with the ins and outs of workers’ comp law and are better equipped to help you get the best settlement.
3. Are You Familiar with Cases Like Mine?
Every workers’ compensation claim is different, but there are always certain patterns that can help your legal counsel represent your case most efficiently. And they learn these patterns through experience.
Ask your attorney if they’ve every represented cases similar to yours and what the outcome was. If they were able to settle the case successfully, you’ll likely see the same result.
Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee you’ll win or get the settlement you want. Every case is unique and it’s impossible to predict the outcome.
4. Who Will Handle the Case?
Attorneys often have an extensive legal team to help them manage their caseload, perform research, and gather the necessary information. In many cases, the attorney you meet with will handle the case.
But in some instances, they may pass it on to another associate. This doesn’t mean they won’t do a great job, but it’s always helpful to know who you’re dealing with and who to contact if you have questions about the suit.
5. The Accident Was My Fault. Is This a Problem?
Accidents happen and as long as your injury is the result of a work-related task, you likely have a case. Keep in mind the injury must happen during the course of your duties.
Unless you got injured under the influence of drugs or alcohol or picked a fight on the floor with a coworker, you probably have a case.
Fault and negligence don’t prevent you from having a valid claim. You were still injured during the course of your work.
6. How Much Information Should I Give to My Doctor?
Your doctor is the one who can assess whether you’re physically able to go back to work and administer treatments to help you recover more quickly. They’re better able to do these things when they understand the full scope of your injury and how it happened.
Be honest with them. Tell them how you’re feeling, how you received the injury, and how much pain you’re in as accurately as possible.
7. If I’m Cleared for Light-Duty Work, Do I Need to Go Back?
Going back to work, even with restricted duties, doesn’t compromise your workers’ compensation claim. You were still injured on the job. You’re still entitled to money for those injuries.
If your doctor clears you to go back to work, try to do it. But make sure your employer follows the restrictions your doctor recommends. If they don’t, don’t do the work.
The last thing you want to do is make your injury worse. And if your employer refuses to accommodate your needs, speak with your attorney immediately.
8. Do I Have to Pay You Upfront?
Any workers’ compensation lawyer that expects you to pay for their services before you receive any type of settlement is someone you should avoid working with.
Most workers’ comp attorneys receive payment based on the amount of your settlement. They take a percentage of that amount and you keep the rest. If you don’t receive a settlement, they don’t receive payment for their services.
Every case is different and your attorney will work out an exact payment schedule if you decide to hire them.
9. Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing a Case?
Filing a workers’ comp claim can feel scary, but it’s in your best interest to do it. Your employer cannot legally fire you or retaliate against you for filing a claim.
If they do, you should seek help from an attorney immediately. You likely have a wrongful termination case that can and should go to court immediately.
10. Should I Sue My Employer?
If the injury was your employer’s fault, it’s tempting to take them to court for their negligence. But this typically doesn’t happen with workers’ compensation and work injury claims.
This is because filing a workers’ comp claim means you waive the right to sue your employer. You’re already working towards getting compensation for your injuries. A lawsuit wouldn’t help the process.
That said, if your employer violated your OSHA-regulated workers’ rights, they can face hefty fines. Your attorney can advise you on how to report the problem.
If you’re struggling to get your workers’ compensation claim handled through your employer, get help from an experienced workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible.
The sooner you schedule your consultation, the sooner we can help you get the money you deserve. Contact us today to get started.