When you’ve been seriously injured at work, you need to get compensation.
Being off work because of an injury is tough, especially if you love your job. Going through any amount of pain and suffering will make it hard to shift your focus to a workers’ compensation claim soon after, but it’s something that you have to do.
If you’re forced to miss time because of a work-related injury, you’re entitled to retribution. That doesn’t make the process of obtaining it any easier, however. Too many people dilly dally and end up taking less than what they deserve because they decide not to hire an attorney to help with their claim.
In this post, we’re going to tell you the 7 essential questions to ask a workers’ comp attorney after you’ve been injured at work. The attorney you find and the way they approach these questions could be the difference between a great settlement and a subpar one.
Make the right decision for you and your family, hire a workers’ comp attorney. Let us help you find the right one.
7 Questions to Ask a Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you’ve been injured at work, you may not immediately be thinking about how to get your workers’ comp. Moving swiftly will help you get settled sooner so you can focus on your recovery and a great attorney can streamline the process. Here are the essential questions that you should ask them.
1. What Are Your Certifications/Experience?
When you’re hiring any type of attorney, you should get some background information before you commit. If you’re going to get the most out of your workers’ comp claim, their specializations and experience will matter.
While there’s nothing wrong with hiring a young attorney, you’re probably going to have a better chance of getting this matter settled quickly with someone that has a lot of experience. Furthermore, you’ll do even better to hire a lawyer that specializes in workers’ comp claims.
Some state bar associations will give lawyers certifications in workers’ compensation law. The simple fact that they met the requirements to get this certification should give you a little more peace of mind knowing that they know all of the ins and outs of these kinds of cases.
2. How Much One on One Time?
Hiring a lawyer doesn’t always mean that you’ll be dealing with them all of the time. Depending on their caseload, you might end up dealing more with the paralegals and associate attorneys.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s good to ask the lawyer in your preliminary meeting(s) how much one-on-one time you’re actually going to get. You don’t want to be taken by surprise when you don’t meet with them as much as you thought you would.
However, you should assume that they’re still heavily involved in the process, even if it’s with a more behind the scenes approach. It’s natural for a busy attorney to delegate some tasks to their subordinates.
3. What Are Your Fees?
Getting the legal fees and percentages out in the open before you start is another good idea. Workers’ comp lawyers generally work on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to pay them unless your claim is settled.
Because of the nature of workers’ comp claims, with the victim being off work and thus at a financial disadvantage, the attorney will provide the initial consultation for free. When you’ve settled is when the attorney/firm will take a percentage of the settlement amount, which is usually between 15-25%.
4. How Strong Is the Case?
This is an important question because it’ll tell you a lot about the nature of your attorney. No workers comp claim is guaranteed, so you should be wary of any lawyer that makes big promises.
An experienced and certified workers’ comp attorney should be able to give you a realistic assessment of what you might be entitled to. If they’re working on contingency, then there’s an incentive for them to work hard to get the case settled quickly and for the largest amount possible.
5. What Needs to Be Provided?
In your initial meetings, the firm will probably give you a rundown of what you should provide them with for the case. If they, don’t it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Here’s what you’ll likely have to provide:
- Medical records and contact information of any medical providers.
- Emails and other correspondence between you and your employer and the insurer, as well as their contact info.
- Your history of employment with the company.
- A full account of the situation that led to your injury and a list of witnesses to the accident in question.
6. What Are the Benefits of Workers’ Comp?
Having a discussion with your lawyer about what you should be seeking out and what you can realistically expect is important for your own mental approach.
At the very least, you should have your medical bills covered by the settlement. If you miss more than a few days at work, you should also be compensated for the lost time.
If you’ve got longer-lasting injuries, you might be able to get permanent disability benefits. In these kinds of cases, the process may take quite a bit longer because your medical records may need to be assessed over time.
7. When Will We See Money?
As stated above, you shouldn’t settle a claim until your doctor has assured you that your injury is improving, or at least stable.
You should have an ongoing discussion with your workers’ comp attorney about when to settle. If your lawyer is experienced, then they’ll have seen enough cases unfold to help you make this decision.
Don’t Face the Burden Alone
Why face the system alone if you don’t have to. Find a workers’ comp attorney that will help you get the settlement that you deserve so you can move on with your life and your work. Don’t be afraid to meet with several attorneys before selecting the right one, it’s better to cast a wide net and find someone you like and trust.