After a work injury you may be asking why you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney if your employer has insurance? The answer is simple. The insurance companies are interested in one thing: settling for the least amount possible. You could be eligible for so much more, and one of the benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer is that he can help you get it.
Your next question may be w how soon you should hire a lawyer after you’ve been hurt at work? The answer, again, is simple: As soon as possible!
The sooner you get a workers’ compensation lawyer, the better he or she can help protect your legal rights, help you receive proper medical care, make sure your accident is properly reported, and help maximize the workers’ compensation benefits you receive.
What are the Next Steps After hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
In addition to contacting an attorney right after your work accident, you must notify your employer within 30 days of an injury, or as soon as you learn or believe your injury was caused by your job. If you don’t report your injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Missing this deadline could potentially cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, disability payments and lost wages. And not immediately seeking medical help could cause your injury to worsen.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Workers’ compensation covers wage replacement, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to workers (and/or their dependents) that experience work-related injury or occupational disease.
Many factors determine the amount of one’s workers’ compensation disability benefit including the seriousness of one’s injury, how long one is disabled, and how much money one would earn if it weren’t for the work injury. Monthly workers’ compensation benefits vary by state, but most states pay two-thirds of your pre-tax weekly wage.
The workers’ compensation system can be confusing, frustrating, and it could take months, even years, before your claim is finally settled. This is when the benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer reveal themselves. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can be responsible for dealing with your employer’s insurance company, help arrange medical evaluations, get you to the right doctors, and represent you at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).
Temporary and permanent disability benefits will not cover your lost wages 100 percent, so the sooner you are medically well enough to return to work the better it can be for you, your family, and your overall quality of life.
If you’ve been injured at work, get proper medical attention as soon as possible. And as soon as you’re able, get legal help to be sure your rights – medical and legal – are fully protected as well.
How to Choose the Best Workers Compensation Attorney
When looking for the best workers’ compensation attorney, treat the process like you would any other professional you count on: choose carefully. After all, you wouldn’t trust your health to just any doctor, or your teeth to just any dentist, right? Choosing the right attorney for your workers’ comp case is just as critical.
- Look for experience. If you’re hurt and out of work because of a work accident, there’s a lot at stake. Medical bills can pile up fast, and any income loss could make it really tough to pay the bills and buy everyday necessities. Look for an attorney who has years of experience working with cases similar to yours. This experience can be a huge benefit to your case, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies.
- Be impressed by success. Experience is one thing; success is another! You want both. Be sure to ask any potential workers’ compensation attorneys about their successful cases. Ask as many questions as possible about the details of the case, including the amount awarded, how long the case took, what the challenges were and how the attorney solved them.
- Make sure the price is right. The best workers compensation attorney doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Our workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis, so they don’t get paid until they win your case. Because there are no out-of-pocket fees, just about anyone who needs high-quality legal help can get it quickly and easily.
- Look for signs of dedication. If an attorney is active in workers’ compensation associations or groups, that’s a good sign. It shows that the attorney is dedicated to staying up to date on workers’ compensation issues, exchanging information with peers, and building good relationships that could come in handy in the future.
- Go with your gut. Chemistry is important. There are no one-size-fits-all guidelines for defining what feels right for you, but asking yourself the following questions can help guide a gut check: Do you feel comfortable with the attorney? Does he or she look you in the eye? Is the attorney’s office clean and well-organized? Are your questions answered in a way that makes you feel secure and informed? Do you feel hopeful after talking to the attorney?
Another note on choosing the best workers compensation attorney: Avoid anyone who claims they’re a specialist but, in fact, has little to no experience. When your life is on the line, you can’t afford to take risks.
The easiest way to find the best workers compensation attorney is to call us. We know what we’re doing, and so do our attorneys.
PS: One last piece of information you must always keep in mind: Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony in California subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.
The information within the blog is not to be construed as legal advice.