7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

hiring a workers Comp attorney

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident, it can be a confusing and frustrating time. We at Legal Chiefs understand that you may be worried about your job, medical bills, and your future in general. This is why we are here to help you find a local lawyer for your case. To assist in finding the right lawyer for your case, we have listed seven of the most important questions you should ask before hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer. By asking these questions, you will better understand whether this is a lawyer that you believe will best handle your specific case.  

#1. How Long Have They Been Practicing Law?

While we work with reputable law firms and attorneys, it doesn’t hurt to ask about their experience. This is a good conversation starter and has two positive outcomes. For example, you may feel more comfortable if your lawyer has decades of experience; however, you may find a younger lawyer’s eagerness to do an excellent job as a great alternative. 


#2. Do They Handle Many Workers’ Compensation Cases?

This is an important question, and the answer will play a massive role in your future. Regardless of experience and how good of a lawyer you talk to, if they don’t have much experience in the workers’ compensation field, you’d better not engage them. Instead of hiring someone who works in a variety of areas, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer who specializes in this field will ensure your lawyer is the most knowledgeable on this type of case. 

Finding a lawyer who can provide you with the best representation possible is crucial, and you need someone who understands the ins and outs of the workers’ comp process. The insurance companies will try to pull off many tricks to prevent you from receiving the benefits for which you are eligible, and an experienced attorney would know how to dodge such tricks. 


#3. How Often Have They Represented People with Similar Injuries to Yours?

Finding a lawyer who has experience with workers’ comp claims is crucial, but you have to keep in mind that every injury has its specifics. This is why it’s preferable to have someone with experience with the same or at least similar injuries to yours.

Some injuries are harder to prove than others, and taking the extra step of hiring a lawyer with previous experience with such injuries may be your only hope of getting fully compensated.


#4. Ask About Their Success Rate

While most attorneys won’t charge you unless you win the case, it’s still important to hire someone with a high success rate. You want to work with an attorney with at least a 60% success rate, someone who is experienced and aggressive in court but also skilled at negotiations to ensure top dollar. 


#5. How Much Do They Charge?

In some states, all workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Your lawyer may be obligated to charge 20% of your weekly benefits for a specific time. However, it may be possible to negotiate a smaller fee if your workers’ comp claim is relatively straightforward or involves a minor injury. 

It’s important to note that finding expert witnesses or gathering information for your case may be costly. Most lawyers will cover their upfront costs and then deduct them from your award once your case is settled. However, it’s important to ask what costs you will be responsible for if your claim is approved or denied. 


#6. Who Pays for the Litigation Costs?

Always pay attention to the details in the fine print of any agreement and keep in mind that these are not always pretty. The most important costs to pursue are:

● Costs for transcripts in Court

● Costs for copying medical reports

● Costs of paying your doctor for reports or testimony


7. How Would You Represent Me?

Asking your potential lawyer how they would represent you during your case is an excellent way to understand how this specific lawyer handles business. Some are more aggressive, and others are logical and methodical. 

Asking how your lawyer will represent you is a great way to finish your interview, and you should now have a clear idea of whether or not you think this is the right attorney for your case.

Here at Legal Chiefs, we help you find local attorneys available to work on your case. Our job is to get you in touch with a reliable attorney, but please always ask the above questions before hiring any workers’ compensation lawyer, no matter how you learn about them.


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Workers Comp FAQ

Worker’s compensation insurance (often referred to as worker’s comp) aims to protect businesses and their employees from financial loss due to injuries on the job or sickness from a work-related issue. This type of insurance helps protect employees from potentially devastating costs following work-related issues - while at the same time protecting employers from crippling bills based on workers comp claims.
Another common question is, what type of injuries are included in worker’s comp insurance? It usually covers medical expenses, ongoing care costs, lost wages, and even funeral expenses in the unlikely event of an employee getting hurt, becoming sick, or dying due to a work-related illness or accident.
Although the goal of worker’s compensation is to help businesses and workers in the event of a covered loss, some situations can occur at the workplace that are not covered by the insurance. These typically vary from state to state, but below are several examples that are generally not covered by most worker’s compensation plans: ● Injuries that were sustained due to the employee being intoxicated while on the job ● Injuries received during a fight that the employee started ● Injuries that an employee gets intentionally ● Emotional damages that were not caused and accompanied by a physical workplace trauma
Businesses that don’t pay for benefits usually purchase this type of insurance to take care of the benefits for employees. Except for Texas and New Jersey, where worker’s comp is elective, the other states require businesses to carry such insurance. It’s not the responsibility of employees to pay for worker’s compensation benefits. The cost of this coverage largely depends on several factors, including: ● Business size ● On-the-job risks ● State laws ● Type of work employees have to perform
The best time to report an injury is as soon as it happens. You need to immediately notify your direct supervisor, your HR department, and your employer. Sometimes, you may not realize you’ve been injured until days after the accident, so it’s generally best to notify your employer within the first two weeks of the incident. Since worker’s comp is no-fault, you have no reason to wait, and you don’t have to worry about collecting evidence and building a case. All you need to do is report what happened to your supervisor and employer and get medical treatment quickly.
Typically, there is a two-year maximum period that applies to worker’s compensation claims. The time is calculated from the moment the injury or illness occurred or the date of the last compensation payment (whichever is the more recent event). If the claim is related to a long-term condition or illness, the claim must be filed within the first two years of the affected employee becoming aware of that condition. For example, if you have suffered hearing loss due to working at a noisy workplace, this means you have two years from the date you realized your problem to file a claim. What happens if my employer denies my worker’s compensation claim? If your employer’s insurance company rejects your claim, you will usually be notified by a letter detailing the reasons for the denial. The letter will ideally include more details about the process of appealing as well. If it doesn’t, it’s likely that you can find that information on the insurer’s website. Be sure to check all details, especially the deadline for filing an appeal, so that you don’t miss your opportunity to appeal. The most common reasons for an insurance company to deny a worker’s compensation claim include: ● You failed to report your injury on time ● There were no witnesses to the injury ● Your medical records show you had alcohol or drugs in your system when the accident happened ● Your accident report and medical records are inconsistent ● You didn’t cooperate with the insurance agency or sign necessary authorizations ● You filed a claim after you were laid off or fired In addition to these, there are other reasons why an insurance company would deny your claim based on the specifics of your case.