What You May Need to Know About Hiring a Worker's Compensation Lawyer

Posted on: 15 February 2017

When you've been injured on the job in any way, you may want to speak to a worker's compensation lawyer. He or she can evaluate your medical reports and the circumstances of your case, and note if you have any type of claim against your employer. Consider a few things you may want to remember about using a worker's compensation lawyer so you know what to expect, and what questions to ask during your appointments as well.

1. You can and should use your own attorney

If your employer or the employer's insurance company says that you need to use a certain attorney to negotiate your claim, or that you need to deal directly with their attorney, don't believe them. You can and should use an attorney of your own choosing to negotiate any case you may have. It's also good to avoid saying anything about your claim, your medical condition, or your intentions to any attorney other than your own, to any insurance company representative, or to your employer. Discuss your case only with your attorney and ask him or her for advice before you talk to anyone else about the claim or your case.

2. Filing a claim doesn't guarantee a settlement or payout

You may think that your claim is somewhat guaranteed when you file a claim with an attorney, or hire an attorney to represent you. However, even if they say your case looks good, this isn't an actual guarantee of a payout, and an attorney should never try to actually guarantee a settlement or payout. Your employer's insurance company may refuse to pay your claim or offer a settlement, and then it's up to a court of law to make a decision about any payment you might get. Your attorney obviously cannot control what a judge or jury decides, so never think that hiring an attorney is always going to result in a payout for your claim.

3. Ask your attorney if you will face costs

In some cases, you may face costs to file your claim or for medical exams, copying of your medical records, and the like. Very often these costs are taken from your settlement or payout, but there may be rare cases when you need to pay for these things before your claim is filed or while your claim is being evaluated. Always ask an attorney about any potential costs and fees before you file a claim, so you know what to expect and can plan or make your decisions about your case accordingly.