The thought of interacting with an attorney – even those on your side – often causes stress and intimidates people. You may consider lawyering up regarding a Workers Compensation claim, however, if you believe you have a legitimate claim, the claim has been denied and you believe you are not receiving the appropriate treatment for your injury.
Always be wary?
You should be very careful when selecting an attorney for the very reason of simple due diligence. Look at their track record; what area of law is their practice concerned with primarily? Is the attorney board certified? These are important questions to consider as many have suffered from countless unscrupulous and unethical Workers Compensation attorneys. Especially since some say that the real money is often in pushing Workers Comp victims through the legal system.
Many attorneys are willing to work on a contingency basis if you have a solid case. You do not have to pay upfront but you may still be responsible for certain disbursements. If you win the case, you will likely have to provide a percentage of the award to your attorney or based on your contractual agreement.
Your employer may not even know you have retained an attorney as you are likely now dealing with the insurance carrier. Unless your injury is so severe or will lead to you being disabled, there may be no need for an attorney because you likely have to pay out of any win or settlement that may arise.
Payouts are rare and attorneys and medical professionals can often make far more than the actual Workers Compensation victim. To further complicate matters, people filing Workers Compensation suits often find themselves unable to find another job.
If your initial attorney and you do not have synergy, you may want to find a replacement before firing them. An attorney based in Toronto, Canada states that “simply state that you wish to terminate the relationship and that they are to cease any further work regarding your case.” In addition, remember to request your files as well as an itemized statement of the services they fully completed, if applicable. Set a time frame to pick up your files and settle your account. Send this through a certified or registered letter. Also, make sure to not delay the legal process by firing your lawyer in the middle of a series of hearings as that can cause serious issues.
Tread carefully; while your employer is not supposed to become hostile, your relationship often will not remain the same. As Attorney Jeff Aresty states, “I have seen it so many times. Once you hire a lawyer, the lawyer calls the shots. Your employer is not dealing with you anymore. They are dealing with a lawyer who is hostile toward them.” Thus, you might be perfectly happy with your employer, but often when lawyers get involved, who knows what will happen with that relationship.
Your employer may stop having any personal discussions with you and instead prefer to have everything in writing. Thus, when considering a lawyer, acknowledged that it can feasibly change every professional relationship in your current job environment.
If one deserves compensation for injuries and suffering, getting fair compensation and moving on with life can be a serious challenge. Therefore, you may wish to take heed of the advice of many: you should hire an attorney when you are certain that your injuries will cause you to have long-term damage(s).
Attorney Jeff Aresty
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