When an employee has sustained an injury at work, often they find themselves mired in the endless bureaucracy of worker’s compensation. The process can be complicated, and many workers might be reluctant to push too hard for compensation. We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask worker’s comp lawyer from the start.
For these reasons, you should speak with a worker’s comp lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. A worker’s comp attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve, and also help you if something goes wrong with your claim.
To begin with, there are a few categories you should ask the worker’s comp attorney about. You should ask about:
- The lawyer’s practice
- Your worker’s comp claim
- Filing a claim outside of worker’s comp
- The claims process
- Your next steps
We’re going to talk about five possible questions to ask worker’s comp lawyers in each of the five categories.
5 Questions to Ask Worker’s Comp Lawyer About His or Her Practice
These are five questions to ask worker’s comp lawyers about their practice.
Do You Handle Work Injury Claims?
Obviously, you need to know if they handle your type of case. In addition, you need to make sure they have significant experience with work injury claims. After all, your health and long-term well-being is on the line.
How Many Work Injury Claims Have You Handled?
Again, you need to know exactly how much experience an attorney has with your type of claim.
Remember that it is possible the lawyer will not have an exact count. That’s definitely okay. What you need to know is if the lawyer has enough experience to be intimately familiar with work injury claims.
What is Your Success Rate in Worker’s Compensation?
Your lawyer will probably not be able to provide an exact number of worker’s comp cases they’ve handled. But providing you with their success rate in worker’s comp cases should be easy enough. This rate should be very high, ideally 90 percent or so.
Will I Work Directly With You During My Case?
Many work injury law firms have teams of paralegals and case managers who handle most of the work on a case. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you still want to be able to talk to your attorney when you have questions.
How Often Do You Take Cases to a Hearing or Trial?
If you have a worker’s comp claim, your goal is to settle. However, you do want to be sure your attorney is ready to go to court if necessary.
5 Questions to Ask Worker’s Comp Lawyers About Your Claim
Here are five questions to ask worker’s comp lawyers about your specific claim.
Do I Qualify for Worker’s Compensation Benefits?
This might seem obvious, but it’s always best to be sure. There are some pretty tight deadlines associated with worker’s comp that your lawyer can help you be aware of.
Do I Qualify for Medical and Disability Benefits, or Just Medical?
In most states, you need to miss a certain number of workdays before you file for disability. But even if you don’t miss a lot of work, you may still qualify for medical benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer? (Or, Do I Have to Sue My Employer?)
Filing for worker’s comp does not involve a lawsuit. But if you can’t file a worker’s comp claim, a lawsuit maybe your best option.
How Long Do I Have to File My Worker’s Comp Claim?
In Louisiana, you have one year to file a worker’s comp claim. But you must report the injury to your employer immediately after it occurs.
Are You Required to See an Approved Doctor (or “Company Doctor”)?
Yes. Your employer can choose the doctor you see after your injury.
5 Questions to Ask Worker’s Comp Lawyers About Filing a Claim Outside of Worker’s Comp
Do I Have A Personal Injury Claim?
Outside of your worker’s comp claim, you may also have a personal injury claim against a third party.
Who is Liable for the Costs of My Work Injury?
If not your employer, there are a multitude of people who may be responsible for your work injury. There may be a third party contractor or coworker who is liable.
What Damages Am I Entitled to Recover For My Work Injury?
Worker’s compensation covers medical expenses and some of your lost wages. Personal injury claims include damages for all your injury-related costs, including pain and suffering.
Am I Entitled to Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement Benefits?
Possibly. This depends on the specifics of your case.
Will Filing A Personal Injury or Social Security Claim Impact My Worker’s Comp Benefits?
If you receive a personal injury settlement, you may have to pay back some of your worker’s comp benefits. Your worker’s comp benefits may impact your SSD eligibility. This is definitely an important issue to talk over with our attorneys at Gordon & Gordon.
5 Questions to Ask Worker’s Comp Lawyers About the Process
These are 5 questions to ask worker’s comp lawyers about the process.
How Long Will It Take to Recover Benefits and/or Just Compensation?
There’s no way to know definitively. But at Gordon & Gordon, we can provide you with general timelines.
How Will I Know When To Settle My Claim?
There’s no right time to settle. Our attorneys at Gordon & Gordon will have the knowledge to determine when it’s best to settle your case.
Should I Accept A Lump Sum Workers’ Comp Settlement?
In many cases, yes. But in some cases, no. If you have an SSD claim, for instance, receiving a large lump sum could impact your eligibility.
What Should I Do While My Case is Pending?
Our attorneys at Gordon & Gordon will provide you with instructions on what to do while waiting on your case.
What Shouldn’t I Do While My Case Is Pending?
Similarly, we will be sure to tell you what to avoid.
5 Questions To Ask Worker’s Comp Lawyers About Your Next Steps
Read on for five questions to ask worker’s comp lawyers about your next steps.
How Much Will It Cost To Hire You?
It should cost you nothing to hire a work injury lawyer. At Gordon & Gordon, we work on a contingency fee basis.
Will You Deal With My Employer and Their Insurance Company Directly?
Some parts of the case will still involve you. However, your lawyer should handle most of the communication with your employer and their insurance company. At Gordon & Gordon, we handle the bulk of this communication.
How Can I Contact You If I Have Questions?
We have 24/7 hour availability at Gordon & Gordon. Your lawyer should have something similar, or give you some quick method of contacting them.
What Information Do You Need From Me?
With a good lawyer, you will not need to ask. They will tell you what they need from you.
What Should I Do Now?
An experienced worker’s comp lawyer like our attorneys at Gordon & Gordon will have this information readily available.
Contact Gordon & Gordon With Questions For Worker’s Comp Lawyers
The worker’s comp process can be stressful and exhausting. If you need help with worker’s compensation in Northwest Louisiana, contact our team at Gordon & Gordon by calling 318.716.HELP. You can also leave us a message on our website.