Getting injured on the job can be a traumatic situation. Workplace injuries can cause an injured worker not only to be seriously hurt but also create a financial hardship. Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. As such, any person that has suffered a workplace injury should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ compensation was designed to provide remedies for an employee that has been injured on the job. Injured employees may be entitled to receive medical care, lost time, and even permanent disability benefits. In return for assured benefits employees do not have the legal right to file a lawsuit for an award from the court.
Although injured employees give up their ability to sue their employer they still have the right to obtain workers’ compensation. Not all employees injured on the job will be approved for workers’ compensation benefits. If an employee is denied or does not receive benefits that are appropriate for their situation they have the right to an appeal. A worker’s compensation attorney specializes in workers’ compensation laws and they can help an injured worker fight and obtain benefits.
Any attorney can choose to practice in the area of workers’ compensation law. However, an employee that has a workplace injury will want to find an attorney that is experienced in this area of law. One way to find a reputable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney is through the state bar association. The bar association will can help in locating attorneys in good standing as well as those who specialize in certain areas of law.
You can also find a reputable workers’ compensation attorney by checking your local yellow pages. Many attorneys advertise in the yellow pages and this will give you a good starting point in locating a number of candidates. Attorneys that advertise in the yellow pages generally highlight their specific area of law so this is also a good way to narrow your search for an attorney who practices specific aspect of law.
Once you have selected a few candidates you will want to do an evaluation during your initial consultation that will help determine your selection. Your evaluation of the workers’ compensation attorney should be based on a few factors. These factors are how well the attorney listens, their understanding of your situation, explanation of law as it applies to your case explained in laymen’s terms, and your level of confidence in their representation of you.
You may also want to ask for references so that you can evaluate the workers’ compensation attorney’s work on previous cases. Former or current clients are good sources of references but attorneys may be reluctant to divulge client information because of its confidential nature. The next best sources of references are other attorneys.
It is extremely important to be prepared for your initial consultation with the workers’ compensation attorney. It may be wise to prepare a summary of the facts and events surrounding your injury in chronological order before your consultation. The summary should include important information such as the date of your accident, exact name/address of employer, and details of your injury.
You may also want to bring any medical records, employee handbook, and if possible any witness statements. This will help your meeting go smoothly and also help in selecting a workers’ compensation attorney.