A lot of people who get injured at work struggle with this question. The answer can vary depending on your situation and the severity of your injuries. If you find yourself hurt at work and you are not going to be able to return to your job or if you are going to be out of work for an extended period of time, hire a lawyer immediately. If you feel that your injuries are relatively minor and you think you will make a full recovery and return to you job, you may be able to handle the case on your own.
A Word of Warning!
Yes, there are situations where you may not need to get a lawyer for a work injury case. HOWEVER, the Virginia Workers Compensation System is complicated, and it can be hard to navigate on your own. Even if you don’t think you need a lawyer, I STRONGLY recommend you consult with an experienced workers compensation attorney for some guidance. You need to make sure you are taking the proper steps to be compensated and protect your benefits into the future. I’ve seen too many people put off calling a lawyer only to regret it later.
Are You Scared to Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
A lot of people that call my office have concerns about hiring a lawyer to represent them on their work injury case. They’ll say things like:
- “I don’t want to sue me Employer”
- “I don’t want to lose my job”
- “I don’t have any money to pay for a Lawyer”
I get it. Let me put these concerns to rest for you.
- Workers Compensation benefits are insurance benefits; so, when you file a claim for benefits after an on-the-job injury, you are not suing anyone.
- Having an open workers comp claim does not protect your job and the reality is that you could be separated from your employment at any time. If you choose to exercise your right to legal representation, this is not a valid reason for your employer to terminate your employment.
- In most cases, hiring a lawyer for your work injury claim does not cost you anything up front. My office works on a contingent fee; this basically means that we get paid out of the benefits that we recover for you. We get paid when you get paid!
To learn more about contingency fees go here:
Still a little nervous? It’s ok, check out my video on attorney’s fees here.
What We Do For All of Our Clients
A lot of people want to understand what is their lawyer will do for them. This is a very long answer since your lawyer is doing many things behind the scenes, but here’s a short list just to give you an idea.
- Request or Subpoena all records – this includes medical records and bills, nurse case manager notes, recorded statements, accident reports, wage information and vocational rehabilitation notes
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf
- File or Amend the Claim Form
- Ensure all Awards are entered properly
- Evaluate the claim to see if you would be entitled to a Cost of Living Adjustment or Permanent Partial Disability Rating
- Evaluate the case for hearing or settlement
The Bottom Line
The truth is, it’s your health, your benefits and your future at risk. The insurance company is not working for you so they may not tell you everything you need to know or provide you with everything you are entitled to. Even if you don’t think you need to get a workers compensation lawyer, you should call one who can give you some guidance on your specific situation.
The Benefits of Calling Injured Workers Law Firm
Our office is designed to be a free resource to anyone who was hurt at work in the state of Virginia. We offer a free book “The Ultimate Guide to Workers Compensation in Virginia”, and tons of educational information at no cost. Plus, we keep all of your information confidential!
Anytime you call our office about a work injury, my staff will get all the details of your situation, as well as your concerns. Once my staff has all of the necessary information, we can let you know if you need a lawyer or if there are some steps you can take on your own.
We don’t charge anything for this service so if you were hurt at work, call us today at (804) 755-7755!
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.