Here are the Top 4 Reasons to hire a workers compensation attorney:
1) Time Limits. If you need to ask for benefits or make changes to the benefits you are currently receiving, the State of Virginia has strict time limits within which you can do so (also called the Statute of Limitations). Many injured workers are not aware of these at all and the insurance company does not have to and, in so many cases, will not give you any warning about your benefits being cut off soon because you have failed to claim something within the time limits or statute of limitations. An experienced workers compensation attorney will make it their business to ensure that your claims are filed within the appropriate time limits so your benefits can be protected.
2) Overlapping benefits. Depending on the situation, some people may receive workers compensation benefits while also receiving other non-workers compensation benefits. Or, they may be getting non-workers compensation benefits while their workers compensation claim is being litigated and awaiting approval or a decision through the legal process. These non-workers compensation benefits (like short term disability, long term disability, retirement, social security, or unemployment) can affect your workers compensation claim and benefits. If you are collecting other non-workers compensation benefits or intend to apply for other benefits, I strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney so you can make sure you are setting yourself up for the best possible outcome.
3) Hearing. Many people try to go to a hearing alone. I typically recommend against this because most injured workers don’t know the law or what to expect at a hearing. They don’t know what evidence need to present at a hearing in order to win. Pleading your case by testifying about what you have been through, what the insurance company has done to you, about your pain and suffering, none of this is going to win you your benefits. You need the proper evidence. The other issue is, if you go to a hearing without an attorney and lose, it will be VERY difficult, if at all, to find an attorney after that point because the attorney can’t change what has already happened.
4) Settlement. Do you know how the insurance company determines the value of your case? If you are like most injured workers out there the answer is no – and the insurance company depends on this! Sadly, this is the very reason they settle claims for less than they are worth. And the insurance company keeps more money in their pockets. This is an unfortunate and common reality.
If you would like more information on the Virginia workers compensation system, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” by clicking this link, or call our office today (804) 755-7755.