It is not uncommon for people who are injured on the job to also have a personal injury claim or an auto accident claim.
A lot of these people are unsure if they should use their personal injury attorney to handle their workers compensation case, as well.
If the personal injury lawyer is also well versed in workers comp, it could work. However, I’ve seen this fail many times, usually because the personal injury attorney is really focusing on the personal injury claim and not even aware of how large or if any benefits are being missed or lost with the workers comp claim.
Also, many clients might think that the attorney handling the auto accident, personal injury claim or other third party claim is also handling the workers compensation portion. In reality the attorney is not handling all of the claims and many workers compensation statute of limitations could be missed and the workers comp claim permanently barred.
A tip for injured workers is that when you have a workers comp claim and a personal injury claim, you should be signing two fee agreements and you should be getting paperwork from the workers compensation Commission, not the insurance company because the Commission sends the injured worker and the attorney paperwork.
If you’re not getting paperwork from the Commission, then your attorney hasn’t done what they need to do to protect your workers compensation benefits.
Some personal injury attorneys may say, “Ehhhhh let’s just work on the personal injury claim first.” But it really doesn’t work like that. If anything, it should be the opposite. You should get your workers comp benefits started immediately after the accident and then worry about the personal injury claim that won’t get going until you have finished all of your medical care.
You need to be managing both at the same time to make sure you’re getting the proper benefits and to ensure that no deadlines are missed.
It may be you need just one attorney or you may need two attorneys who will use their individual expertise to get you the best result overall.
To learn more, get our free book, The Ultimate Guide to Workers Compensation in Virginia at https://www.injuredworkerslawfirm.com/ultimate-guide-to-workers-compensation-virginia/.
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.