All employers have the legal responsibility to look after their staff. They must ensure appropriate health and safety measures are in place and have employee welfare as a top priority. Nevertheless, accidents at work still happen that can leave staff injured or potentially unable to work until their condition has improved. This is where workers’ compensation lawyers come in. These are legal professionals that help employees who are victims of workplace injuries receive their entitled benefits.
If you have been involved in a workplace accident, you will want to find workers’ compensation lawyers near you that can help support you through the process. We share advice on choosing the best workers’ compensation law lawyer near you, along with consideration and costs you need to take into account.
What is a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Accidents happen in the workplace frequently. Some jobs, like construction workers and farmers, are at higher risk of sustaining an injury due to the nature of the job. However, even office workers can trip and injure themselves. Accidents happen in all industries, even where the employer has gone to great lengths to protect their employees’ health and welfare. When injuries do happen workers are entitled to claim compensation. This compensation can cover associated medical bills, lost wages due to time off work, or mental trauma.
Some victims can obtain their legal rights to benefits from their employers without any issues. In other cases, the employer will avoid taking responsibility for the accident and injury and refuse to pay up. This is where a lawyer for workers’ compensation comes in. These are attorneys specializing in the workers’ compensation act and other laws surrounding workplace injury. They help form settlements for worker’s compensation claims on behalf of their clients.
What Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Do?
Before contacting workers’ compensation law attorneys near you, it is important to understand their role in seeking benefits for their clients. The first thing your attorney will do is to look into the claim and check they can prove the injury resulted from workplace negligence. They will then liaise with medical staff and insurance companies to obtain all appropriate information. Their advice is also crucial in helping to ensure all legal documentation is completed correctly, something which can otherwise cause delays in the proceedings.
Initially, your workers’ compensation lawyer will seek to reach a settlement agreement with your employer outside of court. They may request compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or mental anguish. If a settlement cannot be reached, cases can be taken to court. There is no guarantee that the injured worker will win their claim. However, with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney by their side, they stand a chance of receiving their entitled benefits.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
If you are injured at work, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney near you. However, if the injury means you had to pay expensive medical bills or had any time off work, appointing a lawyer is even more essential. The attorney will help the victim decide whether it is worth pursuing compensation for the accident and help fight their case. Although not an exhaustive list, some examples of common injuries that workers’ compensation attorneys frequently deal with include:
- Falling from a height that results in injury
- RSI such as tendonitis or back issues
- Injuries resulting from the malfunction of equipment
- Lifting injuries such as knee injuries or back strain
How Do I Choose a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you have sustained an injury at work, you will want to appoint the best workers’ compensation lawyer near you to work on your case. Below are just some of the factors you should consider when comparing attorneys to separate the good from the bad:
- Experience: When finding a workers’ compensation lawyer near you, experience is everything. Lawyers who are experienced and successful in forming workplace settlements are more likely to be successful in helping you with your claim.
- Knowledge: An overall understanding of the workers’ compensation act is a must. However, when choosing between workers’ compensation lawyers near you, search for one who has dealt with similar accidents to yours. This should mean your lawyer can offer you the best legal advice.
- Reliability: When navigating an injury claim, you want to appoint a reliable lawyer who is there to answer all your questions as soon as possible. Check their policies on returning email and phone calls and which methods of communication are best for both of you.
How Much Does the Average Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
The majority of workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will not charge upfront for legal fees, nor charge a fixed legal fee. Instead, they will take a percentage of whatever compensation you receive from your employer. Typically, your attorney will get 15 percent to 25 percent of the final settlement amount. This is a great setup, if your claim does not succeed and you don’t get any benefits, you won’t have to pay any legal fees.
Do Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Charge Fees for Consultations?
The majority of workers’ compensation lawyers near you will not charge fees for an initial consultation. It is generally believed that injured workmen with unfair workplace treatment should be allowed fair legal representation without paying upfront. In some states, such as California, offering no-fee initial consultations is a legal requirement.