In a perfect world, an injured worker shouldn’t need an attorney. But in reality, if you have filed a claim, in most cases, it is to your advantage to discuss your case with an attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation law. They will calculate the value of your case and proceed to get it fully awarded to you on time, in addition to addressing issues along the way. If any work-related injury has you unable to work for a considerable amount of time it would be wise to speak with a lawyer.
When you are seriously injured at work and file a workers’ comp claim, your objective is:
- Compensation for medical care / Med. Mileage
- To have a qualified doctor find the highest rate of permanent disability
- Temporary Disability Benefits
- Permanent Disability Benefits
- Retraining Voucher
A serious work injury can be life-changing and can be very stressful. It is best to have a professional keep track of what needs to be done during the entire complicated claim process.
Also, any time there is a dispute with your employer or insurance company over your injury, you should contact a professional. Some examples include denial of your claim or your employer downplaying your accident. If you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance company may claim that it is not your work activity, but your pre-existing condition is the cause of your principal issues. If your injuries are substantial or if it is not easily determinable that your injury is work-related, an attorney is highly recommended.
Once there is a dispute with the insurance company, you will probably be asked to give a deposition. A deposition is a permitted pre-trial discovery process when lawyers ask you to give sworn testimony related to your work-related injury. Often, they will ask you questions that are not related to your injury that may reflect on your character. Their questions to you and your responses are recorded and are regarded as evidence. There is no judge present during your deposition.
Often, the questions asked in a deposition can make some people feel uncomfortable. (Remember, all the insurance companies have attorneys) Having a good worker’s comp attorney, who is familiar with the deposition process, will help you to be confident and remain calm during your deposition by properly preparing you for the event.
It is important that your lawyer has been in the workers’ comp arena for a considerable amount of time. A seasoned attorney will help you avoid the many mistakes that many injured workers make in the claim process when they represent themselves, such as, selecting the wrong qualified medical examiner, not adequately preparing for their qualified medical examination (QME), or prematurely signing settlement documents offered by the insurance company.
It is much harder to correct missteps in the claim process than not making such missteps to begin with.
The insurance companies will often make it difficult to get needed medical treatment for your injuries by delaying or denying the treating physicians’ recommendations. A workers’ compensation attorney knows how to pressure the insurance companies into action.
It’s good to know the information about where your case is venued. Judges at Workers’ Compensation Appeals Boards are people, and while each judge purposes to be impartial, some tend to lean toward the defense, some tend to lean toward the applicant. Your lawyer will know this about the judge assigned to your case and will proceed accordingly.
Make sure when you meet with a prospective attorney that they are good listeners. Once they know all the facts, a good workers’ compensation lawyer will explain to you the entire process of proceeding with your claim in terms you can understand.
Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney
We hope this answers some questions you may have about whether or not you need a workers’ compensation attorney. For any additional questions please call The Law Office of Alice A. Strömbom at 916-444-7557. We’re here for you.
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