Confused about your work injury?
Here are 10 questions to ask your workers comp lawyer to give you a better perspective on your case.
Workers compensation should be a fairly simple process: you get hurt, you report your injury, you get reimbursed for your medical treatments and lost wages. But for many Floridians, the reality can become a lot more complicated. And that’s where hiring a workers compensation attorney can help.
But hiring an attorney is a whole new can of worms. With so many to choose from, how do you know which attorney can get the results you need? Luckily, asking some key questions can help you decide on a lawyer before you make any commitments.
Here are 10 questions to ask a workers comp lawyer before you hire them.
#1: Ask Your workers comp lawyer what kind of cases they take.
If an attorney only handles workers comp cases occasionally, s/he may not be up-to-date on new laws, procedures, or defense strategies. Experienced workers compensation lawyers, however, can not only navigate your case more easily, they can give you advice on what to expect.
At the Law Office of Brian D. Tadros, P.A., we practice workers compensation law and only workers compensation law. This enables us to maintain a laser focus on the issues that pertain to your case.
#2: ask How many cases your workers comp lawyer has handled.
Any lawyer’s success depends on one thing: their level of experience. Even the best education at a top-rated law school can’t provide the same knowledge as handling an actual workers comp case.
I have been immersed in workers compensation law since before entering law school and spent years defending employers and insurance companies. I have spent the past nine years using this knowledge to help injured workers get the benefits they need to recover from their injuries.
#3: Will you be working with a workers comp lawyer or a paralegal/caseworker?
There is nothing inherently wrong with working with a paralegal or caseworker. Paralegals and caseworkers are supervised and directed by lawyers, after all.
However, given the choice, most people would prefer to work directly with a licensed attorney. This is especially true if you have built a rapport with the attorney and have come to trust them.
At the Law Office of Brian D. Tadros, you primarily work directly with Brian Tadros himself.
#4: How often does your workers comp lawyer settle cases vs. go to trial?
Likewise, there is nothing inherently wrong with either settling or going to trial, but this is important information for you to know all the same. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding workers compensation cases; anything that helps you mentally prepare for a certain outcome can be helpful.
#5: Are you entitled to additional benefits?
There are many programs designed to assist the injured and those who are unable to work. When those two situations overlap, workers compensation can step in. But is that your only option?
Depending on your circumstances, you may also be entitled to unemployment, disability, or social security payments as well. Your attorney should be able to advise you on this to make sure you don’t miss out on any benefits.
#6: Should you accept a settlement offer or go to trial?
There are some workers comp questions that only a licensed attorney can answer; this is one of them.
There are a lot of factors that are considered when calculating your settlement amount and they should be taken into account before deciding whether or not to accept a lump sum settlement. Your workers compensation attorney will examine your medical records as well as your past, ongoing, and future expenses (and losses) to help you determine whether you are receiving a fair offer.
Lump sum settlements often seem very enticing at first glance. It is likely to be more money than you have ever had at your disposal at one time. But it is important to remember that accepting a settlement offer will require that you waive your right to pursue further legal action. Basically, it is your one chance to collect compensation for your injuries.
The only way to make sure you are getting a fair amount is to work with an attorney who has experience in workers compensation cases.
#7: What are your workers comp lawyer’s fees?
Workers comp cases in Florida are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning a fee is paid to the attorney only if a benefit/settlement is obtained for you.
Whether your case is resolved via litigation or a settlement, your attorney’s fees will be calculated into the amount you receive, so that you will have a fair and reasonable amount leftover to cover your expenses.
#8: Is there a chance your claim could be denied?
Workers comp benefits are a lifeline to those dealing with a workplace injury. A denial of these benefits is a terrifying thought.
Unfortunately, neither you nor your employer can control whether or not your workers comp claim is accepted. That decision rests entirely with the workers comp insurance company. However, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of a claim denial.
- Follow your doctor’s orders regarding treatment, restrictions, and lifestyle changes.
- Be consistent and specific when recounting how your injury occurred.
- Prevent injury by following safety protocols.
- Hire a workers comp lawyer who can advocate for your rights.
#9: Can you sue your employer?
In most cases, no.
Workers compensation was developed as an alternative to suing employers. It is known as a “no-fault” system, meaning employees have the right to receive compensation following a workplace injury, regardless of who was at-fault (within reason). In return for this coverage, employees give up their right to sue their employers.
You can, however, file a lawsuit against your employer if you can prove in court that they were grossly negligent in regards to your safety or intended to harm you.
#10: Do you have a case?
Out of all of the questions to ask your workers comp lawyer, this one is probably at the top of your mind.
Most workers comp attorneys will offer a free consultation where they take the time to listen to the various details of your situation and determine whether or not you are likely to win your case.
A good law firm won’t waste your time; if s/he doesn’t think you have a chance of winning your case, they should let you know before you have invested any more time in pursuit of your claim.
Get Your Workers Comp Questions Answered
Workers comp cases are just like workplace injuries: no two are exactly alike. For personalized, professional advice, work with a licensed attorney who can advise you at each and every step of the way.
At the Law Office of Brian D. Tadros, P.A., we take our responsibility to our clients seriously. In addition to being your representative and advocate, we dedicate ourselves to educating our clients on their case and developing a personal relationship with them.
If you have questions about your workers comp case, schedule a free consultation with Brian D. Tadros today to learn more about how we can help.