A good and experienced worker’s compensation lawyer will have experience handling many cases similar to yours and should be able to answer all your questions and doubts. And one such firm that claims to form the backbone of injured and disabled workers is Matt Fendon Law Group.
Asking questions will not only help you to clarify any doubts regarding your claim but will also help you to understand your lawyer better.
- Do I really Need A Lawyer?
You can file a claim on your own without a lawyer. If your injuries are very minor and you don’t have to leave work for more than a few days, you will probably not need a lawyer. However if your injuries are severe and require long term medical treatment, you will need to hire a lawyer to increase your chances of receiving all your benefits. If you are from the Luzerne County area, you should consult an experienced Luzerne County worker’s compensation lawyer as they will know laws & processes related to your state.
- How Much Do You Charge For Your Services?
Hiring a worker’s compensation lawyer should not cost you anything upfront. Most lawyers are paid only after you have finalized your settlement. They follow a contingency fee arrangement where they take a certain percentage of your final compensation. This can vary from 15%-30% depending upon the lawyer. The lawyer should give you a direct answer to this question.
- Do You Have Experience Taking Cases To Court?
If your claim gets denied or the insurance company refuses to give you proper compensation, you might have to take your case to court and file an appeal. Following that, the apeals board considers all pertinent issues of law, fact, and matters of discretion. Although a good lawyer should have experience handling court cases, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You should also enquire whether he was successful in handling previous cases. If he has a good success rate, you can trust him with your case.
- How Involved Will I Be In This Case?
Majority of the workload regarding legal procedures is usually handled by the lawyer or his case manager. You should make sure you are completely honest with your lawyer about everything so he can formulate a strategic plan according to the information provided to him. Your lawyer will tell you everything he needs from you to pursue your claim. He will also update you regularly regarding the status of your claim.
- What Should I Say To The Claims Administrator?
Do not talk to the claims administrator before talking to your lawyer. If you say something which is different from your previous report or hurts your claim in any way, you can possibly get your claim denied or lower your benefits. Your lawyer will give you advice regarding what you should and should not say to the claims administrator. If you are not confident enough, you can let your lawyer speak to the claims administrator.
- Should I Return To Work?
If your injuries are severe and you are unable to perform even light duty tasks, you should not return to work. However in minor injury the employer might give you a lighter workload which you can do without hurting your injury. If your employer refuses to make adjustments, talk to your lawyer about it.
- Should I See The Doctor Recommended By My Employer?
Some states require you to see the doctor who is prescribed by the company board. If you fail to do so your claim might get denied because you failed to follow protocol. Your lawyer will give you instructions regarding the doctor you should see and make sure it is within the restrictions set by the state.
- How Many Benefits Am I Entitled To Receive?
Your lawyer should be able to give you a proper answer regarding the number of benefits you are entitled to. If there are any gray areas, he should be able to explain these as well. Some benefits can be harder to access because of state restrictions or lack of cooperation from your insurance company. This is especially true for long term benefits like disability benefits.
- When Will I Receive My Benefits?
Unfortunately not even lawyers can accurately predict when you will receive all your benefits. Although some benefits can be accessed early, others can take a good amount of time especially if they involve a lot of legal procedures. Your lawyer might be able to provide you with a rough time frame within which you will receive your benefits.
- When Should I Finalize My Settlement?
If your lawyer has worked on many similar cases like yours, he will have an idea of how far your case will go. He will also tell you when it is better to accept the settlement offer rather than letting the case go on any further. If you are not entitled to many long term benefits your lawyer might advise you to accept a lump sum settlement.
Apart from the 10 important questions we have provided above, you can ask any other questions which you want answers for. A good lawyer should be patient with you and make sure your interests come first.