Questions to Ask When Hiring a Virginia Beach Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job, you may be wondering if you should meet with a Virginia Beach workers' compensation lawyer. Workers' comp claims can be very confusing, and an experienced lawyer can help you through the process and make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to.
When meeting with Virginia Beach workers' compensation attorneys, you should ask a lot of questions. This will help you decide whether this is the right attorney to hire.
Virginia Beach Workers' Compensation Laws
When you have been injured on the job, workers' compensation in Virginia Beach can help. Benefits from workers' comp can include medical bill payment, compensation when you can't work, vocational rehabilitation, and permanent partial or total disability benefits.
The workers' comp system is based on a trade-off—when you get Virginia Beach workers' compensation, you lose the right to sue your employer even if your injuries were your employer's fault. On the other hand, when your claim is accepted, you get a quick payout without the uncertainty of a lawsuit.
You still may be able to file a lawsuit against a third party, though. For example, if your injured by a faulty piece of equipment, you may be able to sue the equipment manufacturer.
An attorney can explain all the details of workers' compensation in Virginia Beach and let you know what options you have.
Meeting with Workers' Comp Lawyers
Your chance to meet with attorneys is called the initial consultation. This is your chance to introduce the lawyer to your situation and get to know the attorney. You should come to the meeting ready to ask questions that will help you decide if this is the right lawyer for you.
You should ask about several different topics.
Background and Experience
- Where did you go to law school?
- How long have you been practicing Virginia Beach workers' compensation law?
- How many cases like mine have you helped file with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission and other agencies that oversee workers' comp claims?
- How many Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission hearings have you participated in when an employer has denied a workers' comp claim?
- Do you also practice other types of law, or do you concentrate on workers' comp claims?
Your Workers' Comp Claim
- Can you discuss my specific claim before I hire you, or should we talk generally?
- What kind of claim could I have, considering my injuries or diseases?
- Am I covered under the Virginia state laws, or do I have to file under a different type of workers comp fund, such as the Federal Employees' Compensation Act?
- What steps do I have to take in order to file a claim?
- What happens if my employer tries to fight my claim?
- Do I have grounds for a lawsuit against someone else besides my employer?
Managing Your Case
- Can you represent me in my Virginia Beach workers' compensation case?
- Who else will be working on my case, and what will their role be?
- Who will be with me during my hearings, if that is necessary?
- What is the best way to contact you? How long will it take you to respond?
- What type of fee arrangement do you use for workers' comp claims? Will you take my case on a contingency fee basis?
- What is included in the fee and what isn't?
- When will you expect to be paid?
- Will I have to pay legal expenses over and above your fee?
Choosing a Lawyer
Once you have met with lawyers about your workers' comp claim, it's time to decide which one to hire. You should ask yourself several questions in order to decide.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What did I like about each Virginia Beach workers' compensation attorney?
- What didn't I like?
- Who seemed to have the best experience?
- Who made me feel the most comfortable?
- Who seemed to have the right approach and strategies?
If you still aren't sure, contact the attorney's references, and ask them some questions:
- What did you like about this lawyer? What did you dislike?
- Were you satisfied with the workers' comp benefits you received?
- Would you hire this lawyer for another workers' comp claim?
Once you have chosen the right attorney for your Virginia Beach workers' compensation claim, you can focus on healing from your injuries while your lawyer fights on your behalf.