When Should You Hire a Washington Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
People don’t go to work expecting to get injured, but accidents and work-related injuries happen. Employees could suffer from neck, back, hip or shoulder injuries. Or they could experience upper extremity or carpal tunnel conditions. Workers’ compensation benefits were created to protect employees if they get injured on the job. In Washington, workers’ compensation lawyers can help injured employees receive compensation for lost income and other monetary awards.
You should hire an experienced Washington workers’ comp attorney for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the lawyer is your advocate. He can also help an injured employee go through the compensation process. A lawyer can help you file workers’ comp claims and get the compensation and benefits you deserve in a timely manner.
Washington on-the-job attorneys can also help an injured person obtain the maximum benefits provided under the state’s workers’ comp laws. A workers’ compensation lawyer does this by making sure all the proper paperwork, such as medical records and vocational rehab reports, are filed in your workers’ comp file. The lawyer will also make sure the administrative judge properly understands your situation.
When to Hire a Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are injured at work, you should hire a lawyer as soon you’ve been diagnosed or started receiving treatment for the injury. Waiting too long to hire an attorney is never a good idea. You can’t assume that an employer or their insurance company will properly compensate you for your injuries.
Not only can a Washington compensation lawyer help you obtain the maximum benefits, but he can also help determine if you should sue someone other than your employer for your injury. For example, if you were injured by a dangerous machine, you may be able to sue the manufacturer.
Meeting with a Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Since many on-the-job injury attorneys in Washington work on contingency, don’t let cost deter you from hiring one. Many lawyers also offer free initial consultations.
Before hiring a lawyer, you should first gather names of some potential workers’ compensation attorneys and schedule some initial consultations. Initial consultations are meetings with workers’ compensation lawyers to assess your case. An attorney can determine if you have a strong case and inform you of your legal options.
Before the meeting, gather documents relating to your case and write a detailed account of your on-the-job injury. Pinpoint the right attorney by asking the lawyers questions about their experience, billing rates, your personal injury case and suggested strategy for handling your case. Questions include:
- How long have you practiced workers’ comp law?
- Have you handled a workers’ case like mine before?
- Do you represent employees or employers?
- How do you bill for a workers’ comp case?
- What is your strategy for handling my case?
- What are my legal options?
- Will you manage my case by yourself, or will your staff assist you?
- What percentage is handled by you, and what percentage is handled by your staff?
Choosing the Right Attorney
After meeting with some potential workers’ compensation lawyers, sit back and assess your meetings with each of them. Look at their experience handling workers’ compensation cases like your own. Ask yourself if you are comfortable with a lawyer’s proposed strategy to deal with your case. Are you comfortable with how the lawyer will handle your case?
Then review their billing rates. How do the workers’ comp lawyers charge for their services? Will you have to pay any additional fees? Can you afford to hire the lawyer?
If you can’t decide which attorney to hire, call their references and ask about their experience working with the worker’s comp attorney. Ask them if they were happy with the outcome of their case. In addition, ask if they would hire the attorney again.
After looking at all of your options, select and hire the workers’ compensation attorney that you believe will best help you.