When you suffer an injury at work, you deserve compensation for your injuries: under Minnesota law, 2/3 of your weekly paycheck each week as well as payment for any medical bills faced as a result of your injuries. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims do not always move smoothly. In some cases, you may need a workers’ compensation attorney to help you handle your claim. How can you choose the right workers’ compensation firm to handle your case? Consider some of these important elements.
1. Look for an experienced attorney who has dealt with workers’ compensation claims before.
Workers’ compensation claims are, in many ways, different from traditional personal injury claims. Minnesota law sets out the amount of compensation you deserve for lost wages as well as dictating your employer’s responsibility for your medical bills. Unlike personal injury claims, you cannot claim pain and suffering as part of your workers’ compensation claim (unless you have grounds for a claim against an outside individual). When you choose an attorney, make sure you choose an attorney who has experience with workers’ compensation cases, not just personal injury claims.
2. Choose an attorney with a proven success record.
You want an attorney with a history of results: satisfactory resolutions to past cases and claims for other clients. Take a look at past client results described on the attorney’s website, take a look at attorney reviews, and ask if you can contact past clients to get a better idea of what to expect when you work with the attorney you have chosen to handle your claim.
3. Discuss the attorney’s communication style.
Some people want regular communication from an attorney, regardless of whether anything is happening in their case or not: updates on the process, regular contacts, and information about what comes next. Others prefer contact only when there’s something to tell. Discuss with your attorney how often they communicate with their clients during an ongoing workers’ compensation claim, and make sure that the attorney’s style fits with yours. You may also want to discuss how the attorney prefers to communicate and whether you can expect telephone, text, or email communications for most of your updates.
4. Choose an attorney in your geographic area.
While an attorney with general experience is important, an attorney in your geographic area has worked with the specific court system and judges you can expect to encounter as you deal with your workers’ compensation case. He may also have dealt with the insurance company you must deal with while handling your workers’ compensation claim in the past, which can make it easier for him to provide vital advice as you move through your claim.
5. Discuss your attorney’s priorities.
For some lawyers, the final award–the financial compensation you receive for your injuries–is the most important part of the process. To many accident victims, however, treatment is every bit as important as that award, if not more so. Many insurance companies attempt to minimize patient injuries to decrease financial liability, even working with their doctors to encourage minimal interventions and treatment. Before you choose an attorney, make sure you fully understand your attorney’s priorities and that they are in alignment with yours.
Choosing the right workers’ compensation attorney can make a big difference in the claims process, especially if you must begin a case against your employer or the insurance company in order to get the full compensation or help with treatment you deserve. Before hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, take the time to ask the right questions and choose an attorney who fits your needs. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help with your workers’ comp case.