If you experience a work-related injury or illness, you may wonder if you need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to as you recover. The answer depends on several things, including how severe you have been injured, how complex your case may be, and the actions of your employer and its insurance company.
Before hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, here are six things you need to know:
#1: You should take action fairly quickly.
After you’ve been injured at work and have received medical attention for your injuries, you will not want to wait too long to file a workers’ compensation claim. In addition, there are several preliminary steps in making a claim that are very important. If you make a mistake in the process, it could affect your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Having an experienced attorney working for you from the outset is one of the best ways to maximize your chance of receiving all the benefits you deserve.
#2: Not all law firms are the same.
You want to choose a law firm that gives you the best opportunity to recover the financial compensation you deserve. Is the firm you’re considering large enough to handle your case efficiently but small enough to provide you with personalized service? Does the firm have experience in workers’ compensation cases? If so, what is their record of success? Is the firm’s practice dedicated largely to workers’ comp? These are just a few things to consider in making your choice.
#3: Attorneys’ fees are capped under Oklahoma law.
Law firms typically handle workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis, meaning that there is no fee unless benefits are recovered. Under Oklahoma law, attorneys’ fees are capped at a maximum of 10% of any award for contested temporary disability, and 20% of any award for permanent disability or for a contested death case is permitted as an attorney fee. All attorney fees are subject to court approval.
#4: Your initial consultation should be free -- and free of any pressure.
Besides not costing you anything, your initial consultation with a workers’ comp attorney should be pressure-free. In other words, you should not feel as if you are being forced to hire any firm. Once it’s been established that you have a legitimate claim, you will want to work with an attorney who makes you feel comfortable and that you can trust to work on your behalf.
#5: Choose an attorney with experience in handling your type of claim.
Work-related injuries come in many different forms and you want to hire an attorney with experience in dealing with claims that are similar to yours. Whether you are suffering from a job-related illness, a workplace accident, or a chronic condition that has worsened because of your work, you want a lawyer who knows what it takes to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
#6: There may be other options to filing a workers’ comp claim.
If you were hurt or got sick because of your employer’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. Depending on the circumstances, you could potentially have a product defect claim as well, making you eligible for Social Security or other benefits. Keep this in mind when choosing a firm and look for one that handles all types of work-related injury and illness claims, not solely workers’ compensation.
Have you been injured at work? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys understand how work injuries can impact your life, which is why we will work tirelessly to ensure you are fully compensated through the workers’ compensation system. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll-free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.