How To Choose a Workplace Injury Lawyer
Injured at work? Do you have questions and concerns about your future? An attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018. Out of the 2.8 million injuries reported, only 333,830 (37%) “days away from work” cases involved a trip to the emergency room or other medical facilities, and 39,080 cases required in-patient hospitalization.
The median number of days away from work for injuries requiring an emergency room visit was 7 days and for in-patient hospitalization 41 days.
When Do You Know You Need A Lawyer?
Most workplace injuries are relatively minor, and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pays, without question, your medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, if any.
If your injuries are minor, and you only missed a few days of work, the only reason to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer is to ensure you are receiving all the medical benefits to which you are entitled, as well as the appropriate compensation for lost wages.
If your injuries are more serious and will keep you away from work for a long time, it is important to find a good personal injury attorney — one with experience in workers’ compensation insurance claims, long-term disability issues, and personal injury law — to provide legal advice and handle your personal injury case.
There are other situations when you should hire a lawyer to help ensure you are fairly compensated:
- If your claim is denied, or benefits aren’t being paid on time. Sometimes a claim is denied by an insurance company for “questionable” reasons. An experienced attorney at our law firm knows how to respond in a denial situation, and can often initiate a reconsideration of your claim by simply sending the insurance company a letter.
- Sometimes the insurance company’s settlement offer doesn’t cover all your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Insurance companies are known for offering quick, low-ball settlement offers. Hiring a lawyer can help to ensure you are fairly compensated.
- When your injuries prevent you from returning to work and/or limit your capabilities, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
- If you are receiving — or plan to apply for — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, receiving workers’ comp benefits could have a negative impact on what you receive in SSDI benefits. An experienced attorney knows how to minimize or eliminate this potential offset.
If you need legal advice and guidance in understanding your workers’ compensation claim, the professionals at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can meet with you at your convenience to review your situation and make sure you file all the necessary forms and meet deadlines. We will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, gather evidence, and write settlement agreements that have your best interests in mind.
Finding An Attorney Takes (A Little) Research
To find a lawyer to help you with your workplace injury claim, start with your own network. Ask your family members and friends for a referral. Explain your situation and tell them that you’re looking for personal injury lawyers who have experience with personal injury claims like yours. Get some names, and then go online.
When you preview a law firm or attorney online, look for their experience with handling workplace injury cases like yours. A personal injury law firm may have several areas of specialty — like vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, etc.
Look for a personal injury law firm with a specialty in workplace injuries, long-term disability, and SSDI claims. While most workplace injury cases are settled out of court, you are nevertheless looking for a personal injury lawyer with strong courtroom skills. Settlement hearings with insurance company attorneys require the same presentation and negotiation skills as those used in the courtroom.
Make a list of the attorneys and firms that seem appropriate, and then call and make some appointments. Meeting with an attorney face to face is an important part of your decision-making process, and well worth the time. Your lawyer will have a big impact on your case and the ultimate outcome — so make the decision carefully.
Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. any time (24 hours) and let us know about your situation. We’ll be happy to meet with you at your convenience. Initial consultations are always without charge.
Qualities to Look For When You Meet
When you first meet with a prospective attorney, assess your comfort level throughout the meeting. Do you feel like you can talk openly and honestly about personal things with this person? Comfort and trust are essential. You must be able to trust your attorney implicitly. Other qualities to look for include:
- Experience: Ask the attorney to share their experience in handling cases like yours, and the outcome. You want to find an attorney with a track record of success.
- Resources, Capacity, and Analytical Skills: Ask about the complexity of your case and the way the attorney recommends that you proceed. There are often multiple ways to look at a situation, and preparing effective legal strategies often requires exceptional research and analytical skills. Does the firm have the resources to pursue your claim, if, for example, expert witnesses need to be identified to provide sworn testimony?
- Presentation and Negotiation Skills: Litigation and negotiation talent may be difficult to determine during an initial meeting, but don’t be shy about asking lawyers how often they settle out of court and if they enjoy litigation. The best personal injury lawyers enjoy litigation, and will also enjoy telling you about it.
- Accessibility: When you meet a prospective attorney for the first time, find out who you need to contact when you have questions. The best attorneys are reasonably accessible, but can’t always respond to your concerns immediately. Ask to meet the other people at the firm who will be involved in your case, and with whom you can communicate when your attorney is unavailable.
You should also have a sense of commitment from the attorney you will be working with — to you and your case — that provides you with confidence and hope for your future.
When you consult with Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we’ll help you navigate the workers’ compensation insurance bureaucracy so you get the settlement you need and deserve.
Don’t Wait Too Long To Find Help
Sometimes an insurance claims adjuster will offer you a quick deal. The initial offer is the insurance company’s bottom line offer, and rarely takes into account your comprehensive medical condition and the long-term impacts on your life.
Don’t sign anything until you find a workplace injury lawyer who can explain to you exactly what you are signing. If you sign something before you fully understand your injuries, you may be unable to recover additional damages in the future.
If you are totally and permanently disabled as a result of your workplace injury, it is essential that you work with an attorney to help you evaluate and quantify the long-term costs and other impacts of your injury before you sign a settlement agreement.
Typically, an employee cannot file a lawsuit against an employer if they have already filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Senior partner Eileen Kroll specializes in medical cases at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. and her training as a Registered Nurse is invaluable in helping us evaluate a client’s injuries and medical status for legal purposes.
Don’t Worry About Cost
When you meet with an attorney from Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C., you don’t have to worry about the attorney fee. If we decide to work together, we will take your case on a contingent fee basis, which means we don’t receive payment until we successfully secure an adequate settlement for you.
Contact us toll-free at (866)-466-9912 or use our convenient online contact form.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.