Were you injured at work? Have you since been denied the workers compensation that you're owed? When you're having a hard time getting paid for your injury, especially if you're now unable to work, you'll need to hire a lawyer to help you get the money you deserve. But instead of simply hiring the first one you find, here are some questions to ask to make sure that you're hiring the right one for you:
Do you handle many cases like this? Workers compensation cases bear some similarities to each other, but there are still differences. For example, if you were injured by someone else with a forklift at work, a workers compensation attorney may need to find out whether or not the forklift was in good repair and if the driver had a valid operating license for the vehicle. If the lawyer isn't very familiar with this type of case, it may take him or her a longer period of time to research what needs to be done and then to gather the relevant information. While this may only take an additional day or two for him or her to do, that's still a day or two that you'll be without your settlement money.
Do you need any additional paperwork or information brought to the office? When you go to see your workers compensation attorney for the first time, you should bring along proof of employment, medical records documenting the extent of your injury, and any police reports that might have been filed. Your lawyer may also want to see any photographic evidence that you have, as well as any proof you might have that your employer knew about the situation beforehand and failed to correct it. Once you meet with the lawyer, he or she may want additional information or documentation that you hadn't realized was relevant. Be sure to bring along a pen and pad of paper so that you can take notes and remember what the attorney wants you to bring to the next meeting.
What are your fees? For most workers compensation attorneys, you won't have to put any money down as a retainer up front. Instead, he or she will simply take a percentage of whatever settlement you eventually receive. Some attorneys may charge a larger percentage than others, so make sure that you know what you're agreeing to ahead of time. This will help to prevent sticker shock when your lawyer hands you a bill for a portion of your hefty settlement upon the satisfactory completion of your case.
For more information, contact Shaw Leslie Law Office or a similar firm.