Working with a workers’ compensation lawyer: Things to discuss

Employers in Virginia are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for all employees. If a worker is injured in a work-related accident, or is diagnosed with an occupational illness, he/she can file a claim with Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, to get benefits. The benefits typically cover for immediate medical treatment, future medical care, loss of wages, and disability benefits, where applicable. 

If you were injured in such an unfortunate accident and are struggling to understand and navigate through the workers’ compensation system, you may consider seeking legal advice. Hiring an experienced and skilled Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer can be highly useful for getting due benefits. In this post, we are sharing the things that must be discussed with a lawyer. 

Workers’ compensation benefits

When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, time is an important factor. You have to inform your employer at the earliest and must file the claim with the Commission in due time. While most employees are likely to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, there are exceptions. Similarly, disability benefits may not be available to everyone. Ask your lawyer about the benefits you can claim. 

Experience of the lawyer

You need an attorney with extensive experience with workers’ compensation claims in Virginia. Your lawyer should have a high success rate, and don’t step back from asking about their top cases. You may also want to know if the lawyer has handled appeals and has gone to hearings with claims. While most claims are settled outside of court, a lawyer should have the expertise to handle all circumstances. 

Fee and costs

Many lawyers take up workers’ compensation claims on a contingency fee. This means that they don’t get paid if your claim is denied. If you win, the lawyer will charge a fixed percentage of the weekly benefits you get, for a specific period. In many states, there is a limit to what lawyers can charge, but it is wise to ask. Make sure that your lawyer gives a brief about other expenses related to the claim, and if you are in a financial mess, ask the lawyer if they can advance costs on your behalf. Financials must be discussed with a lawyer, so that you don’t end up paying huge in expenses. 

Finally, do ask the lawyer if they are personally going to handle the case. Often, workers’ compensation lawyers take up cases, only to assign a junior or associate later.