10 Types of Free Legal Advice You Need When Filing for Workers’ Comp

Filing for workers’ comp can be challenging, and you can’t afford to make mistakes that could jeopardize your benefits. Here are 10 types of free legal advice you need to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.

You have been injured on the job. What now? If you are like most people, you need free legal advice, but you are not exactly sure what advice you need.

That’s okay. Dealing with workers’ compensation and other issues related to work injuries is difficult. That’s why there are lawyers who focus exclusively on representing individuals with job-related injuries. These lawyers offer free initial consultations, and they are more than happy to provide the legal advice you need in order to make smart decisions about protecting your legal rights.

Here are 10 Pieces of Legal Free Advice You Can Expect to Receive During Your Initial Consultation

So, what can you expect when you contact a lawyer for a work injury? Here are 10 pieces of free legal advice you can expect to receive during your initial consultation:

Free Legal Advice for Workers Comp.

1. How Long Do You Have to Report Your On-the-Job Injury?

In most states, there are strict deadlines that limit the amount of time injured workers have to report their on-the-job injuries. These deadlines are often very short (as short as three or four days in some states). If you do not report your injury to your employer in time, you could lose your claim for benefits. So, after getting injured on the job, one of the most-important pieces of advice you need is how quickly you need to file your claim.

2. What Do You Need to Say When You Report Your On-the-Job Injury to Your Employer?

When you report your accident to your employer, there are certain things you need to say (or put in writing), and there are certain things you should not say (or put in writing). An experienced workers’ comp lawyer will be able to tell you how to properly report your injury on time without jeopardizing your claim for benefits.

3. Can You See Your Own Doctor?

Can you see your own doctor? Or, are you required to see a “workers’ comp” doctor for treatment of your injury? The rules vary from state to state; and, in some states, employers can dictate their employees’ choice of medical providers. If you see your own doctor when you are supposed to see a workers’ comp doctor, your medical bills may not be covered.

4. Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Before we go too far, it is worth clarifying that not all workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The eligibility criteria vary from state to state; and, if you are an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee), then you most likely are not covered. So, when you meet with a work injury lawyer for a free initial consultation, one of the first questions you will want to have answered is, “Am I eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits?”

5. Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim as the Result of Your On-the-Job Injury?

Regardless of whether you have a workers’ compensation claim, there is also a possibility that you have a personal injury claim (or even multiple personal injury claims). So, in addition to getting free legal advice about your workers’ comp claim, you will want to talk to your lawyer about seeking just compensation outside of workers’ comp as well. Common situations in which injured workers will have personal injury claims include:

  • Vehicle collisions
  • Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents
  • Falls from ladders and scaffolding
  • Forklift and other heavy equipment accidents
  • Fires and explosions
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals, fumes, or particulates
  • Accidents involving tools and machinery
  • Accidents involving co-worker negligence
  • Injuries sustained due to inadequate safety equipment or training

In most cases, employees cannot file personal injury claims against the companies they work for (employees are generally limited to seeking workers’ comp benefits from their employers). But, there are exceptions. To learn more, read: When Can You Sue Your Employer for a Work Injury?

6. How Much Compensation are You Entitled to Receive for Your On-the-Job Injury?

When you file for workers’ compensation, you need to know how much you are entitled to receive for your on-the-job injury. If you don’t know what benefits you are entitled to recover, you will almost certainly settle for too little too soon.

7. Should You Go Back to Work? If So, When?

After filing a claim for benefits, you need to be extremely careful about when you return to work. If you return too soon, you could jeopardize your benefits (not to mention your health). An experienced workers’ comp attorney will be able to help you understand your legal rights so that you can make an informed decision about when (or whether) you should go back to your job.

8. Should You Accept a Lump-Sum Settlement for Your Workers’ Comp Claim?

Depending on your personal circumstances, it might make sense for you to try to negotiate a lump-sum settlement. During your initial consultation, your lawyer will be able to provide legal advice regarding the benefits and drawbacks of accepting a lump-sum payment for your work injury.

9. How Will Filing for Workers’ Comp Impact Your Social Security Disability (SSD) Eligibility and Benefits?

If you are eligible to receive Social Security disability (SSD) as a result of your work injury, there is a chance that collecting workers’ comp could limit the amount of SSD benefits you can receive. However, there are also ways to prevent this from happening (or at least minimize the “workers’ comp offset”). An experienced lawyer for work injury will be able to provide the free legal advice you need to maximize your total benefits.

10. What Should You Do if Your Employer (or Its Insurance Company) Denies Your Claim?

Finally, when filing for workers’ comp, you need to be prepared for the possibility that your claim will be denied. If this happens, you will need to respond to the denial promptly, and you will need to know what steps you need to take in order to make sure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

How to Get Free Legal Advice for Your Workers Comp Claim

Claim for workers compensation.So, that’s the free legal advice you need when you get injured on the job. Now, how do you get it? Here are the steps you should take right away:

  • Write Down Everything You Remember – When you need to seek benefits for a work injury, the more information you have, the better. As a result, you should write down everything you remember as soon as possible. Don’t go off of what anyone else has told you—write down your recollections as you remember them from the day of the accident.
  • Make Sure Your Photos Don’t Get Deleted – If you took photos with your phone at the scene of the accident, make sure they don’t get deleted. If you don’t have a lot of storage on your phone, they could end up in your trash. Send them to yourself in an email, and keep the email in your inbox to forward to your lawyer.
  • Contact a Local Attorney for a Free Claim Assessment – You will need legal advice that is personalized to your individual circumstances. You will also want a lawyer to deal with your employer and its insurance company on your behalf. As a result, to get the free legal advice and help you need, you should contact a local attorney right away.

Is any advice you receive from an attorney really free? When you contact an attorney, the first step will be to sit down for a free claim (in person or over the phone). If you decide not to move forward, you won’t owe anything for the advice you received. If you decide to hire the attorney to represent you, your legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your financial recovery—but only if your attorney helps you collect workers comp benefits (and/or other financial compensation).

Need Free Legal Advice for a Work Injury? Contact a Local Attorney Today

If you would like to have these (or other) questions answered by a local workers’ compensation attorney, request a free initial consultation through WorkInjurySource.com. Click the button to get in touch with an attorney in your town or city.