When should I call an attorney?
Work related injuries often can involve some of the “ancillary” actions that can provide extra protection and extra benefits to injured workers. There are several reasons to call an attorney soon after an injury. Obtaining early legal representation gives you the benefit of legal advice and representation throughout the process, AND COSTS NO MORE than waiting to contact an attorney when the flow of benefits is interrupted or after treatment is concluded. Early representation will help insure your benefits flow smoothly to you, as opposed to seeking advice only when your benefits or rights have been threatened or denied.
If you have a work related injury, the odds are very high that you will benefit by using an attorney. The rules and regulations of the Workers’ Compensation system are very complicated. Employers and insurance companies spend much time and money to minimize their own expenses (at your expense) when they are dealing with a work related injury. Choosing an evaluating physician is a crucial step in the process, and familiarity with the evaluators is essential in obtaining a fair or even favorable evaluation.
Legal time limits go by very quickly at this stage of a claim, and choosing the wrong evaluator can permanently prejudice your interests. The insurance companies and employer’s claims administrators are trained and experienced in this regard, and they are NOT looking out for your best interests. Kim LaValley WILL protect your interests to maximize your benefits.
Often, the insurance company’s attorneys will want to take your sworn deposition before a court reporter to provide your statement to investigators, the employer, or to health care providers. The assistance of an attorney at this stage is crucial. You should never submit to questioning without an attorney’s assistance. The impact on your claim can be quite large.
Additionally, there are time limits to filing an Application For Benefits before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board that must be met. “Ancillary” claims must also be filed in a timely manner.
Once benefits to which you are entitled have been disrupted, even a little, it often takes extra time, additional inconvenience and frustration before benefits are restored. Ongoing legal representation can help insure everything stays “on track” and will allow for a much faster resolution of problems if and when they arise.
Additionally, the determination of the value of your benefits involves complicated calculations which are necessary to insure you receive everything you should receive. Aspects of your benefit package can be increased, sometimes dramatically, when reviewed and presented properly. For information about how attorney’s fees are billed and collected, see the FAQ on Attorneys Fees.
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