In the aftermath of a workplace accident, you may feel too strained and overwhelmed. However, this is also the time to file your workers’ compensation claim, for which you must inform the employer immediately. Virginia requires all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, if they have three or more employees. The benefits of this no-fault insurance also extend to part-time employees. Like any other injured worker dealing with injuries and financial distress, you are probably wondering – Do I really need a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney for my claim? Here are some basic things to know.
Insurance companies can make things hard
Your employer has paid for workers’ compensation insurance, and making a claim should be an easy process. However, in the real world, insurance companies eventually want to make profit, and they often adhere to bad faith insurance tactics to deny claims. If you end up accepting whatever the claims adjuster is offering, you are likely to get a lot less than what you deserve. These are big companies that have vast legal and financial resources at disposal. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer is also about negotiating better for your claim.
Affording a workers’ compensation attorney
Injured workers are often worried about the cost of legal counsel for their workers’ compensation claim. After all, you are probably dealing with numerous financial issues already. The good news is most attorneys in Virginia work on a contingency fee, and they typically offer free initial consultation. The Commission doesn’t get attorneys exploit injured workers, so the fee is usually fixed at 20%. The workers’ compensation attorney only gets paid, if your claim is honored and you win a financial settlement.
Meeting an attorney
The first meeting with a lawyer is about discussing the accident and what you can expect from workers’ compensation claim. In Virginia, you cannot sue your employer directly for a work-related injury. However, if your employer has fired/retaliated against you, you may have a workplace discrimination case. A skilled lawyer can help you understand the circumstances and your losses better. They can also help in evaluating the true worth of your claim. During the meeting, you may also want to discuss the financials.
Trust the expertise
You don’t want to micromanage your attorney. It is important to let the lawyer do their job, and as you recover at home, they can ensure that you get a fair settlement. Find a workers’ compensation lawyer soon after your accident for better assistance and support.