Questions You Should Ask A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In order to find a workers’ comp lawyer that is the right fit for you, it’s wise to ask as many questions as possible before you finalize your decision. Questions that you should ask include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Do you typically handle workers’ compensation cases?
- How often have the workers’ comp cases you’ve handled dealt with injuries that are similar to mine?
- What are your fees and how do you collect them?
- How are litigation fees handled?
- What is your success rate?
- Can I speak with a former client?
- Will you be handling my case personally?
- Who else will be working on my case?
- How frequently will you update me on my case?
Schuster Law provides injured workers with a free consultation so that each potential client gets the opportunity to learn more about the law firm and the support our legal team has to offer.
What Injuries Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Generally, any injury or illness is coverable through workers’ compensation if it can be shown it is work related. Frequently, our attorneys work on cases that involve:
- Spinal damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken Bones
- Nerve Damage
- Disfigurement including severe scarring
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Occupational diseases caused by toxic exposure
If you’ve been hurt or become ill because of your job you deserve the best treatment possible without having to worry about the financial impact this treatment will have on you and your family.
What Are Wage Loss Benefits And When Can I Get Them?
If you can’t work because of a work-related injury, you may be entitled to receive wage loss benefits. Wage loss benefits provide you with income when you can’t work, however, the amount will vary depending on how much your injury affects your ability to work:
- Total Wage Loss Benefits: Awarded if you are completely unable to work because of your injury or illness.
- Partial Wage Loss Benefits: Awarded if you return to work after an injury with imposed medical restrictions and are earning less money than you did prior to the injury.
Benefit payments are available after you’ve been out of work for 8 days, however, payments are often not received until the 21st day – and that is only if everything goes smoothly.
What Can I Do If I Receive A Denial Of Benefits?
There are many common reasons for a denial of benefits, including:
- Missed filing deadlines.
- A dispute over the cause of your injury.
- The claim was filed after you left your position.
- Your medical condition does not meet state guidelines.
The denial letter should include a date by which you must file an appeal, which is a formal petition that challenges the decision. The appeals process is difficult and requires that evidence disputing the denial to be presented to a judge. With the right attorney by your side the appeals process can go smoothly.
How Can I Deal With The Reduction, Suspension Or Termination Of Benefits?
Has your employer or insurance company filed a petition to reduce, suspend, or completely terminate your workers’ compensation benefits? If so, you need to contact our law firm immediately. In order to fight the reduction, suspension, or termination of your benefits, you will need to appear before a judge.
You can be sure that the insurance company will have an attorney representing them during the hearing so it’s important that you work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can advise you about your legal rights and who can represent you. The outcome of this hearing could impact your ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones.
Lump Sum Settlements In Workers’ Comp Cases
Depending on the extent of your injuries and disability, you may decide to settle your workers’ compensation claim for a lump sum of money, especially if your claim may have substantial settlement value. Engaging a lawyer will give you a better chance of obtaining a larger settlement amount and preventing you from being taken advantage of by the adjuster. The workers’ comp attorneys at Schuster Law have negotiated hundreds of workers’ compensation settlements on behalf of our clients and have achieved favorable results.
Is It Typical For Workers’ Comp Cases To Go To Trial?
No, only about 5% of all workers’ compensation cases go to trial.
What Is Discovery In A Workers’ Comp Case?
Discovery is the period of time prior to a trial when the injrued worker and their legal team have the opportunity to collect the evidence that will support their claim. This could potentially include medical records, witness statements, video surveillence, expert opinions, and any other relevant material.
What Happens If A Workers’ Compensation Case Does Go To Trial?
When you work with the right workers’ compensation lawyer a trial isn’t an experience to be feared. If your case goes to trial, you can expect:
- Documents and other evidence will be presented. This usually includes medical records, financial records, depositions, and employment records.
- Testimony. You will typically have to testify about the accident or exposure that caused you harm, about your injury, and about your job duties. It is likely that other witnesses will have to testify.
The judge typically reviews the information and then makes a decision about the case within 30 to 90 days.
Can I Go Back To School And Still Collect Workers’ Compensation?
Technically yes, you can go back to school while collecting workers’ compensation benefits. However, the reality is that this could but your benefits at risk because it may raise questions about your level of disability. Before you make any decisions be sure to contact our law office so that we can discuss how this may impact your claim.
You Could Also Recover Additional Compensation From A Third-Party Claim
In a workers’ compensation case, there can also be a third-party liability claim that is related to the work injury. For example, if you are injured in a car accident when traveling on a work assignment, you not only have a workers’ compensation claim for your lost wages and medical expenses, but you also have a third-party personal injury claim against the person who was at fault in the accident. At Schuster Law, we have lawyers that can handle third party claims which are called personal injury claims.
Settlements and favorable verdicts from personal injury claims can provide compensation that workers’ comp can’t. For example, a personal injury lawsuit settlement may include monetary compensation for non-monetary losses such as physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
Schuster Law Can Help – Call Now For Your Free Workers’ Comp Consultation
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, you have many rights and responsibilities. Navigating your way through the system successfully without a lawyer can be a difficult–if not impossible–task. Schuster Law is prepared to help you with all of the necessary paperwork, filings and deadlines–and to fight to maximize your benefits. You will deal directly with an attorney who will handle your case throughout the entire legal process and we offer free consultations.
If you or a family member has been injured on the job, call us at 610.892.9200 or contact us here.