Accidents can be pretty usual at work—a broken arm from a fall off a stairway, a back injury from lifting heavy cartons, or median nerve compression due to years of typing are all well-known examples. Workers compensation attorneys can help workers who are injured while doing his job recover compensation for these injuries, including medical bills and lost wages.
Workers’ compensation laws allow workers who are injured on the job to take several perks, depending on the injury. They can include:
Permanent total injury benefits
Permanent partial injury benefits
Temporary partial disability benefits
Wage compensation benefits
Vocational recovery benefits
Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ compensation laws are directed by each state law and by federal statutes. Both provide fixed benefits to employees or their families in the event of employment-related accidents and diseases.
These statutorily-prescribed advantages facilitate the injured worker to receive compensation without launching legal action against an employer. The various state acts alter based on the type of workers covered, the amount and duration of benefits, and other details.
“Federal employees are covered by several laws, including the Federal Employees Compensation Act, the Jones Act for seamen, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act for longshore and harbour workers”.
An Attorney’s Duties
The workers’ compensation attorney’s goal is to represent the defendant, which would be the employer/company or the employer’s insurance company, to decrease the defendant’s liability.
Typical job duties of a workers’ compensation lawyer include:
Collecting medical evidence and medical records
Taking statements of the claimant, physicians, medical authorities, and other parties
Performing legal investigation
Drafting pleadings and other legal documents
Prosecuting cases before a judge or referee
A lack of detailed and comprehensive medical evidence is one of the main reasons workers’ compensation claims fail, and it’s a crucial responsibility of a lawyer to prevent this.
Specific Attorney Duties
Claimant’s lawyer must have a working experience of the claims filing process and compassion for the injured party’s situation. An attorney representing the claimant will typically:
Answer clients’ inquiries and lead them through the workers’ compensation process.
Contact hospital and complete paperwork relating to the claim.
Represent the claimant’s concerns at hearings, trials, statements, discussions, negotiations, agreements, and other proceedings.
Assist the injured worker with benefits, including proper medical care.
Communicate with the worker’s superintendents on the injured worker’s situation.
Negotiate reimbursements on behalf of the claimant.
Specific Defense Attorney Duties
On the defence side, lawyers help insurance companies or self-insured employers minimize their compensation and defend against workers’ compensation claims.
They must know the various claims-handling guidelines for the different business unit and be able to estimate costs and calculate exposure. They must know billing procedures. Attorneys on the defence side will:
Represent the employer interests at hearings, trials, statements, discussions, negotiations, agreements, and other proceedings.
Communicate with claims spokespeople.
Monitor loss reports
Assist with the investigation of accidents and predicament areas.
Manage workers’ compensation costs.
Edit and submit reports required by company management.
Confer settlements on behalf of the insurance company.
Skills and Knowledge
Other skills and experience are required to shine as a workers’ compensation lawyer in addition to these fundamental legal skills. They include:
Lawsuit experience and strong litigation experience
Working knowledge of workers’ compensation laws and procedures
Outstanding oral and written communication skills
Intense research and analytical skills
Ability to handle massive caseloads and balance multiple priorities and deadlines
Exceptional negotiation skills
Ability to work individually as well as in a team environment
Strong technical skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office and legal research platforms, such as Lexis and Westlaw
Knowledge of medical, logical, construction, products, engineering, and similar issues implicit in workers comp cases.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney Fee
Applicant attorneys unusually charge an hourly fee. It’s more common to work on a percentage of any compensation received for a claimant, anywhere from 10% to 30%.
Workers compensation attorneys work in an office environment, often employed in a law agency or a corporate legal department. Frequent travel to hearings, interventions, statements, and job sites can be required. Long hours can be required due to travelling to hearings and depositions in different locations, and when preparing for hearings.