There are some people who like to know nothing about a situation and just diving right in. While that is a fun way to live, just “diving right in” to your worker’s compensation case can make things more difficult than they need to be for both you and your potential worker’s compensation attorney. Every worker’s compensation case begins with a consultation with a lawyer. This meeting is a way for them to go over your case, see if they can help you, and for you to decide if they are the right attorney for you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to shop around for legal representation, but if you want your consultation to go smoothly, you need to take steps to prepare beforehand.
Before the Consultation
Before attending the meeting, it is important to organize your paperwork beforehand and bring it with you. Anything pertaining to the injury like injury reports from work or medical records for treatment should be brought along. The more information that you have on hand for your case will give your lawyer a better idea of what they are working with in order to give you a better evaluation.
There are cases where a lawyer will look over all your documents and know that a case just won’t be valid. There are situations in which a client may have been under the influence or not on the clock for work that can make a worker’s compensation claim invalid. However, there are also situations in which a third-party was liable and it would be better suited for a personal injury case. During a consultation, your lawyer will advise on the best route to take even if it wasn’t what you were expecting.
During the Meeting
Initial consultations usually take between 45 minutes to an hour. During this time, your lawyer will listen to the story of your accident, what injuries resulted, and any potentially permanent issues that occurred because of it. Afterwards, they will look over the paperwork and finally talk over any potential problems with the case.
Often the majority of consultations consist of going over the entire worker’s compensation process as many people are going through it for the first time with very little information on how it works. This can include how permanent partial disability awards are calculated, what routes to take if the worker’s compensation process doesn’t go as planned, and your options if your injuries are to an extent that you might not be able to return to work.
Afterwards, the floor is opened for any and all questions that you might have. The most common is how much you can expect from worker’s compensation, and usually your lawyer will be able to provide a rough estimate.
Choosing a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
While not true for every lawyer, many law offices provide free consultations as a sort of no-risk interview process. This way, you can talk your case over with a number of different lawyers before choosing one. Some lawyers might not feel right to you, and that is okay. Regardless of if you choose the lawyer, whatever was discussed in your consultation will remain confidential.
If you do decide to choose the lawyer, you may not need representation immediately, in which case you can call them and hire them much quicker at a later date after the consultation has been completed. Fees can be discussed then or at the end of the consultation so you can have a clear idea of what the process will cost.
If you are in the St. Paul area and have been hurt at work, contact us today. The Law Office of Joshua Borken provides free consultations for every potential client where it is not just our job to go over the details of your case, but make sure you feel like we are the right worker’s compensation attorney for you.