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When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in NY

when to hire a workers compensation attorney

Everyone should hire a worker’s compensation attorney right away.

Many people wait until there is a denial or until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, for those people, waiting delays their cases even longer. The insurance companies have in-house attorneys as well as a host of different law firms that work for them. That means the insurance companies never go without an attorney, even attorneys.

Why should any injured worker go without an attorney?

Insurance companies try to pretend to be friends with the claimant by saying, “You don’t need an attorney. We’re going to do the right thing by you.” Until they don’t.

If an injured worker chooses to go without an attorney, the worker should not allow the nurse case manager in on their case. The nurse case manager is there to reduce the cost for the insurance company. The nurse is not there for the benefit of the injured worker.

A nurse case manager might say they are working to benefit your case. But then they start going to your medical exams with you, harassing your doctor to send you back to work even if it is against your doctor’s wishes. Pushing your workers compensation benefits to a quick end.

They might tell you, “Don’t worry. You’ll go back to work on light duty,” but you go back to work, and there is no light duty. Because you are still recovering from your work-related injury, you are unable to do full-time, full-duty work, which gets you fired.

The Risks or Pitfalls of Handling a Workers’ Compensation Claim Without an Attorney

#1. Risk of Harmful Recorded Statements

The percentage of injured workers who seek an attorney right away and those who wait is about 50/50. The risk for those who wait is that they are speaking to a claim examiner on a recorded phone call, where a lot of questions are asked in different and confusing ways.

The “friendly” claim examiner aims to get them to say something on record that, when taken out of context, can be used against them.

#2. Risk of Lower Average Weekly Wage Calculation

Once the average weekly wage is set, it cannot be reset. If it is not correctly set, you could be losing out on a lot of money. An insurance company can work to lower the set amount. A workers’ compensation attorney, who is representing you, can argue to increase that set amount. But without such legal representation, the layperson would not know about being able to adjust the set wage.

A workers’ compensation lawyer would have the ability to take the deposition and know the questions they’ll be asking you.

#3. Risk Around Medical Evaluations and Reports

If you go to an IME doctor without representation, you don’t know all your rights, such as whether the insurance company followed the rules by properly serving the workers’ compensation report to all required parties.

A knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is able to get the set wage thrown out that was based on your answers to intentionally confusing questions.

#4. You Miss Out on Risk-Free Representation

Attorney fees for an injured worker are paid based on the injured worker’s recovery. It is a contingency fee, and therefore, the injured worker does not have to pay out of pocket. Also, unlike personal injury attorneys, who receive 1/3 of everything that the person receives, Workers’ Compensation attorneys only receive 15% of indemnity awards.

O’Connor Law’s Experience In Handling Your Workers’ Compensation Cases

Returning to my introduction, my past experience was working for the other side. I began my legal career working for insurance companies, even training the lawyers of insurance companies. I was a high-volume insurance company defense attorney.

Thus, I can anticipate problems and deal with them before they happen. Also, through my husband working for the federal government, I saw how the government treats workers’ compensation cases.

In addition, two of our attorneys have had family members injured at work and have had to go through the workers’ compensation process. Thus, workers’ compensation cases hit close to home, and we fight for our clients, as they are family.

For more information on Worker’s Compensation Issues In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by contacting us today.

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