As an attorney who specializes in Workers’ Compensation law it is easy for me to recommend that you get an attorney to represent you if you are injured on the job. The reason for this is simple, there are so many twists and turns, as well as pitfalls in the current Workers’ Compensation system, it just doesn’t make sense not to hire an attorney. Keep in mind that the attorney fee is limited to only 12-15% of your settlement. Furthermore, most knowledgeable attorneys will more than make up this small deduction from your settlement.
More importantly, however, is that you need to know certain limitations about your Workers’ Compensation case from the very beginning. Specifically, you need to know that your Workers’ Compensation case:
- Will not reimburse you for your actual loss of earnings;
- Will not compensate you for your loss of earnings capacity – after all you are no longer the same healthy unimpaired individual that you were before your injury;
- Will not compensate loss of pension, profit sharing or retirement benefits caused by the loss of a job due to serious injury;
- Will not compensate you for the loss of important insurance benefits which may be lost as a result of your injury;
- Will not compensate you for your actual “pain and suffering” – at least not in the same sense that certain civil litigation might do so;
- Will not “make you whole” financially – not to mention physically or emotionally; and
- Will not make up for lost job.
In short, the best thing you can do, at least from financial perspective, is to keep working – if at all possible. This does not mean that you shouldn’t pursue your fill Workers’ Compensation rights and benefits with the help of a lawyer specializing in this area. It merely means that you need to know the limitations of the system, with your eyes wide open, so that you are not blind-sided sometime in the future.
Please note that there are many other limitations/concerns which should be addressed by your attorney during the course of your litigation. As such, do not be shy about asking questions and voicing your concerns.