If you were injured in a workplace accident, or were diagnosed with an occupational disease, you can claim compensation under Virginia’s workers’ compensation act. While not necessary, seeking legal expertise does matter. Talking to one of Ashburn workers’ compensation attorneys can actually help in getting a fair settlement. If you are meeting an attorney for the first time, here are some aspects to discuss.
Experience of your attorney
Not all personal injury attorneys deal with workers’ compensation claims. Work-comp claims and cases are different, and you need to find a lawyer, who has worked on cases similar to yours. You can ask questions like –
- How often do you deal with workers’ compensation claims?
- How many workers’ comp cases have you handled so far?
- Have you represented clients at trial?
- Do you have a conflict of interest?
- Can you share a few references?
Keep in mind that workers’ compensation attorneys also work with employers. If the same attorney is representing your employer in another case, they do have a conflict of interest. Also, the attorney you meet may not work on the case directly. Ask the attorney, if they are going to assign the matter to an associate.
Your workers’ compensation claim
The first meeting with an attorney is also about discussing your workers’ compensation claim in depth. At this point, you are expected to answer questions that your attorney may ask. In return, you can ask relevant questions like –
- How much should I expect in settlement?
- What damages can I recover?
- What if my employer retaliates against me?
- Will the case end up in trial?
- How should I deal with the claims adjuster?
Once you have an attorney, they will take over the negotiations with the insurance company. However, you need to know what to expect as the final settlement.
Costs and expenses
The cost of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Virginia depends on the facts of the case. Many attorneys may work on a contingency fee, which means they don’t get paid until and unless they win. You can ask the attorney about a fee structure that works best for you. If there are other unexpected costs, your lawyer will explain that too.
To find the right attorney, ask around and talk to fellow workers about lawyers they have worked with. You can also check websites like Avvo to find workers’ compensation lawyers in your area. Most law firms have their websites these days, so you can find relevant details online.