9 Useful Pros and Cons of Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney in New Jersey

9 Useful Pros and Cons of Hiring a Workers' Comp Attorney

Maneuvering the complexities of workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey can be daunting. Whether you’ve suffered a workplace injury or are struggling with an occupational illness, understanding your rights and the benefits you’re entitled to is crucial. This is where the decision to hire a workers’ compensation attorney becomes significant. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ comp attorney, offering insights to help you make an informed choice. This article is part two of exploring the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. For a complete understanding of the topic, be sure to check out part one.


Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured during employment. While it’s designed to be straightforward, the reality is far from simple. The process can become entangled in bureaucratic red tape, making it challenging for injured workers to navigate. This is where the role of a workers’ compensation attorney becomes pivotal. In New Jersey, hiring a specialized lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case, but it’s essential to weigh both the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ comp attorney. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of securing legal representation in workers’ compensation cases.

Pros of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in New Jersey

1. Expert Guidance Through a Complex System

The workers’ compensation system in New Jersey, with its intricate laws and procedures, can often be construed to serve the interests of employers and insurance companies rather than the injured workers it’s supposed to protect. Having an experienced attorney by your side levels the playing field. They not only understand the legal remedies and deadlines but also the strategies to counter the tactics used by insurance companies to minimize or deny claims. This expertise is crucial in ensuring that your case is presented effectively, significantly increasing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Moreover, seasoned workers’ comp attorneys have established relationships within the system, including with medical providers and claims adjusters, which can be beneficial in expediting your case. They’re familiar with the judges and understand what each judge might look for in a case, tailoring your claim to meet these expectations. This expertise and knowledge can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of the workers’ compensation system in New Jersey.

Lastly, an attorney’s guidance is indispensable when it comes to appeals. Should your claim be denied, the process of appealing the decision is daunting and requires a sophisticated understanding of legal procedures. A workers’ compensation attorney will know how to navigate these waters, ensuring that your appeal is filed correctly and on time, and preparing you for what to expect throughout the process.

2. Ensuring Your Rights and Benefits are Protected

Regrettably, numerous workers accept settlements that fall short of their actual needs or entitlements, mainly because they are not fully informed about the breadth of benefits available to them. A qualified workers’ comp attorney, steps in to ensure that all your rights under New Jersey law are protected. This includes securing your financial benefits and ensuring you receive the medical treatment necessary for your recovery. They scrutinize every aspect of your case to identify and demand every benefit you’re entitled to, from temporary disability benefits to coverage for all necessary medical expenses.

Attorneys are also adept at calculating the true value of your claim, considering not just your functional loss, but your out-of-pocket medical expenses or any outstanding medical bills. They work diligently to ensure that any settlement offer is fair and reflects the full extent of your injuries and losses.

3. Thorough Claim Resolution

Bringing a workers’ comp attorney into your claim can introduce a more thorough process, but it’s a pathway filled with guided support and expertise, ensuring that all procedures are timely and meticulously executed. This comprehensive approach might add time to your case, yet it paves the way for a well-prepared and strategically managed claim. Additionally, having legal representation often results in quicker resolution of claims. Insurance companies are more likely to act swiftly and fairly when they know an experienced attorney is involved, who can hold them accountable in court if they attempt to undervalue or deny a legitimate claim. The advantage is clear: every step is taken precisely, and your case benefits from the attorney’s deep understanding of workers’ compensation laws. Their involvement not only enhances the quality of your claim but also ensures a level of preparedness that directly contributes to securing a fair settlement. This advocacy is critical in preventing unnecessary delays in receiving your benefits and ensuring your case is resolved as favorably and efficiently as possible.

Additionally, the presence of a skilled attorney tends to prompt a more earnest and equitable approach from insurance companies. Recognizing that your claim is under the scrutiny of an experienced legal professional, insurers are more inclined to process your case fairly and without unnecessary delay. This positive influence can slightly extend the timeline but does so in exchange for the assurance that your rights are vigorously protected and your case is advanced as efficiently as possible. With an attorney by your side, you gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing your claim is being handled with the utmost attention to detail, driving towards the most advantageous outcome with your best interests always in the lead.

4. Overcoming Language Barriers

The presence of a language barrier can significantly complicate the already daunting process of navigating the workers’ compensation system. An attorney who speaks your language facilitates clearer communication and ensures you fully understand every step of the process. This is vital for making informed decisions about your case.

Furthermore, attorneys sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences are better equipped to advocate effectively for their clients. They understand the nuances of how injuries can affect individuals differently based on cultural backgrounds, including the impact on their ability to return to work or their family dynamics. This comprehensive understanding allows them to present your case in a way that fully captures the extent of your needs and losses.

Moreover, legal representation can protect against any discriminatory practices or biases you might face as a non-English speaker. An attorney ensures that you are treated fairly and respectfully throughout the process, advocating against any form of exploitation or prejudice. This level of protection is invaluable in securing a just outcome for your claim. At Kotlar, Hernandez, & Cohen, our trilingual team possesses a unique empathy and insight, allowing us to understand and navigate the complexities of your case better than most. Our commitment to inclusivity and comprehensive communication ensures that your voice is heard and your rights are protected, making us an ideal partner in securing a just outcome for your claim.

5. Achieving Fair Compensation

Navigating the process to obtain a permanency award requires understanding legal principles and a strategic approach to presenting your case. A workers’ compensation attorney will compile and present evidence substantiating the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. This often involves coordinating with medical professionals to ensure that your medical records accurately reflect your condition and prognosis.

In addition to representing you in hearings or negotiations, an attorney can help structure your settlement to maximize your benefits over time. They can advise on lump-sum versus structured settlements, considering factors like future medical costs and the potential need for ongoing treatment or rehabilitation. This foresight is crucial in ensuring that you’re not left financially vulnerable down the line.

Finally, an attorney’s involvement often leads to higher compensation awards. Studies have shown that claimants with legal representation tend to receive higher settlements than those who navigate the system alone. A 2018 study by Clara Analytics revealed that attorney involvement in workers’ compensation cases leads to settlements that are, on average, 4.2 times higher than those without legal representation. This is because attorneys are skilled in valuing claims accurately and negotiating effectively to ensure that their clients receive the full compensation they’re entitled to. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you have an expert advocating for your best interests can be invaluable during a challenging time.

Multiple and Average in Claim Payments by State With and Without Attorney Involvement

pros and cons of hiring a workers' comp attorney
This table, extracted from the June 2018 research titled “The Impact of Attorney Involvement on Injured Workers,” compares the average outcomes of workers’ compensation claims with and without attorney involvement, showcasing the significant difference in settlement amounts between the two scenarios. The total claim paid multiple associated with attorney involvement varies by state.

Cons of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in New Jersey

1. Potential for Slower Release of Benefits

Introducing legal representation into your workers’ compensation claim can sometimes lead to a slower release of benefits. This delay is primarily due to the thorough review process undertaken by attorneys to ensure every detail of your claim is accurate and fully documented. While critical for maximizing your entitled benefits, such diligence can inadvertently slow the immediate provision of financial or medical assistance. This delay can be particularly challenging for those needing support to manage their injuries and financial responsibilities.

This situation often results in a catch-22 for injured workers. On one hand, the comprehensive review aims to prevent any future disputes or rejections that could further delay the process. On the other hand, the impact of delay tactics used by workers’ compensation insurance companies can significantly strain the claimant’s livelihood. Common delay tactics that may be used by these insurance companies are lack of communication, slow procedural processing, disputing the injuries or not authorizing treatment, asking for a recorded statement, offering a light-duty job, or delaying payment/failing to pay medical bills. To read more about these strategies and how to avoid them, click here. It’s a delicate balance between securing long-term security and managing short-term needs, and the attorney’s role is to navigate this balance as efficiently as possible.

Moreover, the perception of slowed progress due to attorney intervention can be discouraging for claimants. It’s important to communicate openly with your attorney about any immediate needs to find a balance that allows for the pursuit of comprehensive benefits while also addressing urgent financial and medical concerns. Attorneys can often expedite certain aspects of the process or provide guidance on temporary solutions during the review period.

2. Risk of Employment Issues

Introducing an attorney into your workers’ compensation claim can, unfortunately, lead to a perception of escalation or confrontation by employers. This perception may result in a strained work environment, potentially impacting your professional relationships and future within the company. The fear of retaliatory actions, despite being illegal, remains a significant concern for many workers, emphasizing the need for careful consideration before proceeding with legal representation.

Many employees, enjoying a good relationship with their employer, might hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim, fearing it might seem like a betrayal. However, it’s important to recognize that filing such a claim is a right for those injured on the job, akin to utilizing a facet of your compensation or benefits package. Engaging an attorney to ensure fair treatment by the workers’ compensation carrier has minimal to no direct impact on the employer, emphasizing the importance of pursuing rightful benefits without fear of retaliation.

Navigating potential employment issues requires a strategic approach, blending legal rights with practical workplace dynamics. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide guidance on managing these risks, offering advice on communication strategies and protective measures to minimize the impact on your employment while pursuing your claim.

3. Transitioning Control Over Your Case

One notable drawback of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is the perceived loss of control over one’s case. When injured workers enlist legal representation, they essentially delegate the management of their claim to someone else, entrusting their attorney with significant decisions that could affect the outcome of their case. This shift in control can be unsettling for some, as it involves placing a great deal of trust in another individual’s judgment and expertise. While attorneys bring invaluable knowledge and experience to the table, the feeling of being sidelined in the decision-making process regarding one’s own welfare and future can be disconcerting for clients accustomed to being more directly involved in their affairs.

Furthermore, transitioning from being actively involved in one’s case to a more passive role can impact an individual’s sense of empowerment and ownership over their recovery journey. It’s crucial for attorneys to maintain open lines of communication, ensuring clients are kept informed and engaged throughout the process. Regular updates, clear explanations of legal strategies, and inclusive discussions about possible courses of action can help mitigate feelings of disempowerment. Ultimately, while the expertise of a workers’ compensation attorney is undeniably beneficial, ensuring that clients feel involved and informed is key to maintaining their trust and confidence in the legal process.

4. Lengthy Process

The legal journey to resolve a workers’ compensation claim can be long and fraught with delays, as mentioned in part one of the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ comp attorney, from securing authorizations to reaching a final settlement. This extended timeline is often necessary to ensure a thorough review and negotiation process to achieve the best possible outcome for your claim. However, the waiting period can be a significant source of stress and uncertainty for injured workers and their families, who may face immediate financial pressures and need ongoing medical treatment.

The protracted nature of these claims underscores the need for patience and resilience. The process demands persistence and a long-term perspective, focusing on securing fair compensation and adequate medical care. Throughout this period, maintaining open communication with your attorney can provide reassurance and keep you informed of your claim’s status, helping to manage expectations and reduce uncertainty.

To alleviate some of the difficulties associated with the lengthy process, it’s worth exploring interim solutions with your attorney, such as applying for state temporary wages or other financial resources to support you during this time. These strategies can provide some relief while your claim is being resolved, ensuring that your immediate needs are addressed without compromising the pursuit of a just and comprehensive settlement.

9 Useful Pros and Cons of Hiring a Workers' Comp Attorney


In navigating the intricacies of New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system, the decision to hire an attorney is multifaceted, involving a careful consideration of both its advantages and potential drawbacks.

The potential cons of hiring an attorney, such as the possibility of slower release of benefits, risk of employment issues, transitioning control over your case, and the lengthy process of settling claims, underscores the complexities and challenges that can arise. While these concerns are significant, they often stem from the systemic intricacies and procedural necessities of pursuing a comprehensive claim. Individuals need to weigh these aspects carefully, understanding that the ultimate goal of legal representation is to ensure fair treatment and just compensation for injured workers.

On the other hand, the benefits of legal representation are clear and compelling: expert guidance through a complex system, ensuring your rights and benefits are fully protected, thorough claim resolutions, overcoming language barriers, and achieving fair compensation. These advantages highlight an experienced workers’ compensation attorney’s invaluable role in advocating for your rights, securing the benefits you are entitled to, and navigating the often daunting bureaucratic process with confidence and strategic insight.

Ultimately, after carefully evaluating the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ comp attorney, it is important to be informed by a thorough evaluation of your specific circumstances, the complexities of your case, and a clear understanding of the potential impacts on your recovery and well-being. Despite the potential for challenges, the expertise and advocacy of a skilled attorney can provide not just legal representation but also a sense of empowerment and reassurance throughout the process.

As you consider your options, remember that the aim is to navigate the present complexities and secure your future health, financial stability, and peace of mind.

File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits With Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen – New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen – The People First Lawyers have been helping injured workers with their New Jersey workers’ compensation claims since 1995. We work tirelessly for our clients to ensure you receive medical care, financial compensation, and justice, regardless of an adjuster or insurance carrier’s claim denials. With four Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Law attorneys on our team, we are well-equipped to handle your work injury or illness claim.

If you’re thinking about filing a workers’ comp claim, if your job has caused you ongoing physical pain in any way, or if you’re looking for help with how to maximize your workers’ comp settlement, contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation or call us 24/7 at (856) 751-7676.

Justin Cohen

Justin Cohen, Partner

Justin is a partner at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen and a Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney. He is believed to be the youngest attorney in New Jersey to receive his Workers’ Compensation Board Certification. His aggressive style and diligent efforts have helped him to recover significant benefits for his clients.

Read more about Justin here.

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