If you’ve been injured at work, you may be wondering whether or not you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney. On one hand, having an experienced legal professional on your side can be invaluable. But on the other hand, workers’ compensation cases can be complex, and attorneys can make them even more complicated, even if it is to your financial, medical, and emotional benefit.
So what’s the right decision for you? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of hiring a workers’ comp attorney.
The Pros of Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney
1. Knowledge and Experience
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is that they bring knowledge and experience to the table. They know the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system, and they’ve likely handled similar cases to yours in the past. This can be helpful in understanding what to expect, as well as in building a strong case on your behalf.
An attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation can provide you with guidance through the entire process, from filing your claim to litigation against the insurance company if the claim is denied. They will also be able to help you negotiate an advantageous settlement and represent you in court proceedings, if necessary. Having an experienced advocate on your side can make all the difference in getting the compensation you deserve.
2. Better Chance of a Higher Settlement or Award
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll secure a financial recovery if you hire an attorney, your odds are certainly better than if you go it alone. Workers’ compensation attorneys are often more aggressive when it comes to fighting for their clients. They’ll go to bat for you, ensuring that you get the maximum benefits possible for your workers’ comp claim.
For instance, a workers’ comp attorney should be more than capable of protecting your interests in negotiations with insurance companies, who are often known to offer injured workers unfair settlements and coerce them into disclaiming their future rights. An attorney will be able to counter their offer and help their client receive a fair resolution.
3. Peace of Mind
When you’re injured on the job, the last thing you want to worry about is navigating the workers’ compensation system on your own. Trying to figure out which forms to fill out, what steps to take next, and how to contact your employer can be extremely stressful.
By hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you can rest assured knowing that your attorney is working on protecting your interests by obtaining the benefits in which you are entitled, and moving your claim toward a fair and just resolution. This can limit your stress and enable you peace of mind during a difficult time when you’re supposed to be recovering from your injuries.
4. No Upfront Payment
Workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you won’t have to pay them anything upfront for their services – including free initial consultations. Instead, they will take a percentage of your settlement or award only if you win your case.
This can be advantageous because it ensures that you won’t have to come out of pocket for legal fees, no matter how long the process takes. And if you don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay the attorney anything at all.
5. Access to Resources
Another advantage of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is that they will have access to resources that you may not have on your own. For instance, they may have relationships with medical experts who can provide testimony on your behalf or help to establish the extent of your injuries. They may also have access to investigators who can help to gather evidence to support your claim.
All of these resources can be extremely helpful in increasing the chances that you’ll win your case and obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
The Cons of Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney
1. No Guarantee of Success
While hiring an attorney does improve your chances of winning your workers’ compensation case, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll prevail in court. If your case is complex or if the evidence is not clear-cut, it’s possible that even an experienced workers’ comp lawyer will not be able to get you the outcome you’re hoping for.
While this fact is true whether you hire a workers’ comp attorney or not, it’s also true that hiring a lawyer may or may not negatively impact your relationship with your employer. However, retaliation by employers for workers’ compensation claims is illegal in the State of New Jersey, and if you’ve been the victim of such discrimination, we strongly advise you to contact an employment attorney for a consultation.
2. Time Commitment
Dealing with a workers’ compensation claim—with or without an attorney—takes time; there’s simply no way around it. If you decide to go it alone, you’ll likely have to spend more time dealing with paperwork and phone calls than if you had hired an attorney.
However, if you decide to hire an attorney, keep in mind that they’ll need regular updates from you in order to do their job effectively; so even though they’ll be doing most of the legwork, there will still be some time commitment required on your part.
There’s no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether or not to hire a workers’ compensation attorney; ultimately it’s a personal decision that depends on your individual circumstances. However, by weighing the pros and cons carefully, you should be able to make the best decision for yourself.
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’ comp claims since 1995. Our law firm works tirelessly for our clients to ensure you receive medical treatment, 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 workplace injury claim.
If you’ve been the victim of a work-related injury or occupational disease, contact our office to schedule a free consultation or call us 24/7 at (856) 751-7676.
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.