As a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation attorney in North Carolina, I have spoken to hundreds of injured workers about their claims. When I speak to these folks after reviewing their cases, there is one question I get asked more than any other:
“Am I getting everything from the workers’ compensation insurance company I am supposed to?”
Most Workers’ Compensation Attorneys handle claims on a contingency fee basis. That means the attorney fee is contingent on the injured worker receiving compensation. It also means that most law firms only take cases they think compensation is due because that is how they get paid. In order to sort out all the potential cases attorneys will almost always speak to a prospective client for free as part of a free consultation. Injured workers most often want to know whether they are missing out on something they are owed under the workers’ compensation laws.
It makes sense for this to be the most common question. The insurance adjuster often is working on dozens or even over a hundred claims. They have experience, practice, and often access to an attorney. The injured worker is usually on their first claim and is rarely sure everything is moving the way the law intended it to.
By the way, the most asked question I get from injured workers has a most given response:
There are dozens of nuances in claims that have to be checked to make sure the injured worker is getting everything appropriate. Is the weekly check amount right? Is the light duty job appropriate? Is the WC carrier paying for medications and those other treatment necessities like prescribed slings, bandages, and casts? Is the injured worker getting mileage to go to WC doctor appointments? Is the injured worker getting a raw deal on the disability rating (some doctors that workers’ compensation carriers choose actually assign ratings less than what the law recommends).
In my experience it is worth the time to have an attorney review the file to make sure the insurance company is conducting itself in accordance of the law.
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