If you were injured on the job and are seeking workers’ compensation, you may wonder whether you really need an attorney. You are not alone! It’s not uncommon for injured workers to have questions about their rights, benefits, and whether working with an attorney is really necessary or the best option.
While it is not a legal requirement that you hire a workers’ compensation attorney in order to start receiving benefits, we strongly recommend that you do. Unless your case is extremely straightforward—and this is rare—workers’ compensation claims can be very complex. The system is not always designed to work in your favor, and there are many deadlines and form requirements you need to be aware of. Making even a minor mistake could cost you your right to receive benefits.
If you’d like to learn more about how Van Dingenen Law can assist you with your claim, contact our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers for a free and confidential consultation.
When to Hire an Attorney
It’s always a good idea to discuss your workers’ compensation claim with an attorney. Most workers’ comp lawyers will provide free initial consultations where you can discuss the specifics of your situation and determine how best to proceed. That being said, it’s in your best interest to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer any time your claim encounters any problems or complexity.
You should consider working with a knowledgeable attorney if:
- Your employer is disputing that your injury is work-related
- You have not started receiving your benefits and the normal time period has passed
- The settlement offer does not cover the full cost of your medical bills/lost wages
- Your claim has been denied
- You wish to appeal a denied claim or a sustained denial
- You have suffered partial or total permanent disability as a result of your injuries
- Your employer has fired you or otherwise retaliated against you for seeking workers’ comp
- A third party was involved in the incident that caused your injuries
This is not an exhaustive list; if your situation is at all complex or if you have any questions about your rights or legal options, we encourage you to work with an attorney who has knowledge of the laws and system, as well as how they apply to your case.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
In the state of Florida, workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they collect fees as a percentage of the total workers’ compensation benefits they are able to win for you. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for you and, if you do not receive any benefits, you will not have to pay your attorneys’ fees.
Furthermore, Florida has a tiered schedule of attorneys’ fees for workers’ compensation cases. Workers’ comp lawyers in the state are allowed to charge no more than 20% of the first $5,000 in benefits, 15% of the next $5,000 in benefits, 10% of any remaining benefits recovered in the first 10 years following the claim, and 5% of any remaining benefits recovered after 10 years of the initial claim being filed.
Is It Ever a Good Idea to Handle My Own Workers’ Comp Claim?
While we once again want to reiterate that, in order to improve your chances of obtaining maximum benefits, you should always consider working with a workers’ compensation lawyer, there are some instances in which you may be able to file a claim on your own.
Generally speaking, you should only do this if the following are true:
- Your injuries are relatively minor
- Your employer does not dispute that your injuries are work-related
- You do not have a preexisting condition
- You missed relatively little (or no) work as a result of your injury
Such uncomplicated circumstances are rare; in most cases, it is in your best interests to at least discuss your case with a knowledgeable legal team.
Find Out How We Can Help
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim or would like to learn more about your legal options, get in touch with Van Dingenen Law today. We are happy to provide you with a free initial consultation and case review!