Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Should I Expect From My Work Comp Lawyer?

At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we pride ourselves in the work we do and the commitment we make to our clients. We are one of the few workers’compensation law firms in the state of Minnesota that also handles PERA and MSRS disability claims. Our attorneys are experienced in these areas of law and have successfully represented thousands of clients, including State Patrol, police officers and firefighters throughout the state for both workers’ compensation and PERA/MSRS disability claims.

When choosing an attorney to represent you, you should expect a free consultation. Work comp attorneys in the state of Minnesota are paid on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not be charged unless the attorney recovers benefits or monies on your behalf. All work comp attorneys are paid the same in the state of Minnesota pursuant to statute. Typically, you will meet in-person with an attorney before you make a hiring decision. Good attorneys spend an hour with potential clients in-person gathering information about the client’s potential case, explaining the law and providing recommendations for your case. If you are meeting only with a paralegal instead of an attorney, you should consider this a red flag and request to meet with a lawyer. Sometimes it’s not possible to meet face-to-face due to distance or work schedules so in that case, it’s appropriate to schedule a telephone consultation with the attorney.

Once the attorney has been hired, there are some basic things you should expect from your attorney going forward, such as:     
  • Client should expect an honest assessment and valuation of the case. It doesn’t help you if your attorney doesn’t tell you both the good and the bad parts of your case. All cases have “warts.”
  • Return phone calls and emails in a reasonable amount of time. At times it may be best to schedule a telephone call with your attorney for a status update through an office paralegal.
  • All communication to the insurance company’s adjuster and/or insurer’s attorney should go through your attorney’s office. Your attorney is the main point of contact for your case.

As the case gets underway, the client should expect to receive copies of work done on his or her behalf by their attorney, including correspondence to opposing counsel, claim petitions, and any paperwork sent to the court. Various phases of the case, including independent medical examination (IME), settlement conferences, formal hearings, and depositions will happen throughout the work comp case. The client can expect to be notified of these litigation events in advance and should know what to expect at each step of the way so there is no confusion. Other examples of what a client should expect from an attorney may be:
  • Prior to a mediation or settlement conference his or her attorney will create a demand letter that will outline the monetary claim for benefits. This demand letter must be approved by the client before being sent to the attorney for the insurer and employer.
  • If a client will be consulting with a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC) during their case, when appropriate, your attorney should choose and recommend a QRC, send job logs to help track your job search, and mileage logs for reimbursement.
  • Your attorney should never settle your case without your permission. You will be involved in the negotiation process and likewise you will not try to settle your case on your own without your lawyer. Your lawyer will give his or her recommendation but to settle or not to settle is your decision alone. 

Clients should expect that attorneys limit their practice to one or two areas of law. An attorney who deals with criminal law, including DUI cases and restraining orders, is not going to be up to date on the complex workers’ compensation and personal injury areas of law. You want an attorney that is experienced in this particular type of law. Even though all workers’ compensation attorneys are paid the same in the State of Minnesota, all work comp attorneys are not equal. Why choose an inexperienced or less knowledge attorney when you can choose a team of experienced attorneys who practice exclusively in the area of work comp and personal injury for the same amount of money. If clients want to change attorneys at any time of their case, he or she is not charged extra for a change of attorney.

At the very least a client should expect a team of knowledgeable attorneys who will work together on your case and bounce ideas off each other. This type of approach will benefit the client the most. Don’t wait to get an attorney involved if you have a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim. The process can be complex and you want to be sure you receive the full benefits you are entitled. Contact Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free no-obligation consultation and claim evaluation. At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we keep our clients informed of the process as well as what to expect each step of the way. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.

Mary Beth Boyceby Mary Beth
More posts by Mary Beth

No comments:

Post a Comment