You’ve been injured at work, and now you’re considering looking for a work accident lawyer. Chances are, you’re nervous, or upset, and more than a little confused by the whole process.
Over 2 million people were injured in workplace accidents in 2016. So however lonely it might feel right now, you’re not the only one in a tough spot.
The whole process is made easier if you provide your lawyer with the right information and follow the right steps before you get to them. Here’s what you should be doing to give your lawyer the best chance of helping you.
How a Work Accident Lawyer Makes Your Case
Before we pass Go, it’s important to cover the question you’re probably asking yourself: do you really need a work accident lawyer?
Yes. Yes, you really do.
Personal injury lawyers (who work on work accident cases) does more than represent you against your employer. They’re your representative in all aspects of your case, even correspondence with insurance companies, to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
This is important even if you think your injury isn’t that major.
And if you’re not sure what number you should be aiming for, try this post to figure out how to estimate a settlement value.
While Waiting to Talk to Your Lawyer
You shouldn’t be passing “Go.”
Seriously though: there are certain things you need to be doing before you ever sit down and talk to a work injury lawyer to make sure your case can proceed as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
If you don’t do anything else, make sure you do these three things.
Get Medical Attention
Fun fact: if you don’t see a doctor, you could lose your chance to get compensation. Work injuries have a statute of limitations, the same as any other legal case.
There’s also the fact that the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your insurance will claim your injury was caused by an event at a later date.
You also need the official diagnosis and medical information provided by your doctor – your lawyer will use them as evidence when representing you to negotiate your claim with your insurance company.
Silence is Golden
Much though you’d like to start talking to everyone you can, you need to resist the urge when it comes to a work injury.
We’re not talking about calling your mother. You shouldn’t be calling your insurance company on your own, nor should you be talking with your boss about the case. And you definitely shouldn’t sign anything that involves accepting financial compensation.
It’s your lawyer’s job to handle all of these things for you to make sure they’re handled correctly. Plus, signing or agreeing to anything before you talk to your lawyer will seriously damage your chances of the case working out in your favor later on.
Start Gathering Information
Make like a squirrel and get busy.
Your attorney is going to need a lot of paperwork, more depending on what your type of accident is and how severe the injury was.
Basically, anything that could be even remotely useful to your lawyer in representing you should end up in front of them. Don’t fill it out yourself, and don’t start corresponding with people if you’re not planning on representing yourself.
Even if it seems inconsequential, gather it for your lawyer. They need a complete picture of the case to represent you properly.
What to Provide Your Work Accident Lawyer
And while we’re on that subject, what kinds of paperwork should you be providing your work accident lawyer?
If it seems important to the case (even if it doesn’t seem important to you) then it should end up in your lawyer’s hands first. As a rule, it’s better to be overgenerous in what you provide than skimpy.
As we’ve said, your lawyer can’t help you if they don’t know all the details of your case. And they definitely can’t help you if you hire them and decide to freelance. Unless you’re also a work injury lawyer, your lawyer knows the law better than you.
So make sure you help them help you.
All Medical Documents from Your Doctor
Anything your doctor gives you except a sucker on the way out should find it’s way to your lawyer’s desk.
This includes, but is not limited to: medical reports, your doctor’s official diagnosis, medical bills, printouts detailing your injuries, etc.
If it’s paperwork, and it relates to your doctor, and it’s related to your case, your lawyer needs it.
If you or a family member or coworker had the foresight to take photos of your injury, or of the accident itself, this is also something to provide your lawyer.
It’s a lot like a medical record – it’s another piece of evidence proving to your insurance company that the injury was related to work (and due to negligence).
All Details of the Incident
Your lawyer needs details, and they need to compile evidence.
One of the easiest ways you can help them do that? Keep a record of your firsthand experiences with your injury.
The easiest way to do this is by using a journal and a calendar. The calendar will be used to track doctor’s appointments, hospital visits and other date-specific events related to your injury. Don’t mix in your yearly visit to your GP – it’s only for your case.
The journal is a record of your firsthand experiences with your injury. This provides further evidence of what the doctor said, or the severity of the injury, and it’s prime material to act as evidence to your insurance company.
Find the Work Accident Lawyer for You
Once you’ve got all of that in order, it’s time to find the work accident lawyer that’s going to win your case.
We can help with that.
If you have questions about areas of your case, feel free to visit our resource page – it’s a one-stop shop for all the legal questions you may have.
But if you’re ready to proceed, go to our contact page for a free case evaluation.