Once upon a time injured workers got all the benefits they deserved without having to hire an attorney. For too many injured workers, those days are over, and now that story has a bad ending. Injuries can be devastating and loss of a job can ruin lives. Some employers have developed an unspoken policy of isolating and mistreating their injured workers. An injured worker with no job, little money, and no information is on the edge of losing it all. That person needs to talk with an attorney.
The decision whether to hire an attorney should be simple. If you don’t need an attorney for your Workers’ Compensation claim then don’t hire one. If you need an attorney then hire one. If you’re uncertain then make your decision after you consider the following.
Does Your Claim Look Like This?
- A career threatening injury is so difficult that it causes depression, creates inaction, and worries the injured worker and their spouse.
- Unfair treatment by the claims manager and/or a nurse case manager is causing problems.
- The injured worker can’t get important information such as the copy of their file, the IME report, the PPD rules, or good advice about a pension.
- An unfavorable ORDER arrives from L&I and the injured worker does not know what to do or how to get L&I to do the right thing.
- The injured worker returns to light duty work and is given full duty. They are harassed, talked about, and their continued employment is in doubt.
- The injured worker walks out of an IME and knows something isn’t right. The doctor who is deciding his fate is hostile, abrupt, or rude. The doctor doesn’t listen and writes an unfair report. The injured worker can’t get a copy of the IME.
- There is a third party claim.
- The injured worker has a serious and disabling injury that will never get better.
- The medical care is inadequate; or the doctor has given up because L&I claims are too much paperwork.
- The injured worker deserves a pension, but doesn’t know how to qualify nor how to get a pension.
- Time loss benefits are threatened, not paid timely, not paid in the correct amount, or not paid at all.
- The injured worker deserves a permanent partial disability settlement, but doesn’t know the rules and doesn’t trust L&I or the Self-Insured company to be fair.
- The unfortunate effects of the injury and the harsh realities of the L&I system, have worn the injured worker down. Too tired to fight anymore they get an attorney to help.
Christopher Sharpe is a Seattle workers’ compensation attorney who has helped thousands of injured Washington State workers. Chris’s firm now represents only Sharpe Law Firm pensioners. However his law firm will gladly talk to you about your case and help you decide what you should do. We can make a referral if your case needs an L&I attorney.