What precisely is a workers’ compensation attorney’s role?

Accidents at work are very frequent—a broken arm from a ladder fall, a back injury from moving large boxes, or carpal tunnel syndrome from years of typing are all familiar instances. Workers who are injured on the job may seek compensation for their injuries, including medical costs and lost earnings, with the aid of a workers compensation attorney San Fernando Valley.

Benefits that are available

Workers’ compensation regulations allow employees who are injured on the job to obtain a variety of benefits, depending on the severity of the condition. They may include the following:

• Permanent complete disability compensation

• Medical benefits

• Permanent partial disability benefits

• Temporary partial disability benefits

• Benefits for wage reimbursement

• Benefits for vocational rehabilitation

Workers compensation regulations

Workers’ compensation laws are controlled by state statutes as well as federal ones. Both allow for fixed payouts to workers or their families in the case of work-related injuries or illnesses.

These statutorily mandated awards allow an injured worker to collect compensation without having to file a lawsuit against an employer. The several state statutes vary in terms of the types of employees covered, the quantity and length of benefits, and other factors.

Most workers’ compensation laws have the effect of holding the employer strictly accountable for injuries received on the job, regardless of whether the company or the employee was negligent. To be legitimate, the harm must occur in the course and scope of work, and there must be an employee-employer connection.

Most workers’ compensation regulations do not include independent contractors.

Duties of an attorney overall

A workers’ compensation attorney’s ultimate purpose in representing the claimant the injured worker is to assist that person in obtaining benefits.

The purpose of the workers’ compensation lawyer defending the defendant, which is the employer or the employer’s insurance company, is to reduce the defendant’s obligation.

A workers’ compensation lawyer’s typical employment duties include:

• Collecting medical evidence and records

• Taking depositions of the claimant, doctors, medical experts, and other parties

• Conducting discovery

• Conducting legal research

• Staying up to date on legal developments

• Taking matters before a judge or referee

Specific claimant attorney responsibilities

Workers’ compensation attorneys on the claimant side must understand the claims filing procedure and show sympathy for the injured party’s condition. A claimant’s attorney will typically:

• Answer clients’ inquiries and help them through the workers’ compensation procedure.

• Make contact with medical providers and finish claim documentation.

• Advocate for the claimant’s interests in hearings, trials, depositions, oral arguments, mediations, arbitrations, and other processes.

• Assist the wounded worker with benefits, such as medical treatment.

• Inform the wounded worker’s superiors of his or her condition.

• Negotiate settlements on the claimant’s behalf.

A top-tier claimant’s attorney should be able to negotiate effectively based on an accurate appraisal of what the case is really worth—no pipe dreams or overblown numbers.

Defense attorney responsibilities

On the defense side, lawyers assist insurance companies and self-insured businesses in mitigating their risk and defending against workers’ compensation claims.

They must be able to budget expenditures and assess risk while also understanding the claims-handling procedures for each business unit with which they operate. They must be familiar with billing processes. Defense attorneys will:

• Represent the employer’s or insurer’s interests in hearings, trials, depositions, oral arguments, mediations, arbitrations, and other processes.

• Interact with claims representatives.

• Examine loss run records for patterns and increases, and notify management of any issues.

• Assist with the accident and problem-solving investigations.

• Control workers’ compensation expenses.