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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I even pursue a workers' compensation claim?

Sometimes it is not a good idea to make a workers' compensation claim. There are cases where the amount you might ultimately receive would not make up for the harm you may end up causing yourself. In my experience, this usually involves a "stress" claim where the facts won't support a finding in your favor, or the amount would be very small, and the resulting case could impact your ability to find a good job.

If you are able to continue working, you might decide to use SDI or other benefits available to you while you recover and/or seek other employment.

In some cases, a few visits to the doctor eliminate the problem. If in doubt, call for a free legal consultation and get objective help in weighing the alternatives.

Why do I need a lawyer?

You don't! You can do it yourself, and many workers do. For minor cases, where you cannot even retain an experienced attorney, self-representation may be the only option. But for anything significant, you would be better off at least consulting a workers' compensation attorney before deciding to go it alone. Consultations are free of charge. There is never any pressure to sign up.

Personally, I do not do my own taxes or cut my own hair (things I did in the past and then regretted). Professional advice is worth the price. But always look before leaping. Ask questions. Find out for yourself if the attorney you are considering is really interested in helping you, or just interested in getting a fee.

In my experience, the best workers' compensation attorneys practice in this low-paid area of the law because they genuinely enjoy helping people.

Also read my advice here: How I Can Help You and What Can You Expect.

Should I get a QME (Qualified Medical Evaluator) report before I contact a lawyer?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to pick a QME without legal assistance, or by relying on the advice of your claims adjuster or treating physician. Or just following the steps outlined on the Division of Workers' Compensation website.

QME selection is such an important step, I have devoted a page to explaining why you need to get competent legal help before you see the QME. If you read this after you get the QME's report, it may not be too late to fix the problems created by picking the wrong doctor.

Also read my advice here: Qualified Medical Evaluator - QME Process

Why can't I go to my own doctor?

If you have a doctor you like and trust, and who cares about your health, you make be shocked to find that you cannot treat with that doctor for your work injury. Read here about the medical provider network and other limitations on treatment.

Why am I being offered such a small amount to settle my case?

Read here for some answers.

Why wasn't I offered job retraining, other than some voucher I can't really use?

Read here for some answers

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