When preparing to meet with a workers' compensation lawyer to discuss a case, individuals should take certain steps to make sure they're sufficiently prepared for the consultation. By taking these steps, injured workers will be able to streamline the process and get the most from their consultation.
1. Gather as Many Details as Possible
Individuals should bring a detailed report of what happened in their accident. This should include how and when the injury happened, when the employer was notified, where medical treatment was sought, and a summary of medical treatment to date.
If an individual has relevant documentation that can support his or her case, he or she should bring it to the consultation. Even if the items aren't required, he or she will be able to provide the attorney with ample information such as medical bills, images of injuries and the accident scene, and accident reports. In addition, claimants should provide medical records and contact information for the treating physician and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
2. Follow the Doctor's Recommendations
After a doctor has provided treatment recommendations, it's important for victims to follow his or her advice. For instance, if a doctor recommends avoiding returning to work too soon after an injury, it's best to refrain from seeking employment until the doctor approves it. Otherwise, not listening to medical professionals could hurt a person's chances of recovering workers' comp benefits.
3. Know Where to Go
It's also important to show up to the consultation in a timely manner, provided the consultation takes place at the attorney's office. Find out exactly where the office is located and determine how best to get there, whether driving yourself, taking public transportation, or using other methods.
4. Prepare Questions and Thoughts
A workers' compensation attorney should be able to answer any questions that an injured worker might have about the nature of the case. This is why it's important for a victim to ask questions of an attorney to better understand his or her options regarding workers' comp. Additionally, it helps to take notes about certain thoughts or concerns that might come up.
In addition to asking the attorney about the claim, victims should prepare questions to determine whether the workers' comp lawyer is a good fit for their case. These questions include:
- How will attorney fees be collected?
- How often do you represent workers' comp cases at a trial or hearing?
- Have you handled other cases similar to mine?
- What is your success rate for workers' compensation cases?
- What percentage of your law practice focuses on workers' compensation?
Generally, an attorney will be able to provide guidance and provide plenty of information throughout the consultation.
5. Follow the Attorney's Instructions
If the attorney provides any specific instructions prior to the consultation, following them could help individuals further prepare before meeting with the attorney.
By following each of these steps, employees seeking workers' compensation and advice from attorneys will be able to ensure they walk away from their consultation with plenty of information and guidance. Most importantly, it's important to relax and remain comfortable in knowing that attorneys are there to help victims through the claims process. If an individual comes prepared to meet an attorney, the consultation will likely go smoothly.
Additional Posts About Workers' Compensation Claims in Iowa
- What Not to Say to Your Workers' Compensation Doctor
- How Does the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act Benefit Injured Workers?
- Can I Still Obtain Compensation If I Don’t Realize I’ve Suffered a Work Injury Until After the Workers' Compensation Timeline?
- How Much Work Do I Have to Miss to Receive Temporary Total Disability Benefits?
- Does Iowa Provide Workers' Compensation for Independent Contractors?