Do I Need a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
We know that hiring a workers' compensation attorney can be a difficult decision. Here are just some of the things we've heard from clients in the past:
- I didn't think I needed a lawyer. I thought I could handle the work comp system on my own.
- I wanted to hire an attorney, but I was worried about how much it would cost.
- I felt overwhelmed by the thought of talking to law firms. I didn't know how to get started with finding an attorney.
- I didn't see myself as the type of person who would ever use an attorney – I really trusted my employer and the work comp system to do the right thing.
We can set the record straight:
- Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system is complex and changes all the time. That's why your employer's insurance company has an entire team of lawyers to protect their interests. Your employer doesn't try and understand the system on their own, and neither should you.
- If you hire us, there's no fee unless and until we win your case. That's a promise. We cover all upfront costs so you don't have to. And, if we don't win your case, you won't owe us anything.
- We want to make hiring an attorney easy – that's why we offer free legal consultations. We'll go over the details of your situation and then talk about your options. It's simple, and there's no obligation to use our services.
- Working with our firm isn't about getting revenge or getting "even." It's about getting what's fair, and making sure you and your loved ones have a stable financial future. It's about business and the bottom line to your employer's insurance company. We're concerned about your quality of life.
If you were hurt on the job and are wondering whether or not you need an attorney, we can help. Call 412-394-1000 or fill out the form to the right for a free legal consultation. We're available 24/7.
When to Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney
At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we have spent decades helping over 8,000 workers hurt on the job get the Pennsylvania workers' compensation benefits they deserve. Time and time again we see people discover they should have used an attorney to protect their rights after it's already too late.
If you return to work and you make:
- The same amount of money or more money than what you made before you were hurt, your payment for lost wages will be suspended.
- Less money than you made before you were hurt, you will receive lost wage payments in the form of partial disability benefits.
Partial disability payments equal approximately 2/3 of the difference between what you make now and what you made before you were hurt.
Example: You make $300 per week at your light duty job. Before you were injured, you made $450 per week. The difference between the two pay rates is $150 per week. Your partial disability payment would be 2/3 of $150, or approximately $100.
Your payment can not go over the maximum weekly payment rate that was set for the year you were injured. If you were injured in 2014, your weekly maximum in Pennsylvania is $932.
We recommend that you seek legal advice if:
- Your employer refuses to file an accident report on your behalf
- The insurance company denies your claim for workers' compensation benefits
- You receive a letter stating that the insurance company is trying to stop paying your benefits
- You are asked to go on a "Vocational Interview"
- You receive a notice that a petition has been filed to "terminate, modify, or suspend" your benefits
- You return to work and you get hurt again, or you aggravate a pre-existing injury, and the insurance company refuses to reinstate your benefits
- Your work injury, or surgery needed for your work injury, results in a scar on your head, face, or neck
- The insurance company offers you a lump sum of money – also known as a Compromise and Release – to settle your claim
- The insurance company offers you a lump sum of money to settle your future medical claims
- You have received workers' compensation for more than four months and want to explore lump sum settlement options
It might seem like a good idea to try and handle your claim on your own, but we strongly recommend against it. You'll put yourself in danger of not getting or losing your benefits. In fact, if you appear before a judge at a work comp hearing and don't have an attorney there to represent you, it's likely the judge will suggest delaying the hearing until to you hire a lawyer.