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.
The Workers' Compensation Bureau prints almost all forms on the same color paper, and they can be very confusing. You should make sure you read the documents very carefully. In Pennsylvania, if you sign a document, the Courts believe that you have read it and understood it, and they will enforce what you have signed, even if you made a mistake.
You should sign the following forms:
- Authorization for Medical Records: This form releases your medical records so that the insurance company can review them to process your claim.
- Employee Verification Form: You must complete this form whether or not you have earnings from alternative employment. You must return this form within 30 days of receipt or jeopardize your right to receive benefits.
Be careful if you are asked to sign the following forms. Our law firm recommends that you do not sign these until you have first consulted with an attorney:
- Supplemental Agreement: Usually this form states that you can go back to work and your claim is still open. However, this form may state that your benefits are being terminated. Do not sign this form unless you are fully recovered from your injury.
- Final Receipt: Do not sign this form unless you are fully recovered from your injury. If you are being pressured to sign and you don't think you are completely recovered, our Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorneys can help.
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.