Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation
Answers to frequently asked questions about Workers’ Comp
Q: What happens after I hire your services?
A: We will be gathering information so that we can review your file in order to better assess how we may be able to assist you. This process can take up to 21 days since we must request and receive file material and medicals. This process will be delayed if we have difficulty getting medical records or file material. We will also submit our notice of representation to the Division of Workers’ Compensation and to the insurance carrier. It may take the DWC up to 5 days to upload and acknowledge our notice of representation. Until that time, they will not release any information nor answer any questions about your claim. We will also notify you if after receiving additional information, or through our investigation, if we are unable to assist you with your claim.
Q: Do you contact my employer?
A: We generally have no contact with your employer and deal mainly with the insurance carrier.
Q: What is the best way to receive a status update?
A: If you have an email address, please look for email correspondence from our office as that is one of our more immediate ways to correspond.
Q: Should I resign from my job if I am off on workers’ comp?
A: Never resign from your position. If your employer is giving you a hard time, call us! You may have an employment law claim for wrongful termination or discrimination.
Q: Can I file for Short term/Long term or unemployment?
A: During the pendency of your case, if the insurance carrier is denying you benefits, see if you are eligible for short term or long-term disability with your employer. If they lay you off, you may be able to apply for unemployment (must have some ability to work) – call if you have questions.
Q: I have a hearing coming up, but I haven’t hired an attorney yet, can you help with my hearing?
A: Subject to review, in most cases YES. If you have a hearing scheduled, it will most likely need to be rescheduled to allow us time to receive and review your file prior to attending the hearing.
Q: How do attorney’s fees work?
A: You will receive an itemized statement from the DWC regarding work that is done and billed on your behalf. The attorney hourly rate is 200.00, we bill in 15-minute increments. All the work that we do will be submitted to the Division to review for approval. The DWC reviews the actions by this office and will approve/deny them accordingly. We only get paid, if you get paid work comp money from the insurance. If and when fees are due, and you are receiving work comp money, the insurance will remove up to 25% each week from your check to go towards fees and pay that portion to us directly. The insurance will then send you your portion. When you get your check, it is yours to cash.
Q: If I am not getting paid anything from workers’ comp, how do you get paid?
A: We can only get paid if you are getting paid monies from your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you aren’t getting paid, then we aren’t getting paid. Any work we do will become a lien on your case, so that if and when you are entitled to get paid, we would receive our fees up to 25%.
Q: How do I terminate services with an attorney?
A: If you decide you no longer wish to have an attorney, please contact the attorney first to discuss! Ultimately, it is your responsibility to notify the attorney so they are aware you no longer wish for them to represent you. Effective means of notification is: mail/fax/email a letter that you no longer wish the attorney to represent you. You can call and speak to the law office and explicitly tell them or send the DWC 150a notice of withdrawal form to the attorney and the DWC. Please note, just sending this to the DWC without letting the attorney is not notice! The DWC will not notify the attorney on your behalf.
Q: I think the insurance hired a private investigator and they are following me and asking my neighbors questions! Can they do this??
A: YES. Be aware that the insurance will often hire private investigators to record you when you are at home or out and about, looking for any way to contradict your injuries. Even watching you perform your daily activities, to try and prove you aren’t hurt. They usually employ this tactic when they don’t believe you have been hurt, or that you aren’t as hurt as you say you are.
Q: I am driving a lot to see my doctors. Can I get reimbursed for mileage?
A: You may be entitled to mileage reimbursement when you see your doctors, if it’s more than 30 miles one way. We can send you the forms, just ask. Please note, that if there is an eligible doctor closer that could have seen you within 30 miles, regardless if they are your doctor of not, the insurance carrier can deny paying you. They have up to 45 days to pay or deny. It is your responsibility to submit the form in a way to provide confirmation that it was faxed/mailed/emailed to the adjuster/insurance carrier.