Many work-related injury claims are processed with no difficulty and an attorney is not necessary. If your claim is allowed and time-loss compensation is paid promptly using correct wage information, you should focus on your medical treatment and follow your doctor’s recommendations about returning to work. However, if a dispute or conflict develops about your claim, consultation with an attorney may be helpful. If you believe your injury may have been caused by a third-party, it is also a good idea to speak with an attorney about your rights in a potential civil action.
An attorney may represent you while your claim is being managed by the Department or self-insured employer, or in proceeding before the BIIA. With a few exceptions, attorneys charge a percentage of the benefits they obtain on your behalf as an attorney’s fee. This “contingency fee” should be thoroughly explained to you before you hire an attorney. Do not be afraid to ask questions if there are things you don’t understand.
A lay representative rather than an attorney can also assist you with your claim. Many unions or trade organizations provide invaluable assistance to their members in resolving routine matters that may arise in the management of your claim.