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Tips For Injured Workers

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Should I Hire A Workers Comp Attorney?

When someone gets hurt on the job and needs to use the workers’ compensation system, there are usually two primary questions that take place.

“Do I need to get a worker’s comp attorney?” and “How much will a lawyer cost me?”


The second question is often misunderstood by the general public. Actually if you choose to hire a lawyer to help get you the most out of your claim, it will be handled on a contingency fee basis. What does this mean? It means that you don’t pay anything up front, and you don’t pay anything unless your attorney wins your case. If you win your case, then the attorney simply receives a percentage of your case benefits or settlement. That percentage in California is between 10% and 15%, depending on the complexity of your workers’ compensation claim.


Now, getting back to the original question, should you hire an attorney to help represent you. Well, only you can determine that decision, but here are some helpful facts:


  • Representing yourself without the benefit of an attorney can be a tough task:

The laws in California require you to follow very specific steps, and you must follow those steps as well as present certain evidence to the judge, all of which needs to be done within the time limits they allot to you. An attorney experienced with workers’ comp can handle most of these steps, and can guide you through the rest, to help ensure that the court does not dismiss or deny your case.

  • The insurance company will have a lawyer representing them:

When you have a workers’ comp hearing, that means you are in a dispute with the insurance company that represents your employer. Maybe they don’t think your injury is as serious as it is, or maybe the insurance company will try and get your case thrown out because of a procedural mistake that you made. Insurance companies have lawyers that are trained to defend against your claim. It’s unlikely that someone representing themselves can out strategize a lawyer who has a life time of knowledge in this field.

  • Hiring a lawyer can improve your odds of winning your case

When an insurance company sees that you have legal representation like they do, they will often be more motivated to better negotiate or offer a fair settlement. Insurance companies base most of their decisions of cost/benefit analysis, meaning that they use statistics to make key decisions. When an insurance company sees that they are fighting a case against another attorney, they know that they are going to have to spend more time and money. If and when the insurance company offers a settlement, your attorney can also help you determine if it is a fair offer or not.


So, when determining whether or not to hire an attorney for your workers compensation claim, just remember that you can help even the playing field, without having to pay anything unless your attorney wins your case. While your lawyer will get a small portion of your award or settlement, it is statistically more likely that your lawyer will get you a much larger recovery award/settlement than if you try on your own.


If you are looking for legal representation, or even just want a free consultation, call The Law Offices of John A. Mendoza at 1-800-370-4878, we can help you right away, so call today!

19 Responses

  1. My brother slipped and fell at his job and had to be hospitalized. He has to miss work and it trying to find out what else he needs to do. You mentioned that the laws in California require you to follow very specific steps, and you must follow those steps as well as present certain evidence to the judge, all of which needs to be done within the time limits they allot to you. Do most attorneys help with this process and provide you with all of the rules? It appears that finding a good attorney could be the first step.

  2. My cousin was hurt at work and needs an attorney. Thanks for the advice about how hiring a lawyer can improve your odds of winning. I would also recommend getting a workers comp attorney that you like.

  3. I appreciate your tip on how representing yourself in a workers comp case can be difficult. I would imagine that finding a lawyer to represent you would be much easier as they are trained in this field. My sister was recently hurt at work so maybe she should take the time and money to hire a workers comp lawyer to represent her.

  4. I don’t get why someone would try to represent themselves. Those steps that you have to follow seem like a very delicate situation. It feels like when it comes to legal issues you need a lawyer because even the smallest mistakes can have the biggest impact.

  5. I definitely agree that representing yourself could be really tough. I just think about those TV shows where a person is being cross-examined on the stand, and I get anxious imagining myself in that situation! Plus, I’m sure that those shows simplify the rules and laws that are talked about; like you said, you have to follow very specific steps when going through the process of making a claim. It just makes sense to get a workers compensation attorney to handle everything for you!

  6. I like that you pointed out that you should get a workers comp attorney if you want to improve on your cases to win. It does seem like a good thing to be thinking about if you want to have a good outcome. I like that you pointed out that yo should be aware of things like that after an injury.

  7. I can see why hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer would be a good thing. Like you mentioned, representing yourself can be hard! I don’t know anything about the justice system, so I would need an attorney’s help.

  8. In your article, you stated that when an insurance company sees that you have legal representation like they do, they will often be more motivated to better negotiate or offer a fair settlement. My cousin called me from the hospital last night because while he was at work a machine fell on him which crushed his hip. Do most workers’ compensation attorneys specialize in certain industries or do they represent any type of case?

  9. Scott Mclachlanq

    Eric Schwartz or Jonathon Brian represented me in a workers comp case we settled in Feb 2016. Since then I have had criminal charges in the form of 2 felonies brought against me. I have and my attorney has tried several times to contact them even sending them a letter of authorization to relase information to my attorney representing my criminal case. These calls and such have been ignored. They got their money and now that their incompetence has caused me hardship they run and hide and will not return any calls or correspondence. I even had a receptionist and her supervisor Flor tell me they did not have any email addresses so I could email, funny when I was a client I could email all the time when they needed something from me. If somebody does not reach out I will just continue to post about their horrible customer service and lack of caring for clients. Go to yelp you will see all the horrible reviews I wish I would of before hiring them

  10. I like what this article mentions about a lawyer being helpful, even if there is no major dispute. It makes sense that they’d be able to represent you in order to prevent you from saying something you shouldn’t. It’s something I’ll have to remember to make sure that if I ever get hurt at work, I have a lawyer to call that I know would do a good job.

  11. I agree that when it comes to filing a worker’s compensation claim it is always good to have an attorney with you. I understand that this would not only help you increase your chances of winning but it would make it official and let the other party know that you are serious about the claim. I will make sure to look more into this as I proceed with my claim. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thank you for all this helpful information about choosing a workers compensation attorney. I never knew that if you hire an attorney, they can actually help you get a better settlement, and your odds of winning are better. Since you are in a pretty hard place, it would be nice to get as much chance of winning that you could.

  13. John

    I think the article makes a good point about how your employer’s insurance agency will most likely be represented by a lawyer. I don’t have law experience, especially in workers compensation so I can see just how indispensable having an attorney at your side can be. Being injured to the point that you can’t work effectively would be really stressful, but I think it would be even more stressful trying to tackle your case while trying to recover from injury.

  14. I agree, while you can try to tackle a workers compensation case on your own, it can be quite a difficult task without the help of an attorney. After all, an attorney is far more likely to understand all of the steps and actions you need to take to even ensure that your workers compensation case is even viable in the first place. Not to mention that, if you find an experiences attorney in workers comp cases, then you are far more likely to come out on top rather than just trying to wing it on your own.

  15. I did not realize that hiring a lawyer could be on a contingency fee basis. Ultimately, having to pay for help in a worker’s compensation situations should help you save money in the long run. This is good new for us to have if we are caught in this stressful financial situation.

  16. I was wondering if workers comp attorneys worked on contingency. I am glad to read here that they do. I was worried that if I were to lose the case, then I would be in even more trouble financially. I would likely be counting on the money that I won to pay the attorney.

  17. Gina

    I have modified activity note from my doctor my employer says it’s on me to find modified work to take breaks and sit. Now my employer says he will deny my claim because I may have aggravated my injuries by not following the doctor’s orders. Can he do this he never offered me a different position.

  18. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having
    a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  19. According to the article, hiring a workers compensation lawyer can actually help improve your odds of winning. The article also says that hiring an attorney increases those odds since an insurance company has to assess whether or not the cost to fight a legal battle would be worth it. My friend was recently injured while working on a job site, so I’ll be sure to let him know that working with an attorney can help increase his odds of winning his claim.

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