Waynesboro, VA asked in Workers' Compensation for Virginia

Q: I have a workers compensation claim from wrist injury , was wondering if I should have a lawyer during this process

I was evaluated today do I wait and see if a settlement is offered and get a lawyer if I don't agree with the settlement. I'm not sure how all this works and if so am I suing the insurance company or the company I work for?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gary K. Burger Jr
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  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • St. Louis, MO

A: It's the employer's workers' compensation insurance, not the company itself. However, in some work injury situations there are also third-party claims when someone else acted in a negligent way that caused you to be injured.

As to your first question, you should be seen by the workers' comp doctors and see what they say, but do not sign anything until you are sure it is fair. Many workers' compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay anything out of pocket for them to represent you. Many of us also offer free consultations, so it doesn't hurt to contact a workers' comp lawyer now to tell them about the specifics of your case and get some legal questions answered up front for free.

If someone in your situation called me at this point in the process, I would likely advise then to start by seeing how the process goes and what the insurance company offers. In workers' comp cases, you don't have the same requirements for establishing negligence as you do in a personal injury case, so it's possible that you can receive a fair settlement based on your injuries and lost wages without a lot of litigation and legal legwork. However, many cases do become complicated and require a lawyer (otherwise there would be no workers' comp lawyers out here) so again, make sure you consider everything carefully and get a legal opinion before you agree to a settlement. If you don't feel like the workers' comp doctor is treating you right or grasping the extent of your damages, get a second opinion. If you feel that your employer is not treating you fairly or cooperating, talk to a lawyer.

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