In preparing to discuss a claim with a workers’ compensation attorney, it is important for the injured worker to gather up all the information about the injury he or she can to provide to the attorney. However, it does not stop there. In assessing a litigation strategy in a workers’ compensation claim, it is important for the attorney to have an understanding of the injured worker’s total circumstances. By that, I mean that the injured worker should not only be prepared to discuss the injury itself, but the overall financial effect the injury is having on his or her life. Some of the information that is very important to the attorney includes:
- Sources of income outside of the injured worker’s employment.
- Whether the injured worker has access to group insurance coverage if he or she were to resign or lose the job.
- How much the injured worker reasonably requires in income to live.
- Whether there are any immediate financial emergencies, such as the mortgage being in arrears.
- Whether resignation from the job is a viable option.
- Whether the injured worker believes he or she can find employment upon recovery from the injury.
This is far from an exhaustive list of the information that is useful to the attorney when assessing a litigation strategy. It can make a very large difference in choosing the course of action, such as remaining on benefits versus settlement. There also may be other actions outside of the workers’ compensation arena that must be taken. The attorney can likely assist the injured worker in finding additional professional assistance, if necessary.
Remember, a workers’ compensation attorney cannot guess what your circumstances are. The more assistance you can provide, the better your chances of arriving at a solution.