Many people try to handle workers’ compensation issues on their own. They get hurt and they figure if they read the handbook, follow the rules, and deal with the paperwork that they will be OK. But workers’ compensation insurance is complex and employees are often blindsided by how difficult the process is or how unyielding insurance companies can be.
Insurance companies can deny a worker’s claim for valid or less than well-founded reasons. The insurance company may state your injury:
- Was pre-existing;
- Is not work related;
- Is fake or exaggerated; or
- Does not prevent you from working
Insurance companies may also deny coverage if they claim you are an independent contractor and not covered under workers’ compensation insurance.
If your claim has been denied, it is time for you to search for a reliable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the appeals process, and if necessary, a lawsuit.
What to Look for in a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Not all lawyers are created equal. Some have more specific experienced in workers’ compensation than others, and some will have more practical experience as long-time attorneys compared to those who are new to North Carolina law. When you are researching attorneys in your area, there are specific aspects to check out.
Your attorney does not have to have attended an Ivy League school to be a great lawyer, but it does not hurt to research a potential lawyer’s education. Look at when and where they received their bachelor degree and juris doctor. Do they have any other level of education related to the law or workers’ compensation?
Attorney Ted. A Greve is more than just an attorney, he is also a doctor. He owned and operated a chiropractic clinic from 1983 to 1993. He has both a medical and legal background, which means he can fully understand your injury, treatment plan, and pain.
Young attorneys may be well educated in the law, but if you have a challenging case, you want a lawyer who has practiced law for a number of years. You need someone with real-world experience dealing with employers and insurance companies, not just someone with theoretical knowledge of how these situations work.
When your workers’ compensation situation is not working out as it should and you are at the point of needing legal help, you want someone who has worked on these types of cases before and can demonstrate their knowledge and record of success. Look for an attorney who routinely handles these cases instead of one who only occasionally deals with workers’ compensation issues.
The law offices of Ted A. Greve & Associates P.A. has more than 20 years of experience with personal injury and workers’ compensation claims; they know what they are doing.
Record of Successful Cases
When searching for an attorney, look for someone who can demonstrate a record of getting beneficial outcomes for their clients. Ask for references and look for client testimonials. Can the attorney show you evidence of successful cases similar to your own?
Look for an attorney with an informative website. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney is more likely to have useful resources on their website, which demonstrate their knowledge and experience with this area of law. A good website never tells the whole story, but it can show whether a lawyer focuses on workers’ compensation or is merely equipped to handle these cases if they arise.
You need a lawyer who will keep in touch with you throughout your case – even during long waiting periods. If you call or email a potential lawyer and they do not get back to you within 24 hours, consider whether you feel this person will be more forthcoming during your case.
When you meet with an attorney, ask them about how long they usually take to return a client’s emails or calls. Also ask about whether they have any online system to communicate through.
Always ask about fees. Workers’ compensation fees are regulated by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which means attorneys cannot charge upfront fees or hourly wages. The commission must approve an attorney’s fees. The commission will often approve a contingent fee of no more than 25 percent of what you receive for your case. A contingent fee means your attorney is paid based on a good outcome of your case. If you lose, there is no fee due.
Your attorney also has the right to be reimbursed for expenses incurred for the case in addition to the contingent fee.
Much of choosing your attorney is based on the initial consultation. Once you have done your background research and decided to meet with a few options, signing a contract with one of them comes down to the first impression. Is the attorney friendly? Do they give you their undivided attention or do they seem distracted? Do you feel like you can trust them?
Sometimes you have to go with your gut and sign with the attorney you feel truly cares about you and your case.
Contact Charlotte Attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates P.A.
There are few things as scary for a family as having a breadwinner hurt and out of work without workers’ compensation covering at least some of the expenses. If you were injured because of your job and need time away from work and medical care but insurance is not cooperating, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. It is your right to hire an attorney to guide you through the insurance claims and appeals process. If need be, it is your right to go to court over the matter.
Attorney Ted A. Greve is both a doctor and an attorney with more than 20 years of experience practicing workers’ compensation law. He understands how hard an injury can be for you and your family, which is why he and his team aggressively fight for your rights. Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates P.A. to schedule your free case consultation today.