Sometimes life throws us a curve-ball, some good, some not so good. One of these may be an injury at work. Should you become injured at work, it is extremely important for you to learn what your rights are immediately. Without a working knowledge of your rights related to a workers’ compensation injury, you may inadvertently waive some of those rights, causing you to receive much less than you are entitled to. A consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is your best option. Most, including our office, provide a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and provide you with information related to your claim. But, how do you prepare for such a meeting? Below is a list of information and documentation that you should have at the ready when meeting with an attorney regarding a workers’ compensation injury:
- The date, time, and circumstances of your on the job accident. It is important to determine if your accident occurred within the “course and scope” of your employment with your employer;
- Names and contact information for any and all witnesses;
- Names and contact information for your employer. Names and contact information for your supervisors;
- Is your employer a subcontractor for another business?
- Any documentation and information regarding when you first reported the accident/injury to your employer. Who did you report the accident to? When did you report the accident? Were any forms filled out?;
- Name, address, and telephone number for any adjuster and workers’ compensation insurance carrier for your employer. If you have been assigned a claim number, this number is important. Bring with you any and all letters or other documents which may contain this information;
- Any and all treatment which you have undergone and any diagnoses that have been made. All medical records for this treatment should be brought with you to your initial consultation;
- Has any medical provider addressed whether or not you can return to work? Any documentation regarding your ability to return to work, with or without restrictions is crucial to your claim;
- Has a medical provider addressed whether or not your injury is related to the accident at work? In some situations, this may be obvious (i.e. a fall from a ladder resulting in a back injury), however, some are not so clear;
- How are you feeling now? Are you still having pain or has your injury resolved?;
- The name of any attorneys with which you have already consulted regarding this accident/injury and the result of that consultation; and
- Bring with you any and all forms that you may have filled out since reporting the accident to the employer and/or insurer. It is very important to NOT sign any documents until you have met with a workers’ compensation attorney. These documents may waive some very important rights you have under Louisiana workers’ compensation law. However, if you have signed any documents since the on the job accident, bring copies with you to your meeting with the attorney.
There are many more questions to be answered and issues to be discussed in that first meeting with a workers’ compensation attorney, but an experienced attorney, such as Kristen Stanley-Wallace, will guide the conversation to make sure that all of these questions are answered and discussed. Meeting with a workers’ compensation attorney is not something to fear. Should this attorney take your case they should be the client’s most trusted ally.