What Happens During A Workers' Comp Initial Consultation?
A face-to-face meeting is one of the first steps in any case. Workers' compensation is no exception; an initial consultation allows an attorney to:
- Read important documents,
- Discuss details of the case, and
- Address a client's many concerns.
Each law firm has a different method of conducting meetings, but there are a few standard aspects of an initial consultation that a potential client should know about.
What to Bring To An Initial Consulation for Workers' CompNew clients often wonder what they should bring to an initial consultation if they've never met with an attorney or case manager before. If you have any of the following, please bring them to the initial consultation:
- Medical Records: Although most law offices will contact a doctor's office directly for official medical records, attorneys liketo have them from the very beginning of a workers' comp case. The records have the phone numbers, addresses, and names they need to proceed.
- Correspondence from the Health Care Provider or Insurance Company: This is a very important part of a workers' comp claim. Dates and instructions can effect the outcome of a case, so be sure to alert your attorney whenever you are contacted in regards to your on-the-job injuries.
- First Report of Injury or Illness: This form is essential. Verbally notifying your employer of an on the job injury is enough to have it covered by Florida's workers' compensation system, but having the notice in writing is physical proof that you are following protocol. Bring a copy of this form so your attorney can see all of the names and contact information listed on it.
- Pay Stubs: Bring paycheck stubs for the 14 weeks prior to your accident at work. Our office and the workers' comp system need these documents to calculate your average weekly wage (AWW). We need at least 14 weeks worth of stubs, but bring what you have in case you can't find that many.
What Will My Attorney Ask During a Consultation?Your initial meeting will be an opportunity to discuss many details of your claim. Since it is the first time you will be meeting with people in charge of your case, expect a general conversation about your accident. A few details may come up that will be necessary to getting the most for you injuries, including:
- Symptoms, Prescriptions, etc: You'll want to discuss any symptoms, injuries, or conditions you have as a result of an accident at work. If you have a history of health problems, your attorney or case manager may ask about prior conditions as they relate to your work injury.
- Work Status and Restrictions: You may be able to continue working while you recover from an on the job injury. If your employment terms or status has changed, bring it up in your initial consultation. We need to know how your injury has limited or changed your ability to work.
- Earnings: Discussing money can be a sensitive subject, but our office needs to know your wages in order to calculate the AWW you may be able to continue receiving during your recovery. Rest assured that any information we collect is confidential and purely in the interest of your case.
- Names, Phone Numbers, and Addresses: If anyone witnessed or gave you medical treatment for your on the job accident, their testimony can strengthen your case if your benefits are disputed. Our offices request that you provide us the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any doctors, medical providers, or witnesses for your workers' compensation case.
What to Expect After an Initial Consultation
Each case is different, so clients can expect different things after they meet with one of our attorneys. Some employers and their insurance carriers grant benefits to an injured worker without a problem, while others require proof and correspondence first.