Workers’ Comp Case: Can I Represent Myself?
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted on March 1, 1918, as a system to deal with disputes between employers and their workers over injuries sustained on the job. In the nearly 100 years since it came into existence, it has evolved into an extremely complex system that favors having an experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney to navigate successfully.
Why Shouldn’t I Represent Myself?
The answer to that question is: because it may result in a lower award or settlement.
If you’ve been injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is not your friend. The goal of the insurance company is to settle every case as quickly as possible and for the lowest payout possible. Insurance agents are well-versed in the strategies and tactics that will enable them to settle your case for the least amount possible. Injured workers can seek out a third-party representative – in the form of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney – who is on your side and looking out for your best interests. Your workers’ compensation attorney is a personal advocate who will advise and guide you about the smartest way to move forward and get the compensation you deserve.
Even in the simplest situations, there are still loopholes in the complex Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act that often seem to benefit employers and insurers over the injured employee. An experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney deals with the complexities of the Workers’ Compensation Act on a daily basis and is thoroughly aware of the best ways to navigate the system to maximize a claimant’s future award or settlement amount.
When Can I Represent Myself?
There are some cases where you could successfully represent yourself in a Virginia workers’ compensation case. The circumstances for such cases likely include all of the following:
- Your injury is very minor, such as a sprained wrist or a shallow laceration closed by just a few stitches, and the injury doesn’t impact your ability to use your arm or hand or lessen your range of motion or functionality in any way.
- The insurance company is cooperating fully.
- Your employer acknowledges that the injury occurred during the normal execution of your job duties in the workplace or on the worksite.
- You don’t have a pre-existing condition that could complicate any possible monetary settlement.
- Your injury and the treatment of it caused you to miss little or no time at work.
Even in such an uncomplicated case, it’s a good idea to get a free consultation with our experienced Richmond workers’ compensation lawyers. A brief conversation with an attorney can ensure you haven’t overlooked anything, alert you to what the potential complications could be, and give you a third-party, honest opinion of whether you can successfully represent yourself.
As always, your first consultation with a Richmond workers’ compensation attorney at Commonwealth Law Group is free.
Put the Odds in Your Favor
Though the workers’ compensation system was intended to provide timely and fair compensation to injured workers, the system often benefits employers and insurers. If you’ve been hurt on the job in Richmond, Va., call the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Commonwealth Law Group at 804.999.9999 for a free consultation about your specific case. Justice starts with CLG.