Do I Need a Lawyer to Help File my Work Injury Claim?
Q: I had an on-the-job work injury claim which has required surgery and has kept me off work. I have a lot of questions and concerns about my future. Do I need a lawyer to help me with my claim? The insurance representative contacts me periodically and tells me not to get a lawyer because the lawyer will just take some of my money. Is that correct and should I get legal advice?
A: An attorney practicing workers’ compensation law in Oregon will usually offer a free case evaluation to talk to you about your case. In fact, lawyers in Oregon are not allowed to charge an attorney fee except with the approval of a workers’ compensation judge or member of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Attorneys only collect fees if they assist an injured worker obtain compensation or if the insurance company has denied the claim. Most of the time the attorney fees are paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company. You can contact an attorney for a free case evaluation and ask the attorney the questions you have about your workers’ compensation case. Additionally, if you need help with your work injury claim, you can call the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division directly on their Injured Workers’ Hotline at 800-452-0288. The Workers’ Compensation Division is not allowed to give legal advice. However, they can contact the insurance company on your behalf and find out why a check is late or why something has or has not been done. If you have any questions, you can also call the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service, at 1-800-452-7636, to get the name of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.