As a client, you have a right to talk directly with your attorney when you have questions about your case. In addition, you have a right to be fully informed of all relevant aspects of your case. At The Arns Law Firm, we never leave our clients in the dark.
Your Rights Under Workers' Compensation
If you are injured on the job, you have a right to receive workers' compensation benefits. The workers' compensation system provides limited "subsistence benefits" for work-related illness, including medical treatment costs, temporary payments for a percentage of lost wages, and permanent disability payments if you suffer a permanent disability. You cannot sue your employer, and you are not entitled to money for "pain and suffering" or future lost wages. These types of damages may only be recovered in a "third-party" lawsuit, as described below.
An employee has a right to represent him or herself in a workers' compensation action. However, an injured employee also has the right to attorney representation. An attorney can be helpful in negotiating with defense attorneys, selecting appropriate medical providers, and evaluating the case. Attorney's fees in workers' compensation cases are determined by the workers' compensation board and are 15% percent of the final award.
If your injury was caused, at least in part, by the fault of someone other than your employer, you may have a case against this third party. Through a third-party lawsuit, you can recover all lost wages, all medical costs, future lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering, if you can prove the third party's negligence caused your injury. You must consult an attorney to advise you whether you have a potential third-party lawsuit. This should be done immediately, as valuable evidence may be forever lost.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation for more information about what you should do—and what you're entitled to—if you're injured on the job.