Learn what to bring for your first meeting with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer
Workers’ compensation is a very confusing area of the law. It has many nuances that don’t exist in other areas of the law.
For example, it doesn’t matter if there was negligence which caused the accident or even if it was the injured individual’s fault. A workers’ compensation claim may exist simply if you are hurt while in the scope and course of your employment. This can lead to many questions at the beginning of your case.
In this article, we will try and address what you need to bring to your initial meeting with your workers’ compensation attorney. In short, here’s a checklist of what you need to be ready for a lawyer consultation:
- Any and all documents you’ve received from your employer regarding the incident report (i.e. your written statement, incident report form, etc.
- Any all forms you’ve received from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (i.e. WC-2s, WC-14s, hearing notices, etc.)
- Your medical records (such as a formal work status report)
- Any and all documents you’ve received regarding your employment status (such as a separation of notice)
- Any and all check stubs that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier has provided to you
Continue reading for more explanation about these documents you need to bring and why.
Accident report form and all employer documents
The first thing you need to do in your workers’ compensation case is to report your injury to your employer. Telling a supervisor or a co-worker of your injury might be enough, and sometimes the severity of the injury and the emergency nature of the incident can suffice.
However, usually there’s a paper trail created when you inform your employer. Sometimes the employer requires you to provide a written statement of the injury or provides you with an incident report form to be filled out by a superior.
This is important information and should definitely be provided to your lawyer at the initial meeting as it may provide witness statements, details about jurisdiction and other valuable insights that could be used at hearing before an administrative law judge.
State Board of Workers’ Compensation forms
The second item you should be prepared to provide to your attorney is any and all State Board of Workers’ Compensation forms. This includes WC-2s, WC-14s and any hearing notices you may have received.
All of these documents provide information regarding the insurance company, their positions on certain matters and even, in some instances, the legal grounds the insurance company is using to deny your claim. Additionally, these forms help us to understand which statute of limitations may apply in your case.
Work status report and other medical records
After most medical appointments, the doctor or nursing staff will provide you with a formal work status report. This report typically contains the nature of the injury, what treatment was performed at the visit, current work limitations and/or your work status.
Sometimes, doctors will provide patients with even more detailed medical records, but this is exceedingly rare. Nonetheless, please bring all medical records in your possession to your initial meeting or provide them to your attorney via email or text.
Separation of notice and other employment status documents
It’s also helpful to provide your attorney with any information you may have regarding your employment status. You may have been fired and been given a separation of notice. This is vital to your case because the reasons for your termination could entitle you to immediate workers’ compensation benefits, and help craft the strategy in your case.
You may not have your current employment information on hand, and that’s okay. However, please provide it to your workers’ compensation lawyer if you have that documentation.
Check stubs from the workers’ compensation insurance company
The final item you should bring to your initial meeting with your attorney are any and all check stubs that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier has provided to you. In most instances, this is a check stub from a weekly check.
The check stub provides us with a plethora of information regarding your case. It includes the insurance carrier or third-party administrator, your workers’ compensation rate, the date of injury that the insurance company has listed, and what the benefits are being paid for — among other things.
Consult an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer
Bringing your medical records, all state-provided forms, documentation of your employment status, check stubs and any information regarding your reporting of the claim is very helpful to your attorney at the initial appointment.