The PA Workers’ Compensation Board receives thousands of injury claims every year. To ensure each case is determined on its merit and all injured workers are given their due compensation, the board and the system work diligently.
Yet, there are things that may slip through the holes and some gaps may remain in the justice system. To correct that, a dedicated PA work injury lawyer employs some battle-hardened rules in every case to ensure a highly favorable settlement in the favor of their clients. As we are Pennsylvania’s rarest, most dedicated law facility for injured workers, we pride ourselves in perfecting these best practices that always help us give our best to the clients.
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On your part too, there are things you can do to give your lawyers the best fighting chance. In this article, we’ll share 6 things that we always ask our clients to do. Things that don’t cost you anything, and give us what we need to get to the victory flag.
Tip #1: Hire Cardamone Law
First things first: Hire Cardamone Law!
Work Comp for injured workers is all we do. We’re rare, small, focused, and financially leveraged to take down any employer or insurer in court. No firm can guarantee victory — that’s not ethical. But you can do your research to see what firms solely focus on Pennsylvania Work Comp and what their reputation is. You have the right to proceed “pro se” — representing yourself — but it’s highly discouraged and makes it very difficult to succeed. The earlier an injured worker lawyers up, the better they do overall.
Tip #2: Always tell the truth
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Tell the truth at all costs. Don’t hide prior injuries and spend time to remember past accidents, injuries, or work comp claims — you will be asked about them. If you are afraid that reporting an earlier injury or illness may harm your chances for compensation for the current injury, don’t worry. An aggravation of a prior condition is a viable work injury!
But if you deny prior accidents, or forget, you can rest assured that the other lawyer will try to make you look like a liar. That’s their job — to attack your credibility to save their client money. So whether it’s the doctor, judge, or lawyers, always tell it like it is — period.
Tip #3: Get a credible doctor who won’t be afraid to testify
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Make sure your doctor is advocating for you. That’s where we, the lawyers, come especially handy: to make sure you’re seeing a reputable doctor who isn’t afraid to testify.
Many are afraid. Some don’t take work comp for payment. So, sometimes the options for a credible doctor aren’t as good as you’d suspect. To make sure we have a good doctor on our team, we will get their records and read them and make sure they are listening to you and your complaints — and not blaming everything on “arthritis” like the defense medical doctors love to do.
Having a credible doctor vouching for your injuries is important especially if you have an independent medical exam coming up too. If both doctor’s accounts align closely, you can get that much closer to a great conclusion.
Because remember, without strong medical evidence, it’s nearly impossible to win.
Tip #4: Follow your appointments
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Attend the hearings, mediations, and doctor appointments that you are told you must attend — don’t blow them off. Listen to your lawyer as to when you need to participate in an event, and when you’re excused. (ie, some hearings are just for the lawyers).
Come on time and don’t keep people waiting. The more professionally you behave, the easier you make it for the judge and the board to listen to you with more patience and respect.
Also, please dress appropriately — even if the hearing is via video. It’s a court proceeding and you must be respectful. Shower, wear clean clothes, and a confident demeanor. Remember, if you show up looking like you don’t care, the others may return the sentiment.
Tip #5: Communicate with your attorney
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Forthright and regular communication with your attorney will be critical for the case. Tell them if you’re interested in returning to work, with the current employer or another one. Tell them if you are feeling recovered or close to it. Tell them if you got papers in the mail and aren’t sure what they mean.
The more you communicate, the better. This doesn’t mean sending 3 am texts every day. But, be in touch frequently to maximize the winning potential for your case.
Tip #6: Remember that each case is different
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Finally, don’t get legal advice from your doctor or a neighbor. Your case is different than all others. Trust in the lawyer you hired and their expertise- unless they don’t communicate with you or behave inappropriately of course. There isn’t a magic number for a given case to settle at- each is unique. But a case will have a realistic range for settlement. Realistic doesn’t mean what you want, or how much you need to pay off your house. The value is based on other factors like your comp rate, extent of injury, age, educational level, and many other factors. To settle a case, both sides need to compromise- remember that.
Nothing on this blog/site shall be construed to be legal advice for your facts and case. You need to sign a Fee Agreement with our firm to be entitled to specific advice in your case. Fees in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases are contingent — we only get paid if we win a petition or settle the case.