It is never a good day to get injured at work. If you know your rights as an employee, you shouldn’t take chances, even with seemingly minor injuries. The first thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention and report the accident to your employer. Once you ensure that they have filed your workers’ compensation, it is advised to get in touch with an attorney. A trustworthy law firm will work to prevent potential delays and to make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
However, it will often happen, especially with established firms, that you will communicate with paralegals more frequently than with the selected attorney. When getting in touch with the workers’ compensation attorney’s office, you should have a rough idea of what part of the job will be handled by a paralegal. Keep reading to learn more.
What to expect from a paralegal in a workers’ comp law firm?
A work comp paralegal is someone who offers professional legal support to attorneys through various means. This can include research of the law, filing preparations, as well as general administration of various procedures, from claims and lawsuits to workers’ comp litigation. Generally, paralegals ensure that all of the processes are ran smoothly, including:
- Contacting and regular communication with clients
- Regular communication with the court
- Keeping paperwork in order
- Case review
Work comp paralegals serve as the primary point of contact for clients whose cases they work on. They are usually assigned multiple cases at the same time and have to be able to navigate between them. If the client would like to schedule a call or live meeting with the lawyer, they would call or send an email to the paralegal in charge of their case.
Whenever there is an update from the court on your workers’ compensation case, you will hear about this from the paralegal. Workers’ compensation paralegals constantly monitor the progress and update cases accordingly. They also communicate with the court, sending letters and emails.
Although it might seem trivial, proper paperwork management can have far-reaching positive consequences in terms of your workers’ compensation claim. The paralegal is also responsible for keeping the paperwork in order and ready for each assigned case. Cases progress at different paces, so your paralegal should keep good track of all the details.
Your attorney and paralegal work closely to ensure that all the necessary documentation is collected and to plan further steps. The case review includes gathering medical records, or other evidence, preparing for your hearing, and discussing each case in depth. An experienced paralegal works hard to ensure:
- that all the information regarding your case is up to date,
- that they follow up with the relevant courts and commissions
- that they keep track of the calendar of your attorney, ensuring timely communication.
What characteristics should workers’ compensation paralegals demonstrate?
A paralegal you would be talking to should demonstrate the following personal characteristics:
- they are knowledgeable and experienced in workers’ compensation law
- they have superior communication skills
- they have strong professional ethics
- they are able to multitask and quickly navigate complex paperwork
- they are empathetic and aligned with your interests
- they are able to boost the performance of your attorney
- they will promptly provide you with the contact information when you need urgent medical attention
- they will provide you with the necessary information and guidance about your case
- they will be able to respond promptly to different court orders, minimizing the chances of a delay
To summarize, a workers’ compensation paralegal plays a role that is not only limited to administrative tasks. Their professionalism is of paramount importance, as they can help your attorney choreograph different tasks, and ensure that you get the work comp benefits you are due.