The Cost of Not Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
We are all familiar with the cost of doing things, but sometimes it is difficult to appreciate the very real cost of not doing something. Several of my clients tell me that the adjuster had attempted to persuade them from talking with an attorney saying, “Why give your attorney 20% of what I am already willing to give you?” This argument seems to hold water until you look at what workers with attorneys receive compared to those who did not hire an attorney.
According to the State of Colorado’s Division of Workers’ Compensation, on average, injured workers represented by attorney receive larger settlements.”
In 2003 the insurance companies settled claims for an average of $12,179.56 with injured workers who did not hire an attorney -. In the same year, the insurance carriers settled claims for $28,305 on average with workers who had a lawyer – more than twice what is obtained by injured workers who do not hire an attorney. This has proven to be the case year after year – from 1994 to 2003 workers with attorneys, on average, receive over twice what unrepresented injured workers receive in settlements.
This telling statistic gives only a small portion of the story – because under the Workers’ Compensation Law – injured workers are entitled to receive compensation in addition to money received for settling their claim. The law provides for lost wages during medical treatment, compensation for permanent impairment, disfigurement, and permanent total disability. Often our clients receive more compensation for lost wages and permanent impairment than the amount given for the final settlement.
Finally the study does not show the most important benefit – the additional medical care that we are able to get our clients. The best benefit we can obtain for our client is treatment with a doctor that helps our clients heal so they can get back to work and supporting their families. Without an attorney and surrounded by company doctors, many injured workers simply do not get the medical attention they deserve.
The study also leaves out injured workers who relied upon their employer and the insurance carrier to investigate their claim in good faith. According to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the insurance carriers initially deny or refuse to admit liability on one- third of the claims. Although insurance carriers often state that they are denying your claim in order to investigate your injury further, the same study showed that the carrier later admitted liability in only 20% of those denied claims – leaving nearly 1 out of four injured workers with no benefits.
Remember that the insurance company already has its attorney advising it how to pay the least amount possible on your injury. You can talk face to face with our attorneys in no-cost and no obligation consultation to see how we can help you obtain the maximum benefits you are entitled to under the law. Otherwise, you could find that not talking to an attorney could be the most costly decision you could make regarding your work injury.
The Sawaya Law Firm is Denver’s personal injury law firm. With over 40 years of experience and a compassionate team prepared to listen to your story, The Sawaya Law Firm is here to help. Contact us anytime. Work Related Injuries in Colorado 2003, Division of Workers’ Compensation Publication, pg. 66.
 Id at pg 67.
 Id at pg. 47.