Do I need an attorney to represent me?
The Oregon workers’ compensation system presents many legalproblems that are beyond the understanding of an injured worker, making ita wise decision to hire an attorney to represent the worker’s interests. Hereare a few of the legal complexities.
- Oregon workers’ compensation law is an area of law that is constantly changing or being reinterpreted by the Oregon Workers’Compensation Board or the appellate courts. Workers’ compensation attorneys attend continued legal education seminars to keep up with the changes.
- The deadlines for decisions, actions and reactions are short by most legal standards, usually 30 or 60 days.
- The language of the workers’ compensation law is specific to this area of law and skilled practitioners tend to speak with abbreviations.Communication between attorneys or with judges can seem like a foreign language to the average person or to attorneys who practice in other areas of law.
- Workers’ compensation claims are medically driven, meaning the circumstances for obtaining benefits are dependent on medical facts and opinions. Understanding human anatomy and how the body works is essential to the successful prosecution of a claim. An attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation has this knowledge.
How do I pay an attorney to represent me?
Fortunately, the system has made it easy for workers to get legal help. Attorneys are not paid by the hour. Attorneys are paid on a contingent fee basis, meaning the worker’s attorney only gets paid if he or she successfully obtains benefits for the worker. The amounts an attorney can receive are set by the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board.