Do I need an attorney?

Whether you need an attorney is really up to you.  If your employer is a company, it will be represented by an attorney.  Each case is different and has unique facts.   Only a lawyer can provide legal advice.  A lawyer serves as your advocate and an intermediary between you and the insurance company.  Therefore, if you have legal questions, need to go to hearing, or are just tired of dealing with the insurance company, you may want to have a lawyer.  At Montrose & Chua, we provide free consultations in order to determine whether we can help you.

 

What if my claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you have a limited amount time to protest the Notice of Claim Status. It is very important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Montrose & Chua we provide free consultations in order to determine whether we can help you.

 

What if my claim is closed? 

If your claim is closed, you have only a limited amount of time to protest the closure of your claim and any additional language or items that maybe on the closing notice.  Therefore, it is very important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

 

Who makes the decision in my case?

If you have a hearing before the Industrial Commission of Arizona, your case will be decided by an Administrative Law Judge who will set the hearings and issue a decision in your case.

 

What if the insurance company won’t call me back?

The insurance company has an obligation to communicate with you.  If your insurance company is not calling you back or responding to you, you may need to file a hearing request and/or complaint.  At Montrose & Chua we would be able to determine how to handle your situation and will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.

 

What if the insurance company refuses to authorize my medical treatment?

An injured worker is entitled to medical treatment. If your employer’s insurance company is refusing to pay for your medical treatment, you should call an attorney. At Montrose & Chua, we will act quickly to fight for your treatment.

 

Am I being paid correctly?

In Arizona, you are entitled to receive temporary disability benefits if you have a loss of earnings due to your industrial injury.  These benefits are based upon your average monthly wage at the time of the injury.  There are several ways to calculate your average monthly wage.  Therefore, you may want to have an attorney look at your check stubs for you. Once the wage becomes final, if your wage was set incorrectly, you may not receive all the benefits you should have.

 

Do I get pain and suffering? 

There is no compensation for pain and suffering in workers’ compensation law in Arizona.  There are other benefits however and we can help you determine whether you are receiving all the benefits available to you under the law.

 

How much does an attorney cost?

We charge a fee contingent upon you receiving benefits. If you don’t receive benefits, we do not receive a fee.

 

Does the insurance company pay my attorneys’ fees if I win?

The insurance company is not obligated to pay your attorney’s fees. It is your choice to have a lawyer, but remember that hiring a lawyer means you have someone constantly looking out for your interests.  Neither the insurance company nor your employer is representing you.  Having a lawyer may result in benefits that you would not otherwise receive or that you did not know about.

 

Can I appeal? 

Once a decision is issued by the Industrial Commission of Arizona, you have a limited amount of time to file a written request for review.   If the judge affirms the decision, you can then file a petition for special action to the Arizona Court of Appeals.

 

How long do I have to file a claim? 

Generally you have only 1 year to file a claim.

 

What if I need to leave the state? 

You can still have your claim and your benefits if you need to leave the state. You will need to request permission to do that however or your benefits can be suspended.

 

What is a deposition and do I have to go? 

A deposition is sworn testimony outside of a court setting.  It is the time when the attorney for the insurance company and employer will ask you questions under oath. These are done before your hearing and the transcripts of the deposition can be used against you later at hearing. Your lawyer will take notes during, prepare you for, and attend this deposition with you. These are obligatory if the lawyer for the insurance company schedules them early enough and provides you with enough notice.

 

What are interrogatories? 

Interrogatories are a series of questions that the lawyers send out to obtain information about your case.  It is important to give the correct information and the correct amount of information. Your lawyer will review and edit your answers as needed before sending them. Your lawyer will also help you answer these correctly if you need assistance.

 

What will my hearing be like? 

Every hearing is different and it is natural to be nervous before your hearing.  You will be placed under oath and asked questions by your lawyer and by the opposing lawyer. Having a lawyer with you will greatly ease your nervousness. At Montrose & Chua we will educate you about the hearing process and prepare you for your hearing. We will also handle any preliminary matters before hearing as well as further hearings that may be set for your experts. This means that if you hire an attorney, you will likely only have to attend 1 hearing instead of 3 or more.

 

What if my employer wants me to sign a document? 

You should not sign anything without having your attorney review the document first.  Your attorney will be able to determine whether the document being presented to you would have any effect on your workers’ compensation benefits.

 

I injured the same part of my body before, can it still be covered

You can have a compensable claim if you injure an area that was previously injured or problematic (a pre-existing condition).  You will most likely require expert medical testimony to meet your burden of proof however.

 

Can someone get benefits if he or she is here illegally?

Yes, as long as the injured worker was an employee of the employer, he or she is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

 

Do you have a translator?

Our paralegal is fluent in Spanish and English and can translate as needed for our Spanish speaking clients.

 

What if my employer did not have insurance? 

If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance on the date of your accident, you are still entitled to benefits. Your benefits however will be administered through the Industrial Commission of Arizona Special Fund/No Insurance Section.