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How do I decide on a lawyer for L n I representation?

Mercer Island, WA |

I am told I have 15 days to decide starting from the 5th to choose to accept vocational trying. 1 plan is to go to school as a full time student which I feel I cant because of usability to sleep because of pain but the state says it is because of degenerative disc decease. 2 take a 6 months payoff and have money from the state in hold for 5 years which I will probably need student counseling to sign up for do to all restrictions. I'm 54 in February and have multiple injuries, one closed claim and one now !

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Attorney answers 4


Picking a lawyer can be a difficult decision. Fortunately you have a number of competent workers' compensation lawyers in your area. Don't be bashful about asking questions, especially about fees. Under the Washington industrial insurance act, a lawyer can charge a maximum of 30% of benefits which the lawyer works to obtain for you.

There is a potential third option for you; a vocational plan can be contested. It is a complicated process best explained by a lawyer. I rarely advise a client to take option 2 and try to rehabilitate on your own. You have to look at your remaining working span and what you can do to survive. You didn't mention your age, education, or prior work experience. These are all significant factors in determining what is best for you, as is the plan itself.

In any vocational decision, pre-existing conditions have to be taken into account in determining your ability to participate in vocational services. If you have your doctor's limitations on sitting, standing, etc. these have to be taken into account.


You should call a workers' compensation in your area to discuss your claim and see if he or she seems like the right attorney for you. An attorney will ask you questions about your injuries, your medical status, the vocational retraining plan you have been offered, and other issues. For most injured workers, Option 1 is better than Option 2. You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible.


Now is a great time to discuss these questions, and others you may not have thought of, with an experienced Washington L&I attorney. Initial consultations are free. Find someone in your area.


You have at least two options: 1) take 6 months of money and waive the retraining for now or 2) begin retraining towards a new career and get timeloss while you are being retrained. At its heart, this is a short term need vs long term need issue. Attorneys will give you more information about the law and your rights and remedies and you should know those things before making your final determination. You may however, already know the answer. Ask yourself this question: "which option is best for me and my future?" I wish you well.

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