In a workers compensation case, why hire an attorney instead of a non-attorney representative?
The first and most obvious reason is that an attorney cannot accept money from an employee for a workers compensation case. If the case is won or settled, the attorney is paid by the insurance company. By contrast, non-attorney representatives take money from the employee -- win, lose, draw.
The second reason is experience. Attorneys know what can go wrong because of their experience and can head problems off at the pass. A non-attorney doesn't have that experience, can make serious mistakes and turn what should have been a case of delicate negotiations into an all-out losing war.
The third reason is training. Attorneys have a comprehensive knowledge of law, procedure and ethics because they went to law school and are mandated by the bar to take continuing legal education every year. Their superior knowledge is a bedrock for understanding how the workers compensation system works. A non-attorney doesn't know why the compensation system differs or how to borrow from civil court procedure and cases to strengthen the injured worker's case.
The fourth reason is bar admission. An attorney is subject to disciplinary action by the Bar Association in the event that s/he commits a foul. A non-attorney representative probably didn't go to law school and gets off scot-free if s/he malpractices the case.
Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans. www.keenanpowell.com.
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