What Happens During Your Free Workers’ Comp Evaluation?

Workers' Compensation

Important: We updated this article in June 2024 after reviewing laws in all 50 states that apply to workers’ compensation cases. What happens, exactly, after you fill out and submit a free workers’ comp evaluation form online? And why do we ask just a few short questions before you can enter your contact information? We’ll walk you through every step below. That way, you know exactly what to expect and why those answers matter for free consultations.

Step-by-Step Guide to Our Free Workers’ Comp Evaluation Process

Step 1: We Ask Certain Questions to Determine if You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Claim Help

These include things like when your work-related injury happened and if you needed time off work to recover. Here’s why we ask you those questions:

1. The deadline for filing workers’ compensation claims is different in every U.S. state.

This is the “statute of limitations.” In most states, it’s 2 years from date your injury occurred. If you’re past this filing deadline, then you cannot qualify for expert help with your workers’ compensation claim. In fact, once that deadline expires, no workers’ compensation judge can legally award you benefits. This is why we need to know approximate dates for work-related accidents.

2. Every state also has a specific “waiting period” before injured workers can qualify for paid time off.

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider will usually call this “lost-wage benefits.” In most cases, you must miss 3-7 work shifts due to a job injury before you qualify for paid time off. If you need less than a week off to recover, the insurance carrier only pays your medical bills.

Pro Tip: If you don’t seek medical treatment for your injury, then no insurance company will award you workers’ compensation. This is because the doctor’s report will determine if your workers’ comp claim qualifies for medical benefits first. If no medical records exist to support your workers’ compensation case, then you cannot qualify for paid time off, either.

3. If another lawyer is already working on your case, then we cannot complete your free workers’ comp evaluation.

This is because you signed a contract with your current attorney to retain their legal services. Lawyers aren’t willing to break legally binding contracts to provide a second opinion on your case. And if you fire your current lawyer to hire a new one, both attorneys must split your case’s legal fees.

We ask for this information because your injury or illness must be work-related to qualify for benefits.

For example: Let’s say you got rear-ended while driving a company car, and now, you have a back injury. However, your unique circumstances may not necessarily qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

you must seek medical treatment to qualify for workers' compensation

Other things that can negatively impact your ability to collect benefits may include:

  • Failing to attend an independent medical exam as requested by your employer’s insurer. In some states, missing this appointment means you waive your right to claim any benefits.
  • Your treating doctor is not an authorized provider under your state’s laws. Some states allow injured employees to choose any doctor to treat a job-related injury. Others do not, however.
  • You did not report your injury to your employer during the time period required by your state. The statute of limitations isn’t the only deadline you should worry about. Reporting it in a timely manner is key for employees seeking benefits, and the deadline for when to do this varies by state.
  • A third party is responsible for your injury, not your employer. Some examples may include fighting with another coworker, a customer attacking you at your job, etc.
  • Your current injury is a mental one, not anything related to your physical condition. Many states have laws that prevent workers’ compensation payouts solely for mental health issues. An injured worker may get benefits for mental health issues that stem by a physical injury in certain cases.

Step 2: Provide Your Name, Location, and a Phone Number You Can Answer on Weekdays

This information is always required to complete your free workers’ comp evaluation. Why? Because an attorney will review the answers you submitted in your form online, then call you to discuss your case. We use your current ZIP code to match you with the closest workers’ compensation attorney available to help you immediately. Then, we give your matched attorney your name and telephone number so they can call you during normal business hours. This phone call is a required step to complete your free workers’ comp evaluation. If you refuse to enter valid contact info or answer your phone, then we cannot complete your free case review.

be sure to keep your phone handy for the workers' comp attorney to call

Step 3: Your Matched Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Will Call You During Normal Business Hours

Attorneys in our network will only call you back about your claim Monday through Friday, typically before 5 p.m. If you submit your free workers’ comp evaluation form online at night, on weekends or holidays, please be patient! It might be a day or two before your phone rings.

Since you can’t always keep your phone handy, we’ll also email you your matched attorney’s contact information. This includes things like your matched attorney’s name, office location, phone number, and email address. (Don’t see the email from us in your inbox? Be sure to check your spam and junk folders, just in case!). That way you can call the attorney yourself and leave a message explaining when you’re available to talk, if needed.

Step 4: That Matched Attorney Completes Your Free Workers’ Comp Evaluation

During your first phone call with the matched attorney, be sure to mention any important facts about your claim. For example: Did your employer’s insurance company deny you workers’ compensation, so now, you wish to appeal? Or do you have pre-existing conditions that make securing the benefits you need harder to get? Your matched lawyer needs to know detailed information like this before agreeing to take on your case. It’s also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about the workers’ comp evaluation process.

Finally, your matched attorney may schedule an in-person appointment to review any evidence you have that supports your case.

Important: All attorneys that we can match you with for a free workers’ comp evaluation work on contingency. That means if you don’t win a cash settlement, then you owe $0 to the lawyer who’s helping you. In most states, attorneys charge 15% contingency fees, on average.

Step 5: You Decide What to Do After Your Workers’ Comp Evaluation Ends

Our free, no-obligation case review does exactly what we promise and nothing else. That means we match you with an attorney who evaluates your claim for free using only the info you provided. Once that happens, deciding whether to move forward or use that same attorney is 100% up to you. Don’t want to file a claim at all after you speak with a workers’ compensation attorney? No problem! Want to use a different attorney than the one who calls you? That’s okay, too. Only you can decide how and whether to move forward with your workers’ compensation case.

Since 2012, hundreds of thousands of people have requested a free workers’ comp evaluation through our website. We have never charged any money for this service and never will. However, a 2018 study found injured employees with attorneys got 5x as much money vs. those without representation.

you'll get 5x more money with a workers' compensation attorney

What Happens if Your Workers’ Comp Evaluation Says You Don’t Qualify for Help?

We can only match you with attorneys who belong to our nationwide network. So, there’s always chance we don’t have anyone nearby who can complete your workers’ comp evaluation for free. And if you already have a workman’s comp lawyer, then unfortunately, we can’t offer second opinions on case.

If you suspect a workplace safety violation led to your injury, report it to the proper authorities. You can do this online at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website or call 1-800-321-OSHA. You can also file a whistleblower complaint if you believe your employer illegally fired you for filing a claim.

Holding an employer accountable for issues like these can be scary, but the law is on your side. The sooner you contact an attorney, the faster you’ll know your claim’s true value and have peace of mind.

Ready to see if you may qualify for expert help? Then click the button below to start your free online benefits quiz now:

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation

Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.