OTHER POTENTIAL PLAYERS IN THE SYSTEM
Every workers' compensation case involves an injured worker, medical providers, an insurance company (or claims processor), and the employer. Some cases have additional players, whose roles will be discussed in this chapter. These include attorneys, vocational rehabilitation providers, and the injured workers' families and friends.
Almost everyone, including every attorney, has a lawyer joke; it would seem that the whole profession has a tainted reputation. As discussed in Chapter 2, the whole idea behind workers' compensation was avoidance of the legal system, and in fact, statistics indicate that over 97 percent of all workers' compensation claims are handled without litigation. So the system has a fairly good track record.
In the majority of workers' compensation cases, an attorney is not necessary. In fact, sometimes hiring one can actually be detrimental to an injured worker. Several things happen when an attorney is retained by a claimant (the term used for a worker who has filed a claim). The first, and most significant, is that the employer and the insurance company representatives can no