A lawyer is for protection. But, if you plan to return to work, there really isn't any reason if you are simply hurt, want to get better and then go back to work.
We have made it through the process, my husband getting a two level neck fusion, without any hitches, no attorney. He asked if he could go back to work for four hours a day, starting this week, four weeks post op. His worker was amazed. But, we don't stand to gain financially. All he ever wanted, from the beginning, was to be pain free, fixed, and then return to work. There was no settlement involved. He loves his job. It was hard to make it through the medical system and if we had not had a nest egg, this would have been hard, but he will get back pay for disability for the hours he is missing and all of the medical bills, travel to and from med visits, hotels, medical reports, paid. It is just a hassle to file.
What you want to get out of this determines whether or not you should retain an attorney. As long as you keep good records and make all of your appointments, file for FMLA while off of work, you should be fine without paying an attorney. Why spend on someone that you might not need?
A calendar and a journal for record keeping is much cheaper.
If you can't return to the job that you had, they train you for another one either with the company that you worked for or another vocation.
Only sign what you feel comfortable signing. You are in the middle. You have to sign some things in order for the process to go through. Read them carefully. Ask a lot of questions of the case workers. Lawyers are usually for people who were hurt off the job or a car accident. Work has insurance. They may not be your friends, WC, but they are responsible. If you get an attorney, they go into a defensive mode and think that you are going to sue them.
There is really no financial gain for the attorney if you are going to get disability short term and plan on working later.