If you have suffered from work-related illness or injury, it is always beneficial to hire a lawyer who can manage your workers’ compensation claim to ensure you are granted the benefits to which you are entitled. However, there are countless workers comp lawyers available so it is important to find one with the specific expertise in the field. Since this is a highly specialized and complicated field, clients are often not well-served by workers comp attorneys.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the mediocre. Internet marketing, print ads, television commercials, and billboards boast more fluff than substance. The reliable indicators or a quality lawyer – attention to detail, years of experience, trustworthiness, and depth of knowledge – are usually not apparent in an advertisement. Therefore, it will take some effort to find the best attorney to meet your needs, but this extra work could make a difference in the case.
The following is a list of tips to assist with your search:
With any type of service, from landscaping to legal, word of mouth recommendations are the best knowledge you have available since it is first-hand, from an individual you trust. Most workers comp lawyers do little-to-no advertising and rely on referrals from satisfied customers. Local and state bar associations and legal aid offices can also provide excellent referrals. There is a higher probability of you finding quality legal counsel from a referral than by responding to an advertisement.
Treat the Consultation as a Job Interview
Almost all workers comp attorneys provide a free consultation for clients. Your lawyer will ask dozens of questions during the consultation related to the claim and you should ask just as many. Ultimately, this is a job interview for the attorney with you being the employer. To help gauge the lawyer’s expertise, ask some of the following questions:
- Are you a member of any workers’ compensation law professional organizations?
- Can you represent me through the entire workers’ comp process?
- Do you have any references?
- How do you estimate the value of my case?
- How many years have you been managing workers’ comp claims?
- How much of your practice is devoted to workers comp?
- If I have a question and call the office, will I speak to you?
- Will you personally be working on my case?
Find an Attorney Who Inspires Confidence
The consultation is an excellent time to evaluate the attorney’s demeanor and professionalism toward clients. The best workers comp lawyers will authoritatively but patiently be able to answer all your legal questions and will actively listen to your concerns. If you must meet with several attorneys before finding one who treats you with respect and inspires confidence, then it is a small price to pay for an excellent lawyer.
Notice the Attitudes of Support Staff
While you are at the consultation, take note of the behavior and attitude of the legal assistants, administrative assistants, and paralegals around the office since you will likely have regular interactions with them. If they are dismissive, rude, or do not promptly return your phone calls and emails then take your business elsewhere.
Utilize Internet Reviews
There are multiple workers comp attorneys online but if you have narrowed the field, look for more information. Review the prospective attorney’s website to determine their expertise in the field of if they focus more on general legal cases.
Finding the best workers comp lawyers to meet the needs of your case can be a lengthy and challenging process. However, the time and effort you put into finding a specialized attorney with a proven track record can result in a successful case.