It is a good idea to hire a workers’ compensation attorney if you have been injured on the job and plan to file a workers’ compensation claim. It can sometimes make the difference between having your claim approved or making a successful appeal if it is denied.
Make sure you hire the right workers’ compensation attorney. Hiring the wrong one can impact your family’s future. Take the following recommendations into consideration as you search.
1. Ask your family, friends, or neighbors.
The best place to start your search is your family, friends, or neighbors. They may know someone who has had a positive experience with an attorney even if they have never filed a worker’s comp claim. If you talk to someone who has made a workers’ compensation claim, it is likely they will know a law firm with a good track record.
When you are asking friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues for recommendations, do not discuss the facts of your case with them. The workers’ comp insurance company will often interview your friends, families, or colleagues once you have filed your claim. If you have said something different to them than what you may have written in your workers’ compensation claim, they may try to use that to prevent you from getting your entitled benefits.
2. Check with local and state bar associations.
Your state or local bar associations can help you identify firms that deal specifically with worker’s compensation issues. Find a firm that has extensive experience in this field.
3. Search the internet.
The internet is a good place to start. After you think you have found a firm, dig deeper for more information. Study the website to make sure they specialize in worker’s comp issues. Things to consider:
– Does the site have educational articles about important workers’ comp issues?
– Are there testimonials from previous clients on the site?
– Do they openly list the associated fees you can expect to pay for their services?
You do not want to base your entire decision on who to hire solely on their website, but it is a good indication of their professionalism and experience.
4. Check their qualifications.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few options, consider the qualifications you would like to find in an attorney:
– Their specialty – Make sure they are experienced and knowledgeable in workers’ compensation issues.
– Their loyalty – Find a lawyer that represents only injured workers, not employers also.
– Their track record – The attorney should work for a firm with a successful history. You may want to ask the attorney for names of other people they successfully represented so you can learn a little more about the attorney’s experience.
– Their experience – Look for an attorney who has at least 15 years or more in workers’ comp issues.
– Their communication style – Find an attorney who is accessible and doesn’t shift the work to assistants and who is willing to share all information they’ve gathered.
– Their staff – The staff is just as important as the attorney and should be well-versed and well-educated in workers’ comp issues. They should be able to help you with smaller issues like answering simple questions or filling out paperwork in a fast and respectful manner.
– Their work ethic – You want an attorney that will work hard for you. Ask a lot of questions to sense that they are willing to work hard to gain your benefits.