Accidents happen, especially in the workplace. You could be entitled to compensation in the event you suffer a work-related injury or illness. This is where hiring a compensation attorney can be a big help. These professionals will advocate on your behalf to receive benefits for your experience.¹ This could be in the form of wage reimbursement, vocational rehabilitation, permanent total disability, or another type of benefit. You can search online to learn whether you have a strong case against your workplace.
Before hiring a compensation attorney, you’ll have to make sure you’re choosing the right one for the job. An online search will help you find a well qualified professional to work for you.
Here’s how to choose a workers’ compensation attorney.
Choose a Lawyer Who Specializes in Workers’ Compensation
Not all lawyers are experienced in workers’ compensation cases. That’s why it’s important to hire a lawyer that specializes directly in workers’ compensation. Your lawyer will examine the type of injury, the extent of your injuries, and the evidence. This information will help the lawyer consider the strength of your case and what benefits you could be entitled to.
Workers’ compensation lawyers are familiar with the laws surrounding these types of cases. They also know the board and local judges you will encounter with your case, and they may even have relationships with medical practices that can accept you as a patient and improve your treatments.²
Not only will you be working with the lawyer, but you will also likely be working with a team of professionals. This includes paralegals, case managers, legal assistants, intake specialists, and more. Make sure these people are also experienced in workers’ compensation cases.
Treat the Consultation Like a Job Interview
Hiring a lawyer is a major investment and you want to make sure they’re right for the job. Take advantage of the free consultation by understanding their credentials. Additionally, you’ll want to find out if you will feel comfortable working with them. Meeting them in person will give you an idea of their professionalism.³ You should also be able to tell whether the lawyer genuinely wants to help you or is solely in it for the check.
You should do your research to find out some information regarding a lawyer’s experience in workers’ compensation. This includes how many years of experience they have and what their success rate is. Most law firms offer free consultations, which is a good opportunity for you to find out this type of information.
Find an Attorney Who Will Let You Speak to Past Clients
Another part of the hiring process is asking for references. Attorneys with a history of success should not have a problem sharing a comprehensive list of references from past clients.⁴ It’s one thing to get a lawyer’s word saying they will do everything they can to help you, but it means even more when you see actual evidence of that from people who’ve experienced it.
If a lawyer is unwilling to give you references, that could be a red flag. This indicates their experience with past clients was negative. Lawyers should at least be able to acknowledge your request and give you a reasonable answer about why they cannot hand over some references.
When you come into contact with a past client, here are some things to consider asking them:
- What was the process like while working with the attorney?
- How long did it take to settle your case?
- How many attorneys, paralegals, and other professionals were directly involved with your case?
Research Local Attorneys Online Before Making Any Decisions
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness, you could be entitled to compensation. Whether it be in the form of wage reimbursement, disability benefits, medical benefits, or another form of entitlement, a workers’ compensation attorney can advocate on your behalf.
There’s a lot to consider before hiring a lawyer. You’ll want to find someone that specializes in workers’ compensation to ensure they’re familiar in the field. It also helps to review references from previous clients and know how many cases they have won in the past.
The best way to start is by searching online. You can find professionals in your area and learn more about them. You might even find reviews from past clients. Contact and meet with a few lawyers over a free consultation before hiring one. This will help you find someone that you not only believe will do a good job, and also someone that you’re comfortable working with.