Discover the qualities and capabilities of well-qualified workers compensation lawyers. Use this guide to vet and partner with the best law firm for your case.
The last thing anyone expects when they head into work in the morning is to injure themselves. However, workplace injuries are far more common than we like to believe. They do happen and the damage they can cause to an individual’s life can be serious and long-lasting.
When someone is injured on the job, they can make a claim through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. What happens, however, if they have trouble getting the compensation that they deserve through that program?
That’s where workers’ compensation lawyers come in. If you are having trouble getting the compensation you deserve from your employer or from their insurance company, it’s important that you take quick action and obtain the help of an attorney. How can you be sure you’re getting the best man or woman for the job?
Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Look Into an Attorney’s Experience
A workers’ compensation dispute can be quite complicated to work through. If you’ve never been in this type of situation before, it can be hard to know even where to start. It’s hard to work towards a solution if you’ve not even sure you understand the basics of the situation you’ve found yourself in!
That’s why relying on the help of an experienced worker’s compensation attorney can make all the difference. The right attorney for your case will be one with a great deal of experience. One who has handled cases just like yours dozens of times before.
They will be uniquely qualified to evaluate your case and provide strategies and solutions. They will know the ins and outs of the court process and the laws associated with workers’ compensation like no one else.
Experience is a huge factor to consider when vetting and hiring an attorney for your case. The more experience a worker’s comp lawyer has, the more likely it is they’ll be able to guide your case towards the resolution you hope to achieve.
While a young, fresh out of law school lawyer might offer a more attractive rate, there’s nothing like the value that years of experience and knowledge can offer.
Before sitting down at a workers compensation law firm, take the time to look through their work history. How long have they been practicing, and how many of their cases tend to center around workers’ compensation disputes?
If you can’t find this information, don’t hesitate to ask during your face-to-face. Many law firms will be happy to walk you through their rich history.
Personality and Ease of Communication
When it comes to vetting a workers’ compensation attorney, it’s not all about work history either. The personality of an attorney is important to keep in mind as well. You’re going to have a very long working relationship with this person.
It’s important to hire someone who will help make that relationship feel pleasant and successful. After all, you’re going to be looking to this person for guidance, help, and reassurance for the next few weeks or even months.
The last thing you want is to hire someone with a negative outlook, or who views your case as a burden or distraction. This can be a burden on you and tWhat you want is someone positive, helpful, and action-oriented. Someone who’s excited to tackle your case and keep you in the loop as things progress.
This can be more difficult to determine than something as qualitative as work history. You’re going to need to trust your gut when you first sit down with an attorney and make a judgment call. Feel out that person.
Does this seem like someone who has a personality that is compatible with your own? Do they seem to take a genuine interest in your case or are they going through the motions? These traits can’t be undervalued.
Do they answer your questions with patience and clarity, taking the time to ensure you really understand everything? This is another good sign that an attorney is there to serve you and not their own bottom line.
It’s a good idea to consider the personalities of paralegals and assistants in the office as well, as you’ll likely be spending a lot of time working with them as well.
Almost all workers’ compensation attorneys offer free consultations to potential clients. These face-to-face sit-downs are the perfect opportunity to vet the personality of your potential hire. Think of it as something as a job interview for this individual.
They are trying to get a job from you.
They are likely to ask you a great number of questions about your case, but you should be asking just as many questions back. Try to get a real sense of them and strive for absolute clarity on the matters at hand.
Get a full image of what working with this individual might be like. Remember to trust your gut and make your decision from there. There’s no shame in sitting down with four or five different attorneys before finding one who feels like the right fit for you and your case.
Trust Word-of-Mouth Recommendations
Before you can sit down with an attorney, you’ll need to decide on which lawyers you want to consider, to begin with. There are a lot of different law firms out there and whittling your list down to the few you want to consider can be a challenge.
Where do you start?
If you’re like a good number of Americans, the best place may be to start with the recommendation of friends or family. Most people trust the word of their friends and family over all other sources of information, so working through your personal circles might yield excellent results.
Is there someone that you know that has been in a similar situation involving workers’ compensation? If the answer is yes, it will be well worth reaching out to them and inquiring about what attorney they worked with on their case.
If they had a fantastic experience with a workers’ comp lawyer, there’s a good chance that your experience with that person might be fantastic as well.
Don’t know if anyone in your personal network has been in a similar legal situation? It can be a good idea to ask the question on your social media accounts. There may be people who dealt with these problems without your knowledge.
Your friends and families might also be able to connect you with people they know who might have strong recommendations. Posting online can help broaden the circle of people you can get recommendations from.
It also might be worth looking around online to see what law firms in your area have received the most positive online reviews.
If an attorney seems to have garnered glowing reviews from everyone they’ve served in the past, that’s a good indication that they provide high-quality service. It’s smart to look at these reviews with a little bit of skepticism, but they can be a good place to start if you have nothing else to go on.
Understand Pay Structure
One of the most important things you’ll want to clarify before bringing an attorney onto your case is the method in which they get paid.
Most workers’ compensation lawyers don’t charge by the hour as many other lawyers do. More often, these attorneys will charge what is known as a contingency fee. This is a percentage of the compensation payment that they help you recover from your case.
There are laws in place that put a limit on how much workers’ compensation attorneys can take home. In Massachusetts, the law stipulates that an attorney is entitled to either 15% or 20% of the lump sum payment depending on the outcome of the case.
In most situations, a person hiring a workers’ compensation attorney will not need to pay any fees during the run of their case. If the case is not won, they will owe no money to their attorney. An attorney takes home money from a case that is won.
For this reason, attorneys might be selective about what cases they take on. If a workers’ compensation attorney takes on your case, it is likely because they feel confident about winning.
It’s important to get clarity about how this individual will be paid prior to officially hiring them for your case. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard when the time comes to offer a percentage of your compensation package.
Vetting Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Having an issue with a claim you’ve made after getting injured at work? It’s likely a good idea that you look into workers’ compensation lawyers. The benefits they can provide your case are numerous. The above information can help you determine how to find the attorney for your case.
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