If you suffer a significant work related injury (or illness), it’s highly recommended that you hire an attorney to represent your claim and to ensure you receive all the benefits to which you’re entitled. You’ll need an attorney with specific expertise in workers’ compensation law, however, because this area of law is complex, and it differs from state to state.
It can be difficult to distinguish experts from novices in workers compensation attorneys, however. When searching on-line, you might find that advertisements are stylish but lack substance. The most important information in seeking a good workers’ compensation lawyer includes years of experience, attention to detail, depth of knowledge, trustworthiness, and reputation in the community. Ads often don’t give you this kind of information.
Step One: Ask for recommendations from coworkers, friends, and family members. Many good attorneys rely on word of mouth to advertise their services, and often they’re the best attorney’s too! State bar associations can often recommend a good attorney, and you’ll usually do better using this advice than relying on advertisements alone.
Step Two: Let your fingers do the walking on the internet, but use caution. As is true for people searching for any kind of service provider on the internet, some sources are better than others. Many injured workers find workers’ comp lawyers online, including through Nolo’s Lawyer Directory. If you’ve identified a potential attorney through an online ad or popular review sites, you should definitely seek more information. Carefully study the prospective attorney’s website and see if it emphasizes workers’ compensation or if the firm handles a wide array of cases.
Step Three: Treat the initial meeting with a lawyer as a job interview. Remember: This is a job interview, and YOU are the employer. Ask probing questions about his or her experience and track record of success. Verify his or her answers after the meeting, too.
Step Four: Seek an attorney who makes your feel confident and treats you respectfully. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will treat you with dignity, answer your questions patiently, sound authoritative about key issues, and be able to answer technical questions off the top of their heads. The time spent making sure you feel comfortable with an attorney is well worth the effort because you may be spending a significant amount of time communicating with your new attorney and need to “connect” and share a goal–YOUR BEST INTERESTS.