Time spent at the workplace should involve accomplishing tasks, making progress, and earning a substantial income – it shouldn’t involve injuries! Sadly, due to the negligence and irresponsibility of some employers, workplace injuries happen far too often. If you’ve experienced a workplace injury, then you understand how serious the repercussions can be. To ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled for your injuries, you need to hire an attorney who will fight for you in court! Listed below are eight simple factors to consider when looking for a workers’ comp lawyer. With these tips, you can find the right attorney to represent you in court and help you to receive the funds necessary to move forward with your life after the injury.
#1. Training and Experience. When you are looking for an attorney, it’s important to find one who thoroughly understands the laws surrounding workers’ compensation and how to get you the best results in the courtroom. Before you pay a retainer-fee or do anything beyond an initial consultation, you need to ensure that the lawyer has a law license and is certified in workers’ compensation within the state. When you are investigating how to find workers’ comp lawyers in New York, ensuring that they have adequate training and certification is key. An attorney that is reputable should be proud to show off their credentials, diplomas, and certificates. You should also take into consideration how long the lawyer has been in practice and the results of previous cases. While there is nothing wrong with hiring a young lawyer, it’s important that they have an excellent grasp on workers’ compensation laws and how to get you the most money for your injuries.
#2.Success Rates. Just because an attorney has been in practice for fifty years doesn’t mean that they are any good! Before you team up with a lawyer, ask them about their success rates. When you go after employers for compensation, they will hire attorneys to fight you tooth and nail to keep their money – you have to make sure that your lawyer will know how to handle the case and has experience winning other legal battles involving workers’ compensation.
#3. The Consultation. When it comes to hiring an attorney, the consultation should be more than just a chance for you to share your side of the case; instead, the consultation is sort of like a first date where you can determine if you want to proceed with the relationship. Use the first meeting to study things like the lawyer’s professionalism, knowledge of legal terms, overall grasp of the situation, and attitude. Never hire an attorney that acts disinterested in your case, cuts you short, promises results that are too good to be true or pushes your consultation off on another staff member. You need an attorney that will focus exclusively on you and is ready to go to bat for the compensation you deserve!
#4. Ease of Contact. Have you ever hired an attorney that was almost impossible to keep in contact with? If you find that an attorney is hard-to-reach, won’t return phone calls, or makes promises to call that he or she does not follow through with, then it’s probably time to look elsewhere for legal representation. The last thing you need is an attorney that is going to get started on your case only to ghost you when it comes time for court dates or legal action!
#5. Service Costs. Yes, it’s understandable that you expect to have plenty of money to pay your attorney once you win your case, but the truth remains that you don’t want to get into serious debt in the process. While a good lawyer won’t be free, it’s important to choose one that will work within your budget or else works on contingency where they are going to be paid a percentage of your settlement. Contingency is often considered the best way to pay a workers’ comp lawyer since it encourages them to put forth more effort to win the most money possible.
#6. Attorneys That Work Both Sides of the Field. Often, attorneys in workers’ compensation focus exclusively on helping employees gain money for their injuries. While there is nothing wrong with this, there is a lot to be said about attorneys that have experience representing both sides in battles. If your prospective lawyer also serves some employers, it’s actually a good thing! Attorneys who work both sides of the field in workers’ comp cases have the best understanding of the overall court process and can be prepared for tricks pulled by the defendant.
#7. Medical Understanding. You’re looking for an attorney, not a doctor; however, those who work in-depth in workers’ compensation cases should have some knowledge of medical and mental issues. Your lawyer should also be willing to work alongside doctors and other professionals to get a better grasp of your injuries and how they will affect your life long-term. If you are suffering from what could be a lifelong condition, you don’t want an attorney who will only get you enough compensation to last you a matter of months!
#8. Case Management and the Legal Process. Often, attorneys work alongside other staff to provide you with legal services. While there is nothing wrong with this, it is important that you get a good feel for the entire staff and understand what role they will be playing in your case. You don’t want to hire someone who seems like a great attorney, only to find that their ill-trained secretary does most of the work! Also, talk to potential lawyers about the possibility of going to court if there is no way to make a settlement. You need an attorney that is prepared for anything and isn’t afraid to be aggressive in the courtroom.
Being involved in a workplace injury is stressful and overwhelming; however, with the help of the right attorney, you can expect to receive the compensation you need to recover your previous quality of life. Consider the eight tips listed above when you begin your attorney search!