Good attorneys know the law and courtroom procedure. Great attorneys specialize and know everything, including the minutiae, about their area of practice — their specialty.
Just as you wouldn’t think of going to a family practitioner for orthopedic issues, you don’t want to consult with a family law attorney for workers’ comp issues. The family law counselor may be knowledgeable within their field — they may be the best there is — but when it comes time for help with workers’ comp issues, they are no more effective than a ten-year-old in a race car.
Laws change daily. Old ones are taken off the books, new ones are written, and existing laws are modified. As the scope of law broadens, it becomes more difficult for one person to stay abreast of all the changes.
Looking to hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to handle your case? Follow a few tips to find one which is a good fit for your circumstances.
It isn’t always easy to separate experienced workers’ comp specialists from those who dabble. Commercials, online marketing, billboards, and print ads may have more panache than substance. The true indicators of experienced workers’ comp lawyers are:
- How many years of experiential work they have in the field
- Their depth of expertise
- If they respect the details
If you’ve been out of work for a while, but are heading back with a disability, you are owed some money. Don’t try to represent yourself. Find workers’ comp lawyers to represent you. Even if the insurance company doesn’t deny your claim, you’re not likely to get the settlement you deserve if you are not represented by someone with experience.
What a Good Attorney Can Do for You
An attorney will help develop your case by reviewing medical records, work requirements, and can arrange for a vocational expert to testify to your work requirements. They also know how to calculate the value of any functional limitations and submit estimates of the need for future medical treatments.
If you are also applying for Social Security due to a disability, a workers’ comp attorney can help structure the settlement language.
How to Find an Attorney
Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Nolo’s Lawyer Directory is a good resource which lists specialty, scope of fees, and contact information. Be ready to ask the lawyer your questions and remember, in most states, lawyers can’t charge for the first, initial consultation.
Be sure to see if the attorney is an active member of the state bar and doesn’t have a history of bar discipline. Your state bar’s website and association office can help provide that information.
Research your potential lawyer’s experience with an eye to the number of years they have been practicing, the percentage of clients who are workers’ comp clients, and what their success rate is. Find out if the attorney is a member in good standing with a workers’ comp association, or if they have been certified in workers’ comp cases.
Be sure to find out if the lawyers have won settlements for the specific type of injury you have, and if they are experienced in managing workers’ comp offsets.
Don’t forget to ask for the most important piece of information: How strong a case does the lawyer think you have?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.