Each year, about 4.6 million Americans sustain work-related injuries. That’s roughly an injured worker every seven seconds. The worst thing about workplace accidents is that they’re almost always avoidable.
A workplace injury can lead to untold suffering, both physically and psychologically. Often, these injuries cause financial adversity for the victim, especially due to lost wages and costly medical treatment.
If you’ve been injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. Employers are generally required by law to carry workers’ comp insurance for this purpose.
But exactly what is workers’ comp? Should you hire a workers’ comp lawyer when seeking compensation from your employer? More importantly, how do you choose the best workers’ comp attorney to represent you?
These are some of the issues we discuss in this post. Read on to learn more.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation refers to a type of insurance that provides monetary benefits to employees who sustain injuries, illnesses, or disabilities in the course of doing their job. By accepting to receive compensation, the worker agrees to give up their right to take their employer to court for negligence.
Workers’ compensation is meant to protect both employees and their employers. Both parties benefit from avoiding a costly and time-consuming court trial.
Should You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While you’re not required by law to hire an attorney when filing a workers’ compensation claim, working with one is a smart idea. A seasoned workers’ comp lawyer can be the difference between a successful claim and losing out on the financial benefits you may be entitled to. But how do you identify the right attorney for your case?
Check out these smart tips.
1. Seek Referrals
One of the best ways to identify potential attorneys for your case is to ask for referrals from people you trust. Talk to your friends, relatives, and co-workers for suggestions. Chances are some of them have worked with reputable law firms they can recommend.
2. Research Lawyers Online
Besides referrals, the internet can be a highly helpful resource when searching for reliable attorneys. There are credible sites that have extensive attorney directories nationwide. These sites provide additional information about attorneys to supplement the personal referrals you may have received.
Check out your prospective lawyer’s website. If the site looks professional and has knowledgeable, well-written content, it’s a good sign that the firm is dedicated to educating its existing and potential clients.
While on their website, check out customer reviews to learn more about how the firm handles its clients.
3. Make a List of Potential Lawyers
Don’t settle for the first lawyer recommended to you or you find online. It’s always better to have a few options to choose from. Narrow down your list to at least three suitable attorneys who you’re going to interview.
Comparing a few attorneys helps decide on someone you feel is best to represent your case.
4. Inquire About Experience
A workers’ compensation claim is a sensitive one, and you want to be sure the attorney you hire knows what they are doing. How long has the attorney practised workers’ compensation law? An experienced lawyer gives you the best chances of receiving your entitled workers’ comp settlement.
A workers’ comp lawyer who has been in the field for at least five years will usually have more experience and exposure to boost your chances of winning. Chances are they know the best expert witnesses to call upon should your case come to trial.
5. Consider Specialization
It is not enough that the lawyer you’re talking to has practiced for a long time. You want to be sure that they have experience handling workers’ compensation cases. Does the law firm focus on compensation law exclusively, or is it just one of the many areas of law they work in?
An attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law is knowledgeable and experienced about workers’ comp codes.
During your initial interview, inquire whether the attorney is familiar with the particular injury you suffered. This is an added advantage as some injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult to prove when seeking workers’ compensation. An attorney who has handled cases about injuries similar to yours knows how to prove them.
6. Check Their Success Record
An experienced lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation law will not be much helpful to you if they have a poor track record when it comes to winning cases for their clients. That’s why it’s important to find out whether the attorney has a record of successfully representing clients and securing decent financial benefits for them.
Find out how many workers’ compensation cases the lawyer works on per year, and how many are successful. If they have an impressive track record, you stand a better chance of winning your claim by working with them.
7. Find Out Whether They Have Enough Resources
Working with a financially stable law firm can prove beneficial when pursuing compensation. That’s because the vast majority of workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee arrangement. Considering that cases may drag on for a long time, it helps to know that your attorney has enough resources to go all the way.
If a law firm’s resources are lean, your attorney may push you to accept the initial offer you get from your employer to settle. This works to your disadvantage.
8. Prioritize Communication
Finding an attorney you can communicate with openly during the course of your case is essential. Remember you’re already going through a hard time, and the last thing you want is an attorney who goes missing when you need an update on how your case is progressing.
Sure, your lawyer may not be available to talk to you every minute of every day, but they’ll go out of their way to maintain regular communication with you.
Find the Right Workers’ Comp Attorney for You
A workers’ compensation claim process can be a complicated and time-consuming one. However, the right workers’ comp attorney can help make everything easier for you and enhance your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Would you like to learn more about workers’ compensation? Please keep visiting our blog.