If you are injured at work, you must consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer to protect your rights. The laws and rules related to workers’ compensation are complicated, and a professional lawyer will take the steps necessary to protect your right to justice and compensation. Here are some of the aspects that must be considered for selecting a lawyer.
1. Ask around. Talk to your friends, especially your colleagues, who may have referrals to offer. You can look for recommendations from the local bar association, as well. When it comes to quality counsel, you must check for references that are tried and tested. Another option is to check online. Since many law firms have their websites, you can find listings for local workers’ compensation lawyers easily, but do take your time to understand all aspects. Consider the reviews from other clients, as well.
2. Seek an initial consultation. This is more like having a job interview. As a client, you have the right to know your lawyer, and during this session, both parties will ask relevant questions, so as to understand the particulars of the case. Your questions should be directed towards the training, background, and experience of the lawyer. Some of these include-
a. How many workers’ compensation claims have you handled?
b. Do you deal with other cases related to personal injury law?
c. Will you handle the administrative hearings and other proceedings personally?
d. Can you provide references from your previous clients?
e. Will other lawyers and legal assistants work on the case?
f. Will you answer my calls and emails as required? If you are busy, whom should I contact?
g. Do you represent employees in these cases? Or, do you also represent insurance companies?
h. What’s the exact procedure and what should I expect from the case?
i. What’s your fee? What percentage of the claim do you charge?
3. On your first appointment, your lawyer should be able to offer some initial advice for your case, but it doesn’t have to be the final approach. If the lawyer seeks more time to develop and handle your case, you should look for a second opinion. Ask about the time delays, which will help in planning the financial aspects. Your lawyer should also brief you about the other expenses and costs that might be incurred in the case.
Finally, consider all the aspects and whether you want to proceed with the case in the first place. Many workers’ compensation cases are settled out of the court, as both parties agree on a final compensation amount. However, if the employer doesn’t pay attention to your demands, you may have to take the case to the court, which can be a lengthy process. A good lawyer will handle the legal procedures and paperwork on your behalf. If you have any doubts about the compensation you are entitled to or other aspects of your case, talk to your lawyer to learn more details. For work related injuries, it is important to find witnesses, especially if it was a physical injury that happened at the work place.