Getting injured at work can mean financial setbacks, such as lost wages and medical expenses. That’s why it’s important to have a highly qualified and experienced workers’ comp lawyer represent your case. These legal specialists represent workers, employers or insurance companies for injuries that are related to work.
They help their clients receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other losses. Not just any lawyer or law firm will do. If you’ve been injured at work or have received an injury related to your job, here are some basic guidelines for choosing the right workers’ compensation law firm and some warnings for avoiding the wrong one.
Use the Best Sources When Finding Potential Attorneys
When searching for the right workers’ compensation law firm, it’s critical that you use the best sources, such as:
- Friends, relatives and other people who’ve had positive results in using a particular law firm—This is probably the best source as the best lawyers typically rely on referrals and word-of-mouth from satisfied former clients.
- Your state bar association
- The internet—Check the websites of law firms to see if they have information or blogs regarding workers’ comp law. Also, read any reviews you can find.
Always do a thorough background check on potential lawyers and their firms.
- Confirm that an attorney is licensed for practicing law.
- Check to see if an attorney is undergoing any disciplinary charges.
- See whether or not an attorney has a good reputation
- Find out the number of years that an attorney has been practicing law, besides the success rate of winning workers’ comp cases.
Evaluate Listening Skills
Exceptional listening skills are essential when choosing the right attorney. Look for body language when you’re talking to a lawyer to see if he or she is really listening to what you’re saying. For example, does the lawyer make direct eye contact with you, or does he or she seem distracted by electronic devices, such as a cell phone.
Your lawyer also should have a thorough understanding of the issues that are involved in your particular case and be able to give you thoughtful answers to your questions. Furthermore, a good workers’ comp lawyer needs to be able to regularly keep in touch with clients, giving support and helpful direction throughout the extent of a case.
Ask About Attorneys’ Fees
Usually, attorneys’ fees are based on a percentage amount, regarding how much money you recover. For injuries after October 1, 2013, that percentage is 20%, up to a maximum fee of $26,000.00 per date of injury. Therefore, there’s no need for out-of-pocket fees to an attorney. When asking about fees, be sure to inquire about estimated expenses for taxable costs. This may include costs for obtaining a narrative report from the treating doctor. Some attorneys will front this cost on behalf of their clients and others will not. You’ll need to know if you are the one that’s responsible for paying these taxable costs.
In Minnesota, a workers’ compensation attorney cannot recover a contingency fee if there is no recovery for the Employee.
Ask the right questions at Your Initial Consultation
Most workers’ comp lawyers provide free initial consultation for their prospective clients. This is a good time to ask questions so that you can make an informative decision as to whether or not to hire a lawyer.
One of the most important questions to ask is the number of years that the lawyer has been handling claims for workers’ compensation. What’s more, ask an attorney how much his or her law practice is focused on workers’ comp.
Warnings: What to Avoid
- Be sure a law firm is able to handle your case from the beginning to the end. You don’t want a firm that doesn’t finish the job.
- Ensure that a workers’ comp attorney doesn’t represent both a worker and the employer. However, many times firms represent workers, while still representing an employer’s insurance company.
- Don’t hire a law firm that fails to return your calls quickly or lacks compassion. A good attorney should give you periodic updates on where you stand with your claim.
If you’ve suffered from a workplace injury, don’t hesitate to call the Law Office of Joshua Borker. As an experienced workers’ comp lawyer, I’ve been successful in winning numerous workers’ comp cases. Please contact us, and let me explain how we can help you.