Choosing Your Attorney

Choosing an attorney for your workers’ compensation claim is perhaps the most important step in beginning the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to keep several factors in mind when choosing your attorneys.

1)      Always speak to an attorney.

When choosing your attorney for your work comp claim, you should always speak to an attorney, not a paralegal. An attorney will be able to properly analyze your specific situation and may know specific case law or facts that can affect your case that a paralegal would not know. Always ask to speak to an attorney. If you’re speaking to an attorney at a large law firm, ask to speak to the owner of the firm. Your case is important. You should always speak to your attorney before hiring that attorney.

2)      Ask your attorney how much experience he or she has.

Experience is important. You would not trust a doctor to perform a surgery on you if the doctor told you that he has never performed a surgery before. Similarly, you want an attorney who has experience handling a wide variety of cases. You should hire an attorney who is willing to take your case to Hearing. Ask your potential attorney if he or she has experience representing insurance companies or employers. I have represented both employers and insurers as well as employees. Many attorneys in Minnesota lack this perspective. Ask your potential attorney how long they have been practicing workers’ comp law. Ask your attorney how long he or she has been out of law school. If you call into a large law firm like Fields Law Firm, you may talk to an attorney who has only been practicing for a few years, or maybe even only a few months. Every case is unique, and you need to feel confident that your attorney can handle the complexity of your case and you need to know that your attorney is confident as well. Finally, make sure to ask your attorney if they’ve ever handled your type of case before. I have handled all types of cases, from death claims to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome claims to multilevel surgical claims.

3)      Ask to meet with the attorney in person before you hire him or her.

Trust is the most important factor in deciding which attorney to choose. It is difficult to establish that trust without meeting the attorney who will handle your case in person before signing any retainer agreement. You should always try to meet with your potential attorney in person to get a sense of his or her personality, work ethic, and confidence. I am always willing to meet with potential clients in person, either at my office, a meeting point halfway, or even the client’s home. The other benefit of meeting with an attorney in person is that the attorney can learn more information or gather materials, notes or medical records that cannot or should not be shared electronically. During an in-person meeting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, develop a plan for how your case will proceed, talk about the value of your case, and discuss the steps you need to take to protect your future.