Questions You Want Answered at Your First Appointment With Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When you are injured at work, the stress you feel may be magnified if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. Now you face fighting for the benefits you need and deserve while worrying about your health and how to pay your monthly bills on top of costly medical bills. You may be tempted to pick the first workers’ compensation attorney you see advertising on television. However, this would be a big mistake.
You want to find an experienced workers’ compensation attorney because who you hire could have a huge impact on the amount you receive in your workers’ compensation settlement. How do you do this? You need to research attorneys and then select a few to interview.
How to Find Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
You may never have had the need to hire a lawyer before so you may not know where to start. You have several options for locating qualified attorneys:
- Referrals from friends who have used a workers’ compensation attorney in the past and were happy with his services
- Referral from an attorney you have used in the past who does not handle workers’ comp cases
- Internet search for attorneys, including researching the attorneys’ websites
- Referral from your state attorney bar association
Questions to Prepare and Ask at Your First Appointment With Your Attorney
Most workers’ compensation attorneys will offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. This is an opportunity for you to assess potential attorneys as well as obtain advice about your legal options. You want to come to the appointment prepared so that it is productive and you get your questions answered. One thing you will want to do before your meeting is to prepare a list of questions to ask that will help you decide if the lawyer is right for you.
When you make the appointment with the attorney, tell him that you will have questions so that he allows time for this. Questions you want to ask that will help you decide who to hire include:
- How much of his practice is devoted to workers’ comp cases? You are looking for an attorney experienced in this area of law, so you want one who devotes a good portion of his practice to handling these cases.
- Who will be handling your case? Some senior attorneys in a firm will meet with prospective clients and then assign their cases to associates with less experience. While some of the tasks in your case may be assigned to clerical staff, paralegals, or other attorneys, you want to meet with the attorney primarily responsible for handling your case and who you will be communicating with throughout your case.
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your case? When you discuss your situation with the attorney, you need to know what the strengths and weaknesses of your case are so you have a realistic expectation of the outcome. The attorney should also explain his strategies for handling challenges in your case—critical to obtaining a favorable settlement.
- What is the attorney’s track record? When comparing attorneys, you want to look at their records of successful settlements. In addition, you need an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary and has achieved good results when he has done this in the past.
- How does the attorney communicate with clients and how often? This is a critical question because clients often become frustrated when they cannot reach their attorney for answers to their important questions. You want to know how often the lawyer will update you on your case, how he prefers to communicate—email or telephone calls—and how quickly he responds when you have questions.
- What are the attorneys’ fees? Workers’ compensation attorneys generally are paid on a contingency fee basis. While the cost to hire an attorney should be one of your considerations, you should not base your decision on this. It is more important to get an experienced attorney that you trust.
If you do your research and interview a few attorneys, you should find one who is qualified, has a record of success, and has good communication skills. Check out my testimonials to see how I have helped clients like you and then call me at 877-360-0183 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.