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If you don’t work in a high-risk injury, you never expect a workplace injury to happen to you. Unfortunately, high-risk workplaces aren’t the only place that injuries occur. There were 2.8 million injuries in 2018 alone.
If you’re struggling to get compensation for a workplace injury, you need to find a lawyer to handle the job. Ask the seven questions below to find a workers’ comp lawyer who can win your case.
1. Will You Handle My Case?
The chances are good that you’ve seen a lawyer’s billboard when driving down the road. These firms count on using name recognition to bring in customers. While this is effective at getting people to call, it does lead to a large caseload for lawyers.
This means that larger law firms will have a lot of lawyers who work with them. Speaking with the head attorney at a firm doesn’t mean they will handle your case personally. Once you sign with them, they might pass your injury case off to an associate.
You don’t want to be caught by surprise when this happens. Make sure the person you talk to will handle your case. If not, you need to meet with the person who will.
2. How Will You Charge Me?
One of the biggest things that turn people off from hiring lawyers is the fees. When they think of attorney fees, they think of large hourly rates. While those rates might be what you pay for a short session, that doesn’t mean you’ll pay hourly for your workers’ compensation case.
A workers’ comp attorney will likely charge you based on a contingency. This means that you pay nothing when someone takes on your case. Even better, you won’t pay anything unless your lawyer is successful.
Your attorney will take their fees from your workers’ comp claim settlement. You’ll negotiate a percentage fee based on your total earnings. Generally, attorneys won’t take more than 15% of your total compensation.
3. What’s the Claim Process Like
One of the best ways to figure out if a lawyer knows what they’re doing is to ask how they will handle your case. You might not know yourself, but you should begin finding common themes if you talk to multiple lawyers about your workplace injury.
Once you talk with a few attorneys, you should rule out any lawyer that doesn’t come up with a solid answer. Some of their answers might vary, but they should follow a common theme. If someone has a radically different way of handling your case, there’s a great chance that they won’t be a good fit for the job.
4. What Are My Responsibilities?
Lawyers have different methodologies for handling client responsibilities during their cases. Some lawyers want their clients to become involved and contribute to their cases. Others want the client to sit back and let them handle the work.
You need to figure out which one of these methods works best for you.
If you were injured at work, the chances are good that you want to focus on injury recovery. In that case, try to find someone who will handle much of the claim legwork for you. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a lawyer who will involve you in as much of the case as you want to take on.
5. What’s Your Response Time?
Your workers’ compensation claim is essential to you. When you start the claim process, the last thing you want is for your lawyer to become unresponsive whenever you ask a question. Before you hire someone, you need to find someone who will give you the attention you deserve.
Ask about your lawyer’s average response time to questions. Ideally, you don’t want to wait more than 24 hours to get an answer.
It also pays to ask how your lawyers prefer to communicate. Many lawyers want to speak by phone, while others will like answering questions by text and email.
6. Do You Have Referrals?
Talking to an attorney doesn’t always tell you the whole story. They might put on a good show initially but then end up causing problems once they begin working on your case. You need to weed these lawyers out as soon as possible.
You can accomplish this by talking to clients a lawyer has represented in the past. Ask your lawyer if they have any previous clients that are willing to speak about their experience.
When you learn from past customers, you can move past the sales-speak from lawyers and discover what working with them is really like. It will also help you understand how someone works during a case. Just because someone is qualified for the job, it doesn’t mean their working style will fit with what you need.
7. What Experience Do You Have With My Case Type
People often underestimate how many law fields there are. There are various legal fields lawyers can go into, so it makes sense to find someone to work with who focuses exclusively on workers’ compensation. A general lawyer who takes on any case won’t have the breadth of knowledge a specialist does.
Ask your lawyer how many workers’ compensation cases they’ve tried and won. Ideally, you want to work with someone with a record of winning.
Of course, if you can go more specialized, make sure you do so. Whether it’s a slip and fall or maritime workers compensation, try to find a lawyer who has worked a case like yours before. It will be less work on your lawyer’s part to learn the specifics of your injury and case.
Do Your Due Diligence When Hiring a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
The last thing you want is to suffer an injury at work and not receive compensation for your injury. You need to have a great workers’ comp lawyer on your side if the insurance company isn’t playing nice with your claim. Finding the right person can make the difference between winning and losing your case.
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