Qualities to Look for in a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When searching for a workers’ compensation lawyer, you’ll want to find an attorney who has experience handling workers’ compensation claims and a successful record. However, it can be difficult to find the right lawyer based on advertisements since ads seldom include information that helps you evaluate a potential attorney.
Start by asking co-workers, friends, and family members for recommendations if they have used an attorney to handle workers’ compensation or personal injury claims. You can also check online directories for attorneys who practice workers’ compensation in your area or ask other professionals for their recommendations. Once you have a small list of names, take the following steps to narrow your search.
1. Check the Attorney Online
Look at each potential attorney’s website to check for the following things:
- Workers’ compensation experience
- Years of practice
- Membership in professional organizations
- Past case results
- Blog posts/articles about workers’ compensation law
- Client reviews (check their Google reviews as well)
While a website can give you a general idea about an attorney’s experience, you should also check a potential lawyer’s Google ratings and whether they are in good standing with the Missouri Bar. You can search an attorney’s name on the Missouri Bar’s lawyer directory search to see whether they are in good standing and if they have any public disciplinary information in their background.
Once you have found a few lawyers who seem to have the level of experience and knowledge that you are searching for, you can then schedule consultations with a few. Workers’ compensation lawyers generally work on a contingent-fee basis and offer free consultations, so you should be able to meet with a couple of attorneys to get a better idea of which lawyer is right for you.
View the Consultation as an Interview
When you choose a lawyer to represent you in your workers’ compensation case, you will be hiring them. Treat the consultation like you are interviewing the attorney for a job. You can expect the attorney to ask you questions to get a better idea of your claim, and you should also ask the lawyer questions.
Questions you might want to ask a potential workers’ compensation lawyer include the following:
- When were you licensed to practice law?
- How many years have you handled workers’ compensation claims?
- What areas of law does your law firm handle?
- Can you represent me throughout the entire process, including any hearings or appeals if necessary?
- Are there any judges or attorneys who can give me a reference?
- Will you handle my case or have paralegals do most of the work?
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- Do you focus on plaintiffs and workers or employers?
- How does a workers’ compensation claim work?
- How do your fees work?
- What are the weaknesses and strengths of my claim?
Asking these questions can help you evaluate a lawyer’s experience, professionalism, and how they handle cases. A good lawyer should also be able to tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case with honesty and without making guarantees or promises about the likely outcome.
Pay Attention to the Office
When you first arrive, you should pay attention to how you are treated by everyone, including the office staff, legal assistants, and paralegals. You should also note how busy the office is to get an idea of whether your attorney will have enough time to focus on your case. For example, during your consultation, is the lawyer interrupted multiple times by legal assistants entering to ask questions? Is the phone constantly ringing? Is the attorney focused on you and what you have to say?
The attorney should be able to answer any questions you have and explain the legal process in terms that you understand. They should also act with professionalism and listen to any concerns that you have.
Hire a Lawyer You Can Trust
Once you have consulted a few attorneys, you should have a good idea of how they handle cases, their experience, and their professionalism. You can then choose the attorney that you feel you can trust to handle your claim.
To learn more about your potential workers’ compensation claim, call the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave today to schedule a free consultation at 417-322-2222 (Springfield) or 417-624-4258 (Joplin). You can also contact us online.