The title of this post actually should be “Five things every client should ask their future work injury attorney” because you shouldn’t hire an attorney without asking these things first.
- Do you focus your practice on workers’ compensation? The answer should be yes. In our opinion, an attorney who handles the same kind of case day in and day out is going to have a better grasp on the process, the strategies and have key relationships in the relevant legal community. They should know the arbitrators, insurance companies, etc. They also should have some experience with your type of injury. The more closely their experience matches your needs, the better off you’ll be.
- How will we communicate, and how often? This might seem small, but it’s big. If you are in touch with your attorney and know what to expect, you will understand what’s happening in each step of your claim, and you can be confident that you will know when something important happens. It’s also helpful to know how quickly to expect a response when you reach out, whether it’s over the phone or by email.
- What is your fee? What about the costs of my case? Attorney fees in workers’ comp cases are set at 20%, by law. It’s a contingency fee, which means that it’s paid out at the end of your case and is based on what you recover in the end. However, make sure this fee isn’t coming out of your weekly benefits checks. The only time this should happen is if your attorney has to go to a hearing and fight for past benefits that you’re owed. Also, your attorney should cover all the costs of your case upfront and not expect you to pay for your doctor’s deposition or anything else.
- What is the best strategy for my type of injury and situation? They should be upfront and honest about their approach, and they should not be making huge promises. Anything that sounds too good to be true is worth looking at more closely. Your attorney should take the time to explain things in a way that makes sense.
- How can I help my case? Hopefully, this will be a welcome question. When a client and attorney are on the same page, things can go more smoothly, not to mention more quickly. Your attorney likely will have some suggestions, such as following your doctor’s orders and treatment recommendations, not talking to the insurance company, etc.
You should ask any other questions that help you determine whether you want to hire a particular attorney. Not everything can be measured objectively, and a lawyer who seems like a good match in terms of experience can feel different in person. Most initial consultations are free. They’re a great way to get answers to these and other questions.