I didn’t know that the Yellow Pages is still in existence, but it is. Apparently some attorney in a very rural county in southern Illinois has an ad on there that says he has more than 20 years of successfully handling Illinois workers’ compensation claims.
The problem for one of his clients that ended up calling me is that it’s not clear if that is true. His website lists many practice areas (criminal, real estate, estate planning, civil litigation), but does not mention any history of handling accidents in the workplace in Illinois.
It’s certainly possible that his website isn’t up to date or that he chose not to mention it there. But for the caller to my office, it appears that because the case is somewhat disputed, this “successful” lawyer has chosen to bury his head in the sand.
Workers’ compensation law isn’t rocket science. But neither is most areas of law if you have years of handling those cases. So if you want to get a divorce, even though I’m a lawyer I wouldn’t know how to handle that, at least not in a way that makes it worth you compensating me for it. On the other hand, if you are hurt on the job, I can help you as can anyone in my network.
My theory is that a lot of lawyers hear injury and they think that means big bucks. That’s not true and they underestimate the difficulty in successfully handling a case from beginning to end. And they certainly aren’t taking these cases because it’s in the best interests of the client.
Insurance companies only hire lawyers that focus on defending these cases every day. So if your representation isn’t up to par, there is a great chance they will get crushed or at least put you in a position to get less than you deserve.
I wish attorneys would be more straight forward with what they do. If your call is about something not work comp related, all I can do is give general advice (possibly) and then refer you to someone else. I usually know people for most situations. If your call is about workers’ compensation, I can give you lots of advice and if needed, someone that I work with and is a part of my state wide network will put your case on the right track.
Before you do hire an attorney, you should look up their website. If their practice categories seem to be all over the board or if there main focus seems to be something else, don’t hire them. They might get you a good result, but they don’t give you the best chance for a good result.