Though getting hurt on the job may not be something you’ve ever thought about much, worker injuries are quite common. They can occur for a variety of reasons, sometimes through no fault of their own. In some cases, the workers’ compensation claim goes through without a hitch. Other times, the employer or their insurance company doesn’t come through with fair compensation for the injured party.
If you’ve found yourself in the latter situation, keep reading for tips on hiring an attorney for a work injury to be sure you’re being treated fairly.
Ask About Experience
One of the first things you’ll want to do is look into their experience when vetting an L&I, or labor and industries, attorney. These cases can be quite complex. Trying to go through the process on your own or with an inexperienced lawyer can negatively impact your chances of winning your claim. When reviewing potential attorneys, don’t hesitate to ask about their experience so that you can feel confident in their expertise.
Look for Recommendations
When it comes to hiring the right workers’ compensation lawyer for your case, you’ll save a great deal of time and aggravation by looking for recommendations at the beginning of your search. Ask people you know and trust whether they’ve had good experiences with someone who understands workers’ claims. Starting with your contacts can also help to increase your confidence that you’re hiring a professional who can get the job done and who knows their stuff. If your trusted contact has had a good experience with an attorney, it increases the chances that you’ll have a similar experience. Try posting your inquiry to your social media contacts if you want to broaden your audience. If no one in your network can provide a recommendation, head online to read reviews and testimonials. What you find can help to direct your search.
Consider Your Comfort Level
When pursuing a workman’s comp claim, you can anticipate a lengthy process. This is particularly true if your employer has denied your claim or is dragging their feet. You want to find a legal team who makes you feel comfortable. Always take the time to meet with a potential attorney to get a feel for their personality, communication style, and attitude. Pay attention to any red flags. If a legal professional seems hurried or uninterested in you as a person, as well as your case, that’s a sign they could be difficult to work with. You want to feel that your lawyer is approachable and that they will do all they can to fight for your right to fair compensation. Don’t forget to pay attention to office staff and paralegals you encounter, as you will likely be working with these individuals as well. Trust your gut and move on to the next name on your list if you feel that someone may not measure up to your standards. Remember, you’re putting your welfare in the hands of this person and their associates. It makes sense that you want to have confidence that you’re hiring the right workers’ comp attorney.
Be Sure You Understand Payment
Finally, before making any relationship official, you’ll want to be sure you thoroughly understand your obligation for payment. Many workers’ compensation firms work on a contingency basis, rather than charging an hourly rate. A contingency fee is a percentage of the total award you receive from your claim. What this means is that you typically won’t need to pay any money out of pocket during the trial process. If the attorney wins your case, you’ll be responsible for paying the fee. This amount is usually between 15% and 20% of the payment you are ultimately awarded. If you don’t win your case, you shouldn’t owe anything. When a lawyer takes you on as a client, you can feel pretty confident that they believe you have a strong case. You should never make any assumptions, though. Be sure you understand the terms before signing any contracts.
These tips should help guide you when hiring an attorney for a work injury. The outcome of your case and your experience throughout the process are heavily based on the quality of your lawyer. It’s worth investing time in choosing a qualified professional you can trust.