In 2020, there were 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries in the US. Common injuries include falls, muscle strains and sprains, injuries from equipment, and respiratory issues.
If you have experienced an accident at work, you likely qualify for workers’ comp to pay for your injury or illness-related expenses. However, your employer may try to deny your claim to get out of paying benefits. If this happens, you’ll want a workers’ comp lawyer to make sure you get the compensation that you are entitled to.
Read on to learn more about what you should be looking for to find the best lawyer to represent you in your workers’ comp case.
The first place to start your search for a workers’ comp lawyer is with recommendations from friends and family. Ask people who you know if they have any experience with an attorney who they would recommend.
Local groups on social media also may be a good place to look for recommendations (or people to avoid).
Having a clear understanding of the workers’ comp process and how to best present your case to the insurance company or a Workers’ Compensation Judge is invaluable. This is not the time to hire someone with minimal experience in workers’ compensation cases. You need an attorney who has a history of taking on workers’ comp cases, and who knows Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws.
This experience will help you build a case to ensure that you get the compensation that you are entitled to. In addition, they know how the system works and how to best argue that the injuries are a result of a workplace accident, not a preexisting condition.
You can even find an attorney who has specialized experience with your type of injury. Repetitive stress injuries are often hard to prove, as they could easily be explained by other activities. If you have something that would be considered this type of injury, you might want to consider an attorney who specializes in these types of claims.
You want someone with experience but also success. An attorney could have decades of experience working with workers’ comp cases, but little success. The best lawyer will not only have plenty of experience but will also have a list of successful cases to demonstrate their effectiveness.
Many firms will also list their successful cases on their website.
4. Credentials & Local Experience
Check with your state and local bar associations to make sure any attorney you consider is in good standing. You can also check to see if they have had any disciplinary actions or grievances filed against them.
Experience with workers’ comp cases is important, but the local experience is also a benefit. A locally known attorney will know how the system in your area works and also is likely to have a relationship with court personnel that can help your case go smoothly.
Most workers’ comp attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless you win. If you win, they will get a percentage of your settlement. If you lose your case, they get nothing.
However, building a case does cost money. Expert witnesses, specialized medical exams, getting copies of medical records, etc. all costs money. Before hiring an attorney, be sure you understand what they think your case may cost and who will pay these costs. Some law firms may require you to pay for them upfront while others may pay for them and then take those costs out of any settlement that you get.
An experienced attorney will have access to the experts needed to build a successful case.
6. Communication Skills and Personality
An attorney might be the best in town, but if they aren’t personable or have a pleasant way of communicating with clients, that success will mean little. You will have to work with this person throughout the course of your case, so make sure they provide good communication and have a personality that you get along with.
This entails treating you with respect, returning your calls, and providing you with appropriate updates on your case. You don’t want to hire someone who is standoffish and rude, because if they are like that with potential clients, they are likely the same with everyone.
7. Free Case Consultation
One way you can get an idea of the level of customer service provided by an attorney is by having a consultation with them. Most attorneys will provide a free case consultation, and if they don’t, that can be a red flag.
Use this time to learn more about them and their experience, their work style, and whether they think you have a strong case or not.
You can also see firsthand how they interact with you. If you don’t like them, don’t hire them. If they don’t inspire confidence, look elsewhere. Don’t just settle for anyone; find someone who you feel will really work for your best interests.
Don’t forget that you are the one hiring them, so treat the consultation as an interview of sorts.
Hire the Best Workers’ Comp Lawyer for Your Case
Workplace injuries can result in long-term injuries, thousands of dollars in medical care, and lost wages. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. To improve your chances of getting a fair settlement, hire a workers’ comp lawyer with a proven track record of success.
Here at Reasonover Law Firm, our attorneys specialize in personal injury claims, including accidents and injuries sustained at work. Contact us today for a free case consultation.