Getting injured at work can be quite stressful and overwhelming to deal with. Unfortunately, workplace accidents in the country have been increasing in recent years. In 2019, approximately 5,333 workers were killed from work-related injuries, which was a 2 percent increase from 2018.
Employees everywhere need to know that they have the right to hold their employers accountable if they have been injured at work. The majority of employers in the U.S. are required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Although the specifics may depend on which state you are in, generally, all workers are eligible for benefits under the workers’ compensation insurance.
If you have been injured in the workplace and wish to find legal guidance on dealing with it, here are four tips on finding a reliable workers’ compensation lawyer.
Recommendations from Friends, Family, and Neighbors
A good way to start your search in finding a reliable lawyer is through your connections, which are your friends, family, and neighbors. It’s likely that at least one of them may know a lawyer and can help you schedule a consultation with them.
It could be especially helpful if you knew someone who has faced a similar workers’ compensation case before. The people close to you will most likely recommend someone they had a positive experience with and be very honest about it. However, it would be best if you were careful. Avoid discussing the details of your claim with your friends, families, or colleagues. Insurance companies may attempt to reach out to them and ask questions. If you had any inconsistencies with what you said to your family, the insurance company might use this against you. Only discuss the important details with your lawyer.
Use the Internet
The internet can serve as a helpful tool to find a good workers’ compensation lawyer. You can try typing keywords such as “workers compensation lawyer near me” in the search bar to find law firms in your area.
After your initial search, you can dig deeper to find more information. It would help if you focused on finding a law firm that specializes in workers’ compensation cases. You can check if their websites contain the following:
- Blogs and articles related to workers’ compensation issues.
- Testimonials and reviews from previous clients they worked with.
- A rundown of their services and fees.
- Information about their lawyers and the experiences of their lawyers related to workers’ compensation claims.
Of course, you shouldn’t rely on the law firm’s website alone as they will most likely only post positive reviews. You can try finding out more about them by checking lawyer review websites and seeing more unbiased reviews about them.
Look at State and Local Bar Associations
You can try looking for an attorney through your local state or local bar associations. They can help you find the right lawyer for your claim. They can also recommend reputable firms that have solid experience with workers’ compensation claims.
A good workers’ compensation attorney must have good state and local bar standing. This is a reflection of their professionalism and credibility.
Look Through Your Local Lawyer’s Directory
You can visit several websites to help you find a worker’s compensation lawyer in your area. Websites such as Findlaw and Nolo are a good start. You can type in the state or city you live in, and these websites will give you a straightforward list of law firms that provide workers’ compensation services.
If you’ve already narrowed down your choices and wish to confirm which lawyer you should go for, here are some tips on how to choose the right lawyer for you.
Schedule a free consultation with them. The majority of the time, these lawyers will give you a free initial consultation to get prospective clients. Utilize this chance and treat the consultation like a job interview. Remember, you are the one that they are working for. Here are some questions you can ask your lawyer:
- How much experience do you have?
- Will you be able to represent me throughout my claim?
- It’s important to ask this question as some lawyers tend to let go of certain claims because they cannot litigate. It would help if you remembered that you need a lawyer who can be there for you until the end.
- Can you show me some references?
- Do you have connections with medical experts in case I need one?
- You might need further medical examination throughout the process. There is a chance that the insurance company or your employer may not be too cooperative. In the circumstance that they aren’t, your lawyer can step in and help you find a medical expert that you can trust.
- How much do you think my case is worth?
An experienced workers compensation lawyer can give you a rough and honest estimate of how much your claim is worth for you to avoid getting tricked by insurance companies into settling for less.