In order to protect themselves from lawsuits, employers are covered by insurance policies that cover the medical expenses and income (wages) of employees who have been injured in the workplace. Unfortunately, applications for workers comp are not always successful and employees may not always receive the compensation that they are due. This is when it may be necessary to seek legal advice and representation from a lawyer. However, not just any lawyer will do. To ensure that you are getting the best representation from a lawyer, keep the following factors in mind.
It should go without saying that a lawyer should be qualified. Qualfications should include completion of law school as well as passing the bar exam. A lawyer may have additional qualifications that could benefit you and your worker compensation suit.
Most lawyers specialize in specific areas of the law. For example, a divorce lawyer specializes in family law and a workers compensation lawyer specializes in labor law. It is therefore best to look for a lawyer who works in the field of labor law and specializes in worker compensation cases. You may even want to go one step further and find a lawyer who deals within the specific industry that you work in.
3. Skill And Experience
Due to attorney client privileges and confidentiality, lawyers cannot reveal who their past or present clients are in order to establish their credibility. However, they can reveal their success rate and provide you with information on how much experience they have at dealing with workers compensation cases.
4. Affiliations And Associations
There are specific organizations and societies within the legal arena that are aimed at maintaining the moral and ethical practices of lawyers. A lawyer who is affiliated with or a member of these societies is more likely to provide you with fair and adequate representation and ensure that your case gets the time and attention that it deserves.
Lawyers are expensive and most workers compensation cases are often not resolved due to the fact that employees think they cannot afford legal representation. There are however a number of different options available. You can go through your union and find out if your union representative can provide you with free or low cost representation. You can also approach legal aid and other free legal resources providers who offer their services at no cost should you meet with the necessary criteria. Alternatively, look for a lawyer who will provide their services on a contingency basis. Be aware that the lawyer will take a percentage of the compensation payment upon successful completion of the case in lieu of payment. It is important to ensure that your medical and other expenses do not exceed the amount you will receive after paying the necessary legal fees. If the lawyer does not win the case, they will not be paid any fees.
6. Personal Relationship
It is important for a lawyer to have an air of professionalism and exude an air of confidence to inspire trust. In other words, you want a lawyer who will handle the case in a professional manner and who you feel you can trust to provide you with the best advice and representation. You also want a lawyer who will take the time to meet with you and answer all your relevant questions and not simply refer your case to a junior in the firm. A lawyer should have a case load that allows them adequate time to dedicate a fair amount of attention and work to each case. You may also have additional preferences for a lawyer such as gender, race or even religion. No matter how important these factors may be to you on a personal level, qualifications, skill, experience and professionalism should always be more important in your selection.
You may want do a little research and check out the reputation of a lawyer, especially among their peers (this means other lawyers working in the same field). You want a lawyer who has a good reputation in the industry for resolving worker compensation cases quickly and successfully. The most important factor to keep in mind is to select a lawyer who specializes in the field of labor law and workers compensation cases.