Signs You Have Contacted a High-Quality Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Any large U.S. city or county will offer people who get injured or fall ill on the job dozens of options for workers’ compensation lawyers. Choosing the wrong one to help you prepare a workers’ comp application or to appeal a denial of short-term disability benefits can cost you much more than money.
So how can you feel confident that you are hiring a high-quality workers’ compensation lawyer? Look for responsiveness, relevant experience, and a strong track record of success. In Cleveland, Ohio, where my law firm colleagues and I practice, or anywhere else, you can count on an attorney who possesses these qualities to fight for the best outcome in your case.
Here are brief tips on how to assess the presence of the key qualities you must demand in your Columbus Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer, or wherever you live.
Responsive Attorneys Pick Up the Phone and Answer Your Questions Honestly
Applying for workers’ comp benefits can get complicated and contentious. Additionally, a person who is too hurt or sick to work can only go so long without any money coming in.
You need a lawyer who will clear up any confusion, remove obstacles, and keep you fully up to date on where your benefits application or appeal stands. Taking note of how long you wait to hear back when you request an initial consultation is a good way to gauge how responsive a lawyer and law firm are. Expect to reach a real person quickly if you call. Watch for an email within hours if you reach out online.
Listen, too, to how a lawyer you are thinking about hiring answers your questions. Go with the attorney who explains concepts and rules in terms you can understand. Walk away from anyone who guarantees you a maximum settlement or award. No case has a predetermined outcome, and it is unethical to make promises that cannot be kept.
An Attorney With Relevant Experience Has Helped People in Your Situation
Each workers’ comp case is created differently. A factory line amputation differs from an electric shock on a construction site, which differs from chronic lung disease developed in a shipyard. While the same basic rules regarding the statute of limitations on claims, submitting medical evidence, proving the health condition is work-related, and documenting attempts to rehab exist, specific details regarding what to do and when to do it can vary greatly.
When you first meet with a worker’s comp lawyer, ask about cases similar to your own. How did the attorney address challenges and solve problems? What was the ultimate result? How much work did the client have to do while the lawyer did his or her thing? Strong answers will give you faith in the lawyer’s ability to help you.
High-Quality Workers’ Comp Lawyers Do Not Hide Their Successes
Never hire a lawyer who refuses to discuss previous cases, good or bad. While it is true that attorney-client privilege bars a lawyer from sharing many details, wins and losses are open for discussion. An attorney is also free to describe the strategy and disclose the amounts of settlements or awards unless an explicit confidentiality agreement was reached.
You will learn a lot from what a worker’s compensation lawyer tells you about earlier cases. Listen closely for indications that the attorney refused to accept no for an answer, went the extra mile for a client, and solved a problem in an innovative way. You will want to hire a worker’s compensation lawyer who works hard and intelligently.
Gregory R. Mitchell is a Cleveland Ohio workers compensation attorney and partner at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman represents clients in workers comp appeal hearings.
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