How to Choose an Attorney If You’ve Been Injured at Work
Suffering through a work-related injury is not only painful and personally devastating, in many cases, it is also financially devastating. In these cases, choosing the right attorney makes all the difference. A bad attorney could actually leave you in a worse state than you were before hiring an attorney at all. In order to get the best attorney for your work-injury case, a few simple guidelines can be followed.
Ask Your Current Attorney
If you already have a personal attorney, this is usually the first step. While your personal attorney may not be up to par on personal injury litigation, chances are he or she will know a good attorney in that field. Following this step often allows you to skip all the other steps and get right to your case.
Stay in Your Area
Always search for an attorney in your local area. If you live outside of a major metropolitan area, it is acceptable to search in the nearest one. The further away your attorney, the more difficult communicating and sharing information will be. Also, attorneys outside your local court district will be unfamiliar with the judges and other personnel in your district. Personal relationships inside the district can help your case. The American Bar Association is a good starting point to find an attorney in your area specializing in work injuries.
Look into Reputation
Although you may see ads in the newspaper and on TV for local attorneys, it doesn’t mean they are good or successful. Always dig deeper and look into all prospects. Ask friends and family members. Take into consideration what others say about the attorney, especially if they have hired the attorney in the past.
Schedule consultations with two or more attorneys in your area. Never take the first attorney you go to, even if they come highly recommended from a trusted source. In some cases, an unforeseen personality clash can hurt your case. Other factors to compare include price, professionalism, and track record.
Ask about Fees
Be sure to get specific information about fees from every attorney you consider. Fees are calculated differently with each one. Some have an upfront fee, some work hourly, and others use a combination of both. Other fees may also be tacked on depending on the work that has to be done on your case. Always ask what constitutes the final cost and when fees are due.
Learn about the Staff
Most great attorneys have a great staff. They can’t do everything themselves. Attorneys rely heavily on the paralegals and assistants under their employ. During the initial consultation, ask the attorney if you can briefly interview a couple of members of his or her staff. It helps if you find the staff acceptable and easy to communicate with because you will most likely be talking to them much more than you talk with the attorney.