Did you know that about 4.6 million workers in the U.S. sustain injuries at work every year? In fact, every seven seconds, one worker gets injured on the job.
What’s far worse is that workplace accidents claimed the lives of 5,147 U.S. workers in 2017. That a shocking 14 fatalities every day.
This is why all states require employers to carry some form of workers compensation. For instance, all Florida employers with more than three employees should have it. However, carrying it alone may not be enough in some cases, such as a severe injury.
This is where a workers comp attorney comes into play. A lawyer specializing in workers compensation claims can help simplify the claims process. They can help protect your rights as an employee who got injured on the job.
The question is, how exactly do you choose such a legal professional? That’s what we’ll cover in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
Seek Recommendations from People You Trust
In 2018, Florida emergency departments attended to more than 9 million patient visits. Many of these are visits from workers injured while on the job.
With that many patients, it’s likely that some of them are family members, friends, or co-workers. In this case, consider them your first source of information for lawyer recommendations. After all, most good workers’ compensation attorneys rely more on referrals than advertising.
Take note of the names of the lawyers themselves or their law firms. Highlight the names that come up more than once. Multiple referrals for a workers compensation lawyer is a sign of great service.
Look for Client Reviews and Testimonials
A good work comp attorney will always have customer review and testimonial links on the site. Go through these and have a closer look at those talking about previous worker’s comp cases. These can give you an idea if the lawyer satisfied clients with cases similar to yours.
Moreover, satisfied clients are likely to share their lawyer’s strengths. You may even find these reviews a good source of info on how long a case like yours may take.
The Best Lawyer Has a Transparent and Informative Website
Although you shouldn’t base your decision on a website alone, it can tell you a lot about a lawyer. For instance, you can learn all about the areas of law the attorney specializes in. Also, trustworthy lawyers are proud to share details about their time in service.
The best lawyers are also willing to arm accident victims with free, but useful knowledge. One way they do so is by maintaining a blog with useful worker’s comp articles. They provide helpful tips on what injured workers can do to have a successful claim.
These informative posts also show the attorney’s level of knowledge. It also highlights the lawyer’s passion to protect the rights of accident victims. They educate victims so that injured workers will have a better idea of where their case stands.
The most reputable lawyers also take pride in their bar memberships and affiliations. As such, they provide these details (with verifiable links) on their websites. This way, it’s easy for potential clients to check which organizations they belong in.
Choose a Workers Comp Attorney with Good State and Local Bar Standing
Speaking of associations, be sure to choose a lawyer who’s in good standing with The Florida Bar! They should also come recommended by local bar associations in the state.
Local bar associations depend on where the lawyer has the authority to practice. Let’s say your accident took place in Clay County. Then be sure to choose a lawyer recommended by and in good standing with the Clay County Bar Association.
Good standing with state and local bars is a reflection of a lawyer’s professionalism. It showcases their credibility and the high quality of service they provide. It also highlights their passion to protect personal injury and work accident victims.
Hire a Lawyer with Immense Experience Handling Workers Comp Claims
One of the biggest worker’s comp claim mistakes to avoid is filing without a lawyer. At the same time, not all lawyers have what it takes, especially experience, to represent your case. That’s why it’s best to choose an attorney whose focus is personal injury and disability cases.
As such, hire a lawyer who’s been specifically serving injured workers for decades. This way, you’ll be at ease knowing your chosen lawyer knows the ins and outs of Florida worker’s comp claims.
The Right Lawyer for You is One Who Will Handle the Bulk of Your Case
As crucial as the roles of paralegals are, you still want to ensure a lawyer takes over the bulk of your case. Don’t worry though, as the best lawyer will personally handle all the crucial parts of your case. Your attorney will still delegate roles to legal assistants, but mostly admin tasks.
You can rest assure that the best workers’ compensation lawyer will be with you every step of the claim. Great attorneys always have their lines open if you have any questions about your case.
Enlist an Attorney with a High Success Record of Proving Work-Related Injuries
One of the first things that a great lawyer will do is to prove you sustained work-related injuries. For this, the law team will gather doctor testimonials and eyewitness testimonies. They will also collect other proof, such as photo or video documentation of your accident.
The bottom line is, a good worker’s comp attorney will make evidence collection easier for you. Their team will be the one to handle communications with doctors and witnesses. So, be sure that you only hire a lawyer with a proven track record of successful evidence gathering.
The Best Lawyer Takes Time to Satisfactorily Answer Client Questions
Your first call to a lawyer will already give you an idea of their knowledge and expertise. But only good attorneys take the time to explain the process of worker’s comp in a non-technical way. Meaning, they won’t use jargon but only layman’s terms that are easy to understand.
Patience is another good cue to a lawyer’s dependability. They understand that injured workers are often confused, panicked, and sometimes even depressed. That’s why they completely, promptly, and respectfully address all their clients’ questions.
Choose a Law Firm That Accommodates You Right Away
The best workmans comp lawyers know that time is of the essence when it comes to making claims. That’s why they make it a point to see you for a consultation on the soonest date possible.
One reason for this need for speed is the time limit on filing worker’s compensation claims. In Florida, the “statute of limitation” is 30 days from the exact date you got into an accident. You need to report the incident and injuries to your employer within this time frame.
Second, experienced lawyers know there’s a risk of losing evidence as more time passes. Witnesses may also forget key details about the accident if there’s a delay in interviews.
Third, the most reliable lawyers want to get you back on your feet ASAP. The sooner they can start filing your claim, the sooner you can get your compensation. And they’ll use their knowledge and expertise to ensure you receive fair compensation.
That said, the best worker’s comp attorney is one who can schedule a consultation with you right away. They are busy, but they’ll make sure they can see you without allowing weeks to pass by.
The Best Lawyers (And Their Team) Make You Feel Comfortable
Meeting up with the lawyer also gives you the chance to gauge their professionalism. You can better evaluate their demeanor when dealing with you and other clients. Remember: A great attorney will be patient but authoritative in answering your questions.
The best lawyer will also first allow you to tell the complete side of your story. Only after listening attentively will they start asking pertinent questions.
It’s also during this time that the attorney will explain fees and litigation costs. Using their expertise, they will give you an accurate and unbiased valuation of your case.
While you’re at the law office, observe the behavior of the other team members, such as the paralegals. The best law firm employs only people who will make you feel comfortable. Feel free to speak to the staff, and they’ll make sure they address your questions the best way they can.
Choose a Worker’s Comp Lawyer Who Treats You with Respect
The best workers comp attorney is one who you feel the most comfortable with. From the very start, the lawyer has already explained what you can expect from their firm and your case. The entire staff has also shown you the respect you deserve by listening to and easing your concerns.
That said, don’t delay filing a claim when you get injured on the job! You should also enlist the best worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as you can. This way, you can get the help you need from the very start of the claims procedure.
We can help get you back on your feet if you have been in a workplace accident. Connect us with now so we can start reviewing your case and protect your employee’s rights!
Call us right now at 904 LAW-1212. Get the benefits you deserve!