When most people shop for a house, a car, or even a new television, they usually prepare a list of questions to ask either the seller, car dealer or even the TV salesman. However, when it comes to hiring an attorney, most people do not know where to start. It is important that the attorney you choose is right for the problem that needs addressed. If you find yourself in need of a good workers’ compensation attorney, here are four questions that you need to ask your attorney before retaining them.
- How much experience have you had handling workers’ compensation? Although this seems like an obvious question, you would be surprised how many individuals hire attorneys without asking this key question. Remember there are many different areas of the law. Hiring a real estate attorney or a criminal attorney to handle a workers’ compensation case makes no sense. You would never think of going to a foot doctor for an ear ache. The same applies to hiring an attorney. You should always find out how much experience an attorney had before you hire them.
- How well do you know your opponents? An experienced workers’ compensation attorney has an advantage over an inexperienced one. That is, knowing their opposition. Many people do not realize just how important this is. If you handle a lot of workers’ compensation cases you get to know the attorneys who represent insurance companies and employers. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it can give you a lot of leverage in your case. Knowing how your opponent thinks, reacts and strategizes is just the type of information that a good workers’ compensation attorney needs to pursue a case to a successful conclusion.
- How well do you know the doctors? Workers’ compensation cases inherently involve medical issues. Insurance companies typically use the same doctors over and over again as medical witnesses. An attorney who has wide experience in handling workers’ compensation cases gets to know these doctors and their weaknesses. Consequently, when insurance companies offer the opinions of these doctors, the experienced attorney will be able to challenge their medical opinions more effectively then someone who does not do much workers’ compensation.
- How well do you know the Workers Compensation Judges? Perhaps the biggest advantage an experienced workers compensation attorney will have over an inexperienced one is having had the opportunity to litigate numerous cases before the Workers Compensation Judge that will be deciding your case if a dispute develops. Different judges have different procedures and expectations regarding the evidence that will be presented to them. Some judges are very formal, and others are very informal. Some judges pay more attention to the testimony of the injured party and others are more influenced by the doctor’s testimony. Some judges are concerned more about specialty of the doctor who testifies and others are less influenced by this factor. An experienced Workers Compensation attorney will usually know all of these things about the Judge deciding your case and can present your case in a way that is more likely to result in a favorable decision for you.