Injured workers in Chicago need to know what qualities to look for when choosing the best workers’ comp lawyer to handle their case. Obtaining a fair work injury settlement, after all, often depends on having a skilled attorney. Reviewing client testimonials and attorney ratings is just the first step in finding a lawyer that claimants can trust.
Choosing the Best Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Be Overwhelming
It can be difficult to choose the right Chicago workers comp lawyer. There are so many work injury lawyers from which to choose and they each have unique levels of experience, education, and areas of focus. While the pressure of becoming injured, dealing with the loss of income, fighting with insurers, or getting harassed by an employer often causes injury victims to be hasty in choosing a lawyer, it’s important for workers to take their time and do some research when selecting the best attorney for their case.
Workers comp lawyers act as the injured worker’s advocate in making sure that he or she is treated fairly and receives appropriate compensation. The injured victim must rely on the lawyer’s knowledge and fortitude in fighting for his or her rights with insurers, employers, and other lawyers. First and foremost, injured workers must be able to trust the attorney to work on their behalf.
However, trust alone is not always enough when choosing the best lawyer. Other factors must be considered before making a decision on which injury lawyer to hire, including the length of time the attorney has been in practice and the lawyer’s areas of focus. An attorney who has been practicing workers’ comp law for some time will usually have developed good working relationships with claims adjusters and earned a reputation as a tough litigator or one that will not settle for a low settlement offer.
It is important that the lawyer has a good reputation with prior clients, the court, and peers. When seeking a work injury lawyer, potential clients can check with their local and state bar associations to verify the lawyer’s standing. The lawyer’s track record regarding verdicts and settlements must also be considered. Injured workers should look for attorneys who have a history of success in negotiating settlements as well as winning verdicts in court.
First Impressions Should Matter
Despite numerous good ratings and experience, finding the best lawyer often comes down to the injured party’s own judgment. Many personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation. During this consultation, the attorney at a minimum should be able to give the client at least 15 minutes of his or her undivided attention. This gives the client an opportunity to become acquainted with the lawyer and get a feel as to how he or she will handle the case.
Ideally, the lawyer should take the time to explain the workers’ comp process to the potential client and answer any questions he or she might have. An injured worker should ask questions like:
- Based on experience, approximately how long will it take to settle the case?
- What is the likelihood that the case will go to trial?
- What are the pros and cons of pursuing the case?
- What is a realistic settlement amount, and will the lawyer advise every time the defendant makes a settlement offer?
- What are the expected fees and costs if the lawyer is not paid on a contingency basis?
Ultimately, the lawyer should inform the client about his or her options and empower the worker to make decisions that are in his or her best interest. The lawyer will also be responsible for making sure that all filing deadlines are met and procedures are followed to keep the workers’ comp case on track.
Attentive and Compassionate Care
The best work injury lawyers are not strictly business. The attorney should have a caring nature and a desire to help clients obtain fair compensation. Attorneys should keep the best interest of their clients in mind throughout the process. To do this, work injury lawyers often work long hours between doing research, meeting with clients, and doing what is needed to reach a successful settlement.
Behind the best work injury lawyers is the firm’s support staff. From the first contact to make an appointment, to requesting updates on their case, clients should be treated with respect and not made to feel ignored or disrespected. Clients should also know who will be working on their cases because often work is delegated to other lawyers or paralegals who work with the worker injury lawyer.