May 6, 2022 1:15 am
Compensation disputes involve work capacity decisions, permanent and temporary impairment, and disability benefits.
Filing claims as an injured worker in a compensation dispute requires hiring an experienced compensation attorney. Do not forget that the opposing party (an insurance company) has a claims adjuster representing the company or they will hire their own lawyer. The employer is not a party because they secured their financial interests by purchasing compensation insurance.
However, not every compensation attorney will help you receive the proper benefits. Remember that the insurance company wants to avoid paying entirely or seeks to pay the minimum amount required by the law. Many compensation lawyers cannot rise to the challenge of providing the worker with the best legal assistance necessary to get what they deserve. To avoid being one of those workers receiving unfair treatment regarding the payment of their benefits, you need to locate a skillful and experienced compensation attorney near you.
There are seven steps you can take to ensure you have the best compensation lawyer on your side:
Step 1: Check with your local attorneys first!
Apart from being licensed to practice in a specific state, local attorneys who narrow their work to specific areas within the state are best suitable for representing your compensation claim. Knowing the local circumstances and how local courts work is a significant advantage over non-local lawyers. Additionally, local attorneys are reachable for regular consultations in person. Attending court hearings causes little or no travel, so the overall expenses are lower.
Ask yourself the following questions: Is your preferred attorney reachable whenever you need them? Can they see you for an appointment to discuss important matters? Do you have to travel a long distance to see them?
Step 2: Be mindful of the costs
When you are involved in a compensation dispute, costs matter to you. You are trying to get the most out of the insurance carrier to cover the costs of your medical treatments. It does not make sense to get the benefits you claimed and spend them covering the attorney fees. Winning the compensation case will not do much good if you eventually end up in bankruptcy court. There is a wide range of options between various lawyers regarding the fees. However, the most expensive attorney does not guarantee success in your compensation dispute. Costly rewards do not always reflect the skillfulness and experience of a compensation attorney. Therefore, be mindful of the costs. Do not let your hard-earned compensation benefits evaporate after paying hefty attorney fees. Instead, look for a balance between what you pay and what you get.
Always ask yourself: Is paying a specific amount of attorney fees the best investment considering other options? Do their credentials and their records justify the fees they charge? Ethical attorneys will only work for a fee that is contingent on you recovering your benefits.
Step 3: Be realistic
It is natural to have positive expectations and seek to win your case. Otherwise, you would not have engaged in a dispute in the first place. But while having positive expectations about the outcome of your compensation case, try to stay realistic when dealing with your lawyer. Hiring an attorney does not mean you will win the case. You should be aware that no attorney can guarantee the outcome of a specific legal procedure, but it may put you in a better position to win. What they can do is act in good faith using their best knowledge. That is what you are paying. Do not let an unwanted outcome disappoint and turn you against your attorney. However, stay alert throughout the process and keep a close eye on their actions. Although very rare, your attorney may not invest the necessary time and energy in pursuing your claims. Gently remind them of their obligation to provide you with their best efforts.
Ask: Does my case has merit? Am I expecting a miracle from my attorney? Is my attorney diligent enough in presenting my case?
Step 4: Do the necessary research and create a short-list of prospective candidates
In locating the best compensation attorney, do your homework and perform the necessary research. Go through the lists of local attorneys. Check their credentials and their record. In doing that, use online search engines. Examine their website and online presentations. See the experiences of their former clients. However, do not forget that an online presence can intentionally create a distorted picture of your candidates. Everyone can pay to get a clean and polished website. Online impressions are also for sale. For that reason, ask the people you know about the attorneys you intend to hire. Check with your friends, other attorneys, and others. Create a list of the best potential candidates.
Pose yourself the following questions: Does this website seem realistic? Did the former clients give sincere impressions, or do they sound artificial? What do other attorneys think of this specific candidate? How did they handle past cases?
Step 5: Explore the work philosophy of each candidate
In reality, the legal skills and knowledge may not be enough to bring you a successful result. Look further than that. Seek an attorney committed to bringing you the most out of the compensation system, regardless of practical difficulties they may encounter in pursuing your claims. Also, look for an attorney with integrity and strong ethical principles. While you should never ask your attorney to work for free, the lawyers who understand your material situation and offer flexible payment options – are the ones you should prioritize.
Inquire of the following: Is this attorney willing to go an extra mile in proving my claims? Will they show less engagement if I have a small case?
Step 6: Schedule an appointment with the best candidates
After narrowing your list to the attorneys whose preferences suit you best, schedule an appointment with each to ask them the above questions in person. While interviewing the candidates, pay attention to details. By doing so, you can estimate the authenticity of their online claims regarding the quality of services they provide.
Step 7: Select your attorney
Thorough research and in-person interviews will enable you to decide on the candidate that resonates with your specific needs and preferences. Pick the most experienced attorney and trust them to bring you success in your compensation case.
Perry Morisson has been practicing Workers’ Compensation law since 1989. Representing clients, Mr. Morrison has demonstrated the highest ethical standards and unmatched legal skills. He has a proven record of success in helping clients receive fair treatment and the compensation they deserve.
In North Carolina, Workers’ Compensation is a system of laws and regulations designed to protect workers injured within the course and scope of their employment. The rules involve obligatory insurance providing lost wages and medical expenses for workers who suffer personal injury in a workplace accident or develop an occupational illness at work. Employers in North Carolina must provide compensation insurance if they employ three or more employees.
Workers’ Compensation attorneys fight to make sure that injured workers receive the benefits they deserve. Knowing how the compensation system works, lawyers help workers successfully file claims and get fair compensation. Insurance companies regularly avoid paying total benefits or seek to pay the minimum amount. The job of a compensation attorney is to take all necessary legal actions to protect their client’s interests against insurance carriers and make sure workers overcome the financial, physical, and emotional consequences of a workplace accident.
Local lawyers have a significant competitive advantage over non-local attorneys. They are familiar with local circumstances and local court practices – if the case ends up in court. They know how local judges think and feel about specific issues and can predict their ruling, adjusting their strategy accordingly. Besides, you can reach out and touch a local lawyer without additional travel costs and loss of time.
Reputable attorneys working in Workers Compensation will tell you that the standard fee for representation is 25% of what you receive from the insurance company.
No. It is important to stay realistic throughout the entire process, including insurance carrier claim procedures and potential litigation. Hiring an attorney will significantly increase your chances of success, but having an attorney is not a guarantee of a positive outcome. The key is that even the best attorneys cannot compel the insurance company to pay benefits or persuade the judge to award the compensation. But they need to act in good faith and to the best of their knowledge – and that is what you should seek when hiring a compensation attorney.
To ensure you get the best results, use online search engines. Check local associations and see their member’s credentials. While you are at it, remember that online presentations can be deceiving because many people, including attorneys, pay to get a better image online. To avoid being deceived, talk to your friends, other attorneys, and professionals and ask them what they think about the lawyer you intend to hire.
Legal skills are crucial – that is why you decided to hire an attorney in the first place. But there is more than that. Look for a lawyer who upholds the highest ethical principles in their work. Strong integrity and honesty can often replace a lack of knowledge in some areas. Seek an attorney who will go the extra mile for your case. Sometimes that involves learning on the go, but that is fine – as long as a lawyer has your best interests in mind.
Always talk to prospective candidates before making a final decision. Ask them about their experience, record, work philosophy, and costs. Never hire an attorney before having an opportunity to talk to them in person.
Mr. Morrison has distinguished himself through the relentless pursuit of his client’s best interests. For the last eighteen years he has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell, that’s Lawyers.com, as AV Pre-eminent. Less than ten-percent of all lawyers are so designated. Practicing Workers’ Compensation law for more than three decades, he has demonstrated the finest legal craftsmanship and the highest ethical standards.