People who get injured or develop an occupational illness often find that they need to hire an attorney to get approved to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Both the workers’ comp program and the employer can challenge an application for many reasons. Enlisting the advice and representation of a hard-working and caring lawyer can be the only way to clear hurdles to having medical bills paid and short-term disability covered.
I know that employees have a long list of choices when it comes to Workers Compensation Attorney Columbus. Signing a contract with the wrong attorney can cost an injured or ill worker more than money. But how can someone know which workers’ compensation lawyer will do the best job for them?
First, every law firm client must understand that they have an undeniable right to fire a lawyer who is not helping. No one can be forced to keep working with an attorney who is not getting the job done for them.
To avoid getting yourself into a situation where you need to replace your Columbus workers’ comp lawyer, look for the following three characteristics up front:
- Responsiveness and accessibility,
- Honesty and trustworthiness, and
Above all, you need a Columbus workers’ comp attorney who picks up the phone, responds to texts, answers emails, and keeps appointments in places and at times you find convenient. If communications break down, your case has little chance.
You must also demand that your attorney gives you straight answers even if what they tell you is not what you want to hear. Meeting with a lawyer in person before you sign any contract for advice or representation will allow you ask serious questions and get a sense of the attorney’s professionalism and ethics. Listen closely to answers, too. Does the lawyer explain concepts in terms you can understand? On the negative side, does the lawyer misuse legal terms even you already know?
Note that at this stage, you should walk away from any Columbus worker’s comp attorney who guarantees you will receive benefits or succeed with an appeal. Worker’s compensation cases can become very complicated, and factors well outside your or your attorney’s control can determine the outcome. Rather than seeking out glib assurances of large payouts, you must insist that the worker’s comp lawyer you hire does all they can to secure the best available result.
Meeting with a lawyer will also let you ask questions like the following:
- Have you worked on a case like mine before?
- What happened with those cases?
- What strategies did you use?
- How involved will I need to be in the day-to-day work of preparing my application or pursuing my appeal?
- Do you think I have a winnable case?
Each worker’s compensation claim presents its own facts and challenges, but an attorney’s experience will benefit you. For instance, a case involving burn injuries will be handled a little differently from a case involving exposure to airborne hazardous materials or one involving a truck crash. You want a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of claims similar to yours.
Gregory R. Mitchell is a Cleveland workers compensation attorney and partner at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman represents clients in workers comp appeal hearings.