Workers Compensation Top Ten Tips # 2Friday, September 30, 2005
Get the Best NY Workers Compensation Lawyer You Can Find
Unless your injury is relatively minor, you will need a “good” workers compensation attorney in New York State. You can bet your employer or the insurance carrier will have their own lawyer. But how do you find a “good” workers compensation attorney? Probably the same way you find a “good” doctor – recommendations from people you trust, general reputation and whether you feel comfortable with the attorney. The best place to get a recommendation is from a satisfied former client of the attorney. Will you meet with an attorney for an initial consultation (not just a paralegal)? Be wary of any law firm that will not give you an office appointment and simply wants to send you papers in the mail. What are they trying to hide? You wouldn’t buy a dishwasher sight unseen – you shouldn’t hire an attorney without a face-to-face meeting. Does the attorney return phone calls after he (she) takes your case, or will you hear only from assistants in the future?
Another good place to get a recommendation is from other attorneys or your local Bar Association. Bar Association Referral Panels require that attorneys maintain adequate legal malpractice insurance – always a sign of a careful and prudent attorney. Often times it is the most negligent attorneys who don’t carry malpractice insurance. Is the attorney a member of the Injured Workers Bar Association of New York State – made up of some of the best workers compensation attorneys across New York? Most members of the Injured Workers Bar Association live and breathe workers compensation law. Does the attorney lecture to other attorneys or write about workers compensation law? Usually, someone who teaches on a topic must know the law inside and out.
Finally, do you get a good impression of the attorney after your first telephone conversation? Does he sound like he really cares about your medical condition and financial problems – or will you be just another number? Go with your gut. You deserve and should expect an attorney who is both competent and cares. I always tell the young attorneys in my firm that one of the best traits of a good lawyer can have is the ability to listen to the client. Too many attorneys love to hear their own voices, but are deaf to the clients real concerns. While this list is not exhaustive, it should steer you in the right direction of finding a “good” workers compensation attorney. Good luck!