Factors to Consider When Selecting a Pittsburgh Workers' Compensation Attorney
If hiring a lawyer to help you get compensation for your on-the-job injuries has left you confused, this article can sort it all out. After all, you need to find the right Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorney for you.
It’s important to interview one or more Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyers before you hire one. Fortunately, most workers’ comp lawyers in Pittsburgh are willing to discuss your claim in an informal meeting called an initial consultation. These meetings are free of charge and your best way to see how an attorney measures up.
Among the factors you need to take into consideration when seeking out a Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorney are:
- The experience a lawyer has
- The advice the lawyer offers
- Whether the attorney instills in you confidence
This article will take a closer look at each one of these important areas to consider.
Workers’ compensation is a complex part of the law. It’s important to find a lawyer who focuses his practice primarily on workers’ compensation. If you interview an attorney who also practices in other areas of the law, you’ll want to know what percentage of his practice is made up of workers’ compensation claims.
You’ll want to know how many previous clients the lawyers have represented with workplace accidents and injuries similar to your own. Familiarity with your circumstances should give you a leg up, especially if your Pittsburgh employer tries to deny your workers’ compensation claim.
Find out how familiar the lawyers are with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules, especially if you think your employer violated them and put you at risk. Pittsburgh has a local OSHA office.
A good area to ask about at an initial consultation is how the lawyers you meet stay current with the law. Membership in bar associations and other professional organizations shows an eagerness to stay on top of the latest developments.
Advice & Strategy
One of the most important aspects of an initial consultation is the conversation you’ll have about your claim and what it may be potentially worth. Don’t necessarily go with the attorney who promises unexpected riches for you. Listen to the reasoning behind the attorneys’ best estimates for what your claim is worth.
Also ask for an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses in your claim. You need to have a realistic expectation of the road ahead.
An important area to discuss is how long it will take you to resolve your claim, so you can recover lost wages and money to pay your medical bills.
Just a quick note about legal fees: The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation judge hearing your claim or, if necessary, the appeal board will determine how much your attorney will receive. You need to ask about this with the attorneys you meet.
However, because ultimate pricing will be out of their hands, it’s difficult to make legal fees a determining factor in deciding whether to hire a Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyer.
The Touchy-Feely Factor
Whether you are in Sheraden or North Oakland or any other part of Pittsburgh, you may end up working with your workers’ comp attorney for a long period of time. You’ll need someone you can trust and someone you can work with well.
During your initial consultations, notice how the lawyers answer your questions. Are they patient with you? Are their answers phrased in language you understand?
Get in touch with your own feelings as well. Do the Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorneys give you confidence? Do they seem trustworthy? Is their personality compatible with your own?
It may be difficult to quantify these qualities, but you probably have a gut instinct about the attorneys you meet. In the end, you need to hire the one who makes you most comfortable.
Hiring a Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Attorney
After you have interviewed all the Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyers on your list, it is time to hire one. Think back on each meeting and determine:
- Which attorney had the background most relevant to your own accident and injuries?
- Whose advice seemed most sound?
- Who put you most at ease?
The answers to these questions should point you in the direction of the best Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorney for you. Once you have hired your lawyer, you are ready to move forward with your claim.