How to Hire a Tennessee Workers' Compensation Attorney
If you've been injured in a workplace accident and are having a hard time getting your employer to compensate you for your injuries, you may need a Tennessee workers' compensation attorney. But if you've never needed an attorney before, you may not know how to go about it. This article will give you some practical tips for not only finding a Tennessee workers' compensation attorney, but the right one for you and your claim.
Before you begin the search, determine what qualities you want in a Tennessee workers' compensation lawyer. You probably want one who:
- Has the experience you need representing employees injured on the job
- Suggests a strategy for handling your claim that makes sense and that you believe will be successful
- Gives a realistic estimate of how much your claim is worth
- Charges a reasonable and fair fee for his or her services
- Earns your trust in his or her judgment and advice
- Is someone you can see yourself working with closely for several months or more
Finding a Tennessee Workers' Compensation Attorney
There are several ways to find a Tennessee workers' compensation attorney. With a few names and the right questions, you'll find the best attorney to represent you in your worker's comp claim.
Ask your friends, colleagues, and family members if they have ever hired a Tennessee workers' compensation lawyer. First-hand recommendations can be invaluable. If any of those friends are attorneys, they may also be able to point you to a Tennessee workers' compensation attorney.
If you're hesitant to share personal information with friends or you just want the names of a few more lawyers, Attorneys.com offers a service that can connect you with Tennessee workers' compensation attorneys. Call 1-877-913-7222 or complete the short form on this website. After answering a few questions, we'll give you the name of a workers' comp lawyer in your Tennessee area. You may contact the attorney yourself, or he or she will get back to you within two business days.
Preparing to Meet with a Tennessee Workers' Compensation Attorney
Once you have the name of a Tennessee workers' compensation attorney, you are ready to move forward. Interview the attorney to determine if he or she is right for your claim..
Many workers' comp lawyers in Tennessee are willing to meet with you for a brief introductory session, called an initial consultation. These meetings are often made available free of charge, but double check when you book the appointment.
You can accomplish several important goals at an initial consultation, including:
- Learning whether the attorney has the experience, skills, and strategy you need for your Tennessee worker's compensation claim
- Getting feedback about your accident and injuries, so you can know what to expect, including how much money in benefits you may be able to receive
- Determining whether this is the attorney for you
Whether you are in Knoxville or Chattanooga or any other part of Tennessee, write your questions down ahead of time and bring them with you to the initial consultation. Also, bring writing material to record the answers.
All of your questions should be asked with your hiring decision in mind. To that end, touch on the following areas:
- The lawyer's background in representing Tennessee clients with workers' compensation claims
- Possible strategies for handling your claim
- How much the attorney believes your claim is worth under Tennessee workers' compensation laws
- The lawyer's opinion on whether you'll be able to settle with your Tennessee employer's workers' compensation insurance company or whether you will have to take your claim to an administrative hearing
- How much the lawyer charges, what billing method he or she uses and how much, in total, you can expect to spend on legal fees
If you have any special requests of an attorney, such as weekend appointments or after-hours contact, bring them up at the initial consultations to see if the lawyers can accommodate those needs.
The Tennessee workers' comp lawyer will also use the initial consultation to get to know you and the circumstances of your workplace accident. Bring any documentation for the accident and subsequent injuries with you, including medical reports and bills. Be prepared to describe the chain of events that led up to your accident, who was involved, what happened, and when.
Meeting with Tennessee Worker's Compensation Attorneys
Head into your initial consultation with confidence. Be ready to answer questions about your on-the-job accident. You should speak freely during the meeting. Tennessee workers' compensation lawyers are bound by strict confidentiality laws that prevent them from disclosing anything discussed at an initial consultation. Even if you hire someone else, the other lawyers with whom you met cannot reveal what you shared with them.
During your meeting, ask yourself how well the attorney meets your needs:
- Does the attorney have experience with Tennessee workers' compensation claims?
- Are you confident in the attorney's abilities and proposed strategy for your claim?
- How do the attorney's legal fees compare to the others with whom you've spoken? Are they fair?
- Do you feel comfortable with this attorney?
When you've finished your last initial consultation, it's time to make a hiring decision. If you only met with one lawyer and really hit it off or if you met several but one is a real stand-out, then your decision is an obvious one.
If, however, you liked several, ask for the contact information for some of their previous clients and contact them. This real-world feedback about the clients' experiences should help you narrow the field and point you in the direction of the best Tennessee workers' compensation attorney for you.
Now that you've found your lawyer, you are ready to move forward with your claim.