There are over 700 workers’ compensation lawyers in North Carolina.
This is good news if you’ve recently sustained a work-related injury and are navigating a workers’ comp case.
However, it can be difficult choosing the best attorney for your particular situation.
While all workers’ compensation lawyers will be well-versed in the world of occupational injury, not all will directly meet your needs.
When vetting North Carolina workers comp lawyers, it’s important to keep in mind a few things before making your decision.
In this post, we’ll cover all the things you should be aware of during your selection process!
1. Consult Friends and Family Members for Referrals
It can be difficult knowing who to choose from the extensive pool of North Carolina workers comp lawyers. To build an effective list of candidates, consult friends and family members for referrals.
Referrals are the best means of identifying an attorney who can fully address all of your case needs. They also can give you the insight you need into the type of attention you’ll be receiving when working in a legal partnership with a certain lawyer.
Talk to colleagues and peers as well to gather recommendations for professional and capable workers comp lawyers.
2. Know Your Lawyer’s Experience with Work-Related Injuries
Experience is everything when it comes to North Carolina workers comp lawyers. The best attorney for your needs will be extremely familiar with workers’ compensation practices, rights, and legal procedures.
It can be difficult to assess a lawyer’s experience in the field simply by glancing at an ad and reading a brief bio.
Start by consulting the prospective lawyer’s website. Look for an extensive attorney profile that thoroughly details the lawyer’s expertise in injury law. Note if the website includes any other indicators of expertise, including informative articles or legal resources.
When you have a consultation with a lawyer, ask specifically about years and depth of experience. Opt for a lawyer with a healthy range of expertise in North Carolina itself, as workers’ comp policies vary from state to state.
3. Consider Success Rates
Just because a lawyer is experienced in injury law does not necessarily mean that their cases have high success rates. When vetting North Carolina workers comp lawyers, inquire about these lawyers’ success rates.
Successful cases are ones that a lawyer is able to effectively “win” for a client. The higher a lawyer’s success rate, the greater the odds are that your case will have positive results under this attorney’s guidance.
If a lawyer hedges or is obscure about success rates, they may not be an ideal solution for your case. Choose a lawyer with a proven track record of successful cases.
4. Know the Fees
When selecting any lawyer, it’s essential to be aware of legal fees up front. Every worker’s comp lawyer will have a different fee structure.
For example, some lawyers will charge an hourly rate. Others may ask clients for flat rates, paid at critical case intervals.
When signing any contracts or documents, inspect the fine print to discover any hidden fees or pricing. Avoid any lawyers who cannot give you clear numbers for their services.
5. Have a Consultation
Nearly every worker’s comp lawyer will offer prospective clients a free or affordable consultation. A consultation or case evaluation is much like an interview in which you can assess a lawyer’s credibility and candidacy for the task ahead.
Consultations will give you a chance to provide all of the details about your case. They also enable you to ask as many questions as you need.
Use a consultation to gauge your lawyer’s personality, expertise, knowledge, and commitment to your case. Make sure you exit a consultation with full awareness of the lawyer’s capabilities and disregard any attorneys who clearly don’t meet your standards.
6. Ask For the Time You Need
Lawyers are often busy, managing multiple client cases at once. In this case, it’s possible that certain attorneys may not be able to devote as much time as you need to your case.
In your consultation, directly ask your prospective attorney about their schedule. Ask where your case will fall into this schedule and how you can be certain that they will be attentive through all stages of the proceedings.
7. Don’t Trust An Ad Alone
Many workers comp lawyers market their services in magazines, on billboards, and online. These ads can easily capture your attention and compel you to that attorney’s website.
However, an ad alone is insufficient evidence that the lawyer will be ideally suited for your case’s needs. Don’t select a lawyer through a mere ad alone. Work through the tips in this list to confidently vet your list of potential attorneys.
8. Inspect Client Testimonials
The best way to vet a prospective attorney is to inspect past client testimonials. During your consultation, ask the attorney for references testifying to his or her previous work.
In some cases, you’ll be able to read testimonials on a firm’s website itself. Other firms may protect the privacy of past clients and be able to deliver testimonials on request.
If an attorney is unable to provide a reference, move on to another candidate.
9. Ask About the Legal Relationship
Some North Carolina workers comp lawyers are present for only portions of your case. For example, many attorneys assist clients only with immediate hearings and appraisals for a workers comp case.
It’s important to hire an attorney who can support you at every stage of this complex process. In your consultation, ask about the extent of the legal relationship you can expect to have with a lawyer.
10. Look for Memberships and Certifications
Identifying a lawyer’s memberships in national organizations and specific certifications can help you identify how well he or she is trained to work on your specific case.
Choose an attorney who is broad-certified in workers’ compensation law. Prioritize lawyers who are members of prominent legal organizations that cater to workers compensation cases.
Vetting North Carolina Workers Comp Lawyers
If you are involved in a work-related injury case, it’s essential that you have the assistance you require. Take your time when vetting North Carolina workers comp lawyers and make your decision based off of several key factors.
Prioritize attorneys with vast and in-depth experience in work-related injury law. Assess potential lawyers’ expertise, certifications, and success rates. Always have a consultation prior to agreeing to any legal relationship.
Lastly, make sure you know a lawyer’s fee structure, level of commitment, and availability.
At Dodge Jones, we are confident that we can help you successfully navigate the legal side of a work-related injury. Learn more about our industry expertise here!