Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | October 25, 2021
Georgia law requires most employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured in an on-the-job accident in the Peach State, you can seek compensation for your medical bills and related losses by filing a claim to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Strongly consider hiring a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney when doing so. It’s not uncommon for insurers to attempt to protect themselves financially. They often do so by looking for reasons to deny claims or offer unreasonably low settlements. An attorney can help you optimize your chances of arriving at a settlement that is fair based on the nature of your losses and injuries.
Just remember that not all workers’ compensation lawyers are equally qualified to provide the representation you deserve.
Boost your odds of hiring the right attorney for your needs by asking them the following questions during your initial consultation:
How Long Have You Been Handling Workers’ Compensation Cases in Georgia?
Experience is a critical factor to account for when deciding whether to hire a particular attorney. A lawyer who has been representing clients like yourself for several years or even decades will naturally have a thorough understanding of the law. They will also know how to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to help you recover proper compensation.
Additionally, if an attorney has substantial experience, that is likely because they provide their clients with effective representation. It is difficult for a law firm to remain in business if it doesn’t cultivate a positive reputation among those it serves.
Can You Describe Cases Similar to Mine That You Have Handled Before?
Workers’ compensation cases can come in many forms. They may involve work-related car accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents involving scaffolding or debris falling on work sites, and more.
It’s ideal to hire an attorney who has handled workers’ compensation cases that were similar to yours in the past. Although attorney-client privilege may restrict the degree to which a lawyer can discuss past cases in major detail, they should at least be able to cite in general terms clients like you who they’ve successfully represented. They should also be able to explain the tactics they might employ to help you settle for an appropriate payout.
How Do You Keep Up With Changes to Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws?
It is not uncommon for states (including Georgia) to make adjustments and amendments to their existing workers’ compensation laws and policies. You need to hire an attorney who prioritizes staying up-to-date on these changes.
Ask how they go about ensuring they are familiar with any and all updates to the state’s workers’ compensation laws. An attorney who may have provided quality representation 10 years ago might not be able to do so today if they haven’t adapted to policy changes in recent years.
How Can I Check In on the Status of My Case?
Workers’ compensation attorneys are busy professionals. You should not decide you won’t hire an otherwise qualified and reputable attorney simply because they are unable to respond immediately when you contact them.
However, a lawyer should take reasonable steps to ensure you are able to learn about your case’s progress in a fairly timely manner when you ask about it. During your consultation, find out how you can stay in touch with your lawyer as your case proceeds.
What Do You Charge For Legal Representation?
Most workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys enter into contingency fee agreements with their clients. That means they don’t charge their clients any fees unless they first recover compensation for them. A lawyer’s fee will typically be a percentage of the compensation they secure for their client. This incentivizes them to pursue the maximum amount of compensation they believe they can recover.
If an attorney asks you to pay upfront, strongly consider hiring someone else. A lawyer who demands early payment likely isn’t confident in their ability to help you reach a fair settlement.
Choosing the right workers’ compensation lawyer can play a critical role in the outcome of your case. When speaking with one, ask these questions to better determine if they are prepared to offer quality service.