Finding the right workers’ compensation attorney for you in North Carolina may be like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s a tough act, considering that in 2018 alone, there were 24,087 active attorneys in this State, according to the American Bar Association National Lawyer Population Survey. How do you pick the right one, especially when many of them claim to be the best?
To help you save time and money, here are a few guidelines to follow:
1. Ask for referrals
Without knowing it, you could have a gold mine of information courtesy of friends and family members. It’s likely that one of them has consulted an attorney in the past, so it won’t hurt to ask. Try reconnecting with relatives and you might be surprised what you’ll learn from them.
2. Search for answers
Don’t let your PC or laptop gather dust in the corner. Put it to good use by searching online for workers’ compensation attorneys. This will probably bring up a lot of names, but you can narrow the search down by focusing on North Carolina or the place you reside. If no one sounds familiar from the list that pops up, look for reviews, browse websites, and read the bios of attorneys who catch your attention. See if they have a blog or social media presence to know them better. Don’t forget though, one bad review may not mean the company was the problem…it could be the reviewer! Make sure you look for credibility in the review.
3. Look for a specialist
You don’t go to a pediatrician if you’re 60 years old. Neither should you consult a dermatologist for tooth decay. That’s why it’s important to see a specialist if you want to find answers to your specific problem. For work-related injuries and workers’ compensation, stick to a skilled attorney who specializes in these areas. By doing so, you will benefit from the experience and expertise that person has.
4. Check credentials
Get to know the attorneys better by playing detective. Where did they graduate? How long have they been practicing? Where do they hold office? Who are their clients? Attorneys know the law, but they differ in skill and competence. Don’t stick to the first person you see, but look around until you find someone who has the knowledge and integrity to handle your case.
5. Make an appointment
Take advantage of the free consultation that most attorneys offer to know them better. Can they fit you easily in their schedule? How long did it take before you could see them? If you have a hard time making an appointment, find another attorney who won’t make you wait. Good attorneys will always have time for you, and will make you feel important.
6. Study their behavior
Now that you’re talking to prospective attorneys, observe how they behave. Do they answer your questions well? Are you comfortable talking to them? Are they friendly and reassuring? Rome wasn’t built in a day and a workers’ compensation claim can take time — all the more reason you should talk to someone who understands your problem and can help you.
7. Know the staff
Your attorney may not always be around, which means you’ll be dealing with paralegals, case managers, and legal assistants on certain days. It pays if the support staff is knowledgeable about workers’ compensation and can lend a hand when you need it. If they give you a blank stare or are too busy to notice you, take your business elsewhere.
8. Ignore guarantees
An ethical and honest attorney will never tell you that your victory is guaranteed. There are no guarantees in this business and victory is never certain, no matter how good your attorney is. Instead, he or she should advise you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, not mislead you or tell you what you want to hear. Stay away from attorneys who act like used car salesmen and promise you the moon. You might get burned instead.
Have you searched far and wide for a workers’ compensation attorney without any luck? When in North Carolina, go to Maggie Shankle of Shankle Law Firm, PA for the solution to your problem. Maggie is a board-certified workers’ compensation specialist who will fight for your rights and help you with your claim. Consult her today to get what you deserve.