In California, you see advertisements of attorneys making representations of being “Top” Lawyers, “Super” Lawyers,” or “Best” Lawyers. Attorneys frequently represent themselves as the “Top” attorney or the “Best” lawyer. Who can really tell someone is the “Top” or “Best” lawyer? At times, it is merely an advertisement’s representation without any basis in fact. Further, some of the companies that provide labels may involve some vetting process in order to provide the label. In the end, they may charge the attorneys for the label that they are awarded and make them pay for promotional items.
As an Injured Worker seeking counsel, finding a “Top,” “Best,” or “Super” attorney to handle their workers’ compensation case is important. This article will address the many ways to seek out and find an attorney that will best handle an injured Worker’s matters.
In my personal dealings, I have had to seek the services of an attorney to handle a legal matter. I approached the matter by talking to an individual who had been through the same legal issues and needed to obtain counsel. This individual referred me to his attorney for whom he felt was fantastic. He gave him a great recommendation. I contacted the recommended attorney and he was the best. He was the perfect match for my needs.
This article will address the issues concerning choosing an attorney that will be the best for an Injured Worker.
Are there really any differences in Workers’ Compensation Lawyers?
Yes. There are many factors which separate “great” lawyers from others. Some of the most important factors are Experience, Knowledge, Passion, and Reputation.
Does Experience Matter?
Yes. Experience matters. It is very important that an attorney have experience with litigation, with industrial medicine and with the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (5th Edition.)
With respect to experience, I would also look at the lawyers who trained and mentored the attorney. Also, I look towards how much continuing education they attend. The Workers’ Compensation Community offers many excellent training programs. CAAA and the State Bar Section on Workers’ Compensation provide many excellent programs.
Other Experience is the attorney’s litigation experience. You can see a track record in the attorney’s handling of cases. If one looks at the California Compensation Cases or the Noteworthy Cases published by Lexis Nexis, you can see the cases that attorneys have litigated. As an attorney litigates cases, they learn new tactics and techniques to get favorable results for their clients. Also, the reported decisions will show you the results they have obtained for other clients.
Does Knowledge Matter?
Yes. Knowledge of both the Law and Medicine are essential. Knowledge of other Lawyers, Insurance Companies, Doctors, and Judges is likewise essential. When interviewing Prospective Lawyers, an Injured Worker should take account as to whether they have a grasp of their legal problems as well as having an understanding of their medical problems.
Does Passion Matter?
Yes. Of all the great attorneys that I have known in Workers’ Compensation, the one thing they have in common is that they have a passion about Workers’ Compensation litigation. Simply put, they love it and love what they do.
Does Reputation Matter?
Yes. An attorney’s reputation matters. Respect and admiration of your Attorney from other Attorneys, Judges, Doctors, and Insurance Companies is important in helping an Injured Worker with their Work Injury Claim. I find that attorneys who have reputations always want to maintain their reputations. They tend to bring their “”A” Game” when they go to Court or Deposition. Also, they tend to be well prepared.
Are there any Specialties in Workers’ Compensation?
The California State Bar allows for Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation. This Specialization deals with general overall knowledge of Workers’ Compensation. With respect to Workers’ Compensation, irrespective of certification, there are certain attorneys who have carved out reputations with respect to specific workers’ compensation issues or injuries. Some have reputations for handling catastrophic cases, some have reputations for handling Safety and Law Enforcement Personnel, some have reputations for seeking penalties, and some have reputations concerning medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or toxic exposures. Finding an attorney who handles the Injured Worker’s specific issues may be of benefit.
With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation, is here to assist. If you have any questions concerning your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our offices. Please contact us today concerning any workers’ compensation questions or issues.