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Due Diligence = Happy Attorney/Client Relations

Thursday, March 14, 2002 | 732 | 0 | min read

As with any consumer service, performing adequate due diligence before buying is critical to a satisfying attorney/client relationship. When you are the victim of a work injury, you have enough stress going on, and you don't need to be stressed about the person that is going to assist getting you the benefits you are due.

First, make sure that the lawyer you go to knows workers' compensation. Work comp is an arcane area of the law dominated by specialists that do nothing but comp. If your lawyer doesn't focus his practice on comp, then you are at a disadvantage. So be sure to interview your lawyer adequately before you sign up.

A good technique to find a work comp lawyer is to go down to the local workers' comp board and talk to other injured workers for a referral. You can also call injured workers' groups in your state and ask them. Unions also maintain relationships with work comp lawyers.

In your interview of the lawyer, ask what his plan of action is going to be and be sure you understand it. Most client/lawyer dissatisfaction arises from a lack of communication. The lawyer will take the time to explain things to you, be sure you take the time to listen!

Ask the lawyer what evidence you will need to produce and whether you should get it or if he will. Follow up well in advance of the next hearing to make sure the evidence is in place.

Make a list of what you need for medical care, wage replacement or payments of medical bills and reimbursable mileage. This is important to keep on track with your lawyer so that you get a full understanding of what you can get out of work comp, what you can't get, and what may be necessary to present your case most effectively. This will assist your lawyer as well through time.

As with any other documents in your case, make a copy of the list and file it. Always keep track of any out-of-pocket medical expenses and any co-pays.

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