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4 Signs of a Good Workers' Comp Lawyer (And 4 Bad Signs)

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A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
November 1, 2023  ·  3 min read
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Finding representation for your workers’ compensation case can be a challenge. When vetting workers’ comp lawyers, it is important to listen carefully to distinguish a good workers' comp lawyer from an inefficient one. Let’s look at four things a good workers’ comp lawyer will never say — and four things you want to hear from someone you plan to hire for your case.

4 signs of a good workers’ comp lawyer

You shouldn’t just have your ears up for red flags. There are also statements you want your future lawyer to say, including:

#1: “I know that insurance company.”

An experienced workers’ comp lawyer will have familiarity with the major insurance companies and probably some of the smaller players, too. The best case scenario is if they’ve had clients file claims with the same insurance company as your employer.

#2: “I can help you find good medical care.”

Workers’ comp lawyers work closely with medical professionals. A good lawyer will have contacts and be able to help you find the right medical care if you’re dealing with a common injury. 

If they don’t have specialists they work with regularly, they might not have the level of experience you want for your case. 

#3: “Here’s how you can reach me.”

Lawyers should make themselves available to you and communicate effectively.  A good one will share their contact information and the best times to reach them.

#4: “I have experience in this area.”

You don’t want to be a lawyer’s guinea pig. Listen for signs that your lawyer has experience in workers’ comp cases like yours in your state.

4 things a good workers’ comp lawyer won’t say

To start, here are some statements that should have you walking in the opposite direction:

#1: “I promise you a big win.”

You want a lawyer to help you win the most sizable workers' comp settlement possible. But be wary of a lawyer who promises a big sum at the outset — especially if they haven’t dug into the details of your case. 

A good, experienced lawyer knows anything could happen in the courtroom. A lawyer can give you a ballpark amount of money you can expect based on the average payout for your injury type, but they should not promise any set outcome. If they do, it’s probably a sales tactic — and potentially one they lean on to make up for less-than-stellar legal acumen. 

#2: “I work in several states.”

Different states have very different workers’ compensation laws. Detailed knowledge about the specifics of your state’s laws plays a significant role in your case outcome. You want a lawyer with experience working cases like yours in your state. 

If a lawyer practices in two states, either they’re very smart and good at keeping key differentiators between the two jurisdictions straight, or they’re spreading themselves thin to try to win more business. They might prioritize broader geographical areas at the expense of in-depth legal knowledge.

It can be fine if your lawyer is part of a law firm that practices in multiple states. For example, the firm might have one lawyer dedicated to California workers’ comp cases and another solely to Nevada cases. 

But if your potential lawyer works in multiple states, ask them why. You want to find someone who primarily specializes in workers’ comp in the state where you live and work. 

#3: “I work in multiple areas of law.”

You don’t just need someone with expertise in your state’s legislation and precedent. You also need a workers’ comp pro. 

The details of workers’ comp law vary significantly from other legal fields like family, criminal, estate, or even corporate law. Workers’ compensation is a niche area of expertise, and the best lawyer for you will have deep knowledge of this legal field. 

Be sure to ask your lawyer if they work across multiple areas of law. If it’s a closely related field like Social Security disability or personal injury, that’s generally okay. But if it’s a completely different area, consider it a red flag. 

#4: “I charge upfront.”

Good lawyers offer free consultations. You should never pay any money to talk to an attorney about your case. 

Workers’ comp lawyers receive a percentage of what they win you in a settlement or benefits, and that amount is unknown until the case closes. A judge approves the lawyer’s fees along with the final payout.

If a lawyer charges you anything before you receive a payout from your case, consider that a red flag.

To find workers’ comp lawyers who offer free consultations and don’t charge upfront fees, take our quick workers’ comp quiz so we can get you started with some solid options. 

Get help finding a good lawyer

Listening closely to what your potential lawyer says can help you understand who can help — and who you should avoid. But don’t stop there. We have more tips you can apply to find the right legal pro to get in your corner. 

And you don’t have to start your search on your own. Here at Atticus, we have a network of vetted, experienced workers’ comp lawyers. Take our quick workers’ comp quiz, and we can help you get started.

Maximize your workers' comp benefits.

Related resources:

What Is Workers' Comp & How Does It Work?

A hand draw portrait of a smiling, helpful lawyer.
By Victoria Muñoz

What Should You Do if You're Injured at Work?

A hand draw portrait of a smiling, helpful lawyer.
By Victoria Muñoz

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A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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