You got injured or sick at work, and you decided to make the smart choice and hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you. Now, what factors do you need to consider when choosing a lawyer, and what can you expect as your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim moves forward?
Key Fact #1: Not All Law Firms Are Alike
The first thing you need to know is that not all law firms are alike. In fact, there are many distinguishing characteristics, and you need to choose the firm that you believe gives you the best opportunity to recover the financial compensation you deserve. For example, you may want to consider characteristics such as:
- The number of attorneys at the firm. Is the firm large enough to handle your case efficiently, but still small enough that you will receive attentive service and personalized representation?
- The attorneys’ collective years of experience. Generally speaking, the more experience a firm has, the better. But, results matter, too. So, what is the firm’s record of success in New Jersey workers’ compensation claims?
- The firm’s practice focus. Does representing injured workers just make up a small portion of the firm’s practice; or, do its lawyers regularly represent injured employees in workers’ compensation claims?
Key Fact #2: You Need to Choose a Law Firm Relatively Quickly
While you need to make an informed decision about your choice of law firms, you also need to make your choice relatively quickly. When it comes to filing for workers’ compensation benefits, you do not have time to waste. Additionally, there are a number of preliminary steps that are extremely important. And if you make mistakes early in the process, it may be difficult to recover from these mistakes even with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
Key Fact #3: Attorneys’ Fees in Workers’ Compensation Fees Are Capped under New Jersey Law
Under New Jersey law, attorneys’ fees in workers’ compensation cases are capped at 20 percent of the total amount recovered. Additionally, in cases filed with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, attorneys’ fees are subject to approval by the workers’ compensation judge. As a result, with an experienced attorney representing you, the amount you are able to recover will still likely be significantly more than any amount you might be able to collect on your own, even after fees are considered.
Key Fact #4: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Might Not Be Your Only Option
While filing a workers’ compensation claim is one way to recover your losses after suffering a job-related injury or illness, it might not be the only option that you have. If you were injured or got sick because someone else was negligent, you may have a personal injury claim. Depending on the circumstances involved, you could potentially have a product defect claim as well, and you could also be eligible for Social Security or other benefits. With this in mind, when choosing a law firm, you should choose a firm that handles all types of job-related injury and illness claims – not just workers’ compensation.
Key Fact #5: Your Initial Consultation Should Be Pressure-Free
In addition to not costing you anything, your initial consultation should also be pressure-free. In other words, you should not feel as though you are being forced to engage the firm or that the firm is desperate to sign you as a client.
While the firm should want your business, it should only want your business if (i) you appear to have a legitimate claim, and (ii) you are comfortable working with the firm’s attorneys. Your choice of legal representation is up to you, and you need to make an informed decision based on what you believe is best for your individual circumstances.
Key Fact #6: You Need to Choose a Lawyer Who Has Experience Handling Your Type of Claim
Finally, when seeking workers’ compensation benefits (or other financial compensation) for a job-related injury or illness, you need to choose a lawyer who has experience handling your type of claim. Are you suffering from an occupational illness? Were you injured in a job-related accident? Do you have a WEAR and TEAR injury? These are all very different types of claims, and you need to make sure you choose a lawyer who knows what it takes to secure the financial compensation you deserve.
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If you were hurt at work, you should be able to concentrate on your physical healing and well-being – not have to worry about whether you are receiving the benefits that you rightfully deserve.
The reality is that the outcome of your case will largely depend on the skill of your New Jersey work injury attorney and the quality of your legal representation. Your attorney’s level of education, experience, track record, legal abilities, and reputation matter – big time.
The New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Petro Cohen, P.C. have the knowledge, skills, and proven ability to make workers’ compensation work for you. We solve problems. We get results. Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of injured workers throughout New Jersey in all types of work-related injury and illness claims and are here to help assist with your workers’ comp claim, whatever the circumstances may be.
When considering legal representation for your workers’ compensation case, we encourage you to take a moment and read what our clients have to say about, Frank Petro, who heads the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department, and our other workers’ compensation attorneys,Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, and Daniel Rosenthal, by visiting: /client-testimonials/
If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys to find out if Petro Cohen, P.C. is the right firm for you, please call us directly or contact us online today. We offer free consultations at our four southern New Jersey offices (Northfield, Cape May Court House, Hamilton, and Cherry Hill), and we do not charge any fees or costs unless we win your case for you.