Choosing a Lawyer for a Work Comp Claim

Finding a good workers compensation lawyer is important for both an employee and an employer in the event of a workers compensation case. Interestingly enough, the best way to find and vet a suitable work comp lawyer is much the same for both an employer and an employee.

State-Specific Knowledge

The law is a fickle thing that can vary either slightly or significantly from state to state. It is vital to verify that the attorney you select has extensive knowledge and experience within the state that the case is filed. This is especially important if you live in an area that straddles multiple states.

A perfect example is Kansas City, which sits between both Kansas and Missouri. The laws between the two states are similar, but they are not exactly identical. In a workers comp case, the decision could easily come down to a detail or deadline particular to a specific state, whether it’s a work comp claim in Iowa, Hawaii, Alabama, or anywhere else..

Industry Experience

When defending or presenting a work comp case, it is important that the counsel thoroughly understands the industry involved in the case. It is important that the work comp attorney understands exactly how the job is supposed to be done according to industry standards.

It is also imperative that counsel understands how the job is completed within the particular facility involved in the claim. If you are an employer, it is advised that your attorney take a tour of your business for full comprehension of the daily function of the job involved. As an employee, on the other hand, it is vital that your attorney be familiar with your line of work and the known hazards of that vocation.

Experience on Both Sides

It doesn’t matter what side of the claim you are on. Your attorney should have experience and detailed knowledge of the procedures used on both sides of the table. It is vital for an attorney to understand the tactics used by the other party to either defend or present a case.

Without such knowledge, your workman’s comp lawyer is vulnerable to unexpected surprises and strategies. It is an unnecessary risk to incur. Any experienced attorney should have experience as counsel for both sides of a work comp claim. It is important to verify this experience with your attorney as it is not safe to assume.  


After you have verified the above information with your lawyer, the last step is to hear testimonial from previous clients. If you are an employee, you have minimal resources to gather such testimonials. Word of mouth from previous clients is the best resource for an employee seeking legal counsel. Talk to friends and acquaintances to find out if any of them have ever used a work comp lawyer. It is an informal method, but first-hand testimonial is by far the most reliable resource.

As an employer, your sources of testimonials are more than just previous clients of your lawyer. It is not uncommon for an employer to have had several workers comp cases. The familiarity with the court system gives them access to judges, other attorneys, and miscellaneous court employees. It is common for these people to have inside knowledge of the success and reputation of a work comp lawyer. This is a highly reliable, inside resource that often results in information that could have not been gleaned through any other resource. Judges and lawyers see and work with each other on a daily basis in litigation. Testimony from these resources is essentially the same as asking a lawyer’s co-worker for a reference.

No matter what side of the claim you are on, research is the only way to find a suitable lawyer for your case. It is vital that a work comp attorney has industry-specific experience and knowledge of your specific occupation. Research all the above points thoroughly and do not forget the importance of verifying references. The complete vetting of potential legal counsel is the best way to get a ruling in your favor.