Reviewing defense attorneys and panels should be done on an ongoing basis because choosing the wrong workers compensation defense attorney for your business can cause missed opportunities, unnecessary litigation costs, and time. Just because you’ve built a relationship with one attorney doesn’t make him or her the best choice to defend your workers compensation insurance claim.
You can start by looking at an attorney’s reputation, but you also need to find someone with workers compensation experience and a familiarity with your industry and someone who meets the objectives of your program.
So what should you look for in a good workers compensation defense attorney?
1. Outside-the-box Thinker
There are a lot of different ways to handle a workers comp claim, so first you need to look for someone who can think outside the box. Yes, they need to understand the basics and be able to evaluate the situation based on criteria related to the statute and be able to interpret the case law. But they also need to be able to look at the claim from different angles to develop the right strategies to resolve your case. You want someone who will consider all potential defenses, analyze how each of those defenses may play out, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.
2. Honest Assessments
It’s important to understand that the workers compensation system is inherently biased toward the employee, which means that most cases that go to court will end in an award to the employee. A good WC attorney will understand that and only recommend taking cases to court that you have a chance of winning. Otherwise, they should recommend settling on those cases that there is little chance of winning and make sure that those settlements are fair. You want your case to be resolved as quickly and fairly as possible.
3. Excellent Communication
This may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. First, you’ll want an attorney that asks you lots of questions and takes the time to understand your industry, your business (including what your employees do), and your goals. You’ll want an attorney who responds quickly to your inquiries and provides regular updates that include an honest analysis of the claim, detailed information about their “plan of attack,” and status reports.
Here are 9 questions to ask before hiring a workers compensation defense attorney:
1. Do they also handle claims for employees?
2. Are they open to an in-depth interview before hiring?
3. Can they provide references from other clients who you can contact – preferably in your industry?
4. Do they have experience in hearings before the Board/Commission?
5. Do they have a thorough understanding of workers compensation laws and administrative regulations in Pennsylvania?
6. Do they have an in-depth understanding of statutes that can affect workers compensation claims such as social security disability and vocational rehabilitation?
7. What is their fee structure?
8. How will they bill you – monthly, quarterly, yearly?
9. Are they willing to provide you with copies of deposition transcripts, expert reports, Board/Commission decisions, and medical reports?
Contact Us to Lower Your Workers Compensation Insurance Costs
Having the right defense attorney for your workers comp claims will save you time and frustration and help you save money on your workers compensation insurance.
To find the right workers comp insurance for your business at the right price, contact American Insuring Group online, or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to get started.