When choosing to hire an L&I attorney, it’s important to do your research. Many law firms will claim they’re the best for you, but not every firm is created equal.
Hiring the wrong attorney means potentially losing your case or being the victim of malpractice. It’s important to verify independent rankings, results, and the team you plan to hire before signing any agreements to prevent your case from falling apart. Here’s what to look for when hiring the best L&I attorney in Washington.
Hiring the right attorney means great communication and seamless customer service all focused on ensuring that you get the best results possible.
After speaking with a firm, ask yourself:
- Does the staff return your phone calls or emails promptly?
- Do they seem confident and knowledgeable in the information they give you?
- Do you feel reassured when speaking with them?
Larger firms will sometimes have an intake staff who are there to redirect your questions to the appropriate person, or utilize internet chat bots to handle questions after hours. These team members are there to help with smaller matters so attorneys can focus on building successful cases for their clients.
Research what other customers say about the law firm by checking out their Google or Yelp reviews. Picking a firm with consistently high rankings from lots of customers gives you a good indication on how the firm performed historically. Any law firm with few to no reviews or a lot of negative ratings isn’t always bad, but should raise some red flags. Keep in mind that it’s normal for any business, including law firms, to occasionally receive a bad review. If a law firm has nothing but perfect reviews on Google or Yelp, it’s likely that the firm planted reviews or offered rewards in exchange for them, which is against the terms of service and considered unethical business practice. Proceed with caution!
Ratings and Awards
Attorney ratings sites are another resource for choosing the best L&I attorney. These sites are dedicated to reviewing attorneys and rate lawyers based on peer recommendations and client reviews, sometimes in the form of awards or special rankings.
Martindale Hubbell is the holy grail of attorney ratings. It’s the site that attorneys often use to refer clients and cases to each other. An AV rating is one the highest rankings possible.
AVVO is another organization devoted to ranking the best L&I lawyers on a scale of 1 (Extreme Caution) to 10 (Superb).
You can search by attorney name or practice area on either of these sites; note that “L&I” is a Washington specific term, and since both AVVO and Martindale Hubbell are national organizations, so you will need to indicate “workers compensation” as the practice area.
Solo Practitioner vs. Large Firm
Consider what you get from hiring a team, rather than a solo practitioner. Many L&I claims also have underlying employment law claims, like wrongful termination, retaliation, and disability discrimination. You may also have a third-party injury claim, which experienced multidisciplinary attorneys will be able to spot. Hiring a solo workers’ comp lawyer could result in missing big recovery opportunities far beyond a simple L&I claim because they lack the time and expertise to recognize them.
There is also power in numbers. When it comes to complex, tough trials, the defense typically has an entire team devoted to winning. Having your own team means meeting the defense with the same firepower.
Good reviews, high ratings from independent sites, and good communication are just some of the indicators that you have found the best L&I attorney for your case. When it comes to winning your case, pick a lawyer who has the breadth and depth of experience you need to win your case. Most L&I attorneys charge the same fees – typically set by L&I – so choosing an experienced, dynamic team of L&I attorneys to represent you could be the difference between winning or losing.
At Emery Reddy, we believe that every individual deserves compassion, which is why we are passionate about stepping up for our clients. With over 15 years’ of experience in L&I and thousands of litigated cases, we can take the load off your shoulders and give you confidence that you’re going to achieve the best possible result. Contact us today for a free case analysis!