In 2018, there were more than 90,000 lawyers living and practicing in the state of Texas, which works out to more than 31 attorneys per 100,000 residents. This gives people looking for a work accident lawyer a huge range of options when it comes to choosing an attorney. But sometimes having a lot of options isn’t very helpful: how do you choose the right attorney for your work related accident? Here is a guide for how to evaluate and choose the right Austin work accident lawyer for your case.
How to Assess Your Legal Needs
When choosing an attorney, it is great to begin by assessing your own legal needs. Here are some of the factors to consider:
- While attorneys have very similar educations, they typically choose to focus their practice on specific areas of the law. A lawyer who specializes in family court will not be very knowledgeable about probate issues. If you have had a work-related accident, injury, or family fatality in the state of Texas, you need an attorney who is an expert in workers’ comp and other forms of insurance, medical care, liability and negligence, and perhaps even accident investigation.
- While every case is unique, you always need an attorney with years of experience in cases similar to yours. An experienced attorney is deeply familiar with the applicable areas of law and legal processes, so they can guide you through your decisions. Their experience also makes them able to anticipate and plan for potential challenges and pitfalls, avoiding problems before they happen.
- Work accident cases can be complex, and can become expensive over time. If you are recovering from an injury and out of work, you may need an attorney who works on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay any attorney fees unless you receive a favorable outcome in your case, and don’t pay anything up front.
- Other factors. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may need an attorney with a convenient location in Austin, an attorney who offers free consultations, an attorney with experience in wrongful death as well as workplace accidents, or other factors.
When choosing an attorney, begin by thinking over your case and making a detailed list of your own specific needs.
How to Research Austin Work Accident Lawyers
Once you have identified your needs, you can begin researching work accident lawyers. Here are the best places to begin your search:
- The State Bar of Texas. The State Bar of Texas is an invaluable resource for people searching for a workers’ comp attorney in Austin, and should be part of your search process. Their attorney profiles allow you to make sure that your attorney is eligible to practice in Texas, and alert you to any disciplinary history the lawyer may have had. They also offer a free Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) to help you find an attorney who meets your needs.
- Online search. Searching for an attorney online is a very common place to start. It can also be helpful because these searches can indicate public ratings and reviews, social media accounts, locations and offices, and other relevant information about the lawyer and their practice.
- Referrals from friends and family. If you have friends or family who have had a similar case and can provide a referral, it can be very helpful. Personal recommendations provide good insight into an attorney’s personality and communication style that you can’t always find online.
In most cases, you will need to use more than one of these resources when identifying the right lawyer for your case. Create a short list of a few likely candidates, then look up their credentials and practice areas before proceeding to the next step.
What to Look for in a Work Accident Lawyer
Once you have identified one or more qualified work accident lawyers who might be the right fit for your case, here are some of the things to look for:
- Reviews and testimonials. Online ratings and reviews aren’t the only criteria to judge an attorney, but it’s a good reference point. Read what other people have to say about their experience working with this lawyer, and how their cases turned out. Most good lawyers will have a section of their website with testimonials that are often more complex and detailed than simple star reviews.
- A good attorney needs to be highly responsive, returning phone calls or messages promptly. They should also reach out spontaneously to keep you informed about the status and progress of your case. Look for an Austin work accident lawyer who replies quickly and answers your questions completely.
- Legal team. Law firms often have support staff in addition to the attorneys or partners. If you will be working directly with a paralegal or support staff rather than the attorney, make sure you know who you will actually be in daily communication with.
Communication style. Sometimes it’s not enough to choose an attorney who replies quickly. Sometimes you need an attorney who simplifies complex issues, or quickly cuts to the heart of the matter. Sometimes it’s just a question of style and who you personally connect with and want to work with.
As you schedule consultations and make initial contact with different Austin law firms, look for these factors to help guide your final choice.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a work-related accident, you are probably experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety about your case and your future. Working with the right Austin work accident lawyer can help reduce your anxiety, bring clarity to confusing issues, and build trust that someone is fighting on your side. Follow these steps to choose the right work accident attorney for your case.