Gilbert Fisher: Having an attorney represent you in a workers' compensation case is very important, and so you need an attorney who will have your best interest and who will help you navigate what is a very complex system. Workers' compensation is a very specific area of law, and so you should find someone whose predominant area of practice is workers' compensation law. There are so many things that are specific to workers' compensation only, that are not issues that come up in other areas of law, that you definitely want to find someone whose focus is on workers' compensation.
In addition, there are some other things you should consider in selecting a workers' compensation attorney. For example, in California we have the California Applicants' Attorneys Association, C-A-A-A, CAAA for short, which is dedicated to representing injured workers. They maintain a website with a list of their member attorneys throughout the state. It's always a good idea to check there and find someone who's a member of CAAA. It's not to say that you can't find good attorneys elsewhere, but CAAA is a very dedicated organization and its members are almost always going to be focused on workers' compensation and going to have the experience you need to represent you.
Additionally, the State Bar Association has an area, a specialty, that is granted to certified specialists in workers' compensation. So, for example, an attorney can obtain or become a certified specialist by the State Bar in the area of workers' compensation by taking a test and showing or demonstrating a certain level of knowledge. I would say that that's also a good indicator. In the alternative, someone with a lot of experience, 10 years or the more experience the better would suffice.
And last but not least, certainly not least, it's good to look at their online reputation. Talk to people. Word of mouth is a great way to find an attorney. Talk to people, friends, family members who may have had an attorney and find out their opinion on their attorney or who represented them. Look online, see, read reviews and generally if you see positive reviews, that's an indication that the attorney has done a good job.
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