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Basic things to know when working with an attorney

Working with a workers’ compensation defense attorney may be a new experience for a business owner. Employers may have worked with lawyers in planning the business, including establishing a corporate entity or raising money for the enterprise. However, hiring an attorney to defend a workers’ comp claim may be different. It is crucial to understand some basic tenets so that a proper expectation is set.

This post will highlight some basics of working with a workers’ comp defense attorney.

Billable hour – The way defense attorneys are paid is by itemizing the time that they spend working on a particular case. Not only is legal research, writing and time spent in court or investigating the case is billed, but so are writing and reading emails, responding to phone calls and time spent with the client. Because of this, it is important to understand what the billable hourly rate is, and what increments are used to bill.

Discovery – This is the process of gathering information to support the defense. Essentially, documents must be obtained and reviewed by the attorney to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Discovery may entail review of hundreds of documents and take quite a bit of billable time.

Knowing when to settle – The more you litigate, the more you are potentially going to spend, even if you end up winning the case, because recouping attorney’s fees is not always guaranteed. With that said, identifying settlement opportunities early in the process is helpful not only in saving on billable hours, it could reduce the ultimate liability in the case.

To have additional questions answered, contact an attorney.

Source: Workerscompensation.com “Working with workers compensation defense attorneys,” July 7, 2014

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