A disability lawyer can help you put together a strong claim for benefits that increases your chance of approval. But it is important to make the right choice when deciding on a lawyer. Ideally, your lawyer should be someone who focuses their practice on Social Security disability and who has a proven track record of winning benefits for their clients.
Beyond that, you can whittle down your list by asking a few pointed questions to the attorneys you are considering. Here are a few important questions to ask when choosing an experienced disability lawyer:
Are You Licensed to Practice Law in My State?
This question might seem unnecessary or even insulting — after all, why would a lawyer even be talking to you if they were not licensed to practice in your state? But you would be surprised at how many people waste time consulting with an attorney, only to realize the lawyer cannot help them due to not having a license in the right state.
This scenario is even more common in the internet age, as many lawyers run ads that reach people far outside of their local area. When you call an attorney’s office for the first time, go ahead and let them know what state you are in, the basic nature of your case, and before you go any further or divulge any more information, make sure the lawyer is indeed able to help you.
How Much of My Case Does the Attorney Handle?
Before you hire an attorney, you want to get an idea of how hands on they will be with your case. Often, especially with big law firms, the hotshot you see on the billboard or on TV has little involvement with your case. Instead, it gets handed off to a junior associate — someone you might not have heard of or even met.
Other law firms have “case managers,” employees who may understand the basics of Social Security but who are not lawyers, handling the bulk of your claim.
If you are considering a specific lawyer, make sure that lawyer is the one who will be doing the work. Obviously, your lawyer is not going to handle every piece of menial paperwork. But if you call them for a status update, they should be able to tell you what is going on without asking an assistant.
How Do You Handle Communication With Clients?
Perhaps the most frustrating thing a disability client can go through is never being able to reach their attorney when something comes up with which they need help. Or they reach someone at the firm, but it is a secretary or some such employee that is not able to discuss the specifics of the case in detail.
You should never hire a lawyer without being comfortable that they will be communicative with you. Ask them the hours they are typically available and how long it usually takes them to get back to clients. If they are evasive or do not make it a point to let you know how seriously they take communication with clients, you should be wary of hiring them.
What Is Your Track Record With Social Security Disability Cases?
Do not be afraid to ask a lawyer point blank how successful they are with Social Security disability cases.
The skill and competence of your disability lawyer could mean the difference in winning benefits worth thousands of dollars a month for years to come, or not getting them. Do not hesitate to demand a track record of excellence.
What Is Your Fee?
Once you are confident that you have found the right attorney for your needs, it is time to have the money conversation. Almost all Social Security disability lawyers get paid the same way: They take a percentage of your back pay once you are awarded benefits. Make sure you are comfortable with the percentage your lawyer charges.
If it seems high, call around and find out what their competitors are charging. Ultimately, though, the right lawyer is often worth paying a few percentage points more than you would for an average one.
Call 866-628-8179 For a Free Consultation With a Social Security Disability Attorney
While these are just some of the important question to ask when choosing an experienced disability lawyer, you may have more. If this is the case, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC.
If you are looking for a dedicated, compassionate disability law firm with a long track record of success, consider a free consultation with us. Our attorneys focus on Social Security disability and can fight for the benefits you deserve.
To speak with a disability lawyer, call 866-628-8179 today.