Experiencing a traumatic accident can be life-changing so it is important that you understand what your rights are and how the disability process works. Disability lawyers are a critical part of helping you navigate the process of applying for and obtaining disability. For this reason, an important first step in processing and winning your claim is choosing the right legal team.
Here we review the ins and outs of disability lawyers and the questions you need to ask your team to help you move forward with the disability process.
How Disability Lawyers Can Help Your Hearing
If you have a worker’s compensation or social security disability case, you may need a lawyer. Although lawyers are not required in all cases, there are some cases in which a disability lawyer may be needed or helpful. Cases involving pain not due to trauma may be more difficult to win so disability lawyers can play an essential role in helping you succeed. In particular, cases involving Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS), or other chronic conditions not related to trauma, may benefit from a legal team as disability lawyers will have experience in handling cases like these.
No one goes into a disability hearing planning to lose so the experience of disability lawyers can make a difference. Disability lawyers can help you prepare for your case, determine whether or not you need a witness, and even give you an idea of how long your case may take in court. The reality is that most people heading into a disability hearing are unfamiliar with the process, do not know what to expect, and may be unprepared for the sort of evidence they are expected to provide. Disability lawyers know the disability hearing process and they know the tricks to make sure your hearing turns out to be a success.
Of course, the work that disability lawyers do to help you requires some work on your part as well. You should make sure that the information you provide your lawyer is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge. You should be forthcoming with any relevant information and keep your lawyer up to date on any changes in your condition or your case. The disability lawyer can only help you as much as you allow him or her to do so. Information that is incomplete or inaccurate will likely be revealed during the hearing so doing your part to help your disability lawyer places them in a position to be of most use to you.
Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Disability Lawyer
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There are some questions that you should ask a disability lawyer before you consider hiring him or her. This is not only to ensure that you can afford the services of the lawyer, but that the lawyer is qualified to handle your case. There is little point in hiring a lawyer who has meager experience in cases similar to your own, or who has little experience in disability hearings in general, so you want to make sure you come prepared for your meeting with your lawyer with some relevant questions. What follows are a few questions that you might want to ask your disability lawyer.
Is Disability Law An Area You Specialize In?
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Let’s face it. Not all lawyers are the same. A lawyer that you or a family member may have used for another case may not necessarily be the right lawyer to handle your disability claim. It is important that you determine whether a lawyer you are considering hiring for your case has experience in handling disability cases. Disability lawyers will have an understanding of the medical conditions and medical terminology commonly encountered in disability cases. They also will know the sort of evidence or witnesses that a claimant will be expected to provide.
Will I Be Charged Whether I Win Or Lose The Case?
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Lawyers charge a fee. If they did not, they would go out of business. Before you hire a disability lawyer, you need to get a sense of the sorts of fees and expenses you should expect from the lawyer handling your case. Lawyers may charge by the hour and they may expect to be reimbursed for travel expenses, document costs, and other expenses associated with the day-to-day operation of your case. Some disability lawyers only charge certain fees if you win the case, so make sure you understand from the very beginning what fees you should expect.
Do You Charge A Fee For The Initial Consultation?
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Some disability lawyers may charge a fee for the initial consultation, regardless of whether or not you decide to proceed with them for your disability case. When speaking with your attorney before meeting them, make sure you understand beforehand whether or not you will be expected to pay a fee for your consultation. Although a fee of this nature may seem exorbitant, disability lawyers see many clients. Their time is valuable, so charging a consultation fee is not unusual.
Understanding The Process And Working Together
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There are several reasons why hiring a disability lawyer is a good idea, but one of the more important ones is having someone on hand to help you navigate the process. A layperson would not be expected to know how disability hearings work and this is where a good lawyer can help. But an important part of this process is working together with your lawyer in order to achieve the outcome you want. As mentioned before, you have to be fully forthcoming and honest with your lawyer
Questions To Ask Your Disability Lawyer
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Aside from the questions you should ask before you hire your lawyer, there are a number of questions you should ask once you have a disability lawyer on your team. Asking these questions will ensure that you and your lawyer on the same page, helping to avoid any surprises in the future that result from misunderstandings. Disability lawyers are used to their clients asking questions. In fact, they expect it, so do not shy away from hashing out all the important details early on.
How Will We Prepare for My Hearing?
One of the reasons why it is important to have a disability lawyer is because the average person does not know how to prepare for a disability hearing. One of the most important questions to ask disability lawyers early on is how they will prepare for your hearing. A lawyer with experience in the area should be able to detail what evidence or documents are normally required and how these documents are obtained.
Do I Need Witnesses in My Case?
Not every disability case needs a witness. In fact, depending on the testimony that the witness provides, a witness may actually not be beneficial to your case at all. A good question to ask your attorney is whether you need a witness and, if you do, will the lawyer do the job of finding the witness for you.
What Is an On-the-Record Request?
Some disability cases actually do not need to go to a hearing. An on-the-record request is a request to the court for a ruling in cases where there is significant and overwhelming evidence of disability. These cases can be time-consuming, but good disability lawyers would know when it is appropriate to proceed with an OTR rather than actually going through the motions of a hearing.
What If My Case Goes to Federal Court?
Some disability cases may go to federal court. Your disability lawyer should be able to refer you to someone who can handle your case in that arena if he or she is unable to. It is important to ask this question so that you know what your attorney has planned in the event that this occurs.
What Happens If My Case Is Denied?
It is not uncommon for disability cases to result in an unfavorable hearing. This is why there is an appeals process, although this process can be time-consuming. It is important for your understanding that you ask your disability lawyer what they plan to do if your case is denied.
How Long Do Cases Like Mine Typically Take?
Disability cases are known for sometimes taking long periods of time to be resolved in the courts. Cases can be time-consuming because of waiting for court dates and time spent gathering evidence. Although every case is different, disability lawyers with experience should be able to give you an idea of how long cases like yours typically take.
What Do You Think My Chances of Winning Are?
Though every case is different, a disability lawyer should have a general sense of whether you have a stronger case or a weaker one. They may not be completely blunt with you, it is fair to ask them what your chances of a successful verdict are.
No one wants to go through the process of getting disability, but if you have to you want to make sure you have the right legal team. Good disability lawyers will have experience in your area of disability and a winning track record. Asking the right questions is the first step to a successful disability claim.
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