Unfortunately, all too many injured workers choose their lawyers by watching a slick television advertisement, looking at a billboard on the roadside or on the side of a bus, or listening to a radio advertisement. While this may be appropriate in determining what beer to drink, it is probably not the best tool for selecting an attorney.
In Connecticut, any Connecticut attorney who has passed the State Bar Exam and is licensed to practice in the state can appear before the workers’ compensation commission. In fact, there is no requirement for the claimant’s representative to be an attorney at all.
There are 52 workers’ compensation specialists in the State of Connecticut. These are attorneys who have dedicated a substantial portion of their practice to workers’ compensation, and who have demonstrated their excellence in the field of workers’ compensation by completing a rigorous application including peer review exam, and who have passed the specialization exam. This list of attorneys’ can be found on the Connecticut Bar Association’s website, and describes which workers’ compensation specialists can be found in which locality.
You should ask the attorney you contact if he or she will attend the hearings, or if you will be pawned off on an underling. You should ask how many cases the attorney has tried, how many appeals he or she has made. You may also want to ask if the lawyer has ever been reprimanded by the Statewide Grievance Committee.
Remember, selecting the right lawyer is the most important decision you will make in your case.