Tips for Hiring a Good Social Security Disability Lawyer
When you decide you want a lawyer to help you with your Social Security Disability Benefits claim, here are a few tips to consider and questions to ask.
Qualifications. Most important for you is the educational background of your lawyer. Ask this question: “Are you a licensed lawyer?” If you want to hire a lawyer, this is the best way to find out. Remember, anyone (with few limitations) can represent a client at a hearing. You don’t want just anyone.
Experience. A Social Security lawyer is only as good as the time he or she puts into doing hearings. Ask this question: “How many hearings do you average a week?” For most lawyers doing Social Security hearings, this is the measure of their success – even more so than the win rate (see “What to watch out for” below).
Tact. It might surprise you, but your lawyer’s success depends on whether he or she burns bridges with judges and Social Security staff. Ask this question: “Do you ever have big disagreements with judges or Social Security staff?” If the answer is yes, be careful – especially if he or she brags about things such as getting kicked out of hearing rooms. Lawyers’ reputations precede them. Do you want a lawyer with this baggage helping you?
Strategy. Some of the toughest cases are those that lack clear medical evidence. Good lawyers make good arguments. Ask this question: “How do you argue cases that are not supported well by the medical evidence?” The answer should make you feel comfortable that your lawyer has more than medical evidence in his or her arsenal. Ask, for example, what he or she argues when people lack medical insurance. Listen to the answer.
Legal word-of-mouth: Your potential Social Security lawyer should have more than thank-you letters on his or her web site. He or she should be well-known by other attorneys. Ask this, “What would other Social Security lawyers outside your firm say about you?” Then ask, “Can I speak with one of them?” Listen to what the other lawyer says. Ignore generalities. A good lawyer will get candid praise from their peers or other lawyers. It is funny, but this is a good way to compare lawyers. Good lawyers should be confident and professional enough to not mind having you talk to competitors.
What to watch out for: Remember, lawyers should never promise results. It is common for people to want a winning lawyer. But you also want an ethical one. If your lawyer says they always win a certain percentage of their cases, run. You are not a result.
With these tips, hopefully you should find a good Social Security Disability lawyer that you have confidence in. If you have any questions about our lawyers, call Hoglund Law Office for a free consultation.
Andrew Kinney, Esq