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How to Find the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in California
Dealing with arthritis can be incredibly painful and difficult to live with. The term arthritis might not sound that serious, but many people don’t realize that it can actually be so debilitating as to prevent a person from being able to work. In some circumstances, it’s so severe that people actually qualify for Social Security Disability. If you’re unable to work due to your arthritis and you’re trying to find the best arthritis and disability lawyers in California, Morgan & Morgan can help. We have been handling disability claims for decades. We have attorneys all over the state of California, so no matter where you’re located, we can help. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Finding the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in California Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
It can be very intimidating to find a lawyer, especially if you’ve never been in this situation before. Before you decide who to hire, it can be helpful to make a list of the qualities that you are looking for in an attorney. Some factors to consider include the following:
It’s important that you find a lawyer who is local to you for several reasons. First, a local attorney will be familiar with all of the local rules and regulations that might be relevant to your claim. If you hire a lawyer from out of town or someone who isn’t from the area, they may not have the knowledge you need. Next, location is important because you’ll likely have to meet with your lawyer in person multiple times throughout the case. If your lawyer is far away, it will be frustrating trying to get to meetings with them. Anytime you have to hire a lawyer, it can be a very stressful time. The more you can do to make it easier for yourself, the better. Finally, location is important because local attorneys often take more pride in their work than those from out of town. While this isn’t always true, there’s something to be said about someone who is working in their own community.
Another factor to consider is the lawyer’s reputation. Do you know others who know this attorney? Find out what they think of them and what other colleagues think as well. Do other lawyers have a difficult time working with them, or do they have good things to say? While another person’s opinion shouldn’t be the deciding factor in who you hire, it’s important to listen to what people are saying. If enough people are saying something negative about someone you intend to hire, it might be time to listen.
Additionally, it’s smart to look at reviews that former clients have left online about them. If a lawyer doesn’t treat their clients well, you can be fairly certain that clients will post about it on the internet and social media. Make sure you do your research so you find the best fit for your case.
Another significant factor is the amount and type of experience a lawyer has. Have they handled disability cases? What about claims dealing specifically with arthritis? If not, you may want to keep looking. Even an experienced lawyer may not be able to help you if they don’t have expertise in the area that you need. A lawyer who has been handling tax law for decades but just started taking disability cases might not be the right choice. While it’s possible that they would do a great job, that doesn’t mean you have to be one of their first disability cases. Do what’s best for you and your family.
How to Find the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in California
Now that you know more about what you’re looking for and factors to consider, it’s important to learn how to find the best lawyer for your claim. The following are suggestions you can take when trying to find a lawyer to hire:
1. Ask friends and family for referrals.
Before looking for an attorney on your own, you can start by asking friends and family if they know any lawyers who handle disability claims. If they know of any, ask them what their experience was or what they know about the lawyer. If none of your friends or family members know a disability lawyer, ask if they know any lawyers that they trust. If they do, see if they’re willing to ask the lawyer if they know of any disability lawyers that they can refer to you. It’s always better to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust than to find a lawyer on your own.
2. Search online
If you’re not able to find a lawyer through recommendations, don’t get too worried. Many people have to find a lawyer on their own. One of the best ways to do this is to search for lawyers online. You can start with Google. Look for disability lawyers in whichever part of California you’re located in. Once you get some results, start looking through their websites and pick a few that you think might be a good fit.
3. Set up consultations
Once you’ve made a shortlist of a few lawyers that you think you’d like to work with, you can set up consultations with each of them. Most arthritis and disability lawyers in California will offer a free consultation, so you don’t need to worry about spending money upfront. Just plan on investing some time. Once you meet each lawyer in person, you should have a better idea of who you would like to hire. Ask them all the important questions you can think of. Talk about fee agreements, what you’re responsible for paying, how involved you will be in the process, and how you can communicate with them when necessary.
Do I have to hire a lawyer to file for disability?
No, you don’t. While it’s not required that you hire a lawyer, it’s certainly recommended. Without a lawyer, the process of applying and being approved for Social Security disability could literally take years, if you even get approved. Many claims are initially denied right away in the beginning, even if you have a valid reason for needing Social Security Disability. Many people who appeal have a much better chance of being approved particularly if they are being represented by an attorney. Having a lawyer from the outset can help expedite this process significantly. It still takes time, but it likely won’t take nearly as long if you have a lawyer from the get-go. Often the initial application is denied when you are not filing the claim through a disability attorney.
How do I apply for Social Security Disability?
If you wish to apply for Social Security Disability, you can do it in a number of different ways. You can go to the Social Security Administration’s website and apply there. Alternatively, you can go to your local Social Security office and speak with a representative in person. They can help you apply. There’s often long waiting periods when you go in person, so just make sure you set aside enough time to be there for most of the day. Finally, if you’re lost and not sure what to do, contacting a lawyer is always the best option.
Do I need medical records to apply for Social Security Disability?
Yes. Medical records will likely be the most important aspect of your claim. If you can’t prove that you are disabled and fail to show exactly why you’re unable to work, you won’t be able to get Social Security Disability. Obtain as much of your medical history as possible. You can also ask your doctor to write up a narrative for your application, detailing your case, what is prohibiting you from working, and why you need Social Security Disability.
What if my claim is denied?
If your claim is denied, don’t think that’s the end of the road. Most claims are denied the first time, especially if you didn’t use a lawyer to help you apply. If your claim is denied, there are several steps you can take to appeal the claim. This should always be done with a lawyer to ensure the process is done as quickly and efficiently as possible. The longer it takes, the longer you have to go without collecting benefits.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help With Your Disability Needs
If you’re still trying to figure out how to find the best arthritis and disability lawyers in California, there’s no need to look any further. Morgan & Morgan has experienced attorneys who can help you with every step of your disability claim. If you want to consult with a lawyer before filing an application, have an attorney help you with your application, or hire someone to handle an appeal if your claim is denied, we can help you. We take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you never have to pay us anything until we win or settle your case. Our fee comes directly out of any compensation you’re awarded, so you never have to come up with money out of your own pocket. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan for a free case consultation.