Why Attorneys Should Treat Workers’ Comp Cases Emphatically
Learn why it’s essential for attorneys to have empathy for their clients when they’re handling workers’ compensation cases.
Remember, an injured worker is going through an unsettling time, which can be extremely stressful.Merriam-Webster defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”
As an attorney, it’s important to be able to empathize with your clients. This is especially true in cases where your client was injured, like a workers’ compensation claim.
In these kinds of cases, it’s typically not just enough to put yourself in your clients’ shoes or to understand what they’re going through. You also need to genuinely want to help them through their situation.
Remember, an injured worker is going through an unsettling time, which can be extremely stressful.
When working with a workers’ compensation case, my firm emphasizes the importance of being empathetic with each client that walks through our doors, from the very first meeting to the final communication.
Why do we go above and beyond in this way?
Because something as simple as human empathy can go a long way in helping put clients at ease during a really difficult time in their life.
Advice for flexing your empathy muscleTip #1: Be an active listener
Not only do we listen to our clients from the first interaction and ask them about their workplace accident, we also listen to their story as a whole. Don’t forget to pay attention to subtle emotional cues. You can pick up on a lot of unspoken information by noticing body language and what goes unsaid. The client’s surroundings can also tell you a lot about how they are coping with their recovery.
Tip #2: Be an empathetic communicator
Effective communication often includes mirroring your client’s words back to them in your words. This practice helps reassure anxious clients by showing them that you’re really listening, making them more likely to open up to you and offer more detailed information about what’s going on in their life.
Tip #3: Be a compassionate advocate
Being a compassionate advocate means being there whole-heartedly for your client. Taking this approach will help to establish trust between you and them, and it will help your client feel more comfortable with opening up. This allows you to be a more effective litigator on their behalf.
Empathy takes a lot of practice. Start flexing your empathy muscle right now and see how it affects your clients and others around you. It has certainly done wonders for us.