Hello, I had an accident at work on August 23rd and they are saying that the health issues I'm having isn't workman's comp now. I hired a lawyer, he told me I have a case when I sat down with him. Yesterday I called him and he said I don't have a case until the Midwest Orthopaedic says I injured my knees and backs. Is there anyway I can pull out from what I signed at the lawyers office now. Also the Adjuster for the company won't send a denial letter so I can go to Midwest Orthopaedic to be seen my doctors. Can I withdrawal from the adjuster and just give my insurance card to pay. Help what can I do? Thank you in advance.
1 Answer from Attorneys
The quick answers to your questions are these. First, you can seek to terminate the services of your current lawyer. That lawyer would still be entitled to a fee based upon services rendered to date, as well as reimbursement of costs. Second, you cannot choose your adjuster. Remember this is an adversarial relationship between you and the wc carrier.
More pointedly to your concerns, it appears that the wc carrier has denied a causal relationship between your condition of ill-being and the work injury. Your treating physician should confirm that there is a causal relationship between your condition and the work accident. Your attorney will need this to prosecute the claim. Why the carrier won’t provide the denial is something I cannot comment upon. But, I believe that your attorney could force that issue when he/she brings it before the Commission. To bring it before the Commission, your attorney will need medical proof that your condition is causally related to your injury.
Having represented petitioners for over 30 years I have spoken to many petitioners who are unhappy about the status and pace of their claim. Most issues arise from an expectation of the process that is not reasonable. I always tell these people to:
1. Contact your current attorney and schedule a face to face meeting at a mutually convenient date and time. You don’t want to do this over the phone where other distractions may interfere. Any attorney competent in litigating wc claims should respect your request.
2. Go to the meeting with an open mind and attentive ear so that the attorney can explain the process, the necessity of proof and the reasonable expectations of moving the case forward. Treat the attorney with respect and you should expect the same from them.
3. Don’t be afraid to take a list of questions with you so you don’t miss something. Make sure the time is productive.
4. Try to agree upon a course of action based upon your needs and the attorney’s reasonable expectations of the litigation process. (i.e.: length of time to litigate; need to obtain proof; time necessary to obtain that proof; reasonable expectation of outcome)
I have found that blowing up the attorney/client relationship only leads to a resetting of the clock which benefits no one. If you still feel the relationship is unsalvageable, you have the right to switch attorneys. But you don’t want to find yourself in the same place three months down the road. Make the appointment.
Best of luck.