How Do I Know If I Need A Lawyer?
You always need an Attorney.
The Insurance Company will always have an Attorney present, and you will be taken advantage of if you don’t have one. No matter how intelligent and competent you are, this is a very specific field, and only those who work in it daily know how to handle it properly. However, if you try to take on the system on your own, you can be sure that at the first disputed issue (and there will be disputed issues) you will be directed by the judge to get an Attorney before being able to proceed to the next step, and you don’t want to be scrambling for one then. So get an Attorney early on and have the peace of mind you deserve.
- Who Will Be Handling My Case?
The Head Attorney will generally be the first attorney to review your claim and will continue to closely monitor your case’s progress. The attorney who will represent you at the Hearings will be assigned depending on your location. You can rest assured that we will only assign your case to competent attorneys who have demonstrated a record of success in the field. The Head Attorney will always be able to prepare you for your hearings, and will be the one providing all the guidance to the attorney representing you at your hearing to ensure we accomplish all our goals when we get there. If the Head Attorney is available or if she feels like her presence at the hearing is essential to the successful outcome of your case, she will be present at the hearing herself. You will always be notified ahead of time of which attorney will be present at your hearing, whether you may be available by phone, and if you must appear in person, what you must do when you arrive at the Board.
- When Should I Call My Lawyer?
You should call your Attorney anytime you have concerns. Because your attorney may be in trial, hearings, or mediations and may not be available, always ask to speak to a staff person assigned to your case if your attorney is not in. You should always contact your attorney if you have new contact information, have returned to work or stopped working, receive news that surgery is necessary, or if your payments are suspended or reduced. You should also contact your attorney if your doctor’s opinion regarding your degree of disability has changed, if you received news from the Carrier that an IME appointment has been or will be scheduled, if you receive news that a hearing has been scheduled, or any other time you receive any oral or written communication pertinent to your case.
- When Can I Expect My Lawyer to Call Me Back?
Your attorney will do everything he/she can in order to return your call the same day you placed it. However, it is possible that your attorney is out of the office all day or has to meet a deadline and cannot return your call promptly. You should always leave a detailed message explaining your concern and whether it is an urgent matter so that your attorney can meet your expectations and best assist you with your concern. You should also know that e-mails are a great way to get an immediate response since they can be answered anywhere, at anytime, without causing any disturbances to others.
- What Should I Be Told About My Case?
Everything. We represent you and you are entitled to know everything. We will keep you informed of every action taken in your case. We will talk to you about the legal process at any time. We believe it is your right and our duty to ensure that you understand your case.
- Can My Lawyer Settle My Case Without My Consent?
Absolutely not! You are always in control. The final decision as to how to conclude your case is yours. We are here to put your case in the best possible position to settle and give you the information necessary to make decisions. We will let you know if and when we receive an offer from the Carrier to settle your case, or whether we feel your case is ripe for settling. You will then have the ability to tell us your thoughts and concerns, and even to give us the decision making power on your behalf if you feel that is something you are comfortable with. But ultimately, the case cannot be settled without your full, well-informed approval.
- What If My Attorney or Their Staff Will Not Call Me Back?
If you do not receive a call back or e-mail response within one to two business days, you should make sure of the following:
1. You have left a working contact phone number and e-mail where you can be reached.
2. You have a voice-mail set up and your mailbox is not full.
3. You have expressed to your attorney that you want a call back or reply to your message even if the attorney does not yet have an answer for you. Your attorney should always call you back and be able to reach you if the above facts are true. Otherwise, it may be impossible to reach you despite the attorney’s efforts, or the attorney may be under the impression that you did not require a response, or only wanted a response when the attorney had an answer to your question or concern, which may take a few more days to obtain. Communication is key, so please be clear about your intentions and expectations when reaching out to your attorney.