New Jersey Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured New Jersey Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6

    Angry I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    And I am scheduled for a hearing but my lawyer keeps sending me letters telling me
    That I don't have to come to my court date
    And I found out that he had papers that said I was totally disabled
    But he never brought them up till I made a request for all my medical papers from the doctors

    And for some reason they keep rescheduling my hearings
    But my lawyer does not call me to let me know my date has been rescheduled
    Plus he doesn't send me a letter to let me know anything
    And When I do get a date that's definite he sends me a letter saying that I don't have to come to my court date
    We have No kind of communication I even contacted the grievance court and they said he's not doing anything wrong.

    Then I also found out that I'm not receiving workers comp
    Because when I called workers comp about my case
    They said they have no record of me and then they searched again
    And found out that I am in the system but my lawyer switched around a number in my social security number
    But no checks were ever sent to me

    So I told my lawyer I want a new lawyer and he said I can have a new lawyer
    But I would have to pay him for his time and work (which he doesn't do)
    But I have a Letter stating workers comp paid him already.

    Can someone give me a idea of what's going on ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    contact another atty and have them take over your case. they will handle all the paperwork. the judge will decide as to how the atty fees will be split. you can object to the fee requested by the prior atty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    He sent me a letter stating if I get another attorney he would put a lean on my case
    But work comp said the lawyer gets paid by them
    But I'm finding out the Insurance company was paying me
    And they have me thinking I'm on workers comp when workers comp never sent me checks.

    I want to know is there anyone I can talk to about this
    Because it seems like something fishy is going on

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,045

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    But I'm finding out the Insurance company was paying me
    And they have me thinking I'm on workers comp when workers comp never sent me checks.
    "workers comp" is a system... and the State Dept of Workeres Compensation... the employer, or empolyers insurance company would be sending you TTD checks... "WC" would likely have the court/claim info you are looking at on their web site.

    From what you are saying, your atty is handling your claim for you... not sure what you are asking about here... you should be feeling good your atty is handling the court/hearings for you and you are not required to attend.

    Attys fees are paid by the IC... but come from your benefits/settlement... unless the statutes allow for atty fees be paid by the ER/IC....
    If you are not sure what the status or situation is with your claim, get all your questions together on a paper/pad, make an appt with your atty and clarify this... which should have been done when you signed wth the atty to represent you.

    Only one fee will be paid... if you have more than one atty, they will be splitting the fee based on work performed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    He ignores my calls and my letters I write when I have questions about my case

    I probably spoke to him on the phone twice in a year
    And the only time he writes is to tell me I don't have to attend my hearing
    And he has yet to even tell me how much he's going try to ge out of the this case

    If that's what you call help I feel sorry for anyone who has to go through with this "system"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    Dear Brooklyngurl,

    Welcome to the NJ forum

    It is common in WC cases that the IW "NOT" be present for some of the hearings in regards to your case. Once your case is filed with NJWC court your case goes into rotation and is called up about every 3 weeks at this time the lawyers for both sides present their side of the claim and once all the required info is before the JUDGE he will ask BOTH lawyers if they are ready to move forward, both lawyers must be prepared to move forward or the case goes back into rotation. They may be rescheduling your presents in court because the required info is not before the JUDGE yet. This happens with WC.

    Ultimately it is your responsibility to know all of the info that is available to you such as your medical file. Good for you in asking for it. You will find having this very valuable!!!!

    Communication with "good WC lawyers is a concern as "good" WC lawyers don't return calls as they make their $$ lawyering not making client calls. What I found to be helpful is calling your lawyers secretary and using her/him as a go between with your questions and concerns. If you wait for the lawyer to call you back you are in for a long wait. Typically if there is no change in your case you will not receive letters. You will get letters when your presents is required or when there is a significant change in your case status. BE Careful contacting agencys like the grievance court as your lawyer is one of the good guys or should be one??) You can irk your lawyer by doing such things and even get labeled a trouble maker or problem case?? you dont want this!!!!

    You should be following the ball on things like your TTD checks!!! As I wrote b4 "Ultimately it is your responsibility to know all of the info that is available to you" Again telling your lawyer you want a new lawyer is negitive and will not advance your case. If you feel he/she is incompetent you should hire a new lawyer and let the new lawyer terminate your old one that's is how that should be done. NEVER DO THIS YOURSELF!!!! If you want a new lawyer I suggest you contact a different firm never ask for a new lawyer in same firm, as they all talk to each other and you can guess what would be said of you then??

    If your lawyer has been paid then your case must be advanced toward conclusion?? Which is odd if you have not gotten your TTD checks

    To be able to have a clue as to what is really going on MUCH more info is required however its possible that you to close to the case meaning too personally involved and you want fast action which is not going to happen in WC court unless it is an emergency hearing for med care.

    I hope this is somewhat helpful. Just remember your lawyer is fighting for you. His job is difficult by itself without your negative interference, sure you're entitled to some respect as an IW but without knowing all the facts its possible you may be expecting more than what is availible at the time of asking?? Its only a guess??

    Your lawyer is only entitled to payment if he advanced your case forward through WC court. If not then he is not. Again hiring and firing of a WC lawyer should be done with your new lawyer, but in your case Im not convinced he/she has done anything to deserve termination?? Feel free to contact if needed or reply on board but just be careful not to disclose too much personal info that may ID who you are.

    WC does not send you your TTD checks this comes from the ins carrier.


    BUG

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    Bugmann..

    Please respond ...My case is currently settled found in my favor as Totally Disabled during the day of my settlement I was not awarded for any of my back pay due to the fact that I was Forced out of work due to chronic pain in my lower spine. I was injured on 08/07/07 undergoing a 3 level anterior posterior fusion and was paid TDB then forced back to work on 12/19/2008 at this point my benefits’ ended ..I could not bear the chronic pain from sitting all day on 02/19/09 I left my duties for medical attention and was not paid...for several months, which forced me to take a part time job 10 hours a week from 8/30/10 to 12/28/10 My case settled in June of 2012 I lost almost 2 years in wage loss ...My attorney informed that WC pays you from the last day you work ...I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked my attorney to pull me out on med and temp prior to doing any type of work...however I was starving!!! And yet he refused to do so...At this time after my settlement which is almost a year...I have asked him several times via both e-mail and telephone to get me medical attention due to my pain and medical condition ..He continues to make excuses ...I am out at least 3500.00 in out of pocket expenses and lack medical care...using my spouses Medical Insurance to see an internists every month...I am al getting calls from “Social Security” stating that he has never sent them the paperwork proving that my settlement outcome was nothing!!!...where is this going and what the Hell happened here ??? Is my last recourse the NJ Bar Asso..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: I'm Having a Big Problem with My Lawyer and Case

    joediluzio

    Sorry for my delay.

    You may be mistaken on the courts findings, yes the decision may be in your favor but I dont believe the make they determination of total disability, but I cant be absolutely sure on that point. Once you return to work, even for just 5 mins your TTD ends and the waiting period resets. Many employer limit their liability in WI cases by having the IW return to work ASAP even if it is to do mundane office details like answering the phone. If you are unable to deal with the pain of your work injury once you are rated MMI, and walk off the job due to pain unfortunately unless the employers agrees to pay you they dont have to. You are entitled to TTD while out of work while getting medical attention for work injury. Once you are rated MMI by the WC DR your benefits end. So they do pay you from your last day of work till MMI. Less the waiting week. You do get the waiting week after being out so many consecutive days. Your lawyer may be doing everything he can to get you your medical care, however it is the NJWC law that may be hindering him. Boy I KNOW the starving effect of NJWC, however sadly this is our problem and is not an issue for WC to resolve

    Just so u know chronic pain can not be treating correctively therefore palliative care is needed which is not covered under njwc. However Chronic pain can be considered totally disabling by SSA thus SSDI or SSI benefits as well as 2nd injury fund may be an option. However in some cases you must not work at all or you lose total disability rating as you are working. Just be sure the internist knows this condition is pre existing which is what MMI status brings. Dont even say work injury. That will open a can of worms you will want closed

    This sounds like the Classic NJ Squeeze play. They wait till you are starving to see how disabled you are, many lose their benefits as well as hope due to tactics like this one.

    We need to face it when hurt at work in NJ we are going to take a hit, and the more serious one is hurt the bigger the hit they must absorb. Real nice isnt it?

    The Bar will not be able to help. Just remember what a great WC lawyer would do in a case. "If the act or action will not benefit your case then the act or action is avoided.

    The Bar will offer you no help, but will give you your lawyers history which you want as you need to know if he has disciplinarily on his jacket.

    Your lawyer know that SS needs this form. I'll bet you are getting under the skin of your lawyer with grievance courts and calls to the BAr etc... He may be stalling on sending this due to your actions against him. Even if you dont like him he is your BEST source of WC info on your case. If you are not happy with his performance first make sure he has done something wrong B4 you can him. The best way to fire a lawyer in a WC case is to consult a well known NJWC expert. If the expert says he sees boo boos in your case and says he can give you what you seek. THEN you hire the new lawyer and the new lawyer will can the current lawyer. YOU are advised this is the best way!! The JUDGE will determine the fees and who gets what. Dont get bullied into thinking you will pay more fees if you hire new lawyer. The fee is same and the JUDGE will divide it amongsts the lawyers.

    We are here if you need. Also it is best to begin a new tread when addressing a new subject. I was lucky to see this post??

    GOOD LUCK
    BUG

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