Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    34

    Default Communication with lawyer is next to none

    I have requested that my lawyer explain to me how he is calcutating my settlement and I have not heard from him, his paralegal called and told me that he doesnt like to give out that info so the client does not get his hopes up about amounts of settlement offers because they could get less. I still want to know what he is using to calculate my settlement, I have not talked to my lawyer and he has not returned my calls, can I release this attorney and get another one and will I owe him anything or would the two attorneys split the fees between them? I am currently going to a BRC in november, so would it be wise to let him go before the BRC if he does not contact me as I have requested or should I ride it out and wait until after BRC if still does notcontact me

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,808

    Default Re: communication with lawyer is next to none

    Call and insist that they set you up with an appointment to come in and sit down and talk everything over with the lawyer.

    Not telling you how he might calculate a "settlement" is appropriate right now because it does not sound like you are anywhere close to time to calculate a settlement figure for the case.

    I never calculate a "settlement" until the facts are all ripe to discuss settlement. Facts evolve as a case goes along and it is hard to try to predict how cases will end up. When all the facts are ripened--you are finished with treatment, back at work, doing well, and the liability issues are clear, then he will discuss settlement numbers with you. Be patient.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: communication with lawyer is next to none

    I will be blasted for this but, I know attorneys have more than one client at a time and are not allways around to give infoe but why is it they can't return a call in a timely fashion I would think most would like to keep updated. Bob maybe you could shed some lite as to how cases are handled so we could get an understanding of what to look out for.
    CR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    I was told that the BRC was to determine my vocational impairment, what about my imairment rating, is that going to come into effect after the BRC or do we discuss my vocational impairment then my impairment rating at the BRC to determine my PPD? I have been out of work over a year and I have beeen told by my preinjury employer their is nothing for me to do in the plant so how does losing my job factor in? I was told what the offer sent to IC was, but it it was equivalent to about four years of my salary if I was going to return to work on my previous job. My impairment rating was 25% to the whole person, so what am I entitled to PPD and vocational imairment, wage loss, and future lost earnings, or do these come into the equation if we have to go into litigation.I have reached MMI so I would just like to discuss my case with my attorney, I have been dealing with my back for over 18 months and I am ready for it to end. Thanks complwyr for your input it was appreciated.
    Last edited by Jessie J; 10-25-2007 at 11:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    You always have a right to fire your lawyer at any time. The maximum that can be taken from any award you may get is 20% for attorneys fees. If your first lawyer thinks he's entitled to part of it, he can file a lien on that. Usually, in those cases, the lawyers will work something out between them as far as splitting it is concerned.

    You do have a right to stay in reasonable contact with your lawyer. We're not all perfect, and sometimes, it takes us a while to be able to get back with you. A good lawyer will try to keep you advised of what's going on with your case. However, it's difficult to give every client the level of attention they may want.

    What you're entitled to receive for your workers' comp injury is a formula, and it's really just algebra to get there. The real question is what "multiplier" you can get for your case. That depends on whether you're able to return to work, your age, education, work experience, and permanent medical restrictions.

    Your vocational disability is what the award is based on. It's really some number multiplied times your medical impairment rating (usually). In your case, if you have a 25% medical rating, and can't go back to work, you could get a wide range of disability awards. It could be anywhere from 2 times to 4 times. If you're an older worker and/or have some prospect for not ever being able to return to ANY kind of gainful employment, then you could possibly be Permanently and Totally Disabled (PTD). That would get you your TTD rate every week until you're old enough for Social Security. That's rare, though.

    Here's an example of how the math works. Say your TTD rate is $300 per week, you have a 25% rating, and aren't able to return to work. If you got two times your impairment, here's the math:

    25% PMI (permanent medical impairment) X 2= 50% PPD (vocational, or permanent partial disability).

    You then take the 50% and multiply times the maximum number of weeks for a body as a whole injury (400). 400 x 50%=200 weeks.

    You'd then take 200 weeks and multiply that times your TTD rate of $300 per week. 200 weeks x $300=$60,000.00.

    Of course, your attorney would be entitled to a 20% fee.

    You mentioned things like "wage loss" and "future lost earnings." Those things are not considered separately in workers' comp, and are a part of the award of Permanent Partial Disability benefits. Those factors usually come into play in cases of other personal injuries, not occurring on the job.

    This is just an example of how the math works. It's not an example or opinion on what your case may be worth. Without knowing all of the details of your case, I couldn't begin to give you an opinion as to what that would be worth, for purposes of negotiating a settlement. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,808

    Default Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    Jesse J, you need to go in and sit down with your lawyer and discuss everything. You have lots of legitimate questions and legal issues to sort through so you can make intelligent, informed decisions.

    crghast, good question about returning calls. I know I get about 300 emails and about three or four dozen phone calls in a normal day. I have to actually practice law and try to accomplish something every day too. Some days I am in court or a mediation or a deposition for most or all of the day. I cannot take a call at all if I am doing that. The truth is, we often do not have time to return all the calls, and after a few days, the fact that you called may be forgotten. Many lawyers take work home and spend their evening doing stuff that they could not do at the office because they spent their day on the phone or in court.

    Phone calls can eat up a lawyer's day, and many clients do not use their time on the phone with the lawyer very wisely or courteously. I personally do not need to talk to a client every week to let them know the "status of the case." The client does not need to talk to me every week for routine matters like that. My secretary or paralegal can answer that question. Cases do not move along that fast. When something is happening we will get in touch with the client to advise them as necessary.

    Usually, the paralegal, whose job is to maintain contact with clients, can handle the calls and emails and provide the needed info. But some clients actually will not accept info from the paralegal, but insist on talking to the lawyer. Those calls are a drag on the lawyer's time because they are a waste of the lawyer's time. The lawyer hired the paralegal to take some of that time consuming stuff off of the lawyer so the lawyer could do things that only a lawyer can do. So by insisting on talking to the lawyer when the paralegal is perfectly capable of handling the issue, the client is making himself into a problem client so far as the lawyer is concerned. Which means that he is even less likely to return the call the next time that person calls in.

    Would you expect to call your doctor's office with a routine question (Has my lab work come back yet? Has my surgery been scheduled?) and actually speak to the doctor rather than a nurse or staff person? Of course not. In a few small communities that might still be possible, but not in a modern city. Why? It is economics. The doctor's time is too valuable to be used in this way. Same with a lawyer. We delegate things down to the lowest level at which things can be handled competently, so that we can work on things that the paralegal or secretary cannot handle.

    A good lawyer is very busy. He may get 100 phone calls a day. If he returned them all, he would not get any productive work done. He would go out of business because he was tied up all day talking to clients on the phone, when a paralegal could have handled 99% of the calls just fine.

    One of the hardest parts of being a lawyer is managing all this stuff. Lawyers don't mean to blow you off, but they are so busy that it may look and feel that way.

    The most effective way to communicate routinely with your lawyer is probably email, which he can answer at his convenience, by a short letter that you mail or deliver, or by going through his staff, which he hired for that purpose. When you do get your lawyer on the phone, assume you have two minutes to complete the conversation. Ask your questions, and cut to the chase. Don't go off on tangents. And when you get off the phone, write down what the lawyer said, so that next month when you have forgotten what he said, you can review your notes rather than calling him to rehash the same conversation. (This happens a lot). Prior to a hearing or mediation or your deposition--some big event--try to go in for an office visit, face to face with the lawyer.

    I hope this gives you some insight into the communication problems from the lawyer's point of view.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    Excellent post!!!
    Quote Quoting complwyr View Post
    Jesse J, you need to go in and sit down with your lawyer and discuss everything. You have lots of legitimate questions and legal issues to sort through so you can make intelligent, informed decisions.

    crghast, good question about returning calls. I know I get about 300 emails and about three or four dozen phone calls in a normal day. I have to actually practice law and try to accomplish something every day too. Some days I am in court or a mediation or a deposition for most or all of the day. I cannot take a call at all if I am doing that. The truth is, we often do not have time to return all the calls, and after a few days, the fact that you called may be forgotten. Many lawyers take work home and spend their evening doing stuff that they could not do at the office because they spent their day on the phone or in court.

    Phone calls can eat up a lawyer's day, and many clients do not use their time on the phone with the lawyer very wisely or courteously. I personally do not need to talk to a client every week to let them know the "status of the case." The client does not need to talk to me every week for routine matters like that. My secretary or paralegal can answer that question. Cases do not move along that fast. When something is happening we will get in touch with the client to advise them as necessary.

    Usually, the paralegal, whose job is to maintain contact with clients, can handle the calls and emails and provide the needed info. But some clients actually will not accept info from the paralegal, but insist on talking to the lawyer. Those calls are a drag on the lawyer's time because they are a waste of the lawyer's time. The lawyer hired the paralegal to take some of that time consuming stuff off of the lawyer so the lawyer could do things that only a lawyer can do. So by insisting on talking to the lawyer when the paralegal is perfectly capable of handling the issue, the client is making himself into a problem client so far as the lawyer is concerned. Which means that he is even less likely to return the call the next time that person calls in.

    Would you expect to call your doctor's office with a routine question (Has my lab work come back yet? Has my surgery been scheduled?) and actually speak to the doctor rather than a nurse or staff person? Of course not. In a few small communities that might still be possible, but not in a modern city. Why? It is economics. The doctor's time is too valuable to be used in this way. Same with a lawyer. We delegate things down to the lowest level at which things can be handled competently, so that we can work on things that the paralegal or secretary cannot handle.

    A good lawyer is very busy. He may get 100 phone calls a day. If he returned them all, he would not get any productive work done. He would go out of business because he was tied up all day talking to clients on the phone, when a paralegal could have handled 99% of the calls just fine.

    One of the hardest parts of being a lawyer is managing all this stuff. Lawyers don't mean to blow you off, but they are so busy that it may look and feel that way.

    The most effective way to communicate routinely with your lawyer is probably email, which he can answer at his convenience, by a short letter that you mail or deliver, or by going through his staff, which he hired for that purpose. When you do get your lawyer on the phone, assume you have two minutes to complete the conversation. Ask your questions, and cut to the chase. Don't go off on tangents. And when you get off the phone, write down what the lawyer said, so that next month when you have forgotten what he said, you can review your notes rather than calling him to rehash the same conversation. (This happens a lot). Prior to a hearing or mediation or your deposition--some big event--try to go in for an office visit, face to face with the lawyer.

    I hope this gives you some insight into the communication problems from the lawyer's point of view.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    34

    Talking Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    Thank you both for your information JLJ and complwyr you have given me a better understanding of the process and the time frame needed for my situation. I am sure you are both great attorneys in your respective firms and state. I greatly appreciate the time you took to give me this information and thank you again. It has been a great help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    Bob
    I agree with splicer excellent post. The Web Master would do everyone a great service putting up your post,( for all to read ) I think it would give an understanding to so many with questions.!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    SouthEast
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Communication with lawyer is next to none

    i find it easier to communicate with my lawyer and his paralegal via email. they usually get back to me the same day, and if i have multiple emails they rarely if ever go unanswered. most lawyers have these pocket phone contraptions that get email on them so they can ran reply while enroute, or in the court room, etc.

    be diligent with them, but dont give up, also if you fire them ,then it just takes the next lawyer longer to go about collecting the info, so unless your lawyer is a complete dud, I wouldn't recommend it.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-01-2008, 10:29 AM
  2. Small town lawyer or city lawyer?
    By Jame_64 in forum Ohio
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-22-2007, 07:00 AM
  3. Any Mandatory laws regarding communication??
    By ENFUEGO in forum California
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-02-2007, 11:59 AM
  4. Claims Processing and Communication
    By denthemenis in forum Ohio
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-06-2007, 11:59 PM
  5. Communication Between Injured Workers
    By squigs037 in forum New York
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-16-2006, 05:20 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 


Find a Lawyer