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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North of Phx., AZ.
    Posts
    20

    Default Making a Workers Comp Claim With or Without an Attorney

    Some of you may have already read my original thread “How Much is Fair?” So you are aware I have been trying to deal with this without the use of an attorney. But thanks to some of you here and especially “BvIA” I am thinking I might be in over my head.
    So my question to you all is: Have any of you taken care of your case without an attorney? And for those of you that have used an attorney, do any of you feel now that it is over could have done just as well on your own??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,078

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    whatever answer you get it's state specific.
    some states work comp systems are set up to run "best" with represented workers and more complex and formal legal procedures.
    others are mainly administrative and, for the most part, can be handled more easily at the first level with just a conference with a work comp official.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North of Phx., AZ.
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    Thank SH But I am less than 30 months from Medicare, hence I will probably have to address the WCMSA. Thanks to BvIA and links he/she has sent me I have learned more about this program and have been reminded how politicians can take something that is seemingly simple and turn it into a nightmare! This is a consideration...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,078

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    right.
    but this board has many readers who search and learn.
    I wanted to clarify for those.
    we often forget about the much larger audience out there and frequent posters have a duty to provide as broad a range of information as possible on the topic.
    that's why I tend to avoid specific and complex details and prefer to provide to a more general response but also add a link to source information.
    Last edited by .SH; 05-12-2009 at 08:33 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North of Phx., AZ.
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    Yes I understand, that is why I waited for any response to add a little more about my particular situation.
    In the beginning I sought counsel and a couple said they could help me (30-40%) and a local Lawyer with a large firm said he would do it for 25% so I made an appointment and he said I was doing fine on my own and would be glad to answer any questions along the way and if it came to it would be glad to represent me IF he thought it would be needed, but has never said it would be needed and also has been lax in answering my questions and/or returning my calls and emails.
    I am a little slow but have finally concluded he is ill-informed, because he said I need not worry about WCMSA among other things!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,078

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    yup.
    you can make yourself a much better client and deserving of much better representation by becoming better informed. There is a lot of information available for those willing to look for it. a strong testament to posting boards such as this one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    Hello,I got injured last Aug and i have not retained an ATT to this point.The IC has paid all the bills so far.Although I have taken all of my time off to recherche,research,research.Talk to lawyers,most of them don't charge for a consult.Also i have done what you are doing,asking questions on this site.I have learned a lot from beachgirl,Bvia,.sh,and a few others as well.If something doesn't sound right to me then its time to lawyer up.

    Good Luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North of Phx., AZ.
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    Hello 622, me too and I'm in the process of trying to find an ATT that'll take my case and not take me. Have you had an IME yet?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,943

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    Do I need a lawyer?


    The defendants (the employer and insurance company) will have a lawyer. You can either hire a lawyer or represent yourself. Only a lawyer licensed in Arizona can give legal advice. A workers’ compensation lawyer will be familiar with the laws, rules, and procedures, and can give you legal advice about how to present your case, what evidence you will need, what witnesses to call, and whether it is in your best interest to settle the case. For attorney referral services, see "Frequently Used Addresses and Telephone Numbers".


    The State of Arizona does not appoint lawyers to represent injured workers. You cannot be represented by a document preparer, paralegal, spouse, family member, or friend. If you represent yourself, you will be expected to know the laws and rules that apply to your case.
    While an ALJ/Administrative Law Judge may be IW friendly, and provide the IW with the benefit of the doubt... the judges are not there to educate IW's in the law, or litigation process. A pro per/se applicant will be expected to be prepared with the knowledge of the issues under dispute w/o the necessity of a 3rd party coach.

    While it's true a well informed, educated IW is the IC's worst nightmare... you need to be ready with the punch that will win the fight. An applicant attorney has that ability....nothing like a good "TKO" at a hearing,

    AA fees in AZ are awarded by the commission/judge...
    R20-5-160. Application to Set Attorney Fees Under A.R.S. § 23-1069 A. For purposes of A.R.S. § 23-1069, "final disposition of a case" occurs when all compensation benefits have been released to a claimant.
    B. A claimant or attorney filing an application for attorney's fees under A.R.S. § 23-1069 shall serve notice of the application to all parties, including if applicable, the insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or special fund division.
    C. Upon the filing of an application, the attorney and claimant shall, provide information to the Commission to enable the Commission to award reasonable attorney's fees.
    D. Attorney's fees awarded under this Section shall be set by the Commission, an administrative law judge, or other authorized representative of the Commission. http://www.ica.state.az.us/statutes_...R20-5-161.html
    More results for 'atty fee cap' is here...http://az.gov/webapp/portal/SiteSear...+fees&x=12&y=8

    The AZ WC Act defines AA fees as such...
    23-1069. Attorney's fees; payment; time limitation

    A. In proceedings before the commission in which an attorney employed by the claimant has rendered services reasonably necessary in processing the claim, the commission shall, upon application filed by the attorney or the claimant prior to a final disposition of the case, set a reasonable attorney's fee and shall provide for the payment thereof from the award, in installments or otherwise, as the commission determines proper in view of the award made, and shall further provide for the payment of the attorney's fee direct to the attorney. The commission shall charge the amount of the payment against the award to the claimant.

    B. The attorney's fee provided for in subsection A shall be not more than twenty-five per cent up to ten years from the date of the award. In cases involving solely loss of earning capacity, the maximum shall be twenty-five per cent up to five years from the date of the final award. When the payment of the award to the claimant is made in installments, or in other than a lump sum manner, in no event may an amount in excess of twenty-five per cent of any one such installment payment be withheld for the attorney's fee.

    C. The reasonableness of the attorney's fee set pursuant to subsection A shall be reviewable upon the application of the claimant or the attorney in the same manner as other awards of the commission.

    http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument....23&DocType=ARS
    AA fees are capped at 25% and must be awarded by a judge, who is the party to define 'reasonableness' of the fee requested.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: With or Without an Attorney

    Hang in there,Every case is different.No i have not had an IME.Fortunately,my case has run smoothly so far.IC has payed all the bills,and i have a good communication with IC,and my employer.I will be going back to work soon.I have some permanent restrictions,But my employer is going to meet them for me.Also my DR is kick ***.He told the IC that he will not put me at MMI until i go back to work for 4 weeks,then he will see me and see if i can do my job or not.If so then he will put me at MMI.Also IC is also OK with that.Listen to what these people are telling you here.Bvia and .sh post here every day.They find links that can help you find information.If it wasn't for all these wonderful people on this site,especially beachgirl,i would have had a nervous breakdown!Like i have said before,I will not hesitate to lawyer up if something doesn't seem right.

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