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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation Problems With Attorney

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: New Jersey
    Hi I was hurt while on the job and herniated a few discs in my back. After the ins. co. dragging it out for almost a year sending me to p/t and all kinds of dr's including a hand specialist for 2 months I finally got surgery followed by p/t. My Dr said I reached MMI, I was examined by both sides and we were supposed to go to settle in court which was put off numerous times over the course of almost another year in the meantime I'm in severe pain again and very limited so they reopened my case after I had to go to the ER twice. Even though the case has been reopened I'm not recieving work comp. pay, they haven't paid the ER bill from 11/08 but am letting me see the Dr who just advised I need a discagram and possibly disc fusion. I wanted to give a brief background on my case.

    My attorney (the second one) does NOTHING, doesn't answer calls or faxes, rarely contacts me, I find that if I don't contact people myself and push, push, push for everything, nothing gets done. My question is #1 will the 1st attorney be paid out of my settlement even though he passed off my case to another firm? Also what can I do to get my attorney off his butt and work for me and his money to actually fight for me? Isn't that the purpose of having an attorney? The first attorney passed the case onto another firm after we had a falling out about his lack of attention to my case but I never signed any agreement with the new firm am I obligated to them and are they entitled to any of my settlement money? This has been dragged out and going on for what will be 3 years this coming Labor Day. I'm in pain 24/7 and have like no life and can't go back to my old job because of restrictions, can't sit too long, can't lift and have a lot of issues just doing small chores around the house. I'm lost, my credit has gone to garbage, I've lost most of my life and close to losing my home and relationship. I'm at a loss and need help. I wish I could help others to never have to go through what I've gone through. Aren't there any laws to protect US like there are to protect the employers? Seems NO ONE wants to help the people that need it the most. Any and all advice and suggestions would be appreciated, feel free to email me or post here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,080

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    how the atty fee will be shared will be determined by the work comp court.
    you can object to the amount of atty fee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    Will I have the opportunity to inform the judge in my case how I had to do 90% of the work on my case because both attorneys did no follow up? Will the judges take that into consideration or would it even be possible to have the work comp ins. co. pay my attorney's fees for dragging my case out for 3 years? This all makes me feel so helpless because if I push the attorney he'll drop my case but if I don't nothing gets done. It's a losing battle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    Quote Quoting SMiller View Post
    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: New Jersey
    Hi I was hurt while on the job and herniated a few discs in my back. After the ins. co. dragging it out for almost a year sending me to p/t and all kinds of dr's including a hand specialist for 2 months I finally got surgery followed by p/t. My Dr said I reached MMI, I was examined by both sides and we were supposed to go to settle in court which was put off numerous times over the course of almost another year in the meantime I'm in severe pain again and very limited so they reopened my case after I had to go to the ER twice. Even though the case has been reopened I'm not recieving work comp. pay, they haven't paid the ER bill from 11/08 but am letting me see the Dr who just advised I need a discagram and possibly disc fusion. I wanted to give a brief background on my case.

    My attorney (the second one) does NOTHING, doesn't answer calls or faxes, rarely contacts me, I find that if I don't contact people myself and push, push, push for everything, nothing gets done.

    My question is #1 will the 1st attorney be paid out of my settlement even though he passed off my case to another firm?
    Depends on the arrangement made with 2nd Attorney. I have 2 Attorney's and they agreed to split 50/50.

    Also what can I do to get my attorney off his butt and work for me and his money to actually fight for me?
    This is a difficult situation. You could try scheduling a appointment with the secretary that answers the phone
    .


    Isn't that the purpose of having an attorney? The first attorney passed the case onto another firm after we had a falling out about his lack of attention to my case but I never signed any agreement with the new firm am I obligated to them and are they entitled to any of my settlement money?
    Until you sign a agreement, nothing is concrete in my opinion.. Have you spoke with this Attorney by phone or any means?


    This has been dragged out and going on for what will be 3 years this coming Labor Day. I'm in pain 24/7 and have like no life and can't go back to my old job because of restrictions, can't sit too long, can't lift and have a lot of issues just doing small chores around the house. I'm lost, my credit has gone to garbage, I've lost most of my life and close to losing my home and relationship. I'm at a loss and need help. I wish I could help others to never have to go through what I've gone through.

    Aren't there any laws to protect US like there are to protect the employers?
    There are laws but ... If I was you, I would become familiar with my state WC laws. The best answer is to get as up to date as possible with your state laws and your case.

    Seems NO ONE wants to help the people that need it the most.
    Honestly, Help yourself by becoming educated with WC laws in your state. It sounds like you have 2 "gomer" lawyers. It will be very difficult to fire these 2 Attorney's and bring another Attorney onboard. To do this, the 3 Attorneys would possibly have to split your reward. It is not easy to fire a Attorney.

    Any and all advice and suggestions would be appreciated, feel free to email me or post here.
    Good luck and become educated about the WC system in your state. I know its difficult but hang in there.

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    how the atty fee will be shared will be determined by the work comp court.
    you can object to the amount of atty fee.
    My Attorney's agreed amongst themselves how they will split there Attorney fee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    Hi and thank you for the reply. Yes I've spoken to this second attorney by phone 2-3 times, he always seems in a rush, aggitated and tries to rush me off the phone. I've faxed over numerous times requesting updates or questions. For example, 5 weeks ago my Dr asked for a discagram to be done and approved. I asked a bunch of times the status with NO answer from my attorney, I had my fiance call the case worker who NEVER returns my calls and had her sound very professional and ask about the status of approval for the test. The case worker said she thought it was for surgery so she didn't answer the request (what is that about???) anyway my fiance got her to approve the test. Again I had to take things into my own hands and wait another 5 weeks just for an approval. Prior to this I waited almost 5 months for an appt. for the Dr to read my MRI because I called his office 5 times trying to make an appt with no luck and my attorney did nothing after telling him this for months. Is there no one from the state to help the injured PEOPLE and protect them from these delays? Doesn't anyone regulate these activities? I know I'll need this (or an) attorney to finish out this case in court so I'm always afraid to call and make him mad by pushing but I need his legal help and don't know of any other attorneys and don't want to start with a 3rd, plus still don't know if I have any real relationship with this one after signing no paperwork. This is so frustrating, there must be someone to talk to in person or by phone from the state that has some to do with work comp cases. I wish I could somehow help others from going through the hell I've gone through.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    I don't see how you can be obligated to give the 2nd atty anything if there is no signed contract. You need to find an atty well versed and skilled in only work comp and plead with them to hear your case and possibly represent you. If your present atty is ignoring you then he can always be replaced....remember, he works for you not the other way around.

    Also you may want to call the atty that you have and ask for a face to face meeting so that things can be resolved and so that you can ask questions and try to get answers.

    Best to you.

    a hurt nurse in illinois

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    Quote Quoting SMiller View Post
    Will I have the opportunity to inform the judge in my case how I had to do 90% of the work on my case because both attorneys did no follow up?
    You may not go to court; If you do, it will be your word against theres.

    Will the judges take that into consideration or would it even be possible to have the work comp ins. co. pay my attorney's fees for dragging my case out for 3 years?
    I have been "dragged" for 6 years so I doubt you have a snowballs chance in Hell here. Just keeping it real.

    This all makes me feel so helpless because if I push the attorney he'll drop my case but if I don't nothing gets done. It's a losing battle.
    You are going to have to change your attitude.

    I have had to fight almost all my battles until 8 months ago.

    My 1st Attorney was unknowledgeable of WC laws; That was my fault.

    After much research and a little luck, I was able to convince my 1st Attorney we needed help with WC and the laws of our state.

    He brought a WC Attorney onboard himself after 4 years. They are splitting the fees. I was lucky here.

    Pick yourself up. Help yourself. Do not put your faith in any Attorney solely. Become knowledgeable and it will be a asset.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,945

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    For example, 5 weeks ago my Dr asked for a discagram to be done and approved. I asked a bunch of times the status with NO answer from my attorney,
    The MOST important person in your claim is your treating physican... THAT is the person who must request the prior authorization from the IC, that is the person who must appeal a UR decision... and that is the person who must show the medical necessity to your injury.

    Your attorney is not in the position to get any medical authorization...that is not the person who is in charge of your medical treatment.

    IF there is a necessity for hearing to resolve a disputed issue, that would be the attorneys responsibility.

    Yes I've spoken to this second attorney by phone 2-3 times, he always seems in a rush, aggitated and tries to rush me off the phone. I've faxed over numerous times requesting updates or questions
    Attorneys handling comp claims, or any civil/tort case for that matter, are not in business to educate their clients on the process of the claim. They take inordinate number of clients as the fees are so low to begin with. IF there is action on your part necessary to resolve an issue... you will hear from the attorney. Otherwise... there has been nothing going on with your claim.

    I waited almost 5 months for an appt. for the Dr to read my MRI because I called his office 5 times trying to make an appt with no luck and my attorney did nothing after telling him this for months. Is there no one from the state to help the injured PEOPLE and protect them from these delays? Doesn't anyone regulate these activities?
    Nn... there would be virtually no way for any state agency to regulate the business operations of a physicans office. The wait you suffer is the same wait other patients are experiencing.

    You are dealing with a legal system... there are 1000's of people in the system, whether they are waiting for a comp hearing, or a court room for a murder trial.
    In your mind this is the single most important issue in your life right now... in everyone elses...you are simply a number on a claim file.

    You are going to have to change your attitude.
    That is the single most reasonable advise you have received in this thread.

    As to that discogram... you DON"T want to undergo that test... those are rarely used any morel, are not conclusive vs other tests...and are VERY painful. Most doctors/CA's suggest this test because IW know they are painful, and it weeds out those who are not quite as 'disabled' as they claim. Suprising how many IW's return to work pretty quick when the discogram is approved...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,080

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    attys can agree all they want; without the courts approval fees won't get paid.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Attorney Advice I'm Lost

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    attys can agree all they want; without the courts approval fees won't get paid.
    In my state, The fee schedule is 20%.
    My 2 Attorney's have agreed to split the 20% award.
    Since 20% is the max. fee schedule allowed, why do they have to have a court to approve there fees?

    I signed a contract that stated the 2 Attorney's have agreed to split the 20% fee.

    I am just trying to learn.

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