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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Angry How Do You Know if Your Lawyer is Advising You Correctly

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: TN
    I am getting mixed feelings about my attorneys. I have been dealing with my injury and the affects of my injury almost three years. I have been told to go to the IC doctors and do my best and try everything to get better. When I was not getting better and the IC doctors put me at MMI, my lawyer advised me to get an IME with a professional that was equal to the doctor from the IC and I did. The IME doctor felt surgery was in order and the impairment rating was not right by the AMA guides either. My lawyer was glad that the doctor gave the opinion he did and she sent it to workers comp then the IC company sent me back to IC surgeon and he once again said there was nothing he could do and ordered another test and the test results even showed the situation was worse with the spine and he still stuck by there was nothing he could do. My pain management doctor even said I was not at MMI that he was not understanding the judgement by the IC surgeon. The IC then sent me to another Pain management doctor to do an IME on my condition. That doctor agreed with IC surgeon and even said I should be taught to deal with my pain. Take me off meds and make me live with it. Said that I was obviously in pain and probably would not work even if I had another surgery but that I could work. ( This was really confusing to me) The pain management doctor that I currently see that says I am not at MMI was assigned to me by IC and recommended by the IC surgeon and they tried to say he was now wrong. My pain management doctor says the the IC dr that they sent me to in order to say I was at MMI done that kind of thing all the time.
    My lawyer is now saying that even though (My IME surgeon has confirmed two times that I need surgery, a orthopedic surgeon said I need surgery, My psychotherapist says I need meds for my depression and anxiety caused by the pain, and I could go on and on about appointments that have said I need further treatment) I have these things to help me that the judge may still side on the IC side because the IME doctors only seen me once and the psychotherapist will have to be verified. The IC sent me to him.

    I feel I have done everything the doctors have instructed me to do to try and get better and have had one surgery and need the other. I have done every thing advised by my attorney to help. I have tried to always be consistent and honest. Now I have all of these documents from over the past almost three years confirming everything, tapes and witnesses.

    Please be patient while reading because I am frustrated. I believe I have it where you can understand somewhat, LOL.

    The question is what more does my lawyer need to defend me and am I just misunderstanding what she is guiding me on. I really see no guidance other than she is back peddling and sounding as if I do not have a shot to get the treatment I need. I feel they are trying to push me to settle. (By the way I did hire an attorney I seen on TV and this was before I got on here and seen that I should not do that) How do I know if I am not in a good situation with my attorney and how do you verify it because most attorneys will not discuss a case with you if you are already represented.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Charlotte, NC

    Default Re: How Do You Know if Your Lawyer is Advising You Correctly

    "How do you know if your lawyer is advising you correctly" is a great question.

    You have partially answered that question in the last paragraph. How do you think a lawyer pays for all those expensive TV ads? By trying cases out in court? Well, that takes time. The easiest way to pay the bills is to settle cases as soon as possible and get the fees sooner rather than later. That is just a fact of life if you are running a law firm like a business.

    Setting all that aside, you have to remember that workers' comp is a complicated system of laws and rules. What you are experiencing is not unusual at all. If you were my client, I would go to court for you and do my best to make the insurance company provide you with the treatment you need. I tried two cases in 2011 on that very issue and won both. On the second one, I got a certain doctor approved for my client, then the doctor refused to see her again. So even if you win, there is no guarantee that you will end up with the doctor you want. But your lawyer is right---the work comp judge may not agree with your view of it and may not order the insurance company to provide you with the treatment you feel you need. Of course, if you don't ask, then you can be certain that the judge will not agree with you.

    You have a lawyer right now, so ask your lawyer to be as aggressive as possible in getting you the treatment you need. IF the lawyer does not follow your instructions without a good explanation as to why your instructions were not in your best interest, then fire her and hire another lawyer to help you. Keep good documentation of your conversations with the lawyer--put as much of it in writing as possible with emails or letters--and if you end up firing her and she tries to get a big chunk of the fee, you will have evidence that she may not deserve the fee she seeks.

    IT is no secret that I am generally opposed to extensive lawyer advertising. I think it often denigrates our honorable profession and that lawyers who advertise a great deal have a built in economic incentive to settle cases early rather than fighting hard and long if necessary to take care of their clients. But some lawyers who advertise extensively are excellent and ethical lawyers, so it is hard to generalize fairly about them. Good luck to you.
    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 at Law

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