Confessions of a Michigan workers’ compensation attorney and the issues you should be thinking about.
We get calls from unhappy people looking to switch attorneys and hire our law firm on a regular basis. Poor communication is the main reason why the attorney-client relationship breaks down.
The best advice is to make an appointment with your attorney and get answers to your questions. You may find out that your attorney has done everything he or she promised and the case is on track.
Attorneys generally don’t like status update calls. Workers’ compensation cases can be slow and there might be nothing to report. Here are some questions that you should be asking your attorney.
1. What is the strategy with my case?
Ask your attorney about the plan going forward and what can be expected in your case. Every case should be evaluated on its own merits. Some claims are stronger than others and it is important to recognize weaknesses. What does the medical evidence show? Are there potential legal issues that must be considered? Is settlement really the best option? Find out how the attorney is going to help you get to the finish line.
2. How can I make my case stronger?
The most important part of any workers’ compensation case is medical evidence. You must prove disability is related to your employment. Having an honest discussion with your doctor about whether he or she will support your case is extremely important. Provide this information to your attorney immediately. Make sure your attorney knows about changes in your medical situation.
3. Where do I get medical treatment if my claim was denied?
Don’t make up excuses about why you can’t see a doctor. If your claim was disputed, find other ways ways to get medical treatment. Health insurance will typically cover disputed medical bills. Programs like Medicaid and Medicare are options and will be reimbursed from your case. Even a free health clinic can provide some evidence of ongoing medical problems.
4. When can I expect my case to be over?
Many people are upset when they find out how long it takes for a case to be fully resolved. It can be a financial disaster when benefits get cut-off. We believe that understanding the legal process is the best way to help reduce stress and worry. Ask your attorney about various hearing dates and what to expect going forward. Be proactive by helping your attorney solve your problems. Sometimes a quick telephone call with updated medical or vocational information can help speed the case along.
5. How much is the average settlement?
Ask your attorney for a potential range but don’t bet on an exact number. This will allow you to start thinking about the future and options going forward. Workers’ compensation rarely pays anyone for more than a few years. Some people go back to school while others simply find a new job within their restrictions. Social Security Disability is an option if you cannot return to work. Having a plan for the future can make all the difference in how you recover from a bad situation.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Horia Varlan.