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Do I have to file suit against Workman's Compensation? I only have 30% lung function due to a toxic exposure.

Guntersville, AL |

I have not worked in 26 months. I have only received a few months back pay from work comp. And time payed was almost half of what my checks should have been. I was receiving housing, utilities, cell phone, etc. as part of my salary and my employer was only reporting my hourly against my wishes to the IRS and work comp has used this to pay me very little. Many skipped months in back-pay where I have proof I was told not to work by many doctors. I had many e.r. visits etc before work comp finally sent me to a doctor. I have not received help with back medical. When I saw a lawyer over a possible third party law suit, he kept insisting to me that I file suit against work comp. My work comp attorney insists I need to just settle. I can't breathe good at all, had to file disability.

The lawyer I spoke with over a possible third party law suit said that I have incredible medical evidence against my employer, which I do. Their delays in sending me to a doctor allowed me to use my own insurance and seek out some of the best doctors in the nation. Which, really I had know choice in the matter as I was so sick and with an unusual toxic exposure at that. This other lawyer says that my work comp case is worth a lot and that I will never get what is due me without filing suit. He seemed incredibly baffeled that my work comp attorney has not filed suit.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You do not have to file a lawsuit but if you have questions or concerns about your claims you need to discuss them with your attorney as he knows more about your situation than anyone. Sounds like there is a lot going on with your many claims; too much to properly answer here with the limited information provided. Meet with your lawyer and ask these questions to him. Make decisions based upon information and after having been given advice by your attorney.

    No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct.


  2. The reason you filed workers compensation is because state laws do not allow you to sue your own employer. The legislature decided that the employer covers you under workers compensation and the employee gives up a right to sue their own employer.

    Every once in a while someone's injury or occupational disease is caused by a 3rd party (NOT their own employer). In those cases you can sue the 3rd party. They will fight / defend themselves. That will usually cost a lot of money. Sometimes this is the only way to try to make you whole.

    These types of cases are usually handled by lawyers on a contingent fee basis. That means you pay nothing unless they win. Consultations are usually free. You can meet with as many lawyers as you want all for free.

    Hiring a lawyer sometimes feels like marriage. You will be with him or her for a long time unless either one of you files for divorce (fires the other). Your work comp lawyer may have done the most they can for you. Not every work comp lawyer also handles the often more expensive 3rd party litigation claim. Sounds like you should start meeting with several other lawyers to see who you feel most comfortable with. Good luck.


  3. Truly, you have a lot of issues here, and as my colleague above says, too many and too complex to answer here. Bottom line: You need to take up all these things with your "comp" lawyer. If he/she can't address them to your satisfaction, then try the other lawyer you've talked with, or a different one. See if they can address them to your satisfaction. If you have a good relationship with a capable and forthright attorney, then you really ought not to have to come here for advice. If you don't have a good relationship with a capable and forthright attorney, you need to get one. Good luck!

    The Alabama Rules of Professional Responsibility direct that I state that no representation is made herein that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. ALSO: Be advised that our discussion here does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.

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