What do I do if my attorney isn't doing his job

Asked about 2 years ago - Downers Grove, IL

says he doesnt have documents I know I gave him, its a workers comp injury and my pay has stopped coming in and he never told me it was going to stop I am broke and he has nothing for me

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Laurence Hoffman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You never know what is really happening without knowing the specifics of the case or documents referred to since you are represented, I cannot offer advice.

    I can tell you workw
    Ers'compensation cases arevery time consuming and complex. You are cut off and frustrated. Part of the"game" is that your employer's lawyers may try anything todelayand obstruct the process, which in turn will frustrate you and your lawyer.

    Talk to him and find out what is happening. Keep in mind that in order to prosecute a trial or petition under section 19(b) records must be subpoenaed, so even if your lawyer has these docs, he may need Togo throughout his process anyway.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    Email:  stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website:  www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog:  www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  2. Brad E. Bleakney


    Contributor Level 6


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The easy answer is talk to your attorney first. Try to set up an appointment if necessary to sit down and find out why you are not being paid and find out the status of your claim.

    Most often, I find that its a simple lack of communication with the workers comp insurance carrier or the adjuster in charge of your claim regarding your current medical status or your inability to work. Don't wait for your attorney, if you don't have a current off work slip don't expect to get paid benefits. You must attend your doctor regularly and obtain a current off work slip.

    As a practical matter, the adjuster cannot issue any TTD benefits until that off work slip is provided for her file along with the doctor's current office notes to explain why you are still disabled from work.

    Note-- your "off work slip" must also be turned into your employer to prevent you from being fired or terminated for being AWOL without an excused absence. Most companies will fire an employee for failing to provide an off work slip in timely fashion. Most companies have a "no call, no show" policy of termination after 3 days if you don't promptly turn in an off work note.

    Make sure that everyone is on the same page by providing the "off work" note to your attorney, the workers comp adjuster and your employer. Communication is the key. Don't sit back and expect everyone else to take care of it for you. You can do a lot to insure ongoing timely payment of benefits.

    If you haven't seen the doctor recently in well over 30 days, you must return to your doctor get a "current" exam and a "current" off work note.

    If you have been released for "Light duty" work you must turn that light duty slip in to your attorney and to your employer and you must report to your employer to see if they might have a job for you that fits your light duty restrictions. Failure to report to light duty work when you have been released to light duty will also lead to suspension of your benefits or result in your termination from employment.

    Lastly, if your employer recently sent you for an IME (independent medical evaluation) by their doctor, you may have been cleared for regular work by their doctor or the IME may have determined that your injury is the result of a pre-existing medical condition and therefor not work related. If so, (1) the workers comp adjuster is certainly required to notify your attorney in writing as to the basis for stopping the temporary total benefits and (2) Section 12 of the Workers Comp Act requires that the adjuster provides a copy of the IME report to your attorney.

    If that's the case, then your benefits will be disputed and your disability pay will be tied up in litigation. Only the arbitrator assigned to your case can resolve the difference between conflicting medical opinions by a trial or arbitration.

    I hope that helps--

    Brad Bleakney

    We are not your lawyers and we cannot provide specific legal advice without a detailed review of the claim and a... more
  3. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to sit down with your attorney and understand the process. We do not know whether the interruption in your pay is something as minor as an untimely submitted Work Restriction/Off Work form or whether your claim is being denied.

    If the claim is being denied, and your attorney must force the employer to pay, the ONLY way to assure some finality (within the Commission) in lass than a year is a 19(b)(1) petition. Your attorney MUST subpoena the records (2-8 weeks) and send them to the employer at least 30 days BEFORE the Motion can be filed. You should have a trial within 45 days and a Decision within 15 days. The employer still has the right to appeal which would take another 60-75 days. Do the math.

    We cannot know whether your attorney is working very hard or doing nothing. You need to ask more questions. I'm simply trying to explain that it is possible you could be without benefits for several months. Make an appointment to speak with your attorney, face-to-face, so you know what he is or is not doing. Good luck.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr.... more

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