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Posted over 3 years ago.

I do have any atty, but I feel he has not done much to help my case. He never returns phone calls, & when he does, doesn't remember what is going on. I did receive a denial letter from Liberty Mutual before we went to court. This was supposed to make my insurance carrier (thru the Union) ok my surgery & pay. I had the surgery, but then afterwards, my ins. co (Union) is now saying they are not paying due to being a Worker's Comp case. We were in court in Nov.of 2012. April 2013 is when we finally got an award from the judge saying clmt carrier was to pay med. bills & award. But, now they are appealing that, and neither will pay my medical bills. My injury was a torn rotator cuff (which they had us working in bad conditions, in a 4ft tunnel, on our knees. No equipment could fit in tunnels, so we had to physically lift 300 pd pipe from ground to shoulders, and then up over our head into carriers) - In doing so, I torn my shoulder. Had surgery to repair, & had to have bicep cut & reattached to another area in my arm. That's where medical bills came from, plus PT. Restrictions right now are light duty, with no heavy lifting above my head. Unknown if I will get full movement & lifting back.
Is it too late at this point to get a different attorney? And in doing so, what would I have to pay the current attorney?

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano
Charles Joseph Michael Candiano, Workers' Compensation Lawyer - Chicago, IL
Posted over 3 years ago.

Thank you for providing the additional information. You're in a tough spot. Now that I understand your injury, it seems likely that you will have permanent lift restrictions, especially with any lifting above your shoulders. This would likely prevent him from returning to your present occupation.

As creative as defense attorneys have become, it is difficult to conceive a colorable legal argument that lifting a 300 pound pipe above your head would not be consistent with a rotator cuff tear.

Any decision to change attorneys should not be taken lightly. Under Illinois law, the total fee payable to all of your attorneys cannot exceed 20% of your gross recovery. No matter how much money you are willing to spend, the attorneys are prevented, by statute, from taking more than 20% of your recovery, whether you have one attorney or five attorneys. The attorneys have the option of deciding among themselves which attorney is entitled to what percentage of the fee or the attorneys can request that the commission Have a hearing and decide how much money each attorney should get. Again, no matter how many attorneys you hire there is a fixed sum of money available to them. As I'm sure you can appreciate, the incentive for an attorney to devote the time, effort, and money to get the best possible result for you becomes less and less as you hire more attorneys because each of them is going to get a smaller piece of the pie.

I am certain that it is not immediately apparent but you but are actually in a good position if you do need to make a change because there is enough of your case left to attract talented and competent attorneys. Before you decide to make a change, you should sit down with your present attorney and give him an opportunity to present your options, long-term, including, but not limited to his experience in negotiating or trying wage differential cases. I never suggest to clients that they borrow money on their case because the interest rates are very high. However, if your only options are to borrow money or face foreclosure and or loss of vehicles, there are more affordable lenders which I would be happy to identify for you.

If you do not have sufficient confidence in your present attorney, I would counsel you to speak with more than one attorney before you make a choice because this is likely to be the last time that your case is still financially attractive, crass as that may sound. When you speak with prospective attorneys, make them demonstrate to your satisfaction that they possess the requisite knowledge and resources and will to prosecute your case so as to optimize your recovery. I would contact the attorneys on more than one occasion to make certain that they are accessible to you, either by telephone or by email. Remember, the most common complaint about attorneys is that they do not return calls or cannot be reached by email. Good luck.