While driving down the highway in my company vehical (going to a meeting) I was T-boned and slammed into the jersey barrior. The accident totaled my company car and I have severe lower back and neck injuries , both requiring surgery. I have 2 attorneys. One for the personal injury side and the other for the workers compensation side. Both are from the same office but it has I guess created some issues. My most important questions is, of the two issues which case is more important-- personal injury--workers comp?? How does one affect the other, should I be worried???? Should the personal injury case be put aside for a later time. From what the Doctors have told me, this will effect the rest of my life (pain and issues). I may never be able to return to work. HELP what direction should I go?
It is not clear what issues you are having between the attorneys representing you on the two cases. Although I do not practice in your jurisidiction the accident you described would provide for both a worker's compensation claim and a personal injury claim. The relationship between the two would ordinarily require that if you recover from a third party (the person causing the accident) for an injury for which worker's compensation provided benefits you would have an obligation to reimburse worker's compensation for a portion of the benefits it paid you from the third party recovery. The complications can arise as to the extent of future care required through worker's compensation and state laws regarding what worker's compenation is responsible for - it sounds like your attorneys understand these issues and can probably answer your question about the best coure of action better than I can with only limited information. A factor could be the extent of the liability insurance available from the third party (the person causing the accident). Good luck.
This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. An attorney licensed in your jurisdiction can answer questions specific to your specific fact situation and provide you appropriate advice as necessary based on the specific facts of your matter and the jurisdiction in which you reside.
What are the issues that have arisen? Since both attorneys are in the same office, I suggest you schedule a face-to-face meeting with both of them at the same time to address all of your questions and concerns.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
You have done the right thing in being represented by both a workers' compensation and third-party liability attornys. The interaction between both claims is complex and requires expert legal analysis from both perspectives. Because they are in the same firm, the attorneys should be able to communicate and work together to get the best possible recovery for you.
Typically you will follow up with medical care in the workers' compensation case until you are "permanent and stationary", which basically means that the doctors feel like they have a good understanding of the medical condition caused by the industrial injury and what the future medical care and consequences to your ability to work will be. At that point you can be rated for "permanent disability."
Evaluation of your third-party liability claim requires the same permanent and stationary information to evaluate the full extent of all past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. Your attorney may need to consult experts not required in the workers' compensation case to evaluate those damages.
The workers' compensation case and injury case can often proceed at the same time. Your lawyers should advise you as to whether it is to your advantage to settle one case before the other.
S. David Rosenthal
2251 Douglas Blvd., Ste. 120
Roseville, CA 95661
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