When we meet with prospective clients for the first time, one question we often get asked is:
What now? What’s next?
It’s understandable that you might want to know what to expect should you agree to hire our law firm to represent you in your workers’ compensation claim. And while we can’t speak for other law firms and individual cases may vary depending on the unique circumstances of the case, we can give you a general overview of what to expect — and what we expect from you after we’re hired to represent your case.
After we’ve “retained” a client, meaning the client has met with one of our attorneys to discuss their case and both parties have agreed to enter into a contract, the lawyer who has been hired in the case will secure the pertinent information from the Industrial Commission file, your doctor and the insurance company or the third-party administrator.
During this period, we ask you to be patient as this process can take time. We will update you as there are developments.
We do expect that if you have changes in your address or your phone number, you will let us know immediately. It is vital that we are able to get ahold of you and receive a quick response.
If, for some reason, you receive documents directly from the insurance company (which you should not), then we’ll also ask that you get those to us as soon as possible. For instance, if you receive checks directly from the insurance company, be sure to bring them to us.
Also, if there’s developments with your doctor that we don’t know about, then we’ll need to be updated. Many people mistakenly think that we get records on a daily or weekly basis from the doctors. On the contrary, the doctor’s office will only provide them if we ask for them.
If you’re with your doctor at an appointment, please try to secure the updated records that pertain to your case because that may have a bearing on your case.
As for the type of behavior we expect from our clients, we would anticipate that you would be timely in our office to attend depositions and depositions preparation, and certainly be timely to attend hearings so that we can prepare you before the hearing. In addition, it’s respectful to the judge to be on time.
We also anticipate that you will listen to our advice, and that you read and follow the information that we provide you in the initial folder.
On our end, we will advise you on a periodic basis as there are timely developments. We ask that you let the attorney who is handling your claim do his or her job to the best of their ability. Calling the attorney daily for a status report is not beneficial to your case and will not speed the process along — all this does is tie up our staff.
We recognize that workers’ compensation cases are often very stressful, and we ask for your patience and trust as we lead you through this complicated legal process.
Finally, we ask all of our clients to be courteous to all representatives in the doctor’s office, our staff and even the representatives of the Industrial Commission during a hearing or prehearing conference. We recognize that you may be under intense stress, but trust that we are trying to help you.