Today’s blog post comes from lawyer Thomas Domer, who is an advocate for injured workers through Domer Law Firm in Milwaukee, and he also teaches the workers’ compensation course at Marquette University. He writes about a talk he gave in New Orleans regarding three important tips for people making a workers’ compensation claim. These tips generally apply in Nebraska and Iowa, but workers’ compensation laws vary by state. So please speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer if you have questions about specifics regarding your experiences. Have a safe, productive day.
I just returned from New Orleans where I made a presentation to about 150 workers’ compensation lawyers (both for workers and for employers) on “Case and Client Evaluation In Workers’ Compensation”.
Since many in the audience represented insurance companies and employers, I paid particular attention to their response to my presentation. As one would expect, their best chance to win a case on behalf of the employer and insurance carrier occurs when several items come into play:
When there is no actual report of the injury. [Worker’s Tip: No matter how small the work injury, make sure it is reported in some fashion – cell phone, voice recording, or Accident Report and the worker keeps a copy (BEST).]
Failure to report that a work injury occurred to the first treating practitioner (whether Emergency Room, employer-directed medical facility, hospital, or primary care physician). The single most difficult hurdle in a workers’ compensation claim involving a traumatic injury occurs when no report of the injury is found in the initial medical record.
In “Occupational Exposure” cases, no discussion with the doctor about work duties or prior incidents. (In Wisconsin, a worker can recover for workers’ compensation in one of two ways:
A traumatic injury where a single incident has caused the disability (lifting a box, falling, etc.)
Occupational Exposure, where the wear and tear of a worker’s job causes the disability over time. In this latter category, workers routinely do not indicate with any kind of specificity the type of work they perform when they see the doctor.
These three tips can help us as workers’ compensation lawyers win claims, more so than any “Clarence Darrow” court room techniques or strategies.
Today’s post comes from respected colleague Leonard Jernigan of The Jernigan Law Firm in North Carolina. His reflection on the documentary about legendary funk musician James Brown is a great philosophy for working with clients and can also be applied to many other situations in life. In this season of giving and the hustle and bustle toward the end of the year, give yourself permission to think about how this year has gone and what your goals are for next year. Take care, and be safe.
If you haven’t seen the recent movie or HBO documentary on James Brown, you should check it out. He made me think about these top ten client relation tips:
Treat all clients with respect and dignity.
Try to understand the stress that our clients are under, especially when they are upset.
At the same time, do not tolerate verbal abuse from clients. Respect works both ways.
Keep boundaries. Clients need you to have an objective view, not become their best friend.
Clients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Be honest in all things, at all times. Keeps you out of trouble.
Building good relationships are the foundation blocks of success.
Keep the client informed about what you are doing.
Be prepared and be thinking about going to trial from the first day. Cases settle more often and you get better results when you are prepared.
Think about James Brown. He was the “hardest working man in show business” for a reason. He gave it everything he had, and it showed.