Legal (California) (California)

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Legal (California) (California)

Postby Semone on Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:44 pm

I am being told that I should file for legal malpractice. Can someone tell me what does it involves? I know about the general damages involving both financial and medical
but, does it mean I have to pay an attorney upfront? any idea of about how much? Do I have to fire my attorney first in order to sue him? Is there is status of limitations? and most important question: how do I get the treatments needed?
Tks for your reply
Semone
 
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Re: Legal (California) (California) (California) (California)

Postby Barney5 on Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:41 pm

I recommend consulting with a malpractice attorney about your situation and they will be able to answer your questions about payment up front etc. You can contact the state bar for referrals in your area.
http://calbar.ca.gov/

Have you tried to hire another attorney for your work comp case? I would recommend doing this first.

I do not understand what you mean by "how do you get the treatments needed". Are you having difficulties with getting treatments approved by your doctor? Since the passage of SB863 in 2012 many injured workers are having difficulties getting treatments approved by utilization review and IMR. There is very little an applicant attorney can do with medical treatment denials and in most situations cannot file for a hearing over these denials.
Barney5
 
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Re: Legal (California) (California) (California) (California)

Postby Semone on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:14 pm

Thank you for your reply.
I have not spoken to my attorney. I tried for about a year then gave up. Everything was OK until about a year ago. the insurance is now playing "dead" so is the attorney on file. I am having difficulties finding a new A/A because old case, settled etc...
Question: Will a legal malpractice attorney be able to get my urgent needed treatments be enforced? what other problems could arise?
Reply appreciated with thanks
Semone
Last edited by Semone on Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Semone
 
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Re: Legal (California) (California) (California) (California) (C

Postby Barney5 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:56 pm

Hi Semone,

The insurance company may be ignoring you because you are represented. They are not supposed to talk to you while you are represented without your attorney's approval.

I would suggest writing to your attorney certified mail return receipt about your questions and request a in person appointment with him.Have you called and requested a face to face appointment date? If this does not work you can contact the state bar and ask and for their assistance.

I have read instances of attorney's abandoning their clients after a stip. I do not know if your situation would warrant malpractice. You need to contact a malpractice attorney about that. I do not think a malpractice attorney can help you with your workers compensation matters such as ignored surgery approval unless they also practice workers compensation law. Some resources to find another attorney is the attorney search engine on CAAA, AVVO and you can also contact the CA state bar for a referral.

https://www.caaa.org/index.cfm?pg=FindaLawyerDirectory

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerR ... esLRS.aspx

http://www.avvo.com/

You can also let your attorney go and represent yourself with the help of an I&A officer at the board where your case is at.

Another resource for help is I&A officers located at the board where your case is at. You can call or I suggest going down in person and meet with an I&A officer to advise you with your surgery issue. You may be limited to what you can do as you are represented, such as filing for hearing etc. I would bring your case info and surgery approval with you.

You mentioned this surgery was approved. Do you have a utilization review approval for this surgery or was it approved in writing by your claims adjuster? Can you tell me exactly where you are having an issue with this surgery? Since the passage of SB863 doctors have to make requests on a form called RFA form starting 7/1/2013. I have seen instances where injured workers believe their claims adjuster is illegally ignoring their doctors requests. When I ask the injured worker to get a copy of the request they have found it was not being requested on the correct form (called RFA). I mention this because I have found it to be the most common reason now why doctors requests are being ignored.
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Re: Legal (California) (California) (California) (California)

Postby Semone on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:38 pm

Hi Barney5
In response to your reply
1- The attorney has refused all certified mails and any contact altogether. Couple times I showed up in his office and refused to see me "not in the office"
2- As you say I have to let the attorney go before I can talk to officer at the board. I tried that -in person -
As you say,I believe that I need to find a WC A/A and that....no luck so far!
I have contacted 2 of your 3 web sites referrals - will contact the third and the other 2 again (maybe I didn't go in depth enough into it)- will let you know.
Thank you in the meantime; it helps release my stress to know someone is listening.
Semone
Last edited by Semone on Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Semone
 
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Re: Legal (California) (California) (California) (California) (C

Postby Barney5 on Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:30 am

Hi Semone,

You can call the CA state bar about your attorney and they may help intervene to get him to call you back (if you still want him to represent you). I reviewed their complaint process for you and there is a complaint form on the website link I gave you above. If you have copies of the ignored letters e-mails and dates you went to his office the state bar may want it.

Many injured workers represent themselves. It sounds like you have been on your own since 2009 anyway. Navigating this system can be stressful and complicated, but many injured workers do it. If you represent yourself you can take this surgery issue to an expedited hearing and you can get help from I&A officers. You are not stuck if you do not find another attorney. If you decide to represent yourself, you can call an I&A officer and ask them to mail you a packet of paperwork to let your attorney go with sample pages and directions.

I think it would be a good idea if you request a copy of the surgery approval from your doctors office. You should be receiving utilization review determinations. I am assuming this surgery may have been approved by your claims adjuster since you were not copied on the UR determination? I would track this down to make sure there is a surgery approval. Also, since your doctor has the surgery approval what is the reason why he has not moved forward and scheduled it since your other medical issue has been resolved? If your doctor has the approval I do not understand why you are having a problem moving forward with the surgery.


I can understand why another attorney would not want your case, unless your condition has worsened since you settled or you are willing to close out your medical and settle with a compromise and release. I would not suggest doing this unless you have alternative insurance such as private insurance or Medicare. Medicare would require a Medicare set aside. I will be crossing my fingers for you regardless. I have seen instances where injured workers were told no attorney would take their case... and just the right attorney came along to take their case. There are some very kind hearted attorney's out there and I hope you find one. No one deserves to be treated as you have.
Barney5
 
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Re: Legal (California) (California) (California)

Postby Semone on Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:15 pm

Hi barney5:
Thank you for your reply, once more. It was nice 'talking' to you. Just a last clarification: my other "problem" is the problem.
Anyhow, as you say, there is always hope that the right guy will come around... Until then, thanks a million and take care.
Semone
 
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Re: Legal (California) (California)

Postby suekarp on Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:40 am

Semone,
There is more than one person listening to you. Barney5 is giving you good advice. You are in my thoughts as well. Hang in there. Feel free to PM me if you want to "talk" further.
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