Personal injury lawyers aren’t offering much legal input

paragon

I recently had the pleasure to make contact with the personal injury lawyer who recently commented on our site under the nickname Paragon (formerly ****88). One of the issues I raised was (and is) that workers comp lawyers aren’t offering much legal input on this forum /blog in response to the plight of injured workers. Paragon explains the reason(s) behind it, and perhaps more importantly has generously offered to contribute to our site as a volunteer, and  help offer solutions to those injured workers who need help at the most desperate moments.

Personal injury lawyers aren’t offering much legal input on aworkcovervictimsdiary

Personal injury Lawyer – Paragon’s email response

[♠ edited]

Thanks for your email. I would be more than happy to volunteer my time and to assist with whatever knowledge I’ve gained since working in personal injuries in [the nineties]. I think your site/blog is great as there are so many injured workers at the end of their tether, both mentally and physically.

I cannot really recommend any particularly great personal injury lawyers in [state] as I’m not aware of many who are in it for altruistic reasons. I’ve come across some great lawyers in the past but unfortunately nervous breakdowns and depression are common and often result from taking the fight to the insurers and seeing clients suffer. The attrition rate is significant, I believe.

I have no problem imparting (parting with) legal advice! I operate on the basis that injured clients are not in a position to pay for advice, and that this is extra stress that they don’t need.

I take my fees wholly from the insurers at the end/settlement of each claim. I am completely okay to communicate on your forum if you are likewise.[…] I do Wills etc but I mostly take on workers comp and other PI matters. I don’t advertise much as I get work by word of mouth and also from [x]

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You mention that lawyers aren’t offering much legal input on this forum in response to the plight of injured workers.

The legal fraternity is very much a closed, privileged and money-minded community. There is a culture in large prestigious Plaintiff firms to operate like settlement factories with clerks and junior lawyers obsessed with filling all-consuming time-sheets.

Then there is the culture of Defendant law firms earning huge fees by screwing the workers for approval by their clients, the insurers, and their money trough from which the lawyers feed.

The bottom line – yes I am happy to contribute to this forum [aworkcovervictimsdiary] as a volunteer, and hopefully I can help offer solutions to those who need help at the most desperate moments.

Unethical Workers Comp insurers can be made answerable for their conduct, especially at the stage before they brief lawyers, and I would consider it a pleasure to assist with this process, even by remaining in the background.

Anyway, thanks for your encouraging message.

I have decided to publish Paragon’s wonderful reply to my plight for some ‘pro-bono’ legal guidance to many of our bewildered and at-wits-end injured workers. I am pretty sure that Paragon would not object, and it would be very difficult for me to transcribe Paragon’s response in a manner that would do him or her justice.

I wish there were more ethical and really caring personal injury lawyers around who would take a few minutes out of their lucrative business(es) to really help injured workers, by freely parting with a little bit of (fairly simple) legal advice/guidance and as such make a real difference to the plight of so many injured workers frequenting our site, seeking peer-to-peer support but also seeking some legal guidance.

Thank you so so much Paragon! And please folks, a big thank you to personal injury lawyer Paragon would go a long way!

 

[post dictated by WCV and transcribed on her behalf]



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8 Responses to “Personal injury lawyers aren’t offering much legal input”

  1. WOW! I really did not think that such a lawyer existed! All three I have spoken to were quick to send me a contract after saying they could do very little for me. (I did not sign a contract with any of them). One I came to believe was actually taking kickbacks from the insurer – he tried so hard to dissuade me from my claim and actually gave me false information about my entitlements. Moreover he recently emailed me setting up a phone conference to see “how I was travelling”. When I emailed back to say I was not interested and had not asked for a meeting, he asked that I put in writing that I did not intend to take my claim further. (I did not communicate with him any further). I had reached the point where I did not trust anyone claiming to be a legal expert in the field of Workcover. I had SHC8688’s exact image of them all as pigs with their snouts in the trough actively gorging themselves. Paragon’s letter was therefore both a revelation (in the context that I now know that someone such as he/she exists) and a confirmation. My internalized porcine imagery, as an assessment of the legal profession in general, is absolutely correct. Welcome aboard Paragon!

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  2. WOW indeed!
    To facilitate asking legal(ese) questions, we have set up a dedicated page, where you can post your legal questions re your workcover claim, surveillance and/or issues with your workcover insurer (i.e. bad faith).
    Hope this will help Paragon (and perhaps like-minded personal injury lawyers) as s/he and you (the injured sod) will be able to quickly see all the questions, those awaiting a response, those resolved etc.

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  3. This is excellent news and I commend Paragon for their contribution to us. When I was first injured, I was very lucky to have a very strong union behind me and I was able to apply to have legal help from my union’s lawyers. These lawyers were not motivated purely by money, they were committed to getting the fairest result for their fellow injured unionist. When the changes happened in NSW in 2012, many of them left in despair and my profession was overwhelmed by so much other draconian legislation that the union had to fight (and declining membership due to bad publicity about unions) that workers compensation declined down the list in importance. I have noticed other legal companies reluctant to address workers compensation claims over the years as well, preferring personal injury claims or dealing with claims for superannuation payments. It makes a mockery of our system, where common law abuse is allowed to continue because the victims have been denied access to the courts because of money. I hope more lawyers find the empathy to help as money does not equate to the satisfaction of helping your fellow human being. I am now alone in my fight and accepting that I cannot change the laws without losing everything I have, but if I could just give some advise to other injured workers and potential injured workers from my own experience, join your union, attend their meetings and try to change them for the better and demand that your unions have lawyers that can help you. If they have poor leaders, challenge them, even run yourself. As long as we stand alone without the power of collective bargaining, we will suffer. And yes lawyers should be in a union too (wishful thinking). Thanks again WCV and Paragon, this is great news.

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    • Funny isn’t it how everyone supposedly has the right to legal representation, but how many get good representation, and how many get led down the wrong path.
      I left a message for a lawyer, at a firm which is advertising their excellent service, and it took her 3 months to contact, then to advise, without all the info that I didn’t have a case. Wasn’t interested at all…
      I have some concerns about my current team, but am not sure of the consequences if I was to seek a second opinion. I will not be pushed into making any more decisions without sufficient time to consider the implications fully. I thought your Lawyer was supposed to advise if what was being offered was fair or not. I have difficulty making decisions on the spot, I really hope I don’t do so again.

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  4. @Woowoo and others, you’re so right. There are – sadly- many personal injury law firms mills (factories) out to make a quick dollar on your misery rather than pursue what is just and fair for you. When I first saw legal advice and representation (through my union) I was told by this ‘factory law firm’ that I ‘certainly did NOT have a chance at common law damages’. When I had my impairment assessment done by an insurance IME (a fishy one), the WPI percentage was very biased because this IME refuted some important additional injuries. Being trained in the field of healthcare (ICU nurse) I knew this assessment was very unfair and asked my lawyer to appeal the decision via Medical Panel. All she had to say was ‘take your x% and run!’. That’s when I decided there was something very wrong with that law firm and I subsequently transferred my case to Shine Lawyers. The end result was astounding to say the least. The impairment assessment rating doubled (and more) and yes I did have a case for common law (negligence + serious injury). I am still shocked at what that initial law firm told me and had I not been educated in healthcare, and the workers comp legislation I would have been royally screwed and financially ruined. (And obviously I believe this happens to many ignorant injured workers who tend to trust their lawyer(s)). You can transfer your case to another lawyer / law firm, however you have to pay for the ‘work done’ by the other law firm (when your claim is successful) as well as a % if you win damages. I think all in all I had to pay them $5000, but in the end it was well worth it. You can always get a free first consult with another lawyer / law firm and see what they believe your case is ‘worth’, or where you stand, options etc. before you make a decision (or not) to move your case.

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  5. I am more than just happy to know that such lawyers exist in this world. They may be a rarity, but there are a few such good minded lawyers who don’t live on the injured people’s misery. I have personal experience with a firm named Sommers and Roth in Toronto, a few years back when my father in law was met with an accident. After hearing a lot of stories about greedy lawyers, I was more than pleased when they told me that, they will accept their fee only after the completion of the lawsuit. When my family or myself is injured and proceeding with a lawsuit it will be a load of stress and if your lawyer insist on payment, it will add more difficulty. The respect for the lawyers who care about their clients above money is very high.

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    • @Eva James – we’re based in Victoria in AUSTRALIA! As such we have removed your link (possible ad) for the Canadian Law firm you mention.Good to know there are some decent PI lawyers in Canada, hope they also offer free advice on forums such as this one 🙂

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