A nice guy called me, not looking for representation, but instead a recommendation to a lawyer for his denied short term disability application.  We had apparently helped a friend of his previously so that friend thought we might know somebody for his situation.  Typically we don’t get involved in those situations, but I will talk to anybody, especially when it’s a friend of a former client.


As we started talking, I learned that he had plantar fasciitis, which is a foot and heel injury.  It often happens to people that do excessive walking on hard floors (which this guy does) and/or do it with steel toed boots (this guy too).


I asked why he was applying for disability and not workers’ compensation and he told me that he had brought it up, but “My boss said I don’t have a case or else it would be happening to everyone that works here.”  So the guy just figured that he didn’t have a case.


The logic of his boss is interesting and clearly he’s only looking out for himself.  Because what he is saying makes no sense.  That’s like saying cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer because not everyone who smokes gets that disease.


The reality is that every human body reacts differently to various physical situations.  Some people will get sick when others won’t.  Some will get injured and others will be fine.


This guy is a hard worker and walks between four and six hours a day. I can’t imagine that his foot doctor won’t find his condition to be work related.


The point to remember is that you shouldn’t take legal advice from non-attorneys, especially ones who have a personal interest in telling you that you do not have a case.  It costs nothing to ask a real law firm what your options are and it’s certainly a much better idea.


By Michael Helfand