A guy with a great workers’ compensation case called me. He had both a neck and back surgery and the case has been accepted by his insurance company. He has a lawyer on the case who he says is doing a good job and he wasn’t calling me for help with the work comp case.
What he was calling me for was help with two things: 1. He wanted to know if he might have a medical malpractice lawsuit because the lumbar fusion failed and it’s possible that the surgeon put one of the screws in to his nerves causing permanent nerve damage. 2. He was looking for advice on what to do about his apartment building. He lives in an elevator building and the elevator has been down for repairs multiple times which is a big problem for him as walking up stairs is not only a big physical challenge, but also a potential danger to his recovery.
Since he was represented by a lawyer already, before I offered my two cents, I asked him what his lawyer told him. He said that the attorney made crystal clear that he would not talk about anything that isn’t a part of the work comp case.
How awful this attorney must be.
It’s one thing to tell a client that you only handle workers’ compensation cases. That’s actually a good sign. However, many serious injury cases are like whack a mole and have other issues pop up that are somewhat related to the job problem. It’s not unusual to hear the types of questions this caller had. I’m not a medical malpractice lawyer, but I know the best Chicago medical malpractice law firms and can easily give clients/callers a recommendation of who to turn to.
That doesn’t make me special, it just means I care. Every lawyer should have those types of connections because these types of issues come up all of the time. Even the apartment issue which isn’t as common doesn’t require a rocket scientist to solve. His lawyer could be a good guy and make a phone call or write a letter or in the least help him find someone who knows about these laws.
It just takes a little bit of caring and compassion. You can even do it for selfish reasons, mainly hoping that your clients love you so much that they refer friends and others to you. All that matters is the client gets helped.
I’m stunned when a lawyer won’t answer questions a client has about their case. A client should be pissed off when that happens. You should be equally mad when they blow you off after asking them other legal questions. They don’t have to take your case, but ignoring you completely shows a real lack of class and lack of customer service. You deserve better.