This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of 'Do I Need a Lawyer?' hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.
Let's look at a question from one of our viewers.
"Hi Gary. Love your show.
I had no idea that one day I would need to ask you a question.
I am a delivery driver for a company. I take auto parts around to difference repair shops that need them. Last week at around 4:00 in the afternoon, I was driving on Jimmy Carter Boulevard heading towards 400 in stop and go traffic. Traffic started to slow ahead of me, so I slowed as well. The person behind me did not stop and slammed into the back of my little delivery van. He pushed me into the back of a big pick up truck that was in front of me. Not only did he destroy my van, but he about destroyed me.
My left hand was fractured in the wreck, and an MRI confirmed I tore the ACL in my left knee.
The doctor has me out of work and I'm getting workers' comp checks. I'm scheduled to meet with a surgeon in a week. My employer did not like the fact that I asked them to file this under workers' comp and I'm concerned about my job. I know I also have a case against the driver that hit me.
What can Gary Martin Hays & Associates do for me? How does this work?
-AJ in Peachtree Corners
Great question, AJ.
I'm sorry to hear about your wreck and your injuries.
As you noted in your question - you have two potential cases here - the workers' compensation claim, and the personal injury claim.
Often times because of our client's injuries, or because of the damage to our client's car, they are not able to come in right away to meet with me. If it's not convenient for you to come meet me, I'll send an investigator out to meet you.
The investigator will get me all of the information regarding your claims, and have you sign our contracts of employment.
Once we have the authority to represent you, then we will immediately investigate the wreck.
A week or two after you meet with our investigator, we shall schedule a time for you to come in to the office to meet with me and my staff.
We update you on our investigation of your claim.
I will talk with you about all aspects of your case - both the legal and the medical issues.
And then we lay out a plan for how we will handle your case.
This is a time for you to ask questions, and also a time for us to get to know each other better.
The more I know about you and your claim, the more that I am able to help you.
And there is one thing I stress to all of my clients.
If you ever have a question or concern, you have to promise you will call me.
My firm has represented over 32,000 injured victims and their families since 1993.
But we NEVER take for granted that this may be our client's first time ever being involved in an accident.
I can't help you with the worries you have about your case - the what if this, or what if that - bouncing around in your mind - if you don't call us.
Now about your claims:
For your personal injury claim:
We will secure a copy of the police report, as well any photos or video of the scene.
If necessary, we may interview witnesses.
We use all of our resources to determine who caused the wreck, what defendants may be liable for your injuries, and what benefits you may be entitled to receive.
We protect you from the insurance companies so you don't have to deal with them at all - you can focus on going to the doctor and getting better.
We help to get your car fixed, and secure a rental car if necessary.
On your workers' compensation claim:
We immediately file a notice of claim for you with the State Board of Workers' Compensation.
I will contact the insurance company and get a complete copy of your file - including your medical records, as well as anything the insurance company sent to the State Board of workers' compensation.
If you are receiving comp checks, I want to make sure the workers' comp insurer is paying you the correct wage amount.
We will also demand a copy of your employer's panel of physicians.
* Show Panel of Physicians
You also indicated your employer was not happy with the fact that you asked to have this covered under workers' compensation.
Let me address that for a second.
If you are hurt at work, and your employer has 3 or more employees, your employer has to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage to you.
By law, you can't sue your employer. Your only remedy is filing for comp benefits.