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MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience:  Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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Why cant I find help I have an old [2003] work comp case

Resolved Question:

Why can't I find help? I have an old [2003] work comp case that is still open and the employer and their TPA have conpired against me to kepp me from filing this claim or getting benefits for my serious back injury; I can't find a lawyer to take this case. WC lawyers won't take it because of the civil [conspiracy] aspect and civil attorneys won't touch it because of the WC- what do I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.
How much is the amount in dispute?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Everything - the injury warrants at least a 70% disabilty but they're trying to say it's 0% and throw a couple thousand dollars at me for a secondary neck injury. U nder the circumstances I also want to file a civil suit against them for the conspiracy, icuding punitive damages.
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.

let's try this another way. How much did you earn per year in your last year of employment?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The pay cap at the time was 185 per week. I don't remember my actual yearly salary and I had been promoted in the meantime anywsy. But that is irrelevant, because the work comp portion is a set amount of whatever the law says, which at 70% is somewher around 100k for PD I think - the bigger issue is the civil part which is worth much more.
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.

I understand your position, I am asking these questions to determine a lawyer's position on whether the case is worth taking or not. Your question was why can't you get help? The reason is because of the value of the case. I understand that to you the case is worth a great deal, and it may in fact be. But we lawyers look at potential cases via a cost-benefit analysis.


If you were earning $185 per week, this to a lawyer means you have limited earning potential and the value of your disability is based on your earnings. For example, if a multi-million dollar athlete becomes disabled, that disability is in turn worth millions (the millions that that the athlete would have earned but for the disability). On the other hand, if one is making substantially less than that, their claim is necessarily worth substantially less because their earning potential is substantially less.


The best way to handle this case is pro se and if you get past summary judgement, then seek to hire an attorney because at lease at that point you would be able to show that the case has some merit that is recognized by the judiciary. Right now no attorney wants to invest in the case because their perception is that the case is a "dog" which in legal jargon means the case will cost more to try than it is worth and ultimately the attorney would lose money on it.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I was not earning 185 a week - that was the cap on pay for partial disability for ANYONE in 2003. The permanent disability rating would be worth much miore and the civil side is worth ata leasta few hundred k, so that does not answer my question. Also; because of the law changes in 2004 I was told that I am now subject to the new guidelines, which means a higher pay cap; but the TPA flat out lied to me and told me the pay cap would not change - in CA punitive damages can be worth 1mm or more and the TPA and employers actions have blatantly violated CA law. So even as a lay person I can see that this case is worth more than enough- -I keep getting toldf a WC lawyer can't take the civil and a civil l awyer can't take the WC- the fact thatI can't find a lawyer thatb understands this is not one or the other is what is puzzling me. I've already done the leg work here. I don't understand why the WC lawyers area sending e to civil lawyers and the civil lawyers are telling me I need a WC lawyer.
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.
You are referring to a cap, attorneys are more concerned with what your disability is actually worth based on your earnings. How much were you earning?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm referring to a cap because CA law says no matter how much i was earning that is the most I can be paid. If the $185 per week cap were the problem then then no attorney would ever take they earned. T he money comes from the future medical and in this case I have a serious back injury that will never improve and will require therapy and pain management for the rest of my life. I believe I was earning about $600-700 a week at the time of injury, but that is irrelevant because whether I was earning 300 or 1000 a week at thetime the law said my weekly benefits would be 185.
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.
I understand that to you it is irrelevant, but your earnings are actually very significant per the example above. The cap does not serve to limit your compensatory damages, which is really the heart of the case.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Then that further proves that the TPA and employer are purposely midinforming me and thst is illegal and only strebgthens the civil case.... which i why I don't understand the problem. This case should be worth a LOT of money on both the WCside and the civiil side which brings me back to my originsl question - why can't I find a lawyer?? so maybe a better way toase the question is how should I be presenting this to get RESULTS? I have no doubt this is a high dollar case and I wouldn't walk away from it with less than half a million after attorneys fees- so what is it going to taje to get these attorneys to take notice??
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.
You will have to proceed pro se, get past summary judgement, then search for an attorney. That way you would establish that the case has merit. Otherwise, you will continue searching for attorneys and be declined representation because the attorneys do not see the value in the case.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I was/am under the impression I could only proceed pro se on a civil matter in small claims court - is that not correct?

Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.
no, you can proceed pro se in district court as well.
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