We often talk about the rules and regulations governing the workers’ compensation as well as the importance of a good workers’ compensation attorney. There is not denying the fact that in some situations, the only way to ensure you get the benefits to which you are entitled is by teaming up with a lawyer specializing in the industry. While this may be unavoidable in certain situations, it is also important to understand the role your attorney plays in the getting you what you deserve. Here we look at what happens when you don’t pick the right workers’ compensation attorney to represent your claim.
As reported by the New York Post, “Cancer-stricken Ground Zero worker Edgar Galvis has finally received a compensation check– for zero dollars.” This came as a major shock to Galvis and his family who anticipated a significant settlement for health problems resulting from his work at Ground Zero.
Galvis was employed by contractors hired to clear the dust and debis from the Merrill Lynch offices located next to Ground Zero. He was approached by a friend in 2005 who gave Galvis the business card from a law firm representing those who worked at Ground Zero. The New York Post states, “‘The man told me that more than likely I will get sick and I would get 60 percent of whatever he won,’ Galvis said. “He even mentioned the words ‘millions of dollars’.”
Last year in April of 2010, Galvis was contacted by the law firm and presented with an offer for $10,000. He was advised that after legal fees he would likely receive approximately half that amount -$5,000 or risk losing the offer if the case went to trial. Galvis claims the law firm warned that if the case was lost he would owe up to $100,000 in fees and expenses.
Galvis accepted the offer only to discover he has won nothing at all. After fees and expenses have been deducted from the settlement, Galvis has nothing to show for the injuries and health issues resulting from his work at Ground Zero.
Cases and claims from workers injured while working at Ground Zero add up to millions of dollars yet many of those entitled to settlement dollars are receiving little or none of the money awarded. Clearly with such a high profile situation, there are plenty of unscrupulous lawyers and other representatives looking to make a quick and easy buck. Sadly, it is not just those injured at Ground Zero who have to worry about the less reputable operators in the profession.
Finding the right attorney is imperative to ensure your best interest is represented. Always research any firm or attorney before entrusting them to provide the service and representation you deserve.