Category Archives: Choosing a Workers’ Comp Lawyer

What happens after my attorney and I resolve my workers’ comp case?

One of the benefits of being an Atlanta workers compensation attorney is maintaining a relationship with my clients.

I often like to check in with clients a few weeks, months, or even years after they’ve resolved their case and, hopefully, moved on to new vocations or educational opportunities that their bodies will allow after their accidents at work and the medical care that followed.  I’ve been invited to college graduations for former clients who’ve gone back to school, for example.

Last night, I wrote a client named Jeremy whose case settled just a month or so ago, since I was worried about his family and how he’d provide for them after his back injury.  I knew he’d talked about going back to school and/or finding a new line of work that was less physical.  His simple response was this:

I’m doing great. Got a good family car and paid off our home. All I ever wanted. Thanks man. Thanks for everything.

It made my week. Jeremy and his family will be okay.

Why should I hire a workers’ comp attorney if my claim is accepted?

I recently spoke to an insurance adjuster regarding a new client I signed up, and she said something I’ve heard from adjusters (and potential clients a few times) many, many times:  “We’re surprised he’s hired an attorney.  His case is accepted!”

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I tried to be polite.  I didn’t want to reveal things my client had told me.  So, I kept my response general in nature:  “Well, the insurance company has you as its advocate, along with nurses and lawyers and billions of dollars.  He wants to make sure he has someone looking out for his best interests, too.”

That was the polite answer, but the response I give to a potential client when he asks the “why do I need representation on an accepted claim?” question is a bit more crass in its directness:  “You may think the insurance adjuster, nurse case manager, and HR person are looking out for you now, but at some point in the near or distant future, you won’t feel that way.  They’ll decide you’ve been injured too long and will work to manipulate your medical care and medical providers in order to get them to release you from care and say your injury is no longer from work.  Maybe the Employer will decide it can’t keep your job open any more and fire you.  Perhaps the nurse case manager will tell your doctor you’re a malingerer, even though you’re not.  There are myriad ways in which your claim can head ‘south’ if you continue to trust that the insurance company is looking out for you.  Other ways include offering you a premature (and far too low) settlement when you’re nowhere near finished treating.  I can go on and on.”

While I sometimes tell those who call or email that he or she doesn’t necessarily need representation, this advice is the exception, not the rule.  If you have a workplace injury in Georgia, I strongly encourage consulting (for free!) with my office to see how we can help be your advocate during your recovery from a workplace accident.

the Latin American Association’s “Latina Empowerment” conference

Many of our clients over the years have been from the Latino/Latina community, and we’re lucky to have a bilingual paralegal who helps with communicating with native Spanish speakers.  Last weekend, Michael Moebes, Angelica Rosso, and Tatiana Bush attended the Latina Empowerment conference, as Moebes Law LLC was an exhibiting sponsor.

Michael, Angelica, Tatiana

This was the organization’s first such conference, with plans for it to be the first annual.  It brought together 600 Latinas from metro Atlanta and beyond to inspire and empower them to be agents of change in their local communities.  The host organization, the Latin American Association, is active in the community via offerings of English classes, emergency assistance, computer literacy courses, and immigration legal services.

Our firm was proud to have a presence at this event and to support this local community!

Moebes Law nominated for “Best Legal Blog” by The Expert Institute!

Atlanta, GA – The readers have spoken – Moebes Law has been selected to compete in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Competition.

From a field of more than 2,000 potential nominees, Moebes Law has received enough nominations to join the 250 legal blogs participating in one of the largest competitions for legal blog writing online today.

Now that the blogs have been nominated and placed into their respective categories, it is up to their readers to select the very best. With an open voting format that allows participants one vote per blog, the competition will be a true test of the dedication of each blog’s existing readers, while also giving up-and-coming players in the legal blogging space exposure to a wider audience.

Each blog will compete for rank within its category, while the three blogs that receive the most votes in any category will be crowned overall winners.

The competition will run from August 27th until the close of voting at 12:00 AM on October 9th, at which point the votes will be tallied and the winners announced.

The competition can be found at The Expert Institute’s 2015 Best Legal Blog Contest website; you can vote for the blog you’re now reading by clicking here:  Moebes Law blog description.

About The Expert Institute:

Founded in 2011, The Expert Institute is a technology-driven platform for connecting qualified experts in every field with lawyers, investment firms, and journalists looking for technical expertise and guidance. The Expert Institute combines a vast database of pre-screened experts with a talented case management team capable of custom recruiting experts to fit the specific needs of our clients. The Expert Institute also maintains one of the internet’s most visited blogs on expert witnesses, in addition to an extensive case study archive and expert witness resource center.

Where can I look for free legal advice or lawyer reviews?

As a workers compensation attorney in Atlanta, I frequently get calls with questions about how to handle a workers’ compensation case or other case involving an injury in Georgia.  While I’m glad to try and respond to these inquiries either by phone or email, another useful tool for general legal advice that I recommend to lay persons all the time is avvo.com.

Avvo is a great resource for researching attorneys (their expertise, any disciplinary issues, their peer endorsements, and/or their client reviews) or asking legal questions for local attorneys to answer.  While there are always a few lawyers from different states who seem to just be trolling for points on Avvo by giving general advice any time a question is visible to them, for the most part, the responses are from local attorneys who practice in the specific area of law related to the question.  I try to give real advice on the site instead of just imploring them to call an attorney.  That way, if the person wants to proceed pro se (at his/her peril), he’s welcome to do so!

I’d advise anyone interested in seeing legal representation to review potential attorneys on avvo.com before making a decision, or feel free to skip the middle step and just call me, since (as the above graphic indicates) avvo has already given me its badge of approval.

Six years of assisting injured workers in Georgia!

Six years ago today–April 6, 2009–was my first day as an Atlanta workers’ compensation claimants’ attorney (after five years of workers’ comp defense work).  I began with a new Macbook and a scanner in a small office in Piedmont Center.  Now, we have multiple “Mac mini” servers, four paralegals, multiple offices in downtown Atlanta, and we’re adding an associate attorney next week!

logo-moebes-law copyThank you to all the attorneys throughout Georgia who have referred us your friends, neighbors, and clients to be served by our firm as we’ve diligently represented injured workers through the confusing (and often discouraging) process of recovering after an injury at work.  I look forward to many more years of serving Georgia’s disabled veterans and workers.

Do I need an attorney if I’m receiving weekly workers’ comp checks?

I get this question from time to time, and I got it again today.  Excusing my obvious bias, the answer is “yes.”

Most of the time, when I get this call, the injured worker who has called me never saw a panel of physicians–he was told where to go for medical treatment and never knew he had a choice as to where to go for treatment.

Sometimes, the injured worker has never been told he can get medical mileage reimbursed (or a ride to his medical appointments), because the insurance adjuster has “forgotten” to tell him about this benefit.

Other times, the injured worker doesn’t know he can get a 2nd opinion or “IME” (independent medical examination) under O.C.G.A. 34-9-202e with a doctor he chooses, as opposed to one the insurance company mandates.

I’ve even seen an injured worker get issued a PPD (permanent partial disability) rating that was never paid.

Perhaps the adjuster will invent a job for the injured worker to do, tell him he has to show up and do it (while on a “no work” status with the workers’ comp doctor), and then cut off the weekly TTD (temporary total disability) checks when the injured workers obeys the adjuster’s instructions.

Thus, there are several issues that can come up after your case is accepted, and if you don’t have someone acting as your advocate who is at least as familiar (hopefully more familiar) with Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws as is the insurance adjuster who’s currently dictating your treatment options, you won’t know what your rights and options are.

Ignorant and broke are no way to go through life after an injury at work.  Talk to a knowledgeable attorney.

How do I best handle my Georgia traffic citation?

One client query that tends to come up with personal injury cases is, “Should I pay my Georgia traffic ticket, even though the other party was at fault? How should I proceed?” This is not an unreasonable question, as the disposition of a traffic ticket could affect the outcome of any lawsuits pending or that might arise.

First of all, do not just ignore the ticket.

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It surprises many people that the responding officer’s assessment of who is at fault does not have bearing on a civil case. As a matter of fact, the officer isn’t typically allowed to testify in a civil suit involving monetary damage from an injury unless:

a) the officer was on-site and actually witnessed the wreck itself or

b) the officer has taken collision reconstruction courses at the Georgia Police Training Facility in Forsyth, Georgia.

If there are personal injuries involved (especially if they are serious), and you have hired counsel to represent you, your attorney will carefully examine the evidence to see if the officer’s on-site determination is wrong; sometimes that’s the case.

Here’s a general breakdown how various responses to your ticket and the bearing they have on your case:

  • If you plead guilty on the ticket, then that counts as an admission that you were at fault, but it doesn’t fully prevent you from arguing that you weren’t when you get to court.
  • If you pay your ticket by mail and choose not to show up for court, current prevailing case law seems to point toward the conclusion that failure to show up is counted as an admission of fault, but the box you tick on the ticket (either guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre) may change the court’s interpretation of your absence.
  • If you show up and plead not guilty but pay the ticket before coming back to court then it is not counted as an admission of fault.
  • By the same token, entering a plea of nolo contendre (“no contest”) won’t count as an admission of negligence or wrongdoing in related civil cases.
  • If you are found guilty by the court with regard to the ticket, that’s inadmissible in the civil case since it’s not an admission and has no relevance. Surprising, huh?

If you are injured as the result of a Georgia car crash, it’s always a good idea to contact an experienced Atlanta accident and injury attorney before proceeding into legal matters uninformed.  Hopefully, this post has helped!

Georgia Workers’ Comp Lawyer Michael Moebes Profiled on MyShingle.com

Any successful attorney who has become a sole practitioner in the past few years has likely prefaced his or her “going solo” by regularly reading Carolyn Elefant’s blog, myshingle.com. The sharp ones continue to read it to stay abreast of trends in law practice management and marketing.

After being profiled in one of her books last year, Michael Moebes has been chosen as a feature solo attorney for her blog. The launch of injury lawyer smart phone apps– both for the iPhone and Android — was the focus of the interview, which can be found on Ms. Elefant’s blog here:

Georgia Injury & Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Michael Moebes Can’t Find an App, So Builds His Own

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Read the article and, if you’re an attorney, add myshingle.com to your Google reader today!