Should I show up for my Atlanta workers’ compensation hearing without my attorney?

As we’ve already learned, Georgia workers’ compensation hearings are frequently postponed.  What if you’ve received a Notice of Hearing in the mail, and the hearing is a day or two away, but you haven’t heard from your workers’ comp attorney?  Do you show up at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation anyway?

No.

When I was a workers’ compensation defense attorney, I used to see the sad saps showing up alone for a hearing their attorneys had agreed to postpone.  I wondered what kind of lawyer would fail to tell his client not to come to court and require said client to drive in Atlanta traffic for an event that would never occur.  “Only a tyrant!” I would think.

But now that I’m a workers’ compensation claimants’ attorney, I realize folks sometimes get scared by the piece of paper saying they have a court date, even if their attorney has told them the court date has been continued.  This is especially true when there is a language barrier.

gavel.jpgSo for future reference, know this:  if you’re going to court, your attorney will meet with you to prepare (assuming he or she is worth a damn).  Don’t show up for a workers’ compensation hearing without talking to your attorney.  Call.  E-mail.  No answer?  Consider finding another attorney.  But don’t drive to a hearing that’s been postponed.

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