Category Archives: Client Advocacy

Dealing With Adversaries in Positive Ways

Today’s post comes to us from our colleague Len Jernigan of North Carolina.

As a workers’ compensation lawyer, by the time clients come to me they have often already had a series of frustrating interactions with their employers, insurance adjusters and sometimes even medical professionals. Clients come to me feeling stressed by these experiences.

My adversaries are not always easy to negotiate with, and over a long career I have honed in on a few methods that seem to work best for me. When meeting with clients, I try to pass along my methods so they can better navigate some of the new and confusing situations they have been thrust into as a result of a workplace injury.

Recently I came across some advice from Psychologist Jay Carter, who offers tips that closely mirror what I pass on to my clients. The following are some of his tips for dealing with difficult people:

See it for what it is. Rather than internalize the criticism or dwell on what you might have done to deserve the attack, recognize that the nasty person has personal issues.

Get away. Exit the room or the conversation calmly, efficiently, and without saying anything you’d regret.

Diffuse with humor: This is a Continue reading

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

How do we Earn your Trust?

Workers compensation claims are not just about money-- it can dictate the worker's quality of life after an injury.

Today’s post is from my colleague Roger Moore of Nebraska.

In its most basic form, trust is defined as “reliance on the integrity, strength, and ability of a person”.

Trust can also be defined as “a person on whom one relies”.

I was reminded of this earlier this week when a client for whom I had settled a case dropped by our office. This client had been a truck driver and lived out of state. While we were working on his case we never had the opportunity to meet in person, yet he came to trust me to look out for his best interests and advise him along the course of his workers’ compensation injury. He came by to thank me for the work I had done for him which had been completed over a year and a half ago.

As I spoke with him I began to understand how stressful it must be to trust someone who lives halfway across the country and with whom you may never meet in person. This is a unique aspect of trucking cases we handle which isn’t found in other types of work-related injuries.

Due to his injury he was unable to return to trucking. However, we were able to negotiate a settlement which allowed him to live his life again. As I spoke with him I began to understand how stressful it must be to trust someone who lives halfway across the country and with whom you may never meet in person. This is a unique aspect of trucking cases we handle which isn’t found in other types of work-related injuries.

He told me that over time I had earned his trust by answering his questions, promptly returning his phone calls, and by helping him navigate the minefield of his worker’s compensation claim. He relied upon me and my abilities to lead him through the stress of his injury claim. The same can be true of any injury-related claim whether it’s due to a vehicle accident, slip and fall or Social Security Disability claim.

It’s easy to take for granted how much clients rely upon their lawyers in a time of need, and it’s good to be reminded of this from time to time. That is why I endeavor to speak with clients until all their questions have been answered. The pain and financial difficulties clients suffer from only add to the difficulty of fully trusting someone else. That great burden is not lost upon me.

Image: adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.