Attorney-Client Communication After a Work Injury


Attorney-Client Communication After a Work Injury in Massachusetts.  Brought to you by:  Attorney Dan Blakesley of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley, P.C.  


In our continuing series about you and your personal injury case, we're talking with attorney Dan Blakeslee of Pellegrini, Seeley Ryan, and Blakesley.  Hey, Dan.

Attorney Dan Blakesley:

Hey Adam, how you doing?


I'm doing well.  One of the things that I know we talk a lot about is the importance of communication between the person who's injured and their attorney, and I think also you know, within that realm is the importance of really keeping things between you and your attorney.

Why is it important to just only talk to your attorney?  About your case.

Attorney Dan Blakesley:

Well short answer Adam is that there are people at the insurance company that want to use any information they can get from you against you.  I think it's important to limit any conversations you have about your case to conversations only with your attorney whenever possible.

Now you're going to have to discuss your case with other people at certain points, when the claim is first submitted, the insurer does an investigation.  You're going to have to answer some questions if you want them to pay.

Benefits at that stage I would say avoid giving a recorded statement even if you think you're saying something harmless.  We've seen time and again where they try to use your statement against you couple other points there.

Insurers do use investigators that not only follow people around and videotape them, but they also try to talk to your neighbors.  And if you've been speaking with your neighbors about your workers comp case, there's a chance that any information you provide could get back to the investigator, and they may try to use that against you.


And your neighbor maybe just be not aware of how dangerous what their words could mean, how dangerous that could be.

Attorney Dan Blakesley:

Sure seems like a harmless conversation, but one little nugget of information could then be used to terminate your benefits.  And then you're waiting three months to get before a judge before you see any financial relief which could have a devastating impact on you and your family.


I know a lot of things come in the mail to two injured people and they get a lot of calls and they get a lot of contact from different people that may be associated with the case.

Why is it so important to only speak to your lawyer and to make sure that all the information you get is getting to your lawyer?

Attorney Dan Blakesley:

You don't often realize, or you don't always realize how your rights may be affected by what you're doing, and certainly by what you're signing up, we see a number of things that seem totally harmless that gets sent to our clients in the mail or get sent to our clients before we're involved in the case that they sign.  It may seem like a harmless medical authorization, or sometimes they may get something in the mail that says that they can get additional benefits if they sign it.

That's not always the case.  There's one form in particular that seems like it would allow for a six-month extension of your benefits.  But in reality, all it does is give the insurer an additional six months during which they can stop your benefits without the permission of a judge.

But this form is sent in a manner in which it seems like a positive thing, and something that's going to benefit the injured worker.  Likewise, we see medical authorizations sent out.

Now if you have an injury that occurs at work you have to give the insurer access to your medical records.  That's just a right that they have.  They need to be able to determine that the treatment they're paying for is related to the injury at work.  However, sometimes these authorizations are overly broad.

You may have information in your medical records that may go back a number of years, maybe totally unrelated to the condition for which you're treating for the injury that happened at work.  It may be sensitive that you don't want anybody to have, but once you sign that authorization, if it's general enough or broad enough, the insurer has every right to access.

That information, until you take that right away from them, so it's always important to check with your lawyer to make sure that what you're signing is something that you should be signing.


I think also in the time of COVID, especially, there's a tendency for people to maybe think about missing an appointment, a medical appointment, a doctor's appointment.

Why is it so critical that those appointments be kept?

Attorney Dan Blakesley:

Because those appointments in the doctor's notes that are produced are what drives entitlement.

The benefits the insurers as they look at the bills that come in or looking at the medical records and they're looking for evidence that you're unable to work to some degree.

If you miss a medical appointment, we've seen many times where the insurance company will stop someone benefits because there's no support for ongoing disability. The medical records are critical in these cases.  I would say, if you need to miss a medical appointment, make sure you give your doctor's office as much notice as possible to be sure that they can reschedule you to the next available date.

Make sure you communicate this with your lawyer so that the insurance company can be made aware of why you're missing the appointment and then a follow up appointment indeed has been scheduled as you don't want to give them any possible reason to stop paying, you stop paying for medical treatment or give you a hard time about the payment of your claim.

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