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    Archive for August, 2021

    How Does the Attorney-Client Relationship Affect My Claim?

    The attorney-client relationship may refer to all manner of issues involved when a client hires an attorney for legal services. However, one particular aspect, often referred to as the attorney-client privilege, refers to a specific legal privilege that keeps confidential communications between an attorney and a client private. The privilege may be asserted in response to a legal demand for information, most commonly a discovery request, for certain communications meant to be private. The privilege may even be invoked, under certain circumstances, to potential client communications.

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer help you with any workers’ comp claims or any other types of legal claims you may have. The attorney-client privilege allows you to speak frankly and openly with your attorney.

    How Does the Privilege Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    As is the case with other types of legal litigation or quasi-litigation, communications between you and your attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege in workers’ comp cases. Your lawyer will almost certainly take time to prepare you for your deposition and will also be at the deposition to raise objections, but be sure that you understand the privilege independently so that you know not to immediately respond to any questions that require answers that are protected by the privilege.

    For example, you do not have to disclose the legal strategy you have developed with your attorney or the content of any other conversation that you and your attorney have had that is related to your workplace injury.

    What is Not Protected by the Privilege?

    The most common situation where the privilege is lost involves sharing information with people other than your lawyer and the law firm’s staff. Other ways the privilege may be lost include:

    • Crime or Fraud. Communications from a client regarding assistance with the furtherance or concealment of fraud or a crime are not privileged. However, if a client has already completed fraud or a crime and seeks the post-act advice of an attorney, these communications are privileged.
    • Death of a Client. The privilege may be lost upon the death of a testator if litigation between parties claiming under the deceased client develops.
    • Corporate Fiduciary Duty. An exception to the privilege has been recognized when a corporation’s shareholders seek to pierce the corporation’s attorney-client privilege.
    • Common Interest. Even though attorneys are ethically bound to avoid conflicts of interest, if two parties are represented by the same lawyer regarding the same legal matter, neither client may assert the privilege against the other in any related litigation.

    It is clear that these circumstances rarely, if ever, arise during a workers’ comp claim process. To achieve the best chances for a favorable outcome, it’s best to speak very openly and honestly with your attorney. Your attorney can best handle any impediments to your claim if he or she knows ahead of time and has a chance to prepare.

    Speak to a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer for More Information

    The attorney-client relationship is sacrosanct and includes the attorney-client privilege. This privilege is an important aspect of any legal strategy you and your attorney may develop regarding your workers’ comp claims. If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claims in a private and privileged manner. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    What is the Burden of Proof and How Does it Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    Generally speaking, the “burden of proof” actually encompasses two types of standards: (1) the burden of production, and (2) the burden of persuasion. The burden of production refers to a party’s obligation to provide sufficient evidence to support the party’s claim. Typically, the burden of production lies initially with plaintiffs; i.e., plaintiffs must prove their case with sufficient evidence. If plaintiffs meet this burden, then the burden of production typically shifts to defendants to rebut plaintiffs’ evidence with their own evidence.

    The burden of persuasion refers to how convincingly parties must be in proving their case. In civil cases, parties have the burden of establishing their claim or defense by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means there is a more than 50% likelihood that their claim is true, or, put another way, the claim is more likely than not to be true. In criminal cases, the crime must be proved by the government “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer help you with any workers’ comp claims or any other types of legal claims you may have. We understand the laws and strategy behind the burden of proof and will use these standards to help you establish your claim.

    How Does the Burden of Proof Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    In Pennsylvania, to successfully bring a workers’ comp claim, the injured worker has the burden of proof to establish their right to wage loss and medical benefits by a preponderance of the evidence. This applies not only to initial workers’ comp claims, but also to any claim made for reinstatement of benefits after wage loss benefits have been terminated, suspended, or modified.

    Briefly, in workers’ comp claims, workers must meet their burden of proof regarding:

    • Timely Notice. You must establish that your employer was notified in a timely manner; i.e., within 21 days of the injury. To be sure that you meet this burden, written notice is best.  
    • Course and Scope. You must establish that your injury occurred within the course and scope of your employment.
    • Causation. You must establish that your injury caused your disability and, in order to continue to receive benefits, continues to cause your disability.
    • You do not have to establish that your employer was negligent or responsible in any way for your injury. 

    Speak to a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer for More Information

    Ultimately, workers’ comp claims are similar to other types of civil law claims in that injured workers, or plaintiffs, carry the initial burden of proof to sufficiently establish their claims. This process sounds complicated and, unfortunately, is indeed quite complex. Due to the cost of medical treatment and lost wages, a workers’ comp claim should not be handled on your own, and should not be delayed. If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claim. You can contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.