A recent operation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office has resulted in indictments against 10 attorneys for involvement in a workers’ compensation-referral scheme. The scheme is described as involving an advertising company that would target primarily Hispanic areas touting workers’ compensation benefits available to people for filing a claim, whether valid or not. The advertising company would in turn meet with individuals who responded to the ads and deliver these people’s information to attorneys. The attorneys involved had entered into a contract with the advertising company for these leads, which is illegal. The attorneys would then file claims for these new clients, referring them to medical providers for unnecessary diagnostics and treatment, costing insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars.
A common theme throughout the investigation undertaken by the OC DA’s office was that these individuals never met with attorneys throughout the process of the claim they filed. The people targeted by the advertising company met with cappers, or people not licensed by the California bar as attorneys, who merely collected their information and sent it elsewhere. Claims were then filed by attorneys with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board on these individuals’ behalves with no real legal advice or where no active case handling took place.
Any time people who hold themselves out as professionals and are considered to be peers within the community are charged with fraudulent activity, it casts a shadow on all of us who proudly represent injured workers. In the face of these circumstances, it is important to make sure that an attorney, or someone closely managed by an attorney is handling the day-to-day activities on your workers’ compensation claim.
At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, our attorneys are actively involved in the management of your workers’ compensation claim. Our attorneys are regularly available to clients in person, on the telephone or via email. Should you contact our office, you can trust you are meeting with a licensed, experienced attorney who will develop a plan of attack for your claim moving forward. If a hearing is needed at the WCAB, an attorney will show up and handle the matter. We do not employ hearing representatives and your attorney will be the individual present for the hearing or deposition, not a contract lawyer. We take pride in knowing who are clients are when we show up for hearings, you will not hear us yelling your name as if you’re a stranger in the waiting area. We acknowledge that we work for you. You are a real person who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and will never be a case or file number to us.
If you or someone you know is worried about the person who is handling your workers’ compensation claim, if you’ve never met your attorney, if your attorney is one of the individuals who has been indicted or is otherwise concerned about the direction of your case, we are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your needs.
The Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates recognizes those charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s office are considered innocent until proven guilty. Read more about the OC DA’s charges filed here: http://orangecountyda.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=2&Entry=5203
If you’re considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, or have already filed and your claim was denied, please contact us by giving us a call at (619) 528-9800 for a consultation.