I try to review a client’s official file at the VWC early on in the case. I do that because at ABRAMS LANDAU, we want to build a strong foundation to the claim. Too many lawyers make the mistake of assuming they know what the judge is looking at or looking for – a BIG MISTAKE ! I take the time to actually examine the file the judge will be looking at, well before the trial, so that I know (and can explain to the client) what evidence is available and what is still needed. Here I am with one of the helpful clerks at the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission headquarters in Richmond. I was reviewing our injured and disabled clients’ files and making copies of important documents, such as the Accident Report, the Wage Chart and the Attending Physician’s Report. When I return to Herndon, the staff at the ABRAMS LANDAU injury law firm knows to send copies to our disabled clients and their families so that they can see what the judge is actually looking at, and give us prompt information about errors in the official accident reports, earnings records and other important documents.
Why is this important ? One reason I like to look at the official file is to learn things that my clients may not have told me, because of the severity of their brain injuries; because it is a fatal accident claim; because there may have been a loss of consciousness; long term memory loss and short term memory loss, which is not unusual after head trauma. Because we are all human and we all make mistakes, sometimes the material we field with the VWC is put in the wrong file. Also, I have seen other injured workers’ papers accidentally put in my clients’ files. My review of the official workers comp files has also revealed surveillance tapes and reports by private investigators who were hired by the insurance companies or their lawyers to follow and film my disabled clients. By actually looking at the official file, I am able to see if the VWC staff has tabbed, hi-lighted or flagged those items that the ABRAMS LANDAU Team has brought to their attention as needing immediate action. So, the next time my staff advises you that I am “on the road” and visiting the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission headquarters to review files, I am doing so to lay a sturdy foundation for the disabled clients of our Herndon Reston area injury law firm.