Workers’ Compensation

Ca. Workers' Comp. Quarterly 2018, Vol. 31, No. 2

A Defense Attorney’s Handbook to Working with In Pro Per Applicants

JEREMY D. PERKINS, ESQ.

Oakland, California

Workers’ compensation defense attorneys typically gather extensive experience working with the goals, requirements, and guidelines provided by corporate clients who are employers, insurance carriers, or third-party administrators. It’s no revelation, then, that such attorneys might feel completely out of their element and a bit befuddled when confronted with the all-to-human and unpredictable in pro per applicant.

This article is a short guide from the perspective of one defense attorney to offer some tips on cultivating a meaningful and productive working relationship with unrepresented applicants who appear in your list of files. My hope is that by the end of this article, you’ll have learned to enjoy the challenging human element presented by in pro pers.or at least overcome your fear of speaking to a real injured worker, explaining the convoluted intricacies of the workers’ compensation system, and negotiating a win-win resolution that satisfies the adequacy monitoring of a WCJ.

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