By: Paul B. Himmel, Esq.
I am a strong believer in trusting your instincts. Human instinct is natural, real and often an accurate indicator of the appropriate course of action to follow. “Be true to yourself”, “If something does not feel right, it is probably not right” and “Go with your gut” are words of wisdom I have stated numerous times to my two daughters to instill the notion that they should trust their instincts.
Being a trial lawyer, I am trained to be instinctive in the courtroom and to think on my feet. When preparing clients who will testify under oath, I advise them to be honest and instinctive.
Over the past twenty years, I have had the honor and pleasure of representing the hard working men and women of Laborers Local 332 in civil litigation matters. Throughout that time period, members have expressed to me that they have instinctively felt that they were not being treated fairly under the law. After obtaining legal representation and having their day in court, many of them have had favorable outcomes confirming their instinctive feelings of not being treated fairly under the law.
For example, there have been many instances in domestic relation matters, particularly concerning child support, wherein members have received court orders directing them to pay a specific amount of child support. They have instinctively felt that the court ordered amount of child support was not fair. Members have retained counsel to challenge the court order and have learned on several occasions that the court did not base the support order on correct financial documentation or the court incorrectly applied the child support guidelines. We have successfully litigated numerous petitions to modify child support obligations.
Similarly, there have been occasions where members have instinctively believed a court order directing the amount of time they were able to spend with their minor children was unfair. They believed that they should have shared custody of their children as opposed to visitation rights. We have successfully litigated custody petitions for members resulting in them being awarded joint custody of their children.
I remember meeting a member and his wife who explained to me how they supported and cared for a particular minor child and they instinctively felt that they should be granted legal custody of the child. It was a difficult case with a high burden of proof, however after litigating the issue in family court, they were not only awarded legal custody of the child, they went on to legally adopt the child.
More recently, I received a call from a member who worked in the field as a laborer for twenty years. He explained that one Saturday morning, while at home, he was on his way down his stairs when his back gave out causing him to fall sustaining severe injuries. He explained the situation to his employer since he was disabled from performing his job as a laborer. He was advised by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier that his injury was not work related because the injury happened while at home on his day off. The member disagreed stating that his back had been bothering him for several years as a result of the heavy work he performed as a laborer. He instinctively believed that although his back gave out while he was at home, it was due to his work duties as a laborer. We successfully litigated his worker’s compensation case. The worker’s compensation judge agreed that his injuries were work related and the member was awarded full worker’s compensation benefits.
The laborers prepaid legal benefit has allowed laborers access to the court system to act upon their instincts when they feel they are not being treated fairly under the law and to seek remedy in a court of law. It has been my responsibility and mission over the last twenty years to ensure that the members of Laborers Local 332 are provided with the legal advice and resources necessary to protect themselves and their families.
Human instinct is a powerful and intuitive emotion. Trust your instincts.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Those Injured on the Job
To speak to an experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C., call us today at 888-999-1962 or contact us online. We provide aggressive representation to help our clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries. We offer free consultations for a broad range of legal matters at our offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina.