The short answer: Yes, you can.
The longer, better answer: Don’t do it and here’s why …
“He who represents himself has a fool for a client” is a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but the true origins of the proverb are unknown. An early example appears in 1814 in The Flowers of Wits by Henry Kett, wherein the eminent lawyer states, “I hesitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.”
Workers’ compensation law is complicated. Even if you have been handling your case without difficulty to this point, there will, almost certainly, come a time when a conflict with the insurance company will arise. Your odds of successfully resolving that conflict favorably on your own are almost zero. This is especially true if you are required to go to a hearing to resolve the issue as the rules of evidence are also complicated.
Don’t try to represent yourself. You will be shortchanging your foolish client.
You worked hard. You saved your money. You did your research. You negotiated a great deal with the salesman. And, oh, she is beautiful; and she is shiny; and she is fast. You decide to take your new car on the scenic route home from the dealership so you can bask in her new car smell. Her odometer shows just ten miles as you enter the intersection on the green light. In a flash, your car is slammed by a driver who thinks red means go. Your baby’s grill is smashed and she’s leaking fluids. She will never be the same.
The other driver’s insurance company pays for the expensive repair and your rental car for the two weeks it takes to “fix” your car. But now your car is worth less because she has been in a serious collision. You have a claim for more than the cost of the repair and the cost of the rental car. You also have a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle.
Our office has successfully fought insurance companies for the difference in the value of your vehicle as a result of a collision after it has been repaired. We hire an expert who can testify as to the fair market value of your vehicle, before and after the collision, and we will go to court to fight for you. Contact me
Your heart starts racing and your stomach churning when you see the flashing red and blue lights behind you. As you pull to the side of the road, your hopes that the officer is responding to a call are quickly dashed as he eases in behind you. Fifteen minutes later you are holding several tickets for moving and non-moving violations. The tickets are full of information: sections of the code, fines, your rights, etc. The one vital piece of information that is missing: the number of points for violating a particular section of the code.
There is a bit of good news in this situation. You can check this web page published by the District Court of Maryland to determine the number of points associated with your offense(s):
This information will give you some guidance as to whether you should pay the fine or request a trial date by pleading not guilty and mailing in the form which is part of the ticket.
If you are still uncertain as to the best course of action, contact me and I will be happy to discuss it with you.
You have seen the Facebook* posts: pictures from a beach vacation; a weekend handyman proud of the garage door he installed; a bushel of crabs about to be steamed after a long day of crabbing; Billy’s graduation party where his mom is so overjoyed, she just has to get down and boogie; or the deck still wet from being power washed.
Posting on social media is fun. Being cross-examined on the witness stand about your Facebook posts is not.
In the past year several of my clients’ cases have been destroyed by Facebook postings. The judge or jury does not want to hear the attempt at a rebuttal: “I was in tremendous pain for days after I power washed my deck”. Two suggestions: (1) Power washing the deck can wait; (2) If it cannot wait, DO NOT post about it on Facebook.
DO NOT post about your accident on Facebook. DO NOT post about your injuries on Facebook. DO NOT post about your medical treatment on Facebook. Even better: DO NOT Facebook … PERIOD!
*This includes not only Facebook but Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Flickr, and for those living in the Dark Ages, MySpace.
The Short Answer:
Yes…unless you are willing to risk losing your job.
The Longer Answer:
You can refuse to take a drug test following an on-the-job injury. However, if you refuse the drug test, you are jeopardizing your employment.
For non-union workers, the choice is simple. If you refuse a drug test, you can be fired. (Most people do not know this: as a non-union worker, you can be fired for no reason or just about any reason that does not violate public policy – requiring you to take a drug test does not violate public policy).
For union workers, the union contract will govern whether you are required to take a drug test. If the contract requires that you take a drug test and you refuse, you can be terminated.
You have breached the union contract and the union will likely have no recourse on your behalf. If your employer demands that you take a drug test, consult with your shop steward or union official before you comply.