Although it might not garner much sympathy, a lawyer’s life is full of worry. The lawyer first has to worry that she is bettering her opponent, using the facts she is given in a way most likely to get the best deal or result for her client. Beating an opponent is only the first piece of a lawyer’s anxiety puzzle, however. Between federal and state laws, regulations, case law and court rules, a lawyer is constantly worried that she is forgetting something vitally important. One slip-up could lead to that legal word feared most by every practicing attorney: Malpractice.

In our legal system, there are malpractice minefields strewn about every practice area. For claimant attorneys in the workers’ compensation arena, the “opportunity” to commit malpractice often comes in dealing with benefits in the Medicare and Medicaid systems. The dangers are two-fold: First, the attorneys need to be concerned about the possibility that their clients will lose very necessary benefits if they mishandle their cases. This could lead to personal liability if the clients learn that their hired counsel has not protected them properly. Second, to save their own hides, claimant attorneys need to be concerned that they will be liable to the Medicaid and Medicare systems personally should claims made by either system be disregarded or mishandled.

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