I am working on a new CEU outline called “Whoops I did it again! Common Mistakes in Litigation”. One of the common mistakes I am seeing is equivocal responses to PFB’s that don’t really say yes or no as to whether the benefit will be provided.
A “maybe” type answer is not agreeing to provide the benefit, and it will not save you from owing attorney fees. Re-read your responses to make sure it actually says “yes” if that is what you are intending. Or you can always send me an email for help on the wording.
Remember, you have 30 days to file your response from the date the PFB is filed to avoid fees. If within 14 days you are not certain yet as to whether you owe the benefit, use your time wisely. Wait to file your response, you have 16 more days to figure it out and avoid fees.
Another common mistake I have seen is the PFB response agrees to provide the benefit, but then for one reason or another it falls off radar and does not get done. I have seen JCC’s award attorney fees in these situations. The PFB response is an agreement to provide the benefit, it is not authorization or actually providing the benefit. Make sure to diary or calendar what needs to be done to avoid any potential fee exposure. And if it is an issue with a provider causing the delay, document all of your efforts so we will have a defense to fees.
We should have the CEU finished and approved soon, if you’d like to get a date on the books for 4th or 1st quarter 2018, please let me know. And before you ask, no I won’t sing it.
Morgan Indek | Partner