Our Firms Mission
Hassman & Fitzhugh, PLLC specializes in the area of workers’ compensation defense and has built its practice through representation of businesses and employers throughout the state of Kentucky. The partners at Hassman & Fitzhugh have over 10 combined years of experience in this field. Our firm places the utmost importance on providing unparalleled customer service, cost-effective representation and excellent results. Hassman & Fitzhugh looks forward to the opportunity to put its knowledge and expertise to work for you, by placing particular emphasis on the following tenets of effective representation:
To ensure that our clients are aggressively defended in an efficient, time-sensitive manner, Hassman & Fitzhugh will immediately advise our clients of any and all developments and/or filings by any party or the Administrative Law Judge. Our firm is sensitive to client preferences concerning the methods and frequency of communications concerning the status of a claim. If requested, our clients will be provided with copies of any and all documents received or exchanged throughout the duration of the claim. If, instead, our clients prefer periodic updates of relevant developments in a case, our firm will accommodate. No matter the preferred frequency or method of communication, Hassman & Fitzhugh separates itself from other law firms in that the members of the firm place a heightened emphasis on ensuring clients are kept up to date in order to facilitate a positive working relationship.
Thoroughly Investigating Claim and Plaintiff
After receiving assignment of a claim, Hassman & Fitzhugh will contact the appropriate personnel in order to discuss the claim in detail and, in most cases, attempt to set up an in-person meeting at the workplace. Speaking with an injured person’s supervisor, co-workers, and witnesses to a workplace accident are paramount in ensuring the timely resolution of a claim. Additionally, requests for production of documents will be propounded to Plaintiff’s attorney upon filing of a claim, and medical records, social security records, unemployment records, social media and even hunting and fishing records will be requested in order to ensure the Hassman & Fitzhugh legal team is fully apprised of the Plaintiff’s background and the extent of any injuries, whether pre-existing or acute.
Attempting to Negotiate Upon Receipt of Claim
Often, an early settlement is the most cost-effective resolution for a workers’ compensation client, and the attorneys at Hassman & Fitzhugh place special emphasis on identifying cases that are ripe for early resolution immediately upon receipt of a file. If a claim is thought to be compensable and early settlement is the most cost-effective means of representation, this information will be promptly communicated to you for consideration. Once the firm receives a settlement demand from Plaintiff’s counsel, it will immediately be conveyed to our clients in an attempt to effectuate a settlement without incurring further costs. Moreover, the legal team at Hassman & Fitzhugh will continue to facilitate the possibility of settlement of a compensable claim, by keeping the communication lines open with Plaintiff’s counsel throughout the duration of the case.
Swiftly Securing Deposition and IME (if approved)
Immediately after receiving a claim and with our clients’ approval, Hassman & Fitzhugh’s legal team will communicate with Plaintiff’s counsel to set up the Plaintiff’s deposition and will also schedule an appropriate IME if necessary. The firm has fostered relationships with doctors who conduct IMEs throughout the state of Kentucky, and has vast experience and success in pairing plaintiffs with the appropriate doctors. The firm prides itself in securing IME opinions from doctors respected by the ALJs, largely because of its expertise in choosing physicians and knowledge of ALJ preferences.
Professionalism and Knowledge of Case Before ALJ
As our clients are well aware, an ALJ acts as the judge and the jury on all workers’ compensation cases. As a result, the firm consistently meets any and all deadlines, submits cohesive and persuasive pleadings and motions to the ALJs, and promptly arrives at the Benefit Review Conferences and hearings with an in-depth knowledge of each and every case. The firm is keenly aware of the importance of appearance, professionalism, confidence and knowledge when appearing before the ALJs. Further, because the partners at Feld and Hassman have gained experience practicing before every ALJ in Kentucky, they are acutely aware of each ALJ’s personality and proclivities, and tailor their approaches before each ALJ accordingly.
Preparing Witnesses for Testimony at Hearings and Depositions
In the event our clients representative is required to testify at a deposition or hearing, our attorneys will ensure that the designated representative is fully prepared. Counsel will meet with the witness(es) in person to explain how a hearing or deposition proceeds and review questions likely to be asked of the injured employee’s attorney. Because the partners have both trial experience and years of experience deposing witnesses in both the workers’ compensation and civil arenas, our firm is particularly adept at successfully cross-examining witnesses and parties at a hearing, as well as objecting at appropriate times, and effectively applying the Kentucky Rules of Evidence.
Drafting Persuasive Briefs and Motions
Hassman & Fitzhugh’s outstanding legal writing skills have been fostered through years of drafting pleadings, briefs, appeals and motions in workers’ compensation cases. Because the firm is experienced in writing persuasively about a wide variety of subjects in workers’ compensation, our attorneys are able to brief even the most complex issues in a cost-effective manner, without sacrificing quality. Our firm’s dedication to the highest quality of legal writing has been rewarded with favorable decisions before ALJs, the Workers’ Compensation Board, and the Kentucky Court of Appeals.