WMATA mechanic with rotator cuff surgeries describes workers compensation process.

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"I had hurt my shoulder at work and was on as light duty program at my job. I had been talking to a couple of other people who had been through it and really, I was just trying to get my shoulder fixed.  One of my co-workers told me she had a lawyer and she'd had 2 but the first one didn't work out.  'Do you have a lawyer?' she asked me.  'Metro will not take care of you.'

I'm a hard headed-old soldier.  I hadn't even thought about it.  I was just going along.  She said "here's the number for my attorney, but you go through the Yellow Pages and talk to lawyers and see if you can find anyone you're comfortable with."  I called 1 D.C. law firm but didn't get the response I was looking for.

When I told my co-worker, she said 'take down this number and call my attorney.'

She was one of Mr. Kearney's clients.  But I just wasn't sure.

From the first conversation I had with Mr. Kearney I felt good.  He really made a big difference for me.  I didn't feel like I was behind the curve. I was happy with how my case went and the way the law firm treated me on a personal level.

One of the first things to get over after you get hurt at work is having a case against your company.  There is some guilt about suing your employer.  Some people are scared and are told not to get a lawyer or they'll get fired.

But you need a good lawyer because its about your own protection - the insurance company isn't going to get ripped off, but you could be."

R.B.