Monthly Archives: November 2011

Can I get workers’ compensation for my crane accident at work?

Construction is a dangerous and challenging work. Unlike most industries, construction involves traveling to multiple building sites. Each of these multiple construction sites is a workplace that has dangers and hazards. One of the most common workplace accidents at construction sites can be caused by the use of cranes.

Cranes are essential on construction sites, representing high risks and dangers, but cranes may collapse, tip over, overturn or fall. Improper maintenance, improper operation of the crane and missing hand rails can all contribute to crane accidents.

Common injuries caused by a Crane

There are several ways that you may be injured in a crane accident. These include falls, being struck by the counterweight or crane cab, being crushed during crane assembly or disassembly, electrocution or being struck by a load.

You may have been fortunate enough to survive a crane accident; however, there are several different types of injuries that you may have sustained.

 A spinal cord injury
 Traumatic brain injury
 Electrocution from contact with a power source
 Concussion
 Breaks and fractures
 Traumatic amputation
 Headaches
 Seizures.

If you have been injured in a crane accident while working you may have questions. How long is it going to be before you can work again? Are you going to be able to work again? Are you going to need rehabilitation? If you do need rehabilitation, how long will it last, what will it involve and how much will it cost?

Workers’ Compensation payment for a Crane Accident

Workers’ compensation is insurance purchased by your employer. Workers compensation can provide income replacement, medical coverage and rehabilitation to employees who suffer illness, injury or death while performing their “normal” job responsibilities.

Unlike other types of personal injury compensation, workers compensation is offered to the employee, regardless of fault, and the employee does not have to prove that their employer’s negligence contributed to their work injury.

Surviving beneficiaries of the worker may also be eligible for survivor benefits, but generally the dependents or survivors are prevented from suing the employer for additional compensation for the work injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Hiring a Work Comp Lawyer for your Crane Accident

If you have been injured in a crane accident on the job, are you receiving workers’ compensation benefits? Is your employer denying you workers’ compensation benefits?

Never assume that your employer or the insurance company will do their best to see that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits that are due you because of you injuries on the job. Your employer and the insurance company have attorneys who know workers’ compensation laws, and they will work against you, not for you.

If you would like more information about your crane accident or filing for workers compensation, fill out the FREE evaluation form a work comp lawyer’s office will contact you to review your work comp case.

Crushed by a machine at work. Can I get workers compensation?

There are many potential dangers and hazards that are connected with different types of work. One of the most common types of accidents that take place on the job is being caught in or between an object.

An accident that involves being caught in or between an object may occur in many different types of work. Different types of construction and work involving machinery and moving parts are where a caught in or between accident is likely to take place.

A caught in or between accident may take several different forms. The types of caught in or between accidents that happen most often are being caught in some type of machinery, pinned between two objects, crushed by or between objects or buried in or by an object.

There are several reasons why a caught in or between accident may occur. Some of these are:

 Being distracted
 Working with unsafe equipment
 A lack of instructions or training
 Working under physical or mental stress
 Working on moving machinery.

Injuries that result from a caught in or between accident are usually severe. They may range from the less minor (cuts, scrapes and bruises) to the severe (breaks, fractures, amputated body parts and internal injuries).

Have you been crushed by a heavy piece of work machinery? Did the work injury or injuries that you sustained keep you from working? Are your work injuries so serious that you will not be able to return to work for a long period of time?

What about your medical bills and lost wages? Is your employer providing workers’ compensation benefits for your workplace injuries?

Is your employer trying to prevent you from receiving workers’ compensation? Does your employer say that he will let you go if you file for workers’ compensation?

With few exceptions, employers in all of the states have to have workers’ compensation insurance. In most instances, your employer is breaking the law if he does not have this insurance. Even if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, in most situations, your employer will still have to pay for your medical bills and lost wages.

It is also important for you to know that your employer, by law, is not allowed to fire you for filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer has to have another reason for firing you.

Workers’ compensation is intended to be a compromise between you and your employer. Your employer is not allowed to deny you workers’ compensation. It is your legal right under workers compensation laws. In return, you generally barred from filing a personal injury claim. This compromise allows you to get immediate medical and wage compensation and allows your employer to avoid costly litigation.

If you still have questions about your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits or what you need to do to receive these benefits, www.usworkerscomp.com is the right place to be. The attorneys at www.usworkerscomp.com are ready to answer your questions and help you. Please be sure and fill out the free evaluation form at the bottom of the page.

Can I Change Doctors in a California Workers’ Compensation Case

Workers’ compensation is insurance provided to California workers who have been seriously injured on the job performing their normal job functions. Workers Compensation benefits can include wage replacement income, rehabilitation and medical coverage and death benefits to surviving beneficiaries of workers who have been killed on the job.

Workers compensation benefits are mandated under state law for some employers and are provided as a right to the employee. California work comp benefits are not contingent on you, the employee, proving that your employer’s negligence caused or contributed to your work injury. You and/or your dependents or survivors, in turn, cannot sue your employer for additional damages after a work injury but generally must accept compensation in the form or work comp benefits.

How do I change doctors in California Work Comp case?

Under California law, if you are injured or become ill as a result of your job, you are required to see a doctor who has been selected by your employer. The exception to this is if you have properly pre-designated a “personal physician.” The designation must be done in writing before your California work injury or illness occurs and your employer must be providing group health insurance.

A question that may concern you is, “Under California workers’ compensation laws, am I allowed to change doctors? If I do change doctors is my employer responsible for paying that doctor?”

Your employer’s medical control varies according to the medical delivery model. If it is a traditional model, it is 30 days. If it is health care organization (HCO), it is 90 or 180 days. If it is a medical provider network (MPN), it is the life of the claim. If you have pre-designated a personal physician it is 0 days.

Under the traditional model, if you want to change doctors before the 30 days of employer medical control expires, you are allowed to do so if you notify the claims administrator. The claims administrator will then give you a list of doctors to choose from. In most instances, you are required to choose a doctor who is within your employer’s medical provider network (MPN).

If you decide to change physicians, your employer is responsible for paying that doctor. However, you need to know that not every physician that is listed in your employer’s MPN may be accepting new workers’ compensation cases or seeing new patients. You should call the doctor and make sure that they will take you and your case before making the change to that physician.

Hiring a Work Compensation Lawyer

California workers’ compensation law is complicated, but you are at the right place. The employment attorneys at www.usworkerscomp.com can review your California work comp case and answer your questions. Fill out the FREE evaluation form if you would like a work comp lawyer’s office to contact you about your work comp claim in California.

Injured in an Explosion at work. Can I receive Workers’ Compensation?

If you are like most workers, you spend at least 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week or longer in your workplace on your job.

Employers have the legal responsibility to ensure that your place of employment is safe and to protect you from reasonable, foreseeable injuries. However, accidents can occur for many reasons and in a variety of situations.

One common type of work injury is an explosion. You may have been in an explosion on the job and were fortunate that you only received minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes or a mild concussion. If so, this was probably resolved between you and your employer and the employer’s insurance company.

On the other hand, you may have been in an explosion on the job and were not so lucky. The work injuries that you have sustained may be serious and have far reaching consequences.

Common Injuries from an Explosion

There are several types of work injuries that you may receive from an explosion. Some of these include:

 Concussion
 Open and closed brain injury
 Respiratory illnesses that are related to toxic smoke, fumes, or dust
 Abdominal perforation and hemorrhage
 Smoke inhalation
 Fracture and traumatic amputation
 Tympanic membrane rupture and middle injury
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
 Penetrating ballistic injuries
 Crush injuries
 Burns that may be flash, partial and full thickness
 Blast lung injury
 Ocular penetration
 Asthma
 Blunt injuries.

If you have suffered serious injuries from an explosion on the job, there are some important questions for you and your employer to consider. How long will your injuries last? How long will it be before you are able to go back to work? Will you be able to go back to work? Will you need rehabilitation, and if so, how much will it cost?

If you have been injured in an explosion on the job, you may be trying to decide whether you should hire an attorney to represent you. If your workplace injury has caused severe or permanent injuries, it is always a good idea to talk to a work comp lawyer about your workers’ compensation case.

Never assume that your employer or the insurance company cares about your work injury or whether you will receive fair compensation. You need to know that the playing field is not level. Employers and their insurance company have work compensation attorneys who are well versed in worker’s compensation laws and although they may not be working directly against you, they have less interest in making sure you are fairly compensated for your work injuries.

Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you need more information about your options, complete the FREE evaluation form below and a workers’ compensation lawyer will contact you to review your case.

I have fallen at work; can I get workers’ compensation benefits?

Most workers spend at least 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week or more at their workplace. A safe working environment is vitally important, and employers have a legal responsibility to follow state regulation procedures.

The workplace of today is not the same as the workplace of a generation ago. At that time the primary focus was on manufacturer’s production lines or moving materials within a receiving, shipping or storage area. Businesses were dependent on repetitive action or motion to produce a product.

Today’s workplace has expanded far beyond the popular belief that on-the-job injuries occur on the assembly line. The workplace of today has become mobile. It now involves the highways and byways that crisscross our nation.

What is a workplace? A workplace is by definition, “a place where commerce is conducted.” This means that any place where work is conducted, whether in a building, office or motor vehicle is now a workplace.

Wherever you are working, your employer has a duty of care to protect you from reasonably foreseeable injuries. However, accidents can and do take place on the job for a wide range of reasons and in many different circumstances.

One type of accident that happens on the job is a fall. You may have suffered a fall on the job from one level to another level. You may have fallen from one floor of a building to another floor. You may have fallen through an attic or a roof. You may have fallen through a stairway or while removing flooring. You may have fallen from one level to a level below it.

As a result, you have sustained injuries that prevent you from doing your job. Are you receiving workers’ compensation benefits? Has your employer denied you these benefits?

Workers’ compensation is insurance provided by your employer. It covers necessary medical coverage, income and rehabilitation coverage for the employee and survivor benefits for survivors of the deceased who has died from their workplace injury.

If you have been injured performing your normal work activities, you do not have to prove that your employer was negligent and their negligence caused your work injuries.

Workers’ compensation benefits are yours or your dependents or survivors as a matter of “right.” You and your survivors have, however, generally forfeited your right to file a personal injury claim against your employer.

Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you have sustained a serious fall at work and you have not been able to receive adequate workers’ compensation benefits for your work injuries, we can help. Fill out the FREE evaluation form at the bottom of the page and let us take a look at your workers’ compensation claim.

How do I change doctors in an Oklahoma workers’ compensation case?

If you live and work in Oklahoma and you have been injured on your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is provided by an employer after a work injury and can include income compensation, rehabilitation, medical coverage for the injured employee and death benefits to the survivors of a deceased employee.

Workers do not have to prove that their employer was negligent only that their injury occurred while they were engaged in normal work activities. In return for automatic insurance coverage you and/or your survivors surrender your right to sue your employer for additional compensation through an injury lawsuit.

Oklahoma medical coverage options

Doses Oklahoma workers’ compensation law allow me to change doctors? If I do, is my employer responsible for paying that doctor, or do I have to pay that doctor?

In Oklahoma, you are allowed by workers’ compensation law to have a one-time privilege of changing doctors. Your employer is responsible for paying this doctor. In addition, if you do not agree with the opinions of the doctor that is selected by your employer, in certain circumstances, you have a right to ask for a second opinion or have an independent medical evaluation (IME).

You do not have to accept a second opinion from an insurance adjusters “handpicked” doctors. It is the Workers’ Compensation Court that selects the doctor who will give an IME or a true second opinion, not the insurance adjuster from your employer’s insurance company.

If you have recently been injured on the job in Oklahoma, you may be in the process of trying to decide what to do. It is important for you to know that your employer’s insurance company will not openly tell you about your right to change doctors or seek a second opinion.

Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you have questions or if you need additional help getting your workers’ compensation benefits, we can help. The employment attorneys at www.usworkerscomp.com will make sure that your rights are protected. Fill out the FREE evaluation form at the bottom of this page and a work comp lawyer will contact you to evaluate your Oklahoma workers’ compensation case.

Can I choose my doctor in a Texas Workers’ Compensation Case?

The issue of workers’ compensation in Texas is important to you if you live and work in Texas, you have been injured on your job and you are having problems getting compensated for your work injury.

Workers’ compensation is insurance provided by your employee. It provides benefits in the form of medical coverage, income and rehabilitation to employees who suffer injury, or death benefits to family members of the deceased.

Workers compensation is paid without proving that your employer’s negligence contributed to your work injuries. Workers’ comp benefits are yours or your dependents or survivors as a matter of “right.” In return for this benefit, neither you nor your dependents nor survivors can sue your employer for compensation for your injuries or death.

Choosing a doctor after a Texas work injury

If you were injured on the job or you became ill as a result of your work and you have seen the company approved doctor, what happens if you are not satisfied with the doctor?

Does Texas allow me to change doctors? Is my company responsible for paying that doctor or do I have to pay the doctor?

The answer to both of these questions is, “Yes.” Texas workers’ compensation laws do allow you to change doctors, and you do not have to have the permission of your employer to do so. There is, however, a form that you must file with the Division of Workers’ Compensation if you decide to go to a different doctor.

Your employer is responsible for paying the doctor. Make sure, however, that the doctor that you want to see is willing to accept workers’ compensation insurance.

Here is where there may be a problem. The problem is that doctors in Texas have not been treated in an equitable and fair manner by insurance companies. As a result, there are a large number of doctors in Texas who are not accepting workers’ compensation cases any longer.

Because of this, if you want to change doctors or see another doctor, you must make sure that the doctor you want to see is willing to agree to take a workers’ compensation case.

If you have been injured at work and you need help; it is time to talk to a work comp lawyer. Please be sure to fill out the FREE evaluation form at the bottom of the page if you would like help reviewing your Texas Workers’ Compensation claim.

Can I choose my own doctor for a workers’ compensation claim?

Like many things in life, the answer to this question depends. In most cases, you have at least some say in choosing the doctor that treats you for a workers’ compensation claim, but your employer may be able to influence that decision.

Workers’ compensation benefits are provided by insurance paid for by your employer. Your employer wants to ensure you receive sufficient care to get you back to work as soon as is possible. This is not only because hopefully the employer relies on the work that you perform for them and they in general care about your well being, but also because usually the longer you are out on a workers’ compensation claim, the more expensive it is to the insurance carrier. As the employer wants to keep their insurance premiums to a minimum, it is in your employer’s best interest to get you back to work as soon as is possible. Therefore, your employer has an interest in the physician providing for your care.

Likewise, the insurance company has a stake in which doctor provides for your care. The insurance company is the one that is paying the expenses related to your workers’ compensation claim. This can include lost wages, doctor bills, prescription medication, and indirect expenses related to your care such as travel to get to and from your medical treatments. Therefore, the insurance company also wants to get you well and back to work as soon as is possible to minimize their expense.

Because of the interest the employer and insurance company have in your medical care while being treated for a workers’ compensation-related illness or injury, the laws that govern your treatment may allow them to influence the doctor chosen. Other factors must also be considered that can affect who is allowed to provide your treatment. These factors include but may not be limited to the following:

• The state where you live

The way each state provides for a physician in dealing with a workers’ compensation claim varies widely, because each state is allowed to set their own laws that govern workers’ compensation. Some state laws require that you be allowed to choose your own doctor for a workers’ compensation claim immediately, whereas other states may not have this requirement. In either case, your employer may ask that you obtain a second opinion from another doctor or your employer could petition the Workers’ Compensation Office for your state to have you see a different physician depending on the circumstances of your injury or the prognosis for your recovery.

• The care plan offered by your employer

Depending on the type of care plan offered by your employer and if allowed by state law, your employer’s workers’ compensation plan may require that you initially see a doctor from a list of doctors maintained by your employer or the insurance carrier for your employer’s workers’ compensation. Usually this requirement is for a limited period of time—perhaps as little as 10 days or 1 month—after which you can see a doctor of your choosing.

• The specialty of the doctor and the type of work injury

Even if you can choose your own physician, there are limits as to who you can choose. Because of the interest your employer and the insurance carrier have in you receiving appropriate care, your doctor must be one that is in good standing in terms of having a current license to practice medicine in your state. In addition, he must be trained to address the type of injury or illness you have.

As you can see from the information above, the doctor you can use to treat your workers’ compensation injury or illness varies by state law, care plan, and other factors. Therefore, you should speak with your employer or the Workers’ Compensation Office of your state to confirm your options for choosing your own physician related to a workers’ compensation injury or illness. If you do not believe you are being allowed to exercise your available options or otherwise believe you are not being treated within what the state laws allow for your claim, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.

How can I get help with my workers’ compensation claim?

If you complete the short form below, your case will be referred to a workers’ compensation attorney who can speak with you about your specific situation. This attorney will be familiar with the laws within your state, so you will receive the right answer for you. This initial consultation is free of charge, does not obligate you to anything further, and is 100% confidential from your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Therefore, please take this opportunity to get help with your workers’ compensation claim today.

Is My Work Injury Covered under Workers’ Compensation?

On the surface, the definition of what constitutes a workers’ compensation injury or illness seems fairly straightforward. If you are injured on the job, then you are in line to receive workers’ compensation benefits, right? The answer is actually that it depends.

What are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

• Provide a stream of income to a worker who has been injured on the job while he is unable to work and earn his regular salary or hourly wage, and
• Pay for costs related to medical care for the injury or illness.

For these reasons, then yes, if you receive a job-related injury or contract an illness as a result of your job, then you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, we need to be sure that we use the appropriate definition of what is considered a workplace injury or illness.

Work Injuries covered by Workers’ Compensation

For an injury or illness to be one that qualifies you to receive workers’ compensation benefits, the injury or illness must be directly caused by or related to one of your job responsibilities. Examples of injuries and illnesses that are the direct result of job responsibilities include the following:

• For an office worker, carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive typing of e-mails, memos, or other work at a keyboard
• For an electrician, receiving electrical burns to his hands while installing a breaker box when he believed the power was shut off
• For a pizza delivery driver, hurting his back in a car accident while delivering food to a customer
• For a construction worker, contracting lung disease because he installed asbestos in buildings before the dangers of working with asbestos were known

Work Injuries not covered by Workers’ Compensation

An injury that is not the direct result of your job, which is either indirectly related to your job or just something that commonly occurs in everyday life, would not qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits. Examples of indirect injuries or illnesses that likely would not qualify for workers’ compensation include the following:

• Catching the flu from a coworker who came to work even though company policy asks that ill employees stay home
• Having a car accident while driving to or from work or while driving during lunch because you chose to go out to eat
• Falling down a flight of stairs at your office because your balance was impaired as the result of the consumption of alcohol

In addition, remember that you must report the injury to your employer in a timely manner. If you wait too long to report a workplace injury, then even if it is as the direct result of one of your job responsibilities, you may lose the opportunity to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you would like to speak with an attorney about an injury or illness you have to determine if it is a valid workers’ compensation injury, please complete the short form found below. By completing this form, it will allow a workers’ compensation attorney to review the facts related to your injury or illness and provide you an initial consultation free of charge. This consultation is completely confidential from your employer and does not obligate you to anything further. Therefore, please use this opportunity today to get legal advice on your injury or illness so you do not lose out on the workers’ compensation benefits to which you may be entitled.

How much does a Texas Work Compensation Lawyer Cost?

Workers’ compensation in Texas is offered to workers who have been injured performing their normal job requirements. Texas work compensation may provide medical assistance, lost wage compensation, and death benefits. Not all injuries are covered by Texas work compensation, and certain actions may invalidate your right to work comp pay in your state.

If you have been seriously injured in a workers’ compensation claim and you have not received adequate compensation, a Texas work comp lawyer can help. Not all work injuries will require legal assistance but if work comp injuries are permanent or severe, it is a good idea to talk to a work comp lawyer. Work comp lawyers in Texas can perform the following tasks.

• Help you find quality medical care
• Negotiate a disputed claim
• Help you prove the extent of your work comp injuries
• Review medical treatment disputes
• Help you increase your impairment rating
• Make sure you are paid weekly
• Help maximize your work comp checks

Costs of Hiring a Work Comp Lawyer in Texas

Texas work compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee agreement means that the Texas work compensation lawyer will take a percentage of your Texas workers’ compensation benefits only if you win (keep in mind, some workers comp lawyers will charge for certain expenses, even if you do not win your case. Be sure to discuss your lawyer’s fee arrangement before you hire them).

What does this mean for you? You will only have to pay for their help if they win your work compensation claim. In Texas, your work comp lawyer will be paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier out of the income benefits you receive.

The amount a work comp lawyer is paid varies by state but generally the fee ranges from 10% to 35%. In Texas, the cost for your Texas workers’ compensation attorney must be approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. After the Division of Workers’ Compensation approves the work comp lawyer’s fees, the insurance carrier will deduct the fee amount from your workman’s comp benefits, up to 25% of your recovery amount.

Considerations for hiring a Work Compensation Attorney in Texas

Find a workers’ compensation lawyer in Texas who is willing to invest time and money into your case. Find someone who you can talk to and who makes you feel comfortable. Most attorneys will provide a free consultation to review your Texas work comp claim and help determine if you really need legal assistance.

A Texas work comp lawyer may seem expensive to hire, but sometimes, depending on the severity of your Texas work comp claim, if you have a good Texas attorney who understands the Texas workers’ compensation process, you may receive greater benefits, even after paying your lawyer’s fees.

Free Consultation for Texas Work Comp Claim

Most attorneys will provide a free consultation to review your Texas work comp claim and help determine if you really need legal assistance. Free consultations will generally last for approximately 30 minutes.