Monthly Archives: March 2012

Injuries, Illnesses and Diseases Covered by Workers’ Compensation

How do I know if my work related injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation?

There are risks that are related to almost every type of work. There are injuries that can be brought about by an accident that takes place in the workplace. There are also illnesses and diseases that are work related.

If you have sustained injuries from an accident that was work related or you have illnesses or diseases as a result of your work, there is something that you would like to know. “Are my injuries, illnesses or diseases covered by workers’ compensation?”

Here is some good news for you. Almost all injuries are covered by workers’ compensation as long as your injuries result from an accident that occurs out of and in the course of your work. In other words, it is an injury that you sustain as you are doing your job for your employer. In fact, even if you get injured as you play a game of football at a picnic that is sponsored by your employer, your injury may be covered by workers’ compensation.

Also true of illnesses and diseases

The same is true in regard to any illnesses or diseases that are brought about by extraordinary or unusual risks that you face due to the nature of your work. Examples of this are people who work with computers getting carpal tunnel syndrome, or coal miners who get black lung disease. In fact, even if it is a preexisting condition that you have, which is made worse or aggravated by your work; this may be covered by workers’ compensation.

The key is that your injuries, illnesses or diseases are related to your work. There has to be a connection between your injuries, illnesses or diseases and the work that you do for your employer.

Although this seems pretty simple and straightforward, determining whether your injuries, illnesses or diseases are related to your work can sometimes get complicated. For example, as mentioned above, if your are injured in an accident at an event that is sponsored by your employer, such as a picnic or party; your injury may be covered.

Travel may be covered

Another example is travel. If you are injured as you go to and from where you work, that injury is not usually covered by workers’ compensation. However, if you go on a business trip for your employer and you are injured, that injury is probably going to be covered by workers’ compensation.

You may even be covered by workers’ compensation if you are injured when you do something your employer has prohibited, or you break a workplace safety rule. This is especially true if your employer is aware of what you are doing and allows you to continue doing it.

If you have sustained an injury, illness or disease at work and are not sure whether it is covered by workers’ compensation, or your employer is not wanting you to make a workers’ compensation claim, you need to have a workers’ compensation attorney working for you. A workers’ compensation attorney will look over your case and tell you the best way to proceed in order that you might receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to.

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Getting Help After the Arbitrator Makes a Decision

What happens if my condition worsens after the arbitrator renders his decision regarding my claim?

An accident that takes place at your work place is never a good thing. It may be that you were injured in an accident that was job related. You may have not been able to return to work for weeks or months.

While a job related injury from an accident is never a good thing, your employer was covered by workers’ compensation insurance. A workers comp claim was made, and you were approved by your employer’s workers comp insurance company. As a result, you began to receive workers comp benefits for your job related accident injuries.

For one reason or another a dispute has developed between you and your employer or your employer’s workers comp insurance company in regard to your claim. It may be that the primary doctor who is treating you for your job related injuries has said that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and has released you to go back to work.

Maximum medical improvement means that the doctor believes you have reached a point where your condition is not going to get any better. However, you may not believe that you are ready and able to do your job. Or, it may be that your employer‘s insurer is pressuring you to settle your claim, and you are not ready to settle.

Going before an arbitrator

At any rate, in order to resolve the dispute, your workers’ comp case has been taken to an arbitrator. In some states the arbitrator’s decision is final, and you are prevented from making any additional appeal in regard to your workers comp claim. However, in most states, arbitration is not binding. You are allowed to appeal the decision of the arbitrator or continue the litigation process, even though the arbitrator’s decision is in favor of your employer.

The question that you would like to have answered is, “What happens if your condition gets worse after the arbitrator makes his decision in regard to your claim? What can you do? What options do you have?

Lump-Sum Settlement

Again, this depends on the state that you live in. In some states if no lump-sum settlement has been made, you may be able to receive an increase in workers comp compensation and additional hospital, medical and surgical benefits.

A lump-sum settlement is where you agree to settle your case for one lump sum of money. When you do this, although there are some exceptions, it ends your claim for that particular job related injury. You are not allowed to change your mind.

Workers compensation attorney

Even before your workers comp claim goes to an arbitrator, you really should have a workers compensation attorney representing you. Especially if your condition gets worse after an arbitrator’s decision, you are more than likely going to need the advise and counsel of a workers’ compensation attorney.

You and your family’s future are vitally important. A workers’ compensation attorney will protect your rights and make sure that you get all of the workers comp benefits that you deserve.

Receiving Future Medical Treatment for my Work-Related Injury Resulting From an Accident

Under what conditions am I able to ensure that I will be able to receive future medical treatment for my work-related injury resulting from an accident?

You may have suffered a work-related injury in an accident at work. It is an injury that may require medical treatment in the future, possibly lifelong treatment.

An important thing that you need to know is, “Under what conditions am I able to ensure that I will be able to receive future medical treatment for my work-related injury?”

The best thing you can do

The best thing that you can do is to file a workers’ compensation claim for your work-related injury. In every state except Texas, employers, with few exceptions, are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured in an accident while performing your job for your employer, almost all types of injuries are covered by workers comp.

Workers’ comp is a tradeoff. In return for paying for your medical care and other benefits, you are not permitted to sue your employer for your work-related injury that resulted from an accident at work.

The reason why filing a workers’ compensation claim is the best thing you can do to ensure that you will be able to receive all of the future medical treatment that you need for your work-related injury is workers comp benefits entitle you to get all of the reasonable and necessary medical treatment that you require at no cost to you. This is for as long as you require medical treatment for your work-related injury.

For the rest of your life

By filing a workers comp claim, you may receive medical treatment for your work-related injury for the rest of your life if your injury requires it. It all depends on the type of injury that you have and how long it will take to recover from it.

Some work-related injuries are resolved in a matter of weeks or months. Others may take years, and others may be of such a nature that they last for the rest of your life.

The important thing to remember is that if you do not settle your workers comp case, you leave the door open for medical treatment that you may need in the future. Once you settle your workers compensation claim, that usually ends all of the benefits that you will receive for that particular work-related injury, unless provision is made as a part of the settlement for you to receive future medical treatment if it is needed.

No one can force you to settle

There is another important thing to remember. No one can force you to settle your workers comp claim. Your employer’s insurer may try to pressure you into settling, but you do not have to settle.

Workers comp laws vary from state to state. One of the smartest things that you can do is to have a workers’ compensation attorney working for you. A workers’ compensation attorney will know the best course of action to take to ensure that you will be able to get all of the future medical treatment that your work-related injury requires. A workers comp attorney will help you to get all of the workers’ compensation benefits that you have coming to you.

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Getting Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits for my Injury on the Job

Will I be entitled to any vocational rehabilitation benefits in order to retrain me for another occupation if I am unable to perform my former job duties as a result of my being injured in an accident on the job? This is a vitally important question that you may have if you were hurt in an accident on the job, and you are not able to do your former job because of the injuries that you sustained in that accident on the job.

Accidents do happen at work. You may have been the victim of an accident on the job. The accident may have brought about serious injuries to you.

You are thankful that your employer had workers’ compensation insurance. Your claim was approved, and you have been receiving comp benefits.

You have hoped that you would be able to recover and go back and do your former job. However, you have reached a point where the primary doctor who has been treating your work-related injuries says that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).

What is maximum medical improvement

Maximum medical improvement is a term that is used when you have reached a state where improvement is no longer possible. This may mean that you have fully recovered from your injury, or it can mean that your condition has stabilized to the point where no major medical or emotional change is expected. This is regardless of any additional medical treatment or therapy that you may receive. In plain English, maximum medical improvement means that you have reached a point where you are not going to get any better.

If you have fully recovered and are able to return and do your former job this is great. However, your primary doctor may have released you, and you tried to do your former job and were not able to do it. Or, your primary doctor may have told you that your injuries are of such a nature that you will never be able to do your former job.

Vocational rehabilitation benefits

So, now, what you want to know is, “ Am I entitled to any vocational rehabilitation benefits where I can be trained to do another occupation since my injuries will not allow me to do my former job?”

Although laws vary in different states, you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Vocational rehabilitation benefits will usually include retraining and job placement that is necessary to get you back to useful employment. The treatment, service or training that is appropriate and necessary to do this is usually paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, the state you live in, your employer or possibly a portion by each of the three.

If you are not able to do your former job because of injuries that you suffered in an accident on the job, a wise decision is to go to a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney will know what vocational rehabilitation benefits are available and what you may be eligible for in your state. Do not waste time. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney, today.

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Receiving Benefits if I am not Able to Return to my Regular Job

Will I be entitled to receive any other benefits if I am not able to return to work at my regular job after being treated for my work-related injury?

You were injured in an accident while doing your job for your employer. A workers’ compensation claim was made, and you were approved for workers’ compensation benefits by your employer’s insurer because of the accident.

You have been getting your workers’ compensation benefits, but here is something that you would like to know. “Will I be entitled to receive any other benefits if I am not able to return to work at my regular job after being treated for my work-related injury that was caused by an accident?”

You may be able to continue getting your workers’ compensation benefits, or you may be entitled to some other kinds of workers’ compensation benefits if you are not able to go back and do your regular job that you had before you were injured in the accident on the job. This will be determined by some things.

Released by your primary doctor

Lets say that your primary workers’ compensation doctor releases you to go back and do your regular job, but you do not believe that you will be able to do the job that you used to do. What do you do? You are required to go back to work and try to do your regular job. If you do not do this, your workers’ compensation benefits can be stopped.

So, you go back to work, and you are not able to do your old regular job. Now, what do you do? If you stop within the first 15 work days, your employer is required to restart your workers’ compensation benefits, immediately.

If you are not able to do your regular job because of the injuries you received from the accident, you may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation benefits. These are benefits that you get while you are being trained for a different kind of work. Although the laws vary from state to state, these may be paid to you by the state where you live and work, your employer, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company or a combination of these three.

There are several different kinds of vocational rehabilitation services that may be available to you, depending on the state that you are in. These include:

Job analyses
Ergonomics assessment
Counseling
Interview coaching
On-the-job training
Tuition and education payments for retraining
Job-search assistance
Job-application and resume services
Wage-assessment evaluations
Transferable-skills testing and analysis
Labor-market surveys
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reasonable-accommodation assistance.

Another workers’ compensation benefit that you may be eligible for if you are unable to do your regular job is Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). Again, this is a benefit that varies from state to state.

One of the best things that you could do is to get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney about your case. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to explain to you the workers’ compensation benefits that you may be eligible for if you are unable to do your regular job.

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