Tag Archives: Workers Compensation

Should I apply for Workers Compensation or SSDI?

Injured on the job, what are my options?

 

If you have been injured on your job performing your normal work requirements you may no longer be able to work and you may need medical assistance as well as wage replacement. Many disabled workers ask if they should apply for workers compensation or if they should go ahead and file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Benefits of Workers Compensation

 

Workers compensation has been established in all states to provide injured workers who are injured on the job lost wage compensation, death benefits to surviving beneficiaries and medical benefits.

Workers compensation is provided to the employee at no cost to the worker. It provides short term and partial disability payments while the worker recovers and rehabilitates and attempts to return to full-time work. Another benefit of workers compensation is it generally provides vocational rehabilitation benefits such as training, job evaluation, job modifications and educational assistance to either return the worker to their job with needed modifications or help them find new employment.

Unlike other personal injury cases, workers’ compensation does not require the worker to prove their employer was negligent, only that they were injured in the “normal course of employment.” This eliminates lengthy and costly court battles for both the employer and the injured employee.

Some injuries are not covered in some states. For instance, workers who intentionally injure themselves or who are injured while traveling to work may not qualify for workers’ compensation. Common work injuries which are generally covered can include bone fractures, back and neck injuries, hernias, abrasions, burns, concussions, amputations, COPD, asbestos exposure and bulging discs.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is offered to workers who have a severe, disabling injury or condition which does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months. It is provided only to workers who have worked and paid employment taxes into the SSA system and who have sufficient work credits to be considered insured.

Not all workers will qualify for SSDI benefits. If you have been injured on the job and your condition is expected to last 12 continuous months and you are 100% injured you may apply for SSDI benefits, but before you do, you need to discuss your options with a disability lawyer, your human resources department or a workers’ compensation lawyer who is familiar with work comp laws in your state.

Can I apply for both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance?

 

Claimants who have been injured at work and who have a severe condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months can file both an SSDI claim and a workers’ compensation claim, but as mentioned above, you need to talk to a lawyer. Although SSDI and workers’ compensation are two separate programs which are administered by different groups if you are getting both benefits the SSA may offset your disability payment. For example, SSDI and workers’ compensation will be limited to 80% of the income you earned before you became disabled.

As mentioned above, the benefits of workers compensation is that you may be able to get short-term and partial disability benefits, two benefits which are not offered by the SSDI program. Additionally, the wait time for a disability decision for SSDI can be up to 2 years for some SSDI applicants.

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What Happens if I Do Not Settle my Workers’ Compensation Claim

What happens if my employer offers me a settlement, and I do not accept it?

If you were hurt in an accident on your job and were approved for workers’ compensation benefits by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, you may wonder about this. What happens if your employer offers you a settlement of your workers’ compensation claim, and you choose not to accept it?

One thing that you need to understand is that when you do accept a settlement that is offered to you by your employer, that is all you will receive for that specific injury. Once you accept a settlement proposal by your employer, you are not permitted to change your mind and say, “I have decided not to accept the settlement.” It is too late. You are locked in to that settlement, and you will not get any more workers’ compensation benefits for that specific injury that you sustained in an accident on the job.

Carefully consider your employer’s offer

With that in mind, you should carefully consider a settlement offer from your employer before accepting it. In fact, it would be a very good idea to have the advice and counsel of a workers’ compensation attorney as to whether the settlement your employer is offering you is one that you should accept.

So, your employer has offered you a settlement of your workers’ compensation claim, and you choose not to accept it. What happens now? Where do you go from here?

Once again, you would be wise at this point to have a workers’ compensation attorney working for you. With a workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you may receive a better settlement offer from your employer.

Also remember, no one can force you to accept a settlement offer that is made by your employer. An insurance adjustor for your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement offer, but you do not have to accept it.

A guaranteed benefit

Having said this, it is important for you to understand that a settlement is a guaranteed benefit. If you accept it, you will definitely get what is offered. It may be a lump-sum settlement where you will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment in exchange for giving up certain of your rights. Or, it may be a structured settlement in which you get smaller payments over a period of time that may last for several years.

If you still decide not to accept your employer’s settlement offer, although it is not the same in every state, your workers’ compensation claim may proceed to a hearing at the workers’ compensation appeals board or litigation at the state court level in the state where you work and live. The judge at the hearing may rule in your favor. If this is the case, you may win more than what you were being offered by your employer. On the other hand, if the judge rules in favor of your employer, you may receive less than what your employer was offering.

A workers’ compensation attorney is the one who will sit down with you and evaluate your case. A workers’ compensation attorney will help you to get the best possible settlementfor your workers’ compensation claim.

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Third Party Claims for Injuries on the Job

You have been involved in an accident on the job in which you sustained injuries. You believe that the accident was not the fault of you or your employer. You believe someone other than you or your employer was responsible for the accident on the job that caused your injuries. You believe it was due to a third party.

What can you do to be compensated for your injuries that were caused by a third party? What are you allowed to do? What options are open to you?

All states except Texas

In every state other than Texas, with few exceptions, all employers have to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If your accident on the job occurred in Texas, you need to find out if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.

If your employer is carrying workers’ compensation insurance, a workers’ compensation claim should be made. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to pay medical bills, lost wages and certain other benefits to workers who have been injured on the job while doing their duties for their employer.

You are eligible for these benefits no matter whose fault the accident was that brought about your injuries. In almost all cases, fault is not a determining factor when it comes to getting workers’ compensation benefits.

Your only remedy

Even if your accident on the job was due to the negligence of your employer, your are not permitted to sue your employer. Workers’ compensation benefits are your only remedy when it comes to your employer.

This is not the case, however, when it comes to a third party other than your employer being at fault for the accident on the job that resulted in your injuries. When it is a third party that is at fault for an accident on the job, you may be able to sue them for losses that have been brought about by their negligence.

This is referred to as a third party claim. In a third party claim, you are usually allowed to make a personal injury claim against the party who was responsible for your injuries that resulted from the accident on the job.

Personal injury claim

A personal injury claim is a claim that is brought by an individual who has received some type of negligent damage. It is brought against whoever is responsible for this negligent damage. In this case, it is a third party.

In regard to workers’ compensation claims, your are limited to the amount and kind of monetary compensation that you are allowed to recover. This is not the case with a third party personal injury claim.

Third party claims

In a third party personal injury claim, you are permitted to sue for damages that go far beyond what you can receive from workers’ compensation. You are usually allowed to sue for things like suffering, pain, disability and emotional distress.

The laws regarding third party personal injury claims for injuries brought about by an accident on the job vary from state to state. The best thing to do is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney will look into your case thoroughly and see if you should file a third party personal injury claim, as well as getting workers’ compensation benefits.

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What if I Want to See Another Doctor

You have been injured in an accident at work while performing your duties as an employee for your employer. Your employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and a workers’ compensation claim has been filed.

Two Questions

However, there is a problem. For one reason or another you are not satisfied with the doctor who is treating you. You would like to see another doctor. Does workers’ compensation allow you to see another doctor, and if so, “Is your employer responsible for paying another doctor?”

The answer to these two questions depends on the state that you live and work in. This is because workers’ compensation and the way that it is administered is not the same in every state. Here are some examples:

In Texas – You are allowed to pick the doctor who treats you, but that doctor has to be willing to accept workers’ compensation insurance. The thing that may make this difficult is that doctors have been treated so unfairly by insurance companies in Texas that many doctors will not accept a workers’ compensation case. You are also allowed to change doctors in Texas, but you have to do so in the proper way according to workers’ compensation laws in Texas.

In Arkansas – You have to go to the doctor that your employer or your employer’s insurance provider picks out. If you are not satisfied with the doctor, you are allowed to request a change through your insurance adjuster, or you can write to the Workers Compensation Commission in Arkansas and request a change of doctor.

In Louisiana – You have the right to choose one treating physician in any specialty or field that is deemed medically necessary. After making this initial choice, you have to get prior consent from your employer’s insurer if you want to change the doctor within that same specialty or field who is treating you.

In California – You can pick your doctor if you predesignated a doctor with your employer. If not, you have to see your employer’s doctor for the first 30 days. Then, you are permitted to switch to a doctor of your choice.

In Mississippi – Your employer is allowed to determine who will treat your injury right after the accident takes place. However, you are then allowed to be treated by a doctor of your choice or one that your employer chooses. You can change doctors, but your employer or his insurer has to pre-approve the change. If your choice of doctors is denied, you have to apply to the Workers’ Compensation Commission in Mississippi for approval of a change.

You can change doctors

The important thing to notice in each of these examples is that if you follow the procedure that is approved by workers’ compensation laws in each state for changing doctors, you are allowed to change doctors, and your employer’s insurer is responsible for paying that doctor.

Because workers’ compensation laws are different in each state, it is wise to secure the services of a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that you do everything in accordance with the workers’ compensation laws in your state.

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Injured in Colorado Due to a Fall at Work

Accidents happen in the workplace. Have you been injured in Colorado due to a fall at work?

What type of injuries did you receive when you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work? Are these injuries keeping you from working? Have you missed a lot of time at work? Are you disabled as a result of your injuries? Do you have high medical bills?

If you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work, the answers to these questions will greatly affect your future. The answers to these questions will make a big difference to you and your family.

Workers’ compensation claim

Did you file a Colorado workers’ compensation claim? Is Colorado workers’ compensation assisting you?

In 1915, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. This Act made it a mandate that Colorado employers would give wage replacement and pay for medical care for their workers who were injured on the job. Workers’ compensation would then be the exclusive remedy for an injured worker in exchange for this protection.

In Colorado, workers’ compensation comes under the heading of the Department of Labor and Employment. It is regulated by the Division of Workers Compensation within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Purpose of workers’ compensation

Workers’ compensation in Colorado is in place to assist workers who have been injured on the job. In fact, the intent of the Colorado general assembly in regard to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado is stated as being “to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to injured workers at a reasonable cost to employers.

In Colorado, workers’ compensation is mandatory, with no exemption for employers with a small number of employees. However, there are some waivers that are allowed.

An employer in Colorado has four options when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance. A Colorado employer may insure through the competitive state fund, use a private carrier, insure through groups of employers or be self-insured.

Benefits

If you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work, you may have several workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to. These include:

Medical treatment of your injuries without monetary or time limits
Reimbursement of mileage to and from physicians’ appointments that includes lost wages and mileage costs
Death and burial cost given to your family in the event of your death because of injuries sustained on the job
Replacement income benefits.

In many cases, it is replacement income benefits that form the major part of Colorado workers’ compensation claims. This may be true for you if you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work.

Replacement income benefits in Colorado are available in four different ways. These are:

Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD)
Temporary total disability benefits (TTD)
Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD)
Permanent total disability benefits (PTD).

Has your Colorado employer refused to file a workers’ compensation claim for you? Are you not sure what you should do? Do you have questions concerning workers’ compensation benefits that you may be entitled to in Colorado?

A workers’ compensation attorney will work for you. They will answer your questions and work hard to see that you get all of the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours in Colorado.

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Injuries From a Fall While You Were Working in Washington

Have you been in an accident on the job? Have you suffered injuries from a fall while you were working in Washington?

Are you injuries from the fall while you were working in Washington going to cause you to miss time at work? Are you going to be disabled from these injuries for a long period of time? Where will you get the help that you need?

Washington workers’ compensation

Did you know that Washington was the first state in the United States to create a workers’ compensation program? The state of Washington is also unique in that employers in Washington cannot buy private workers’ compensation insurance.

In Washington, an employer has to buy workers’ compensation insurance from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. This state agency oversees and pays workers’ compensation benefits from an insurance pool that is known as the Washington State Fund.

An employer in Washington can choose to be self-insured if that employer meets certain state requirements. Your workers’ compensation rights and benefits are not different if your employer is self-insured. However, it is your employer who does your paperwork and pays for your workers’ compensation claim when your employer is self-insured.

Filing a claim

Do you know how to go about filing a Labor & Industries claim for your injuries from the fall? It is a simple matter.

You go to a doctor who handles Labor & Industries claims and tell the doctor that you suffered injuries from a fall while you were working. Then, both you and the doctor fill out a form that is called a Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease (ROI).

Your doctor should file this report for you with the Department of Labor & Industries if it is a state fund case or with your employer in self-insured cases. If you are not sure whether your case is state fund or self insured, have the report sent to Labor & Industries and they will figure it out for you. The Department of Labor & Industries has to pay for your first visit to the doctor.

One thing that you need to be aware of is that your employer may try to suppress your Labor & Industries claim. This can be done in several different ways. These include:

Inducing you to treat your injury that happened while you were working as if it occurred off the job
Inducing you to not report your injuries
Threatening to fire you if you file a claim
Telling you that you do not need to file a claim, that they will take care of it
Trying to get you to put your accident on your health insurance
Telling you that if you file a claim you will cause all of your co-workers to lose their incentive bonus for keeping work place accidents down.

If your employer is trying to suppress your Department of Labor & Industries claim or your claim has been denied by this agency, you need the assistance of one of these attorneys. These attorneys know workers’ compensation laws in Washington and they will work hard to see that you are given all of the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours.

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Injuries Resulting From a Fall on the Job in Oregon

Accidents in the workplace continue to occur on a daily basis in spite of the best safety precautions that are set in place. These accidents take place for a variety of reasons and may take several different forms.

You may have suffered injuries resulting from a fall on the job in Oregon. Now what do you do?

First thing to do

The first thing that you should do is to let your employer know as soon as possible about your accident and the injuries you suffered from your fall on the job. If you want to file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries, tell your employer that you need an Oregon Form 801. This is the “Worker’s and Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease/Illness”.

Remember, filing a workers’ compensation claim is your right. Your employer is breaking the law if he tries to do anything to keep you from filing a workers’ compensation claim. This includes:

Requiring you as an employee to sign up as an independent contractor, corporate officer or partner for the purpose of avoiding workers’ compensation requirements
Pressuring you not to file an injury claim by agreeing to pay your medical bills
Requiring you to say that the injury happened at another place other than on the job
Making you sign a statement in which you agree that you will not file a workers’ compensation claim.

You may also file a workers’ compensation claim through a doctor. If you see a doctor after your injuries resulting from a fall on the job, tell the doctor that you sustained the injuries on the job. You and your doctor should then complete Oregon Form 827. This is the “Worker’s and Physician’s Report for Worker’s Compensation Claims”. Doctors in Oregon must report work-related injuries to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company within three working days.

Workers’ compensation claim

When you file your workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance company has to either accept or deny your claim within 60 days from the time you file your Oregon Form 801 with your employer. If your claim is accepted by your employer’s insurance company, you will receive a “Notice of Acceptance” that lists your medical conditions that have been accepted for coverage by the insurance company. If your claim is denied, your employer’s insurance company will inform you of your appeal rights in the denial letter that they send you.

Here are some of the workers’ compensation benefits that are paid to you in Oregon. These include:

Disability income benefits which amount to as much as 2/3 of your lost wages during the time of your disability no matter whether your injuries are permanent total, temporary total, permanent partial or temporary partial
Medical benefits with no dollar or time limitation
Rehabilitation benefits
Death & Survivor benefits for spouse and surviving children.

If you are having problems getting your workers’ compensation benefits or you have had a workers’ compensation claim denied, these attorneys can help you. These attorneys know Oregon workers’ compensation laws. They will fight to see that your rights are protected and that you get all of the workers’ compensation benefits that belong to you.

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Injured Because of a Fall at Work in California

Have you been injured because of a fall at work in California? You may have fallen from one level to another or from one floor to another. You may have been injured when you fell down stairs or off of a scaffold or platform.

The injuries that you sustained in your fall at work in California may have injured you seriously. You may face the prospect of missing weeks or months of work and income because you have been injured. You may even need rehabilitation in order to be able to work again.

Bills and expenses

Are your medical bills and expenses being taken care of? Are you receiving the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to?

Do you know what workers’ compensation is? Do you know how workers’ compensation works in California?

Workers’ compensation is what you might think of as business insurance. It is a form of business insurance that provides benefits to employees and/or their family who are injured, become ill or die in the course of, or as a result of, their work.

Workers’ compensation is also what is known as “no fault”. This means that it does not make any difference whether your fall at work in California was your fault or your employer’s fault. Workers’ compensation is something that is yours no matter who was at fault for the accident.

California uses the term, “worker’s compensation” or “workers’ comp” in reference to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation in California is governed by the Department of Industrial Relations. The Division of Workers’ Compensation has the specific responsibility of administering workers’ compensation in California.

There are several benefits that California workers’ compensation provides. These include:

Medical care
Supplemental job displacement benefits or vocational rehabilitation
Permanent disability benefits
Temporary disability benefits
Death benefits to your family

Has your California employer told you that you could not get workers’ compensation? Has your California employer tried to keep you from getting workers’ compensation?

Do you know that in California, all employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. Workers’ compensation in California is mandatory. What this means is that all employers in California are required to participate. Your employer has to pay for workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt or become ill because of your work. You are not allowed to bring a lawsuit against your employer in return for these workers’ compensation benefits.

You may say, “My employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. What can I do?”

Is your employer breaking the law

If your California employer is breaking the law by not carrying workers’ compensation insurance, California’s Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF) will take the place of your employer’s insurance company an provide you with workers’ compensation benefits. UEBTF then tries to get money from your uninsured California employer who is breaking the law.

There may still be several questions that you have concerning California workers’ compensation and your rights to receive these benefits. The attorneys here will answer any questions that you may have and work hard to protect your rights and get you the workers’ compensation benefits that are coming to you.

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Injured By a Fall on the Job in Arizona

You may not know much about workers’ compensation. You may not really understand what workers’ compensation is.

If you live and work in Arizona and have been injured by a fall on the job in Arizona, workers’ compensation may now be something that you are greatly interested in.

What injuries can do

This is especially true if theinjuries that you sustained from being injured by a fall on the job in Arizona were such that they have kept you from working or caused you to lose a large amount of wages. It may even be that your injuries have caused you to become either totally permanently disabled or partially permanently disabled.

You should know that workers’ compensation is administered and enforced by the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Worker’s compensation is a “no fault” system that has been set up in Arizona where workers who have been injured on the job can get compensation and medical benefits. In some cases, you may even be able to get job retraining and permanent compensation benefits.

With few exceptions, all public and private employers in Arizona have to have workers’ compensation. Arizona workers’ compensation laws allow optional coverage for sole-proprietors, partners and domestic servants.

Let your employer know

When you were injured by a fall on the job in Arizona, did you let your employer know about the accident as soon as possible? Did your employer send in an Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury to his insurance company and the Industrial Commission of Arizona within 10 days after you made your employee’s injury report to your employer?

Did you see a doctor as soon as possible after you were injured? One of the good things about workers’ compensation in Arizona is that you are allowed to initially choose the doctor when you have a work-related injury.

Filling out forms

Did you inform your doctor that your injury was work-related? Did your doctor assist you in filling out a Workers’ and Physician’s Report of Injury and mail the form in to the insurance company of your employer and the Industrial Commission of Arizona? Have you filled out a “Workers’ Report of Injury” form and sent it in to the Industrial Commission of Arizona?

This may seem like a lot to do, but these are all steps that have to be taken in order to receive the Arizona workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours. Are you also aware that you have one year from the date of your accident when you were injured by a fall on the job to file your workers’ compensation claim or you lose your chance to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.

An important thing to remember is that your employer’s insurance company is a private company. These private insurance companies are usually most concerned about their stockholders and their bottom line, not you. Because of this, new workers’ compensation claims are often denied.

This is why it is so important to have someone on your side, who is fighting for you. That is what these attorneys do. They will look out for your interests and help you to obtain all of the Arizona workers’ compensation benefits that are due you.

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Injured While Working in New Mexico

Were you injured from a fall while working in New Mexico. There are several types of injuries that can come from a fall. Some of these are broken bones and fractures, head injuries, cuts and abrasions and internal injuries.

Did you experience serious injuries when you were injured from a fall while working in New Mexico? Have these injuries prevented you from working? Have you missed a lot of work? Have you been able to return to work?

What about your medical bills and the wages that you have lost? Is New Mexico workers’ compensation taking care of these things?

Workers’ Compensation in New Mexico

Are you familiar with how workers’ compensation is handled in New Mexico? The Workers’ Compensation Administration has the responsibility of administering workers’ compensation in New Mexico.

Did you know that workers’ compensation is compulsory for employers in New Mexico. However, in certain situations, there are some waivers that are allowed. There is an exemption for employers who have less than 3 employees. Coverage is voluntary for employers of domestic employees and agricultural workers.

New Mexico has a competitive state fund. Employers are also permitted to insure by means of self insurance, groups of employers or private carriers.

Does your New Mexico employer have workers’ compensation? When you were injured from a fall while working in New Mexico, did your employer see that you were given the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to by New Mexico law?

What if your employer denies you

If your employer has made sure that you have received the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours, then all is well. On the other hand, if your employer says that he will not give you these benefits, you cannot get them or that he does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may be looking for help.

In most situations, other than those mentioned above, most New Mexico employers have workers’ compensation even though they may tell you that they do not. Also, in most cases, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits even though your New Mexico employer may tell you that you are not eligible to get these benefits.

A Matter of Right

Do you know that workers’ compensation is yours as a matter of “right” under New Mexico law. Your New Mexico employer cannot keep you from getting these benefits. As a trade off, you are not allowed to bring a lawsuit against your employer.

Your New Mexico employer may say that you are not eligible for workers’ compensation because you were at fault for the accident in which you were injured from a fall while working in New Mexico. Again, in nearly all circumstances, you are entitled to workers’ compensation no matter who was at fault. This is because in most instances the issue of fault is not considered.

Once again, if your employer is trying to keep you from getting the workers’ compensation benefits that are due you, you really ought to speak to an attorney. An attorney will work hard for you. An attorney will see that you get the workers’ compensation benefits that you have coming to you.

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