There is no charge for a consultation. Insurance companies routinely take advantage of individuals who are not familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to a work injury case.
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Then seek appropriate medical treatment from the list of medical providers at the place of employment. If no such list exists, seek medical care at the medical provider of your choice. Immediately notify the employer of the work injury. A Notice of Compensation Payable should be issued within 21 days. Wage loss benefits should begin to be paid within 21 days. If the injured employee is told that the case is denied or is not issued a Notice of Compensation Payable within 21 days, the employee should contact an attorney and file a Workers' Compensation Claim.
Watch out for any Petition you receive in the mail. These Petitions are be an attempt to modify or end the payment of Workers' Compensation benefits to you. Do not sign any Supplemental Agreement or any form such as a Final Release until you understand the full meaning of these agreements. Signature on such agreements can reduce or end benefits payable in a Workers' Compensation case. Be sure to watch the mail for any form entitled Employee Verification of Employment, Self-Employment or Change in Physical Condition. Such a form must be completed, signed and returned to the insurance carrier within 30 days. If the form is not completed and returned within 30 days, benefits will be suspended until the form is signed and returned. There will be no reimbursement of benefits unpaid during the period of suspension as a result of the failure to return this form.
Most importantly you need to determine whether the offer made is a reasonable offer for the settlement of your case. Only, an attorney who practices in the area of Workers' Compensation will be able to evaluate the offer and advise as to whether the offer is a reasonable offer and appropriate for the settlement of your case. An attorney should be consulted prior to Compromise and Release of a Workers' Compensation case since this agreement closes the case.
No. Workers' Compensation pays wage loss benefits in the amount of 2/3rds of lost wages. Workers' Compensation benefits provide for the payment of medicals with no co-pay or payment by the injured employee. If an individual injured at work does not file for Workers' Compensation and is then terminated after a few weeks or months, they will then be left without wage loss benefits, medical bills being paid or a place of employment. At that point, it is extremely difficult to go back and file a Workers' Compensation claim especially if documents were signed by the injured employee describing the injury as being not work related.
It is nearly impossible for the average worker to adequately represent themselves in litigation. Various rules of evidence and procedure apply. The employer will always have an attorney. The employer will take advantage of the unrepresented employee.
Your testimony that the injury occurred at work and a medical expert offering the opinion you are disabled or need medical treatment as a result of a work injury. This opinion must be given within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
In certain circumstances, unemployment is available to an individual who is entitled to Workers' Compensation. If an individual is injured at work, released to light-duty work and the employer refuses to offer light-duty work, the injured employee may at that point receive unemployment benefits because they are on layoff status. In this circumstance, they are available to work and are capable of performing some work, however, work is not being offered to them by the employer. The insurance carrier will receive credit for unemployment benefits against the amount paid in Workers' Compensation benefits.
Gradual onset injures are payable as Workers' Compensation injuries. To obtain benefits in such a case, it is necessary to have a medical expert testify that some repetitive motion or action at work over a period of time gradually caused the work injury without a specific traumatic event. A typical example of repetitive trauma injuries would be carpal tunnel.
Yes. Because wage loss benefits in Workers' Compensation are payable at a rate of 2/3rds of the employee's lost wage, when the injured employee retires or resigns from employment there is no longer a lost wage since they would not be earning any income. Because there is no lost wage, the insurance carrier would not be required to make any payment of wage loss benefits.
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