The Dos And Don’ts Of Filing A Workers Compensation Claim

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on The Dos And Don’ts Of Filing A Workers Compensation Claim

In 2013, American workers missed up to eight days of work on average due to occupational injuries. Suffering from an occupational injury isn’t fun for any worker and missed work often means missed pay, which isn’t good when you need to pay for medical expenses. Fortunately, as long as the injury was sustained at the workplace you automatically qualify for workers compensation benefits under your employer’s insurance in the state of Arizona. However, the insurance company can still deny your claim if they find there isn’t enough evidence surrounding your injury. To reduce the risk of your claim being denied, follow these dos and don’ts regarding workers compensation claims. Don’t: Wait on filing your claim. There’s a time limit surrounding the number of days you can delay filing your claim for workers compensation. The limit is anywhere between 30 to 90 days depending on your state which means it’s important to file as soon as possible to guarantee your medical coverage. Do: Inform your employer of your injury immediately. By informing your employer of your occupational injury, they can appropriately contact their workers comp provider and handle any payroll documentation that may need to be provided. After you’ve informed your employer or supervisor of your injury and have sought treatment, immediately file for workers compensation in order to avoid any time limits that could impede your benefits. Don’t: Try to handle your case by yourself. One of the biggest mistakes an employee can make during the workers compensation process is attempt to represent themselves in court. Having undergone an injury, you’re most likely not going to be up to your usual working speed. And because most Americans don’t have a background in law, you could easily miss important paperwork or evidence as well as due dates. Do: Hire a worker compensation lawyer. A worker compensation lawyer understands what they’re doing and will be able to gather or deny evidence to further your case should your case come to court. A worker compensation lawyer arguing on your behalf will also be able to stay organized to keep your case on track. Don’t: Ignore your doctor. Your aim as a hurt employee is to get better. Workers compensation is meant to compensate you for missed time at work due to an accident and the necessary recovery time. If you take longer to recover than other patients in the past suffering from the same injury, you may compromise your own workers compensation claim. Do: Undergo necessary treatment such as physical therapy. Physical therapy can do wonders for an occupational injury and can help you return to your everyday life even if you’ve sustained a permanent injury. Physical therapists can show you exercises and stretches to regain mobility and to adapt yourself to a different lifestyle if necessary. With any luck, these dos and don’ts regarding workers compensation claims will help you reduce the risk of your own claim being denied. Should your claim be denied, contact the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski for a consultation...

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Know The Time Limits For Submitting Your Workers Comp Claim

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on Know The Time Limits For Submitting Your Workers Comp Claim

Workers compensation claims aren’t uncommon in the United States. In fact, in 2013 alone there were approximately 917,100 occupational illnesses and injuries among American workers. However, while Americans may know to file for workers compensation should they suffer from injury while on the job, they may not be aware of the time constraints. In order to receive the benefits of workers comp, an injured employee must file for benefits before a certain date. The sooner you file for workers comp benefits, the easier it will be for a workers comp lawyer to prove that you are eligible to receive the requested benefits. Therefore, it’s important to understand as an injured worker the time limits regarding workers comp. What Time Limits Are There For Filing For Injury? Time limits for filing a workers compensation claim depends on your state. Typically, the average time limit for filing is between 30 to 90 days. However, it’s important that you look into your state’s own time limit. For instance, in California there’s a time limit of 30 days to report your occupational injury to your employer, but a five year time limit to file your actual workers comp claim. In Arizona, you have up to a year for filing for a workers comp claim, but the insurance company must make a decision on your claim within 21 days. There are some exceptions to the filing deadline if the injured employee is unable to file for workers comp because they are: In a coma In quarantine due to contagious illness Undergoing extensive surgery or treatment What Time Limits Are There For Claims Of Occupational Disease? The time limits for claiming workers comp for occupational disease may be extended longer than the time limit for report of injury. However, be sure to check your state laws for an accurate idea. For some states, you must report your illness between the time of “injurious exposure” and the date of your diagnosis. In Arizona, regardless of illness or injury, your claim must be filed within a year. Preferably, you should let your employer know about your illness or injury right away as they are required to report to the ICA, or Industrial Commission of Arizona. For a greater chance of having your workers compensation claim approved by your employer’s insurance, file your workers comp claim as soon as possible and consider consulting a workers compensation attorney. Additionally, let your employer know about your injury or illness as soon as you are aware of it. The sooner you file, the more likely you will be able to prove the injury or illness was caused by your workplace...

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Three Essential Things Every Small Business Should Know About Workers Comp

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on Three Essential Things Every Small Business Should Know About Workers Comp

Workers compensation exists to provide employees with medical benefits and wage replacement in the event that the employee has suffered from injury or illness while working on the job. Because many work-related injuries are often found in fields such as construction and health care, many small business owners may feel that workers compensation insurance is an unnecessary cost. However, it’s important to consider that employees can suffer from injury or illness in any given occupation. In 2013, for instance, there were 170,450 back injuries; 327,060 sprains, tears, and strains; and 229,190 trip, slip, and fall injuries experienced by employees on the job. For this reason, it’s essential to the success of your business that you know the basics of workers compensation. Here are three essential things you need to know about workers comp as a small business owner:   Where to get workers comp insurance as a small business: Before you can provide your employees with workers comp insurance or you’re sued by a workers compensation lawyer, it’s important that you know where to get workers comp insurance as a small business owner. There are two ways to get workers compensation insurance — through a state’s workers compensation fund and through a private insurer. Depending on your state, you can often get a policy from the state workers compensation insurance fund if you’re unable to get coverage through a private insurer. However, it’s important that you look into whether or not state funding is possible first before you consider it a guaranteed option. For some states, workers compensation insurance funding may be required and for others, it may not exist. Your state’s individual requirements: Even if you think that workers compensation insurance may be an unnecessary expense to your company, you may not have a choice in the matter of going without it. Therefore, it’s important that you look into your individual state’s requirements regarding workers compensation insurance. Contact a workers compensation lawyer to understand the workers comp requirements of your state. In states like South Carolina, you only need to worry about covering full-time employees with workers compensation insurance. However, for most others, it’s a requirement for both full-time and part-time employees. Your business has a 50% chance of receiving an injury claim: If you still believe that the likelihood of receiving a workers compensation claim is low, know that there’s a 50% chance that your business will receive a claim over the course of 10 years, according to a data analysis by Hartford Insurance. Even if the environment in which you work is a place of low-risk injury, it’s still important to get workers compensation insurance when you take into consideration the financial consequences of your actions. Not only will you be losing an employee for a series of work days, but they could also file a lawsuit against you with a workers compensation lawyer.   As a small business owner, it’s important to guarantee that your workers are covered by workers compensation insurance. Not only will it benefit your business in the long run, but it will lower your own financial anxieties as...

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Workers Compensation Terminology Every Injured Worker Should Know

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on Workers Compensation Terminology Every Injured Worker Should Know

When you’re hurt on the job in Arizona, under Arizona law you’re automatically covered by your employer’s workers comp insurance. However, in the event that your workers compensation claim is denied, it may be in your best interest to review key workers comp and law terminology. ADA — The Americans with Disabilities Act. Prohibits the discrimination of Americans with disabilities under federal law. Applicant — Sometimes referred to as EE. The employee who has been injured. Benefit structure — the structure of benefits that determines what workers are entitled to under workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation benefits can include: medical care, death benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, permanent disability benefits, and temporary disability benefits. Of compensation costs, 70% make up wages and salaries while the remaining 30% is made up of benefits. Cumulative trauma injury — injuries caused by repeated exposure. For instance, hearing loss caused by loud equipment. Date of Injury — also known as DOI. The date of the event the worker sustained injury. In the case of a specific injury, this date should be the day on which the injury was sustained. In the case of cumulative injury, this date should be the day on which the worker realized they had sustained injury from their work. Mail audit — a type of audit that requires you to personally send workers compensation information regarding your employees to your insurance carrier. Also called a voluntary audit. Workers compensation audit — a review of the original premium used to pay compensation during the the policy term to determine if the amount of the premium was correct. Workers compensation lawyer — a workers compensation lawyer is an attorney that represents you in the court of law after you have been injured while working on the job. A workers compensation lawyer can also argue on behalf of your claim if it has been denied. Reviewing the correct terminology in the event that your claim has been denied allows you to feel more in control and knowledgeable about your case. After you’ve understood the workers compensation terminology, consult a workers compensation attorney for further legal advice and how to...

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5 Simple Ways to Reduce Workplace Injuries

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in File a Claim, Workers compensation | Comments Off on 5 Simple Ways to Reduce Workplace Injuries

If there’s one thing the vast majority of employees and business owners can agree on, it’s that workplace injuries can be a hassle. Many times workers compensation attorneys have to get involved, but an employee is missing work and suffering from what was likely a preventable injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2010 National Compensation Survey, workers compensation costs represented almost 1.6% of overall employer spending in that year alone. And the truth is that most workplace injuries are preventable. How? Let’s take a look at a few solutions. Training Above anything else, if applicable, your company may need to provide adequate safety training to employees. This entails knowing and adhering to OSHA standards, as well as making your employees aware of any hazards in the workplace. If you want to avoid workers compensation claims, this may be the first step. Assessments How do you know what is a workplace hazard and what isn’t? Assessment! Before you do anything, you need to assess where there are clear hazards in your workplace and what you can do to fix them. A workplace always has hazards, it’s just a matter of finding them before they find your employees. Hindsight What are the most common injuries in your company? Overexertion? Slips and falls? The sooner you can identify which issues your employees have been faced with, the sooner you can take measures to prevent these things from happening again in the future. Monitoring If your employees aren’t following standard safety procedures, it poses a major workplace hazard. Monitoring your employees’ behaviors while they’re on the job could clue you into some holes in your training or some problematic members of your team. Communication Aside from training, this is the most important preventative step you can take. An employer who knows their workforce understands that some people may not be able to complete a job without putting themselves at risk. Workers compensation claims can be tedious and time-consuming, but if you take the time to prevent injuries from happening you may see a lot fewer of...

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What To Do When You’ve Sustained a Back Injury On The Job In Arizona

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on What To Do When You’ve Sustained a Back Injury On The Job In Arizona

After the common cold, back injuries are the most common reason for losing time at work. Many workers in various fields are at risk of back injuries, including orderlies and nursing assistants, who suffer approximately three times more musculoskeletal injuries than construction workers. Back injuries can be incredibly severe and even when they aren’t, just the smallest amount of damage to the spinal cord can result in serious pain. Back injuries are one of the most common injuries noted in AZ workers compensation claims. If you have sustained a back injury while working in the State of Arizona and are applying for AZ workers compensation, contact the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski for legal assistance. Causes of Back Injuries in the Workplace Back injuries in the workplace can be sustained from a wide number of activities. Nursing assistants and doctors may suffer from back injuries after helping lift patients from beds or helping transfer patients from one hospital bed to another. Construction workers are also likely to suffer from back injuries should they experience a fall from a high point or attempt to lift heavy machinery. Some other common causes of back injuries in the workplace are as follows: Slips, trips, or falls Remaining in a sitting position for an extended period of time Twisting Vibrations caused by operating heavy machinery Lifting heavy objects or machinery Overexertion You may have a back injury if you experience back pain while bending at the waist, coughing, or sneezing. Additionally, a more serious injury may be in effect if your back pain is accompanied by a fever or numbness. AZ Workers Compensation: When Is The Best Time To File? Arizona employees are automatically eligible for workers comp under their employers, as all employers are required to have workers compensation insurance. If you have suffered from a back injury and are seeking medical treatment, inform your employer as soon as possible so they will be able to cover your medical expenses. Additionally, any travel expenses or wages lost due to medical appointments will be reimbursed to you from your employer’s insurance. Even in the event that the injury may have been your own responsibility, if the injury was sustained during work hours you are eligible for coverage. If you require assistance with your workers compensation claims, consult a workers compensation attorney. Or in the event that your employer has denied you coverage, workers compensation lawyers can help you receive the benefits and coverage you...

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Pulse Nightclub First Responder’s PTSD Poses Question For Workers Compensation Laws

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on Pulse Nightclub First Responder’s PTSD Poses Question For Workers Compensation Laws

A year ago this past June 12, 49 people were killed in a terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Gerry Realin, a police officer, was among the first responders who came to the nightclub. Now, Realin suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and often gets lost in the painful memories of taking care of the dead in the aftermath of the event. Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan reports that Realin is not alone in his trauma. At least one other officer having responded to the attack is suffering from PTSD. She says many officers saw things inside of the nightclub that soldiers in the military may never experience. “I’ve talked to some of the officers and they’re pretty traumatized by what they saw,” Sheehan said to KNAU. “It was horrible, the sights and the smells, and the thing that really haunts them is the cell phones that were in [the victims’] pockets ringing.” Experiences like the shooting at Pulse Nightclub may not be common with police officers, but the trauma that coincides with it certainly is. A study conducted in 2012 found that police officers are twice as likely to die by suicide, which may be a result of depression caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The numbers of police officers suffering from PTSD, depression, and stress leads to the question of whether or not PTSD may be considered for workers compensation claims. The gray area of mental illness regarding workers compensation is what is causing the Realins to advocate for a bill in the state of Florida to give first responders with PTSD the benefits other workers comp beneficiaries receive. As of today, workers compensation claims in regards to mental health, especially PTSD, are difficult to argue for in the court of law. Insurance companies can be incredibly skeptical and mental illness can be difficult to prove when the condition is based off depression and anxiety. Because of the very real possibility of your personal life being dug into at every angle and scrutinized, it’s essential in this case to hire a workers compensation attorney. A workers compensation attorney will be able to assist you in understanding the compensation system of your state and what PTSD claims you are able to legally make. Additionally, a workers compensation attorney will assist you in filing your claim, appeals, and in gathering evidence toward proving your illness by speaking directly with doctors, therapists, and counselors. The strength of your case is what will determine the outcome of your benefits. Workers comp lawyers may be able to win you permanent benefits and disability. However, because PTSD and other mental disorders as a result of one’s employment may be difficult to prove, it’s also possible you may only receive partial or temporary benefits. Workers compensation laws, as proven by the Realins’ push for coverage for first responders, are capable of being altered by those they protect. State and federal workers’ compensation laws were able to compensate 125.8 million employees in 2011 alone. Therefore, regardless of the difficulty in proving mental illness in court, it is important that you push for your compensation benefits and rights should you suffer from illness resulting in work injury. Consult a workers compensation attorney today to see where your case stands and how you may benefit from workers...

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Arizona Worker’s Comp 101: What To Do When You’re Injured On the Job in AZ

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on Arizona Worker’s Comp 101: What To Do When You’re Injured On the Job in AZ

When suffering an injury on the job, worker’s compensation will pay 100% of the medical costs and provide you with cash benefits as compensation for lost time at work after a waiting period between 3 to 7 days. However, the only thing more important than filing for worker’s compensation in the event that you have suffered an injury while on the job is knowing how to file. Worker’s compensation works differently from state to state. Knowing how worker’s compensation benefits work in your state is important to your medical coverage. The following tips will provide you with the right knowledge to file for worker’s compensation in the state of Arizona. Know your eligibility As long as you’re an employee of your current workplace, you have worker’s compensation coverage regardless if you work full-time or part-time. All Arizona employers are required to provide you with worker’s compensation coverage. However, if your employer has failed to provide you with coverage, the Industrial Commission of Arizona, or ICA, will gladly secure you with benefits. Know what counts Do not wait to file a workers compensation claim because you are afraid you will not be covered due to being at fault for your injury. Worker’s compensation benefits apply to workers who have suffered from injuries that were both the worker’s fault and the workplace’s. Therefore, do not allow your hesitancy to cost you potential coverage. File as soon as possible Inform your employer of your work-related injury as soon as you are able as they are required to report your injury or illness to the ICA. Additionally, you must also report to the ICA and file a Worker’s Report of Injury within one year of receiving the injury. Within two weeks of submitting your claim to the ICA, you will receive a letter acknowledging the receipt of the claim. Within three weeks of the claim going through, your employer’s insurance will determine whether or not to grant you worker’s compensation benefits.   Hire a worker compensation lawyer In the state of Arizona, you have 90 days to file a hearing request if your worker’s compensation claim has been denied by your employer’s insurance company. Submit a hearing request form through the ICA after which you will receive a letter determining the time and date of the court appearance. The date of the hearing is typically three months after the acceptance of the hearing request form by the ICA. During this time, hire a worker compensation lawyer to assist you in the preparation of your case and to gather effective evidence. Workers comp lawyers understand the worker’s compensation process. Therefore, a worker compensation lawyer will be able to argue on your behalf far more efficiently and effectively than you may be able to on your own. Knowing your state and how its workers compensation benefits work for you is essential to your peace of mind. Be sure to file for workers compensation as soon as possible and to seek an AZ workers compensation lawyer through the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski to guarantee your best chance of receiving...

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Suffered a Work Injury in Arizona? You May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in File a Claim, Workers compensation | Comments Off on Suffered a Work Injury in Arizona? You May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

Workers compensation covers your medical bills and fees in the event that you have suffered an injury or illness while on the job. You may benefit from worker’s compensation regardless if you were at fault for the injury. Additionally, you may benefit from worker’s compensation even if you are a part-time employee. Under Arizona law, an employer must file a workers compensation claim with ICA after you have notified them of your injury. In 2013 alone, 917,100 workplace illnesses and injuries caused missed work days. Missed work days result in missed pay. Workers compensation assists injured workers with missed pay as well as medical expenses. However, in the event that the injury causes the worker to remain out of work for more than a year they may be able to claim Social Security disability benefits. What is Social Security? According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security offers monthly cash benefits to those who “can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.” Only after six months of being unable to work is a person able to apply for Social Security disability benefits. Do I qualify for Social Security disability benefits? If you meet Social Security’s definition of disability while simultaneously having worked for jobs that Social Security covers, then you are qualified for Social Security disability benefits. Am I able to receive both Social Security disability benefits as well as Workers Compensation? Yes and no. It is possible to benefit from both programs as Social Security is provided by the United States government whereas your worker’s compensation is provided by the state of Arizona. However depending on your injury, situation, and whether you have hired a workers compensation lawyer who can skillfully maneuver this type of lawful terrain it is also possible you may only qualify for one. The qualifications for your worker’s compensation and Social Security disability benefits are very different. To file a claim for worker’s compensation, you must simply be unable to perform the current job at which you suffered the injury. However, to file a claim for Social Security disability benefits, you must be completely disabled and unable to work for any employer regardless of the job for a year or more. How can I be sure whether or not I can benefit from Social Security disability? Hiring a lawyer specializing in workers compensation or Social Security disability benefits will guarantee you the best results. A workers compensation lawyer through the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski can help you knowledgeably determine your eligibility for Social Security benefits as well as any additional benefits the state of Arizona may offer...

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I Suffered an Ankle Fracture While Working. Now What?

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on I Suffered an Ankle Fracture While Working. Now What?

I Suffered an Ankle Fracture While Working. Now What?

If you’ve suffered from a work-related injury in Arizona, know you are not alone. In 2013, nationwide, there was reported to be 170,450 job-related back injuries; 229,190 slip, trip, and fall injuries; and 327,060 sprains, tears, and strains. If you are among the latter who have received a job-related ankle sprain or fracture, here’s what you need to know. Inform your employer of your injury If you work in the state of Arizona, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation without any repayment on your behalf whether or not the injury was your fault. Be sure to inform your employer as soon as possible about your injury as they are required to report the injury to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) as well as the insurance company that will cover the injury. Seek medical attention While a minor sprain may be taken care of individually, it’s important to seek medical attention in the chance that the injury may be a fracture. A typical ankle sprain is caused by an overextension of the ligaments and can often be treated with a cold compress or brace. However, a fracture relates to the bones of the ankle (the tibia, talus, calcaneus, or fibula) and to properly heal, the injury must be seen by a doctor to immediately set the bones. A sprain will swell, but a fracture will cause swelling with additional numbness and intense pain. File a claim When you are injured on the job, it’s required of you to file a Worker’s Report of Injury to the ICA. This can either be done by yourself or while you are at your doctor’s office wherein you may complete a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury, which your doctor will submit to the ICA for you. Make sure your claim has been received Within two weeks of filing a Worker’s Report of Injury, you should receive a confirmation letter from the ICA acknowledging the reception of your claim. Call the ICA if you have not received this confirmation letter. What do I do if my employer’s insurance denies my claim for workers comp? Within three weeks of your filed claim being confirmed by the ICA, you will receive the decision made by your employer’s insurance company regarding whether or not they will grant or deny your workers compensation. In the chance that your claim has been denied by your employer’s insurance company, you can submit a request for a hearing with the ICA within 90 days. The ICA will respond with a letter detailing the time and date of your hearing, typically three months from the day you sent the request. Hire a workers compensation lawyer While hiring a lawyer is a not a requirement, it will benefit your case exponentially. A workers comp lawyer (in this case, an AZ workers comp lawyer), knows the procedures, dates, and paperwork that must all be tracked and taken care of with great organizational detail. Choosing to be your own lawyer may not work out well in your favor as falling behind on paperwork even once may jeopardize and even lose your case. An AZ workers comp lawyer argues cases like yours on a professional basis. Therefore, they know what evidence to procure for your case, what may be argued and...

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