Why Was My Workers Compensation Claim Denied?

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on Why Was My Workers Compensation Claim Denied?

Work injuries are an unfortunate circumstance anyone can suffer from while on the job. In 2013 alone, the average American worker missed a total of eight days of work due to an occupational injury or illness. Fortunately, workers compensation benefits ensure that your medical expenses and lost wages are covered. Yet, not every workers compensation claim is approved. This can be devastating to many employees suffering from work injuries, making it difficult to return to their jobs. Why is a surprising number of workers compensation claims denied or disputed then? Below are some of the most common reasons why workers comp benefits are denied or disputed by employers or insurance companies. You didn’t file your workers compensation forms on time. Each state has a time frame during which an employee can submit a workers compensation claim. In the state of Arizona, your claim for worker’s compensation must be filed within a year of the date on which you sustained your work injuries. If it’s been over a year since the event or since the time you realized the injury was related to your work, you may not receive workers compensation benefits. You’re not eligible for workers comp benefits. Most American workers are covered by workers compensation insurance through their employer. However, in some circumstances, you may not be covered. Additionally, you may not be considered eligible if your injury wasn’t serious, didn’t require you to take off work, or didn’t require you to seek medical treatment. Your illness/injury hasn’t affected you long enough. In order to qualify for workers compensation insurance and workers comp benefits, your work injury or illness must have affected you and your work life for a minimum of five days. The injury you’ve reported isn’t considered work-related. Certain injuries and illnesses can be difficult to claim as work-related. One such injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which can be caused by repetitive work-related tasks but also tasks performed in a worker’s free-time. For your injury or illness to be covered by workers compensation, the injury/illness must have been sustained during your employment and you must have clear proof of causation. You didn’t include enough information. Workers compensation forms are important, legal documents and require you to submit as much information about your work injuries and illnesses as possible in order to qualify. Workers comp lawyers are especially beneficial during times like this. A workers compensation attorney can help you understand the right requirements necessary to qualify for workers comp benefits and what paperwork you need, such as medical documentation. A workers compensation attorney can help you avoid these detrimental mistakes after you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness. Contact the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski today for a...

read more

When Your Workers Comp Claim Is Denied: Filing For A Hearing

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on When Your Workers Comp Claim Is Denied: Filing For A Hearing

Work-related injuries and illnesses are unfortunate happenstances almost many employees have to deal with at some point during their lives. When these injuries have resulted in an employee being unable to work for more than three days and require them to seek medical attention, that employee may be eligible for workers compensation. Workers compensation typically pays up to 100% of an injured employee’s medical costs and a given amount of their lost wages after a three to seven day waiting period. However, not every workers compensation claim is accepted. When your workers comp claim has been denied In the event that your workers compensation claim has been denied in the state of Arizona, you may want to seek out an Arizona workers comp attorney to legally represent you during your hearing. A hearing may be requested within 90 days of the notification of the denial of your workers comp claim. To submit a request for a hearing, you must fill out a hearing request form and submit the form to the ICA, or the Industrial Commission of Arizona. If you can’t gain access to a hearing request form, you may also request a hearing by writing a letter to the ICA. In the letter, it’s essential you state the reason behind your hearing request. After you’ve requested a hearing Once you’ve submitted your hearing request form or submitted your letter to the ICA, you will receive a letter from the ICA with the designated time and date of your requested hearing. After around three months, you will hear from a workers compensation judge so that you will have enough time to gather evidence to prepare your case. It may be in your best interest to hire an Arizona workers comp attorney prior to this notification. In the span of three months, possible evidence may not be as fresh in your mind or as readily available. Additionally, you may not otherwise be aware of the given documentation and paperwork necessary for proving work-related injuries and illness. However, an Arizona workers comp attorney is. During the hearing In some cases, an administrative law judge may arrange a pre-hearing conference that may either take place in person or over the phone. It’s essential that you and your workers compensation lawyer attend this conference lest your hearing be dismissed. The hearing itself is typically held in an ICA office building. As in any court case, you will give your testimony and answer questions both from the judge and your employer’s attorney. Your employer or their lawyer will also speak. After the hearing is completed, you will receive a written decision in the mail from the judge within a two-month period of the hearing. Should you be unhappy with the decision the judge has made, you may consider making a further appeal within 30 days time of the decision letter’s postage date. For more information on your workers compensation hearing and further appeals you may make, consult with an experienced Arizona workers compensation lawyer...

read more

Suffered Burn Explosions While Working? Here’s What You Need To Know

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in File a Claim, Workers compensation | Comments Off on Suffered Burn Explosions While Working? Here’s What You Need To Know

Suffered Burn Explosions While Working? Here’s What You Need To Know

Contrary to popular belief, health care can be a hazardous profession. In fact, orderlies and nursing assistants are up to three times more likely to sustain musculoskeletal injuries and back injuries than construction workers. However, both types of jobs expose workers to a particular danger: the risk of explosions. Work site explosions can occur when flammable materials are exposed to flame, when oxygen tanks combust, or when chemicals are placed under a considerable amount of pressure. The consequences of these explosions can result in severe injuries such as burns, loss of hearing, head injuries, and in some cases loss of life. One such incident recently occurred in 2014 in Omaha, Nebraska, where an explosion and fire broke out at an animal feed plant. Two workers were killed in the accident, four received critical injuries, and six suffered minor injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has since reported that the company owning the animal feed plant, International Nutrition, had been cited for up to 35 OSHA violations over the course of the last 40 years. In explosion incidents such as these, it’s especially important to file a workers compensation claim immediately. If you need help filing a claim, or if your initial claim was unfairly denied, then consult a workers compensation attorney for legal assistance. Depending on the state in which you live, the workers comp benefits you may qualify for and the amount of money you may be entitled to can vary greatly. For instance, should you suffer from an explosion while working on the job at a construction site or other work site in the State of Arizona and you are no longer able to use one of your arms due to nerve damage or amputation, the maximum compensation you would receive would come to a total of $143,148. The national average compensation for a lost arm is $169,878. The unfortunate circumstances of wrongful death and the number of benefits available to the surviving family also differs according to state. In Arizona, the amount of compensation available to surviving families depends on the earnings of the deceased worker, the cost of the funeral and medical services of the deceased, the age of the survivors, and the financial dependency of the survivors. But no matter where you live, you deserve fair compensation for your explosion injuries. Unfortunately, you can’t always count on employers or insurance companies to do what’s fair, let alone what’s right. That’s why workers compensation attorneys can help. If you or a loved one have suffered from an explosion at a construction site or other work site while working on the job, you may be entitled to workers comp benefits. Need help with AZ workers comp claims? Then contact the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski today for a better understanding of your potential workers comp...

read more

How Can I Prove That My Illness Is Work Related?

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Workers compensation | Comments Off on How Can I Prove That My Illness Is Work Related?

While many workers compensation claims are related to those workers who have sustained work injuries from a traumatic or one-time event, work injuries can also occur gradually over time. Some of these injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, hearing loss, and work-related illnesses. Arizona workers compensation law covers those workers who have sustained a work-related illness. Yet, in order to obtain the workers compensation benefits available to them, the employee must first be able to prove that the illness they have sustained was caused by their place of employment. Common job-related illnesses sustained by workers Job-related illnesses are defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as illnesses caused by a harmful event in the workplace or exposure to harmful substances. Some of the most common job-related illnesses include: Respiratory illnesses   Hearing loss   Skin diseases or disorders   Environmental illnesses   Chemical poisoning Job-related illnesses are more common than you would think. In 2013, up to 3 million cases of nonfatal workplace illnesses and work injuries were reported by private industry employers. If workplace illnesses are common, how can one prove in the court of law that the illness was caused by one’s place of employment? Proving your illness is work-related As in the case of other work injuries, you’ll want to make a workers compensation claim as soon as possible. You’ll then want to gather evidence such as testimonies from your doctors and other medical professionals. A workers compensation attorney can help you during this part of the process and will help you gather the paperwork necessary regarding medical exams and tests which can help to determine your illness was related to your job. Under Arizona law, the time period between the time of recognition of the illness and the time it takes to report the illness as work-related is extended in comparison to other work injuries. This is because the law recognizes that illnesses can develop slowly. However, the quicker you apply for a workers compensation claim the better chance you’ll have of receiving the benefits you’re entitled to. For more information regarding workers compensation benefits and work-related illnesses, contact the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski...

read more

What Financial Assistance Can I Receive As A Widow Or Widower?

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on What Financial Assistance Can I Receive As A Widow Or Widower?

Workers’ compensation laws covered up to 125.8 million employees in 2011. Unfortunately for some workers, more severe injuries caused by work-related incidents resulted in death. Financial logistics are one of the last things on a person’s mind when mourning the death of their spouse. However, it’s important that a widower discuss the possibilities for financial support with their lawyer as soon as possible. Funeral costs and unexpected expenses combined with the difficulty of managing a life without a second income can easily build up and cause added stress. Possible financial benefits One of the possible financial benefits your lawyer may discuss with you includes SSI benefits. Widows and widowers whose spouses have died while working on the job in Arizona may be entitled to SSI benefits. SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. This Federal income supplement program helps those Americans who have little to no income and need assistance for shelter, clothing, and food. What is the criteria for SSI as a widow or widower? In order to receive financial benefits from the federal government after their spouse’s death, widows and widowers must meet the specific requirements including:   The deceased spouse was fully insured at their time of death   The widow/widower has not been remarried   The widow/widower was married to the deceased for at least nine months   The widow/widower is the primary guardian of the deceased’s child and the child is under the age of 18   The widow/widower has filed an application for financial benefits   The widow/widower is over the age of 60 or is disabled at the age of 50   The widow/widower is not entitled to additional retirement insurance benefits that are similar to those provided by the Social Security of the deceased     How much money will I receive? The SSA determines the amount of money in survivor’s benefits the claimant is able to receive. This amount is based on the money earned by the deceased. The more money the deceased worker was able to pay into Social Security over the years of their labor, the more financial benefits the claimant is able to receive. Additionally, other influences of the claimant’s received amount include: the age of the deceased, the age of the survivor, and the relationship to the deceased worker. Surviving spouses who are at full retirement age will receive 100% of the amount of the deceased worker’s Social Security. Surviving spouses who are under full retirement age, but are over the age of 60 will receive up to 75%. Surviving spouses of any age caring for a child under the age of 16 will receive up to 75%. Consult with your lawyer or a workers compensation attorney for additional information regarding the financial benefits you may be eligible for. The workers compensation lawyers of AZ Hurt On The Job will be able to help you determine what financial benefits you’re eligible for and how you can legally...

read more

What Is Sheltered Employment And How Does It Affect Me In Arizona?

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on What Is Sheltered Employment And How Does It Affect Me In Arizona?

When a worker is granted workers compensation, up to 70% of the compensation costs cover the lost wages and salaries of the injured worker. The remaining 30% of the costs are related to the worker’s benefits. However, should the worker heal from their injury but remain disabled they may engage in sheltered employment. Sheltered employment refers to a setting within the workplace wherein a disabled worker is able to receive training and additional services related to their work. Before 2011, an injured worker’s use of sheltered employment was argued to be a violation of disability benefits. Therefore, workers working under sheltered employment were often denied partial or permanent disability benefits. Modern sheltered employment and disability benefits In 2011, the State of Arizona passed the Arizona Revised Statute section 23-1048. The statute states that, should an employer create reasonable accommodations for the injured worker, those wages paid to the injured worker will be held against them should they file for partial disability benefits. Although the worker may be disabled, they are unable to receive disability benefits under the Arizona workers compensation system if they are showing their ability to earn a living wage. However, in order for the injured worker’s wages to be counted against them when filing for disability benefits under Arizona workers comp law, the employer must provide the injured worker with reasonable accommodation. What is determined as reasonable accommodation? Whether or not the accommodation is considered reasonable may be argued by the injured worker and their workers compensation attorneys. Prior to the statute’s revision, the injured worker may have been working the same number of hours and performing the same duties as before they became disabled at the date of their injury. Now, a workers compensation lawyer may argue that the employer’s accommodations should allow the employee to work in a modified environment as to benefit the employee in such a way that is consistent with their physical limitations. If you were harmed in an incident while working on the job and believe your employer’s accommodations for your disability are unreasonable, you may have a case. For more information regarding sheltered employment and disability benefits related to workers comp law, contact the law offices of AZ Hurt On The...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more