Edmon Lawyer Partners

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Things You Should Know About Workers Compensation

It is common for people who are injured on the job to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The amount of compensation and degree of benefits received by injured workers largely depends on the extent of their injuries or damages. Damages can include but are not limited to pain, suffering, prolonged rehabilitation or illness, diminished quality of life, lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, mental trauma, PTSD, and much more.

It is wise to hire a personal injury attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation law to recover the full and fair recompense deserved. Continue reading to learn what type of benefits to expect, or that is possible, to receive after being injured while on the clock.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Not all workers’ compensation claims are for physical injuries. Although most involve some sort of bodily harm, mental anguish or trauma can be just as damaging. Sometimes, personal injury cases can involve sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or battery, contracting a work-related illness or disease, experiencing an armed robbery, and more. Either way, the common coverages and benefits received from workers’ compensation claims are as follows:

Paid Hospital Bills, Medical Expenses, Physical Therapy, Medical and Vocational Rehabilitation, Doctor Visits, Counseling, Prescriptions, Etc.

Paid Weekly Earnings for Time Off Work Longer than One Week (2/3 of Average Weekly Pay-400 Week Maximum)

Benefits for Dependents in the Case of a Wrongful Death at Work

Punitive Damages in Cases of Malicious Intent or Blatant Disregard

Compensation for Excessive Pain, Suffering, Loss of Companionship, Mental Anguish, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Diminished Quality of Life, Etc.

Travel Expenses (If Applicable)

There are several other types of benefits available to those injured on the job, however, they vary depending on the company’s policies, insurance coverage, the extent of injury, and much more. It is strongly encouraged to discuss your recent work injury with a licensed Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyer for accurate case assessment and legal guidance. They retain the proper resources, experience, and knowledge to navigate your workers’ compensation claim.

In order to recover the full and fair remuneration deserved to an injured victim and their family, a personal injury lawyer is the path to take. Be sure your personal injury law firm employs attorneys with extensive trial and litigation experience in workers’ compensation cases. This will further ensure you are choosing a lawyer that can successfully navigate your claim and have a better chance of recovering for your damages and losses.

 

Stories About Personal Injury Protection

I often get told by my clients that they “do not want to make any claims on their own insurance policy” because “it will raise their rates.” Like many things, this is an insurance tactic meant to scare people from claiming what is rightfully theirs. Let me elaborate further.

Under Texas law, every person in the State must carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage on their auto insurance policy, unless you expressly sign a rejection or “opt-out” of this coverage. The State minimum requirement is $2,500, although many people carry $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage (or sometimes even more, depending on what their auto insurance carrier offers). Importantly, under the Texas Insurance Code, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your insurance rates, drop your coverage, affect your credit, etc. for making these claims. Therefore, if you have this coverage, you always want to use it.

PIP coverage is meant to reimburse you for two things: (1) medical bills you have already incurred or (2) lost wages (although it will only cover 80% of your lost wages). Additionally, Texas allows “stacking” of insurance benefits. For example, let’s say you get into an accident and you are taken to the emergency room where you incur a $10,000.00 bill. Let’s also say that you have the standard $2,500 PIP policy through your insurance company. After you are finished treating, we send that same $10,000 bill to both the Defendant’s insurance company and to your own. We get you paid $10,000 from this insurance company plus $2,500 from your own PIP coverage for a total reimbursement of $12,500. That’s right, you get paid $12,500 for a bill that was originally $10,000.

I always tell my clients the same thing: If you pay for this coverage every month in your premium, and if your insurance company cannot raise your rates for using it, then why wouldn’t you use it? It is free money falling out of the sky. However, because it’s free money falling out of the sky, many insurance companies (and their agents) will deliberately try to convince you that you do not need it because “it cost more.” Again, this cannot be further from the truth. The cost of this coverage is literally pennies on the dollar for what you get in return should you need to use it. Further, the best part is that this coverage is no-fault, meaning you are entitled to these benefits whether you caused the accident or if someone else hit you.

For these reasons, it is a no-brainer not only to have this coverage, but also to use it once you need it.

 

How To Process Injury Claims

When an employee is injured while on the clock, they have the option of accepting workers’ compensation benefits through their job. These benefits are meant to help cover the cost of the damages and losses incurred as a result of the accident. This may include lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, prolonged therapy, and more. If you were recently injured at work, it is in your best interest to learn what you can about workplace accidents and injury claims so that you may make the right decisions regarding your physical and financial recovery.

If you have not been injured at work, it is still wise to learn these tips so that you are prepared if it ever happens to you or someone you love. Continue reading to learn what you should and should not do in the case that you are injured at work and considering workers’ compensation.

Here’s What You SHOULD NOT Do:

Do not hide your injury or fail to report it.

Do not decline medical attention. This can be harmful to you both physically and in terms of filing a claim.

Do not let the company’s case manager into your hospital examination room while you are with the doctor if you do not want them in there.

Do not let the workers’ compensation insurance carrier take too long to approve or deny your injury claim. There are state laws that mandate when they must respond. It is usually within 30 days after the claim is officially filed.

Do not believe your employer if they tell you there is a “minimum period” of employment that you must retain in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to benefits immediately, no matter your length of employment.

Do not miss or reschedule any appointments that are made by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Missing too many appointments can revoke your right to certain benefits.

When you return to work, do not let your employer place you into a line of duty that violates your work restrictions.

Here’s What You SHOULD Do:

Report your injury immediately, whether you think you need medical care or not.

Demand that a written accident report is made on the spot and be sure to get a copy for yourself.

Immediately seek or accept medical attention.

Retain all paperwork and documentation of your accident, injuries, and medical care. Keep track of all the written restrictions and instructions given to you by your doctor.

If your employer makes any retaliations or threats in regards to your claim, contact the Department of Labor immediately and report the harassment.

If you are unsatisfied with your medical treatment or diagnosis, ask for a second opinion.

If you are denied certain benefits due to a “pre-existing condition”, be sure to protest with the help of a licensed personal injury lawyer.

 

Posted in Law

Tips To Claim Your Car Accident

There are many good reasons why you might consider delaying bringing a claim for compensation after you have been involved in a car accident.

It is likely that your initial thoughts are going to revolve around any injury to yourself and any others in the vehicle with you. You will be seeking medical attention, not solicitors. Then, once the shock has passed your focus is likely to shift onto your recovery. You may be trying to anticipate how this injury will impact your daily life and what you can do to manage this. It can be months or even years before your thoughts turn to any potential claim that you may have.

In other instances, I have met with clients who have considered bringing a claim and decided against it initially but later gone on to change their minds when it has become apparent that their injury is far more severe than they first believed it to be.

Overall there is a multitude of reasons why you wouldn’t bring a claim immediately after suffering a road traffic accident. But how long can you delay?

Under UK law you cannot delay indefinitely, there is a strict time limit as to how long you have to bring a claim. Under the Limitation Act, you only have three years before your claim must be issued at Court. That’s three years from the date of your accident to you physically lodging your claim form with the local Court.

This time limit exists to keep our legal system fair to both Claimants (people bringing claims) and Defendants (those defending claims). It would be unfair if a Defendant could be sued decades after causing an accident, there should be a time when you can draw a line under it and move on. But at the same time Claimant’s will need a certain amount of time to build their claim and get themselves in a position where they are well enough, both mentally and physically, to bring a claim. The UK legislators have declared through the Limitation Act that three years is fair to both Claimants and Defendants.

However, there are some exceptions, certain situations that can extend or reduce the limitation deadline.

If you were under 18 when you were involved in a road traffic accident, then you have until your 21st birthday to lodge your claim at Court. This is three years after your 18th birthday, as the limitation ticking clocks starts running when you turn 18. However, you do not have to wait until you are 18 to bring a claim if you are under 18 you can ask a litigation friend (usually a parent or legal guardian) to bring a claim for you on your behalf while you are underage.

If the person bringing the claim does not have mental capacity then there is no time limit for a claim to be brought. A litigation friend (usually a guardian or legal attorney) can bring a claim on their behalf as long as it is in their best interests to do so.

Beware, however, if you have been involved in a road traffic accident while abroad, other countries have different limitations. Although that being said, you may still be eligible to claim under UK law. You should discuss any potential claim with a solicitor as soon as you are able.

If you miss the limitation deadline for your claim, then you could lose your right to pursue it all together. However, if there is an excellent reason for you missing the deadline, then you can ask the Courts permission to pursue your claim, despite missing the deadline. You will have to explain in detail to the Court why you missed the deadline and you will need a perfect reason for doing so (such as being in a coma and unable to make a claim). Merely being unaware of the limitation deadline is not a good enough excuse.

The Court will then consider your reasons, as well as looking at what disadvantage you and the Defendant will suffer if they decide either way.

The Court can take into consideration, why you delayed or missed the deadline, what the delay will do to the evidence in the claim, will it damage it or reduce it? They will also review your conduct and the Defendant’s conduct. Did you struggle to identify the Defendant? Did they deliberately mislead or take steps to prevent you identifying them? Have you worked hard to advance your claim in other respects such as obtaining evidence medical or physical?

It is impossible to predict if the Court will grant you an extension of the limitation deadline. The best advice is not to miss the deadline in the first place.

In conclusion, if you have suffered a road traffic accident you have three years from the date of the accident to bring a claim unless you are under 18 or lack mental capacity.

However, if you plan on bringing a claim, you should not wait until the end of the deadline to do so. There is a lot of work involved in bringing a claim, and if you are using a solicitor, they will need time to build your case. If you are pursuing the claim yourself, the sooner you start, the better as you will be putting extra pressure on yourself if you delay. Once a claim is issued at Court, it becomes subject to strict Court deadlines so beware.

Bringing a claim yourself? Check out the below link and get your own toolkit!