Workers’ Compensation: Injured on the Job
Workplace injuries often have permanent residual effects. An injured worker may file a Workers’ Compensation Claim Petition. Helfand & Associates handles Workers’ Compensation Cases. We give your case our full personal attention. We keep you informed of the progress of your case.
When you are injured on the job, a claim can be filed by your Workers’ Compensation Attorney. This is not a lawsuit against your employer. Filing of a claim activates a case in the Workers’ Compensation Court. It enables you to have your attorney answer your questions and help guide you during the process to obtain appropriate medical treatment, payments for temporary disability and an award for the permanent disability that you sustain from the accident. Medical records must be provided to your attorney by the agent or lawyer for the Insurance Company. Approximately six months after your last date of medical treatment, you will receive permanency evaluations. There are doctors who are experts in disability evaluations. You will be evaluated by doctors selected by your attorney and also by the insurers’ experts. These doctors do not treat you. They review your medical record and perform examinations. They then report on the causation and nature and extent of permanent disability which has affected you.
Once these reports are received your attorney will work towards getting you an appropriate and fair payment for your permanent injury. Your case may either be settled or if a dispute rises, it can go to trial. Helfand & Associates has experience in either negotiation or trial; however the majority of cases are settled. We have outlined the main steps for your information. Call our office if you would be interested in us handling your case. You pay nothing up front. All legal fees and costs are paid from your award and are determined by the Judge of Workers’ Compensation assigned to your case.
If you are injured on the job you must notify your employer. You can notify your supervisor, Human Resources or Personnel Office or whoever is your boss as soon as possible.
Unless the employer shall have actual knowledge of the occurrence of the injury, or unless the employee, or someone on his behalf, or some of the dependents, or someone on their behalf, shall give notice thereof to the employer within fourteen days of the occurrence of the injury, then no compensation shall be due until such notice is given or knowledge obtained. If the notice is given, or the knowledge obtained within thirty days from the occurrence of the injury, no want, failure, or inaccuracy of a notice shall be a bar to obtaining compensation, unless the employer shall show that he was prejudiced by such want, defect or inaccuracy, and then only to the extent of such prejudice. If the notice is given, or the knowledge obtained within ninety days, and if the employee, or other beneficiary, shall show that his failure to give prior notice was due to his mistake, inadvertence, ignorance of fact or law, or inability, or to the fraud, misrepresentation or deceit of another person, or to any other reasonable cause or excuse, then compensation may be allowed, unless and then to the extent only that the employer shall show that he was prejudiced by failure to receive such notice. Unless knowledge be obtained, or notice given, within ninety days after the occurrence of the injury, no compensation shall be allowed.
Notice is very significant because if there is a dispute about whether or not the injury occurred on the job, the investigation and witnesses are more accessible when it is close to the time of the accident
OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE – NOTICE
If the injury arises from an ongoing occupational exposure, the notice requirements are different. An example of occupational exposure is when there is repeated exposure to a toxic substance or when there is repeated bending and lifting or repeated hand motions, causing an injury but no accident event causing the injury. The employer must be given written notice or a claim made with the Worker’s Compensation insurance carrier that the employee has contracted a compensable occupational disease within five months after the date the employee ceased to be subject to the occupational exposure or within ninety days of when the employee knew or should have known the nature of his disability and its relation to his employment, whichever period is later in duration.
Even if you are no longer working at the location where you were injured if timely proper notice was given, a claim may be filed.
You must ask for medical treatment. If your injury occurred on the job, the employer or his Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier will select the doctor to provide medical treatment for your injuries. This is called authorized medical treatment. If you first go to your own doctor, it is not authorized treatment. Your medical bills will not be paid. You must use authorized doctors. You can ask for an authorized second opinion which you will be entitled to. If there is a dispute about whether you sustained an on the job injury, we will guide you as to how to protect your rights.
If you require immediate emergency treatment at a hospital, this will be paid for, provided that the medical record shows that the injuries arose from a work related accident.
TEMPORARY DISABILITY BENEFITS
If the authorized medical provider requires that you stay out of work for more than 7 days, you will be eligible for temporary disability benefits while you cannot work and are being treated. At a point determined by the doctor, you will have reached maximum medical benefit and treatment will stop. Depending upon the nature and extent of the injuries, you may be cleared to return to full duty at your job.
ONGOING TREATMENT- REOPEN CLAIM
If your case is settled or closed you have two years from the last date of payment of compensation to re-open your case for more treatment and a potential increase of your permanent disability.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT
employer. Helfand & Associates will help guide you and protect your interests for Workers’ Compensation benefits.