Q: WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE BEEN INJURED ON THE JOB?
A: Give notice to your employer of the work-related injury as soon as possible, preferably in writing or with a witness present. Ask your employer to provide you with medical treatment, and fill out an accident report if requested by your employer.
Q: WHAT IF THE ACCIDENT OR INJURY WAS MY FAULT?
A: Generally, fault does not matter in a workers' compensation claim. If your employer denies you benefits because the injury was your fault, contact our office immediately.
Q: CAN I BE FIRED FOR FILING A WORKER'S COMPENSATION CLAIM?
A: Your employer cannot legally end your employment for filing a workers' compensation claim. If you are terminated because you suffered a work-related injury, consult our office immediately.
Q: WHAT IF THE EMPLOYER'S DOCTOR SAYS THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME?
A: If you still have pain, you should ask your employer for additional treatment. If you are refused additional treatment, the workers' compensation judge overseeing your case may give you additional treatment with a different doctor.
Q: ONCE I AM RELEASED BY THE DOCTOR, WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
A: You are entitled to receive lifetime medical treatment if you can prove that your work-related injury resulted in the need for medical treatment. You are entitled to be compensated for your permanent injuries, even if your treating doctor says there is nothing wrong with you.
Q: WHAT DO I DO IF MY EMPLOYER DOES NOT WANT TO TURN IN MY INJURY TO THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION CARRIER?
A: You should see the doctor designated by your employer. Make sure to tell the doctor that your injury occurred at work. Tell your employer that you need medical treatment. If the employer does not designate a doctor, see your own doctor and tell him that the injury occurred at work. Consult with our office as soon as possible. It is best not to incur high medical expenses before consulting with a lawyer.
Q: I HAVE BEEN RELEASED BY THE DOCTOR, AND THE INSURANCE COMPANY HAS OFFERED TO SETTLE MY CASE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A: If the employer offered a settlement, you will lose your right to future medical benefits. Usually, the settlement offer is too low. Consult with our office before agreeing to settle your case.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY EMPLOYER REFUSES TO TAKE ME BACK TO WORK FOLLOWING AN INJURY?
A: While your employer cannot fire you specifically for filing a workers' compensation claim, your employer is not required to take you back to work after the injury. You should file for unemployment benefits and start looking for work. You are entitled to future medical benefits and compensation for your injury, and you may also be entitled to additional compensation as a result of losing your job.
Q: CAN I GET WORKERS' COMPENSATION BENEFITS IF I WAS WORKING AS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?
A: Many times, independent contractors are actually employees and not independent contractors at all. If this is the case, you may be covered.
Q: DOESN'T HIRING A LAWYER RESULT IN LESS MONEY IN MY POCKET?
A: No, in fact studies by the Dept. of Labor show that claimants that hire an attorney end up with almost twice as much as those who do not hire counsel.