Getting hurt on the job is often stressful. Work injuries can create many uncertainties. Who will cover the medical care? How will I pay my bills while I am unable to work? John P. Bell Law Offices, PC will aggressively assist those that have been hurt on the job or at work. Whether your claim is accepted or denied, whether you have issues with medical services or permanent disability determinations, or if you are pursuing settlement or a third party claim, this office will answer your questions, fight for your rights and seek to maximize your benefits. The workers compensation system is a difficult, complicated system and in most instances, requires the assistance of an attorney.
Filing a Claim
If you have had an on-the-job injury, you have a limited time to file a workers compensation claim. Mentioning your injury to a co-worker or supervisor is not enough. You must file an 801 form with your employer or your workers compensation insurer within 90 days of your accident. When filling out the form and reporting the incident to your employer, be as accurate as possible. Although you have 90 days to file your claim, it is important that you file the claim as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that the insurance company will deny your claim.
It is also important for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Be honest and accurate in your description of the incident. Your doctors understanding and records of the incident will be crucial in the insurance company’s assessment of your claim. Describe every symptom resulting from your on-the-job injury–not just the areas exhibiting the greatest pain.
The Workers Compensation Insurer has 60 days to accept or deny your claim. In many instances, if your doctor has restricted you from working during the 60 day waiting period, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits.
Your credibility is crucial to the survival of your claim. In many cases, the insurer will take your statement to assess the validity of your claim. As mentioned earlier, be honest and accurate. Typically, you will be asked about prior accidents and medical care. It is important that you take time to consider whether or not you have had prior accidents and any prior medical care that you have received.
If your claim is accepted you will receive a Notice of Acceptance from the Workers Compensation Insurer. The Notice of Acceptance will list the conditions which the insurance company has claimed responsibility and has designated as related to the on-the-job injury. It is only these conditions that the insurance company will pay to treat. If your doctor restricts you from working, your will recieve temporary disability payments. You should receive these payments every two weeks and they should equal 66% of your average weekly wage.
If your claim is denied, you will receive a notice of that denial in the mail. You have the right to request a hearing to review your claim before an Administrative Law Judge. The request must be filed within 60 days of the date of your denial. If you miss the deadline, your denial will become final as a matter of law and in most cases, cannot be over-turned. If you receive a denial, it is vital that you contact an attorney. The laws relating to workers compensation are complicated and always changing. An attorney will file your appeal and assist you in challenging the grounds for the denial. Bell Law Offices, PC, will work closely with you and your doctors to acquire the evidence necessary to dispute your denial and prove that you are entitled to workers compensation benefits.
Third Party Claim
Sometimes an on-the-job injury is caused by someone unassociated with your employer or job site. In these instances, you may possess a third party claim. These claims are similar to personal injury claims and have the potential of offering additional compensation and/or care not offered through the workers compensation system.
Workers compensation attorneys in Oregon are paid on a contingent fee basis. This means that your attorney does not get paid unless he or she assists you in receiving a benefit that you would not have recieved without your attorney’s help. If your attorney helps you successfully challenge a denial, the insurance company pays the attorney fees. If you receive a higher permanent disability award, your attorney will receive a percentage of the increase. If you choose to settle, your attorney will receive 25% of the settlement proceeds up to $17,500 and 10% of any proceeds above $17,500.