I frequently hear people talk about dealing with their workers’ compensation case on their own. In a perfect world, this would be a simple process, but in reality it can be a tedious and frustrating process that you will need guidance for.In most cases you will not be entitled to a cash settlement without seeing a lawyer and filing an Employee’s Claim Petition with the New Jersey Department of Labor. While in some limited circumstances the workers’ compensation carrier will pay you a voluntary offer of settlement, you likely will only get about one-quarter of what your case is actually worth without having a lawyer represent you. You are suing your employer by filing a workers’ compensation claim. You are just getting the benefits you are entitled to under the law.You do not know the law and need someone who does so that you can maximize the amount of weekly benefits that you receive after you are injured at work. You are entitled to 70% of … [Read more...] about Top Five Reasons Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
What workers compensation pays
A New Mexico intermediate appellate court has affirmed a workers’ compensation judge’s determination that an employer and its workers’ compensation carrier are required to reimburse an employee for costs associated with the purchase of medical marijuana. Vialpando v. Ben’s Auto. Servs. and Redwood Fire & Casualty, 2014-NMCA-32,920 (N.M. Court of Appeals, May 19, 2014).Gregory Vialpando sustained a work-related lower back injury in June 2000 that required numerous surgical procedures. By 2008, the workers’ compensation judge assigned to Vialpando’s case determined that Vialpando had reached “maximum medical improvement” for his physical and psychological conditions, and that he had a 99% permanent partial disability.In 2007 the State of New Mexico passed the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, which created a program allowing for the use of medical marijuana. Vialpando, who according to his doctor suffered … [Read more...] about New Mexico Court Affirms Workers’ Compensation Determination Requiring Employer To Reimburse Employee for Costs of Medical Marijuana
Generally speaking, a person who is assaulted at work to receive workers’ compensation benefits must show that the assault is related to the employment relationship and not from a purely personal relationship. If the assault arises out of a clearly personal dispute, the injured employee may be barred from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. The injured party may, however, be able to pursue a common law negligence claim against the co-worker who perpetuated the assault.In a recent case, Lesley Joseph v. Monmouth County, Mr. Joseph appealed a workers’ compensation Judge’s decision to dismiss his claim after he was assaulted by another employee at work. The Judge found that the assault lacked any connection to the workers’ employment, as it arose out of the worker’s involvement with the other employee’s pyramid investment scheme. The injured worker appealed arguing that the fact that the assault happened in the workplace was enough to make … [Read more...] about Is an Assault at Work Compensable Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Statute?
For any doctors who treat workers’ compensation patients, there are several issues they should be aware of in order to effectively provide treatment to these injured workers in New Jersey. If you are injured at work and getting medical treatment, the issues below are crucial for you to understand and discuss with your doctor if necessary: Who is an authorized workers’ compensation doctor?In New Jersey, the workers’ compensation carrier or the employer has the right to dictate medical care. This is an absolute, and is a strict rule in workers’ compensation cases. The employer can pick any doctor they want, and they usually pick the doctors that are in their networks. There are no workers’ compensation panel doctors in New Jersey, and any doctor can treat an injured employee as long as the workers’ compensation carrier authorizes that doctor to do so. What if an insurance adjuster won’t authorize certain tests of treatment?In exchange for the … [Read more...] about New Jersey Doctors Should Be Aware of Workers’ Compensation Issues
Traveling EmployeesPryor v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Comm'n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130874WC.The claimant worked as a car hauler and his job included loading automobiles onto an 18-wheel truck at the employer's terminal and delivering cars to various dealerships. The claimant usually drove his personal vehicle from his home to the employer's terminal to begin work. One or two nights a week, the claimant spent the night at a hotel while on the road delivering cars. On the day of the injury, the claimant planned to drive from his home to the employer's terminal to start his work and because he anticipated being out of town overnight, he packed a suitcase. The claimant carried his packed suitcase to his personal car and while bending and turning to the back seat of the car to place the suitcase, felt a pain through his back and down his legs. The arbitrator and Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission found lifting an overnight bag was not an accident that occurred in the course of his … [Read more...] about Significant Decisions: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
On March 8, 2016, the Appellate Court, First District, issued a decision discussing the application of the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act in claims alleging intentional torts. In Locasto v. City of Chicago, 2016 IL App (1st) 151369, a fire department employee (Locasto) filed a civil claim seeking damages for an intentional tort resulting in injuries. Locasto claimed the defendants intentionally injured him by forcing him to engage in strenuous physical exercise with minimal water breaks during firefighter paramedic training, causing him to experience dehydration and acute kidney failure.In addition to his civil suit, Locasto filed a workers’ compensation claim under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (Act). The arbitrator concluded the injuries “arose out of” and “in the scope of” his employment with the City and awarded both medical and indemnity benefits.After the workers’ compensation award became … [Read more...] about It’s No Accident: The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act’s Exclusivity Provisions Can Bar Civil Intentional Act Tort Claim Where Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Awarded
An injured worker has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer pursuant to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (Act) if the injury occurred in the scope and course of the employment. But what if the work injury occurred due to the actions of a third party? In such a case, the employee may also be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages and the employer or insurance carrier may have the right to recover expenses related to the workers’ compensation claim if there was an at-fault third party, otherwise known as a subrogation interest. I. Exclusive Remedy Provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation ActIn exchange for a system of no-fault liability upon the employer, the employee is subject to limits on recovery for work injuries and diseases as set forth in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Section 5(a) of the Act, in pertinent part, states there is:No common law or statutory right to recover damages … [Read more...] about Workers’ Compensation Claims and Subrogation
Corporate lawyers tend to believe that directors and officers are not ineluctably employees. Thus, it may come as a surprise that California’s workers’ compensation law has for some time defined an “employee” to include officers and directors:All officers and members of boards of directors of quasi-public or private corporations while rendering actual service for the corporations for pay; provided that, where the officers and directors of the private corporation are the sole shareholders thereof, the corporation and the officers and directors shall come under the compensation provisions of this division only by election as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4151.Cal. Labor Code § 3351(c). Apparently, the proviso led to some abuses with corporations bestowing officer titles on lower level employees to reduce workers’ compensation insurance costs. For example, one corporation reportedly designated a janitor as its vice president … [Read more...] about Is Corporate Director Also Employee Subject To Workers’ Compensation?
This week I attended the 21st Annual National Workers Compensation and Disability Management Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Among many of the sessions offered was one addressing the regional conflicts in workers comp. I sat in on the session addressing workers comp issues in the Northeast. Along with the moderator, there were three individuals representing the TPA, the carrier and the employer.Steve Gidwitz, COO, NCA Comp, Buffalo, New York (TPA)John Leonard, president and CEO, Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company, Portland, Maine (carrier)Richard Graham, corporate director, insurance and risk control, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Chester, Pennsylvania (employer)Maureen McCarthy, senior vice president, Liberty Mutual, Boston, Massachusetts (moderator)McCarthy began by addressing the economy and how it’s affecting workers comp in the Northeast and, more specifically, how it has impacted getting people back to work.“In the health care system since … [Read more...] about Regional Conflicts in Workers Compensation
Certain types of personal injuries are often adjudicated, at least in part, in front of quasi-governmental boards. For example, where an employer self-insures for workers’ compensation, claims by employees will be adjudicated before the workers’ compensation board governing that employer if they are not paid as demanded.Nearly every employer that self-insures for workers’ compensation purchases excess insurance to protect against larger or catastrophic claims. In fact, many states require self-insured companies to purchase excess workers’ compensation insurance as a condition of approving the self-insurance program.So what happens when a workers’ compensation claim against a self-insured employer is contested and resolved by the workers’ compensation board and in doing so the board makes a finding concerning the date of injury? Does that workers’ compensation board finding bind the excess insurer when the policyholder seeks coverage for that … [Read more...] about Is an Excess Insurer Bound By Decision of Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board?