Common Workers’ Compensation Mistakes Employees Make

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 at 5:09 pm    

When a workplace accident causes an injury, the best course of action is to meet with an experienced North Carolina or Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer. A respected lawyer will explain your rights, what practical and legal steps you should take, and how the litigation process works.

Workers, who act on their own, often make the following mistakes which can cause them to lose their case, to lose certain benefits, or to fail to properly get all the compensation and medical care they deserve.

Some of the more common mistakes employees make are:

  1. Failing to properly and timely report their injury to their employer. A delay in notifying your manager, supervisor, or employer that you’ve had a workplace accident can mean that you forfeit your rights to benefits. It also affects your credibility. Employers and their insurance companies are likely to argue that if you were really injured, you would have told someone right away. Employees who suffer an accident at the work site are usually likely to tell a manager. Many workers who work away from the main company site often fail to notify their employer of the accident.

Many employers have written guidelines or manuals for what to do when a workplace accident occurs. Employees should follow the procedures set forth in these documents. These typically involve filling out some kind of accident report. If there is no written policy, then you should tell a manager or supervisor– and as many other people as possible. Employers need to know about the accident promptly so they know your claim is legitimate. Good employers will also take steps to correct whatever may have caused the accident so other workers aren’t injured too.

Employees who fail to give prompt notice may still be able to file a claim – especially if it is clear the employer had actual knowledge of the accident – such as being told by one of your co-workers.

  1. Not meeting the deadlines for filing for state workers’ compensation benefits. In both Virginia and North Carolina, employees can’t wait forever to file a claim. Employees should speak with trusted legal counsel who will explain the time limits and work to file your claim in a proper and timely manner. In most instances, if you fail to file the appropriate paperwork within two years of the accident, you will forfeit all benefits.
  2. Not getting medical treatment right away. Delayed treatment hurts your chances for getting the best medical recovery and also proving your claim.  Doctors are best able to treat patients when the patient sees a doctor as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can also hurt your workers’ compensation claim. Insurance companies are likely to argue you weren’t really hurt if you didn’t see a doctor right away.
  3. Not telling your employer what really hurts. Simple comments like saying you’re fine or it’s no bother – when you really do hurt, can be used against you. It is better to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If it turns out to be nothing to worry about, then fine. But many times the most severe symptoms of an injury take time to manifest.
  4. Not telling your doctors how the accident happened. Employees need to tell their physician or other healthcare provider how the accident happened, that it happened at work, and that the workplace conditions are what caused the accident. If doctors don’t properly document that your accident was work-related, the insurance company for the employer may try to claim your injuries were due to non-work-related causes. DO NOT listen if your employer asks you to “work with them” and not tell the ER or other doctor that you were injured at work. You should also tell each doctor who is treating you for work-related injuries that a workplace accident caused your harm – not just the first doctor you see. We have seen legitimately injured workers ruin their cases because of their failure to give a proper history of injury to their healthcare providers.
  5. Not following through with the recommended medical treatments. Workers who fail to follow the advice of their treating doctors may find that the employer will seek to terminate your medical bills and comp checks because you’re not doing what you need to do to get better. Not following the doctor’s recommendations can also jeopardize your chances of a healthy recovery. If you think the recommended treatment is unwise, then you should seek the opinion of a qualified workers compensation attorney. In Virginia, you can always seek the opinion of another doctor, even if the cost of that opinion initially comes out of your own pocket; however, in North Carolina, if you want a second opinion to be considered, you must seek the approval of the Industrial Commission. Side opinions paid for by you will not be considered in North Carolina.

Employers even have the right to hire nurse case managers who, in theory, are used by the employer to help you make your appointments and have all your questions answered. In practice, the nurse case managers work for the employer and not you. They will be monitoring your medical appointments and treatments. If you fail to see your doctors or follow-through with the recommended treatments, the nurse case managers will alert their employer who may, then, seek to terminate your benefits. In Virginia, once an Application to terminate benefits is filed, your benefits stop IMMEDIATELY, and it may take months or even years to re-activate them.

  1. Failing to comply with vocational rehabilitation requirements. If it is clear you cannot do the job you did before the workplace accident, the workers comp insurance carrier may opt to either attempt to retrain you for new work, or supposedly try to find you work that you are physically able to do. As part of the vocational rehabilitation requirements, you must also seek out work that meets your new skills, usually by being given specific job leads by the vocational rehabilitation counselor. Failure to attend meeting with the counselor, failure to apply for jobs that the counselor provides you, failure to show up for scheduled interviews, and failure to meet with prospective employers as requested by the vocational rehab counselor will likely cause you to lose your North Carolina or Virginia workers’ compensation benefits. Again, in Virginia, once a defense application to terminate is filed, your benefits stop immediately.
  2. Not filing the right forms with the right information. Applying for your comp payments and a medical Award begins with filing the correct forms with the right information. These forms are legal documents. Don’t ever assume your employer will file your workers’ compensation forms for you, even if they claim they have done so. They CANNOT file these forms for you. All the employer can file is a Notice of Injury with the Commission. It is up the injured worker to file the correct forms. In VA, that’s a Claim for Benefits, and in NC, that’s a FORM 18. The best course of action is to have an experienced work injury lawyer assist you prepare and file these forms for you. One simple mistake in the forms or agreements can deprive you of benefits.
  3. Not handling appeals correctly. Employees should also review with their attorney their appellate rights if their claim is denied. There are deadlines and procedures for filing appeals that must be followed – or the employee appeal will be denied. Likewise, if an employer appeals a decision, the employee does need to respond to the appeal in the correct manner.

To avoid mistakes, speak with an experienced North Carolina or Virginia workers’ compensation attorney today

Attorney Joe Miller Esq. has been helping injured workers get justice for over 25 years. He’s helped thousands of clients get a strong recovery. He’ll guide you through each step of the claims process and make the right arguments on your behalf. To speak with a strong advocate, please phone lawyer Joe Miller at (888) 694-1671. You can also reach him through his contact form.

Should I quit my job after I’m injured?

Posted on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 11:00 am    

Workers Compensation Attorney Joe Miller explains why you should never quit your job in the midst of a workers compensation claim.

Can an employer or insurance company send a nurse with me to my doctors appointment?

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 at 9:16 am    

Attorney Joe Miller answers questions about nurse case managers in a recent interview:

Will my company hire a private investigator?

Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2017 at 4:33 pm    

In this recent interview, attorney Joe Miller explains why your company might hire a private investigator:

Will I Get Money At My Hearing?

Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 3:36 pm    

Attorney Joe Miller of Joe Miller Law explains the process that follows your final court hearing:

What Are Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Posted on Monday, July 31st, 2017 at 8:35 am    

Learn more about different workers’ compensation benefits from attorney Joe Miller.

Different Ways Employer Insurance Companies Don’t Play by the Rules

Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2016 at 2:00 pm    

The employer insurance company may not play by the rules and they often find many ways to attempt to deprive you or cut you off of benefits you may be entitled to under Workers Compensation in Virginia and North Carolina. These attempts can come in a variety of forms, but the following are just a few of the main ones we see:

  1. Attempt to “starve you out.” Even if you have a perfectly legitimate claim, the insurance company may refuse to pay you because they know you need the money. The company may hope that you take a “fast cash,” “low ball” settlement because you think it may take months or years before you can collect and you simply cannot survive without income.

 

If an insurance company is not negotiating in good faith, your remedy is simple. Contact an experienced Virginia worker’s compensation attorney such as Joe Miller Esq. He will promptly make sure all paperwork and appropriate motions are filed on your claim. If you assert that you suffered a workplace accident and you are an employee, you should be entitled to 2/3rds of your average weekly wages. You are also entitled to have the insurance company start paying your medical bills related to the work injury for the remainder of your life. If there is no legitimate reason for the insurance company to deny your claim, you may also be entitled to get sanctions, such as having the insurance company pay your attorneys’ fee.

 

By filing a claim, you start the process to put the insurance company in the position of formally accepting or denying your claim before the Commission.

 

Of course we must be honest and real. Workers Compensation Laws were designed by Legislators and not necessarily by folks who understand what you are going through. The system is unfortunately not designed to obtain a quick result in a situation where your claim is outright denied. Yes, at the end of the day, you may be entitled to get your back pay as well as medical coverage, a lifetime medical Award and possibly even sanctions against the insurance company and employer. But this could take months, or in some cases longer, if the defense decides to Appeal.

 

The only consolation is that oftentimes, when defense attorneys get involved and depositions are taken, in these denied claims, if it becomes obvious that there is truly no legitimate defense, the defense attorney may be able to convince his client to simply agree to begin benefits and back down. We have seen this happen many times.

 

I recall one case where I simply looked up after my client’s deposition at defense counsel and bluntly said: “What am I missing here?” A discussion ensued, and defense counsel admitted he could not understand why the claim was denied. Shortly thereafter, we entered an Award Agreement, and my client received a year of back pay and began to receive ongoing benefits.

 

That being said, some insurance adjusters are simply stubborn and unethical. They believe the best plan is to resist paying anything and ‘starve you out,’ and damn the consequences.   This is very challenging for many folks, especially if you have no other source of income in your household or typically live paycheck to paycheck.

 

The folks who fair better in these situations are the ones who have savings to survive on for a while, other sources of income in the household such as a working spouse, or relatives who can help until workers compensation can kick in.

 

  1. Use of Company Doctors. The insurance company will send you to physicians who may not have your best interests at heart. Employees in Virginia are required to seek treatment from physicians who are listed on a panel of 3 approved doctors, from which you are entitled to choose one.

Many of these doctors have a working relationship with the employer and the employer’s insurance company, but many employers and insurance companies attempt to bypass even this process entirely by forcing you to seek treatment with the “company doctor.”

 

These company doctors usually belong to some medical treatment center known for treating injured workers on behalf of insurance companies. They are typically small facilities similar to a “doc-in-the box.” The goal of this “company doctor” is often to get you to return to work as quickly as possible. Many times these doctors will also refuse to refer you to a specialist such as an orthopedic doctor when you clearly require one, or will fail to order the appropriate diagnostic tests, such as MRI’s, to figure out what is wrong with you. While most workers do want to get back to work, they should not return just so the company can stop paying income and medical benefits, especially if the worker is still in significant pain and discomfort.

 

When we get involved and we see one of these “company doctors” directing treatment, on Virginia cases, we immediately demand a panel of appropriate physicians to get you away from the clutches of these folks and into the hands of at least someone who is a specialist as soon as possible.

 

If the claim is denied or if the process is taking too long, in Virginia, particularly if you have health insurance, then we advise our clients to utilize their private insurance and seek treatment with an appropriate specialist, and will assist in directing them to a specialist who is covered by the injured workers’ plan.

 

In North Carolina, switching doctors can be more challenging, because the carrier is entitled to direct all medical treatment related to your claim. In some circumstances, a Motion to change treating physicians or to seek an Independent Medical Examination may be necessary.

 

The employee has the right to get competent medical treatment and to return to work only when he/she is able to. Employees should review the doctors they are seeing with an experienced Virginia or North Carolina worker’s compensation attorney. If the doctor is not providing proper treatment or forcing you to return to work prematurely, the lawyer can seek to obtain permission for you to see a different doctor or in Virginia, ask for a panel.

 

Employees should never refuse to see any doctor he or she is directed to see by the workers compensation insurance company. This could result in a dismissal of your case for failure to follow the medical treatment plan.

 

There is a legitimate way to deal with these “company doctors.” Refusing to treat with them is not one of those ways. If you come across this situation, you should contact a competent Workers Compensation Attorney to help you figure out what to do.

 

  1. The Independent Defense Medical Examination. Employers in both Virginia and North Carolina can, at any time, demand that you undergo an independent medical examination (IME). Often employer insurance companies will require that you undergo an independent medical examination if your injuries are not healing quickly enough for the insurance company, or if they are balking at paying for an expensive surgery recommended by your treating physician.

 

At a defense IME, the doctor may make a determination about your ability to go to work. Often these “independent” doctors, retained by the insurance company, are highly biased against the injured worker. They are hired to gather ammunition to refuse you treatment, or to argue that you are capable of returning to work.

 

Before you undergo an IME, you should review your claim with a skilled Virginia work injury lawyer. The best defense to an IME is to either depose the IME doctor, or oftentimes, have your treating physician review the report and offer reasons why he or she disagrees with the IME doctor and still recommends the treatment you require.

 

A lawyer will explain what happens at the IME and what you should look out for. For example, he will tell you to keep note of how long the exam is, what questions and asked, and what physical tests are performed, and generally how to behave during the IME. For instance, antagonizing or screaming at the IME doctor is probably not a good idea.

 

You should know that for the most part, the IME is usually not determinative of your claim. We argue, for example, that the independent doctor has only seen and examined you on one occasion, is not familiar with your daily aches and pains, how your condition has evolved over time, and how your injuries relate to your job performance.

 

We also argue, and mostly the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and North Carolina Industrial Commission will give far more weight to the Opinion of an authorized treating doctor as opposed to the IME doctor.

 

  1. Aggressive Nurse Case Managers. (NCM’s) Insurance companies are allowed to assign nurse case managers to your cases. In theory, these nurse case managers are there to help you make and keep your appointments with your doctors, make sure you’re getting and taking your medications, asking the doctors the right questions about your health, etc. In reality, the nurse case managers are employed by the insurance company to represent the insurance company’s interests. In many cases, they will employ tactics and tricks to trip you up in an attempt to demonstrate that you, the worker, are not following the doctor’s advice and not doing what you need to in order to get better. If the employer can show you are not cooperating, they can file a petition to terminate your benefits.

 

It is important to review with your Virginia worker’s compensation attorney what the nurse case manager can and cannot do. For example, the nurse case manager does not have the right to be with you in the examining room unless you and your doctor consent.

 

They also do not have the right to countermand doctors’ orders about the treatment facilities where you are referred. That is called “managing” your medical care and they are not permitted to do that in Virginia.

 

For instance, if a doctor refers you to a specific testing facility he prefers and you hear the nurse balk and say “oh we can’t let you treat there, it’s not in our network,” your antennae should immediately go up. There is no such thing as ‘in- network’ in workers comp. It may be true that the carrier does not yet have an agreement with that particular facility, but it’s too bad. If the authorized treating doctor orders it, then that is where you are going. The NCM must comply.

 

  1. Accommodation of Restrictions in a Nonsense Light Duty Job with the Employer. This used to be prohibited in NC, but unfortunately, the law has changed and now this is recognized as “therapeutic.” It has always been permitted in Virginia. Many employers try to get you to return to work too soon. In addition to using their own company doctors and seeking an independent medical exam, the company doctor may assert that you can return to work, but with physical restrictions. Sometimes these restrictions are legitimate, and if the employer, or another employer, has the right type of job for you – you may be able to return to gainful employment. As an example, a doctor may say that someone who did heavy-duty work can now do light-duty work – if they don’t lift or carry excessively. The doctor may place certain lifting restrictions on you such as no floor-to-waist lifting over 20 lbs, no overhead work, and/or other restrictions on climbing, bending, stooping or twisting.

Unfortunately, many of these “accommodation” or “make-work” jobs are designed specifically to allow the insurance company to cut you off or drastically reduce your benefits—and then get you fired.

You may find that when you return in a light duty capacity, your old boss or new supervisor may be particularly nasty to you, almost to the point of harassment.

This behavior is intentional and designed for one purpose—to get you to be insubordinate so the employer can fire you for cause and end your claim.

If the employer is not paying your pre-injury wage in the light duty job, you should be able to get 2/3rds of the difference between your wages pre-injury and your wages with the new job. This is called temporary partial disability or TPD. Additionally, if you need medical treatment related to your work injuries, you are still entitled to have the insurance company pay for it.

If you cannot do the new work with restrictions, you should return to your authorized treating doctor and advise him or her of exactly which duties are causing you the problems. It is possible that the doctor will pull you back out of work completely or impose further restrictions on your duties.

You may be required to try the work for a short period of time to see if you can really do it.

If you can do work with restrictions, but the employer has no available work for you –then in Virginia, if you are under an Award, you are still entitled to ongoing TTD benefits. If you are not under an Award, then you are going to be cut off of benefits and you must market your capacity to work and likely head to a hearing. See here for a further explanation as to how the Award affects what you must do in Virginia as far as looking for work.

In North Carolina, if it’s an accepted claim, you are also entitled to ongoing TTD, but you should still market or look for work within your restrictions in case there is ever a dispute in your claim. This will prevent the insurance company from ever being able to say that you were capable of getting a job while on restrictions and that they should be credited with all comp payments made to you.

Make an appointment with a Virginia work injury lawyer who is your advocate, not the insurance company’s advocate

Virginia worker’s compensation attorney Joe Miller has been fighting for injured workers in North Carolina for over 25 years. He has helped thousands of clients get the compensation and benefits they deserve. He is not afraid to contest unreasonable actions and tactics by the insurance company. For help now, please call Joe Miller at (888) 694-1671 or fill out his contact form.

DO NOT QUIT OR RESIGN YOUR JOB!!!

Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016 at 2:00 pm    

As a firm that focuses on workers compensation, we receive many, many calls each and every day from injured workers, many of whom are injured severely. As explained on our website, in order to best serve our family of clients, we are very selective about the cases we take.

Some folks want to know why we do not take their case. I can tell you that one of the biggest reasons is because the injured worker has quit or resigned his or her job, usually out of frustration.

Unfortunately, especially in Virginia, this action will most likely end or severely damage your case. I can understand why you might do this. You are legitimately injured and cannot seem to get any satisfaction. Sometimes the employer and the insurance carrier will stonewall you and you just cannot seem to get any answers. You are being told you need to come into work, but the injuries are so bad, you can’t work. So you quit.

I don’t know how many ways to say this: DO NOT DO THIS! You can be as frustrated as you want to be, but quitting or resigning will kill your case. Why?

Your entitlement to ongoing workers compensation checks is based on your ability to return to work. If you are able to get under an Award, whether you get payments under that Award is based on your ability to return to your pre-injury job. But if you have already resigned from your pre-injury job, how do we know what is preventing you from working? Maybe the employer will say that they were going to accommodate your doctor’s restrictions? They will argue that the only thing holding you out of work is the fact that…. you quit!

Because you have quit, you have now given the employer the advantage. All they have to do is say that if you had not quit, you would have a job to come back to. Maybe it’s not true, but now that you have quit, there is no way to prove otherwise.

Now for a while, if your doctor holds you completely out of all work, you may be able to prove you are entitled to compensation during that time. But once you are released to light duty, that is over. All the employer has to do is say they would have accommodated your restrictions, and you will not get another penny.

The way to handle things after you are hurt and you come up against a “stone wall” is to do your best to get to any doctor, even a family doctor, after your accident, or an emergency room to give you treatment and some written excuse to be out of work that you can present to your employer. If you cannot do that, and you are truly and demonstrably severely injured or laid up in a hospital, then that is what you tell your employer. But under no circumstances should you ever say that you “quit” or “resign” or make any such statement, because that will end your case.

If the employer wants to fire you because they cannot accommodate you being out due to your injury, then guess what? They have just proven part of your case! As long as you can prove that you were unable to return to work during that time frame due to your work injuries, then you should be able to get benefits.

The main thing is, you have not just handed over your case to the employer and insurance company by quitting or resigning.

If you’ve been severely injured at work and have questions about your case, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-667-8295 or visit us online at www.TheWorkInjuryCenter.com .

The Most Common Kinds of Workplace Injuries

Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 at 2:00 pm    

Having an understanding of the common ways workplace accidents can happen can help, but putting procedures and safety measures in place can help to prevent them. Still, even with good planning, many workplace accidents do occur. Workers are not required to prove a workplace accident was the employer’s fault in order to have a valid workers compensation claim. They need to essentially prove that they were an employee when the accident occurred, that an accident occurred during work or that an occupational illness happened due to work, and that the injuries were caused by the accident or occupational exposure that was unique to that occupation.

Joe Miller has fought for thousands of injured workers. He understands why accidents occur and what injuries result from each type of accident. He works with medical professionals to prove the injuries occurred, to show when the worker can, if possible, really return to work, what medical restrictions may be required, when workers will have to be retrained, and when workers will never be able to work again.

Workers who suffer a workplace accident due to a fall, a vehicle accident, an electrical failure, or any type of accident can suffer a broad range of injuries. Injuries normally flow from the type of accident. Falls typically cause broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Electrical injuries can cause death, shock, burns, respiratory failure, brain injuries, and other health problems.

Some of the common type of workplace injuries are:

  • Head Injuries. No matter how this type of accident occurs (a falling object, a vehicle crash, or a slip and fall), head injuries can cause permanent brain damage and brain trauma which can affect the worker’s ability to think, see, reason or react. Many workers with head injuries suffer both physical and emotional pain. Head injuries can also include:
    • Concussions are caused by some type of force applied to the head The effects are often temporary. A loss of consciousness may occur, but not always. Sometimes, there is a “blank spot” or memory gap relating to the facts of the accident. In some cases, long term damage may occur. Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a constellation of symptoms that typically lasts from 6-12 months after a concussion. Symptoms can include dizziness, headaches, short-term memory loss, and mood changes.
    • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). A TBI occurs, according to the Mayo clinic, occurs when there is a violent blow to the head such as when part of the skull shatters. A mild TBI can cause brain cells to fail to function and includes a concussion. A severe TBI can cause bleeding, torn tissue, and other damage that can affect cognitive function, loss of coordination, slurred speech, memory loss, and other complications. A TBI can result in death or permanent injury that requires around-the-clock medical care.
    • Skull and Facial Fractures. Broken skull or facial bones can cause brain damage and usually cause severe pain. In many cases, the surgery needed to repair the bones can cause disfigurement.
    • Facial cuts and bruises. If these don’t heal properly, cosmetic surgery may be required. Permanent disfigurement may be the result.
  • Neck and Back Injuries. Some neck and back injuries heal with time. Many times, though, the injury to the spine will require aggressive medical intervention to help reduce the pain. For many workers, neck and back pain is a permanent or long lasting conditions. Some specific medical problems a pain management doctor or neurosurgeon will need to address are:
    • Herniated Discs. Discs are rubbery, gelatinous cushions that separate the bones in your vertebrae. A herniated disc occurs when some of the jelly part of the disc pushes through the exterior. This push can cause nerve damage, pain, and tingling. Surgery may be required to repair the herniated disc – also known as a slipped or ruptured disc. In some cases, the surgery is relatively minor, such as a laminectomy, where the offending portion of the disc is merely snipped and removed.
    • In a more severe herniation, a complete removal of the entire disc may be required, with the introduction of bone where the disc once was. It also involves the use of metal screws and plates to encourage the bone to grow together, to create a solid, fused piece of bone in place of the disc. This is called a spinal
    • Broken Vertebrae. If a broken vertebrae occurs, the damage to the spinal cord may be permanent; however, this depends on the severity of the fracture. Often times, surgery will be needed to repair the break. In other instances, such as compression fractures, the bone just requires time to heal.
    • Other types of spinal cord injuries. In addition to severe physical pain; any damage to the spinal cord may cause partial or full paralysis, loss of bowel or bladder control, loss of sexual function, and other complications.
    • This is a common result of a vehicle accident – especially a rear-end collision. It is a type of soft tissue injury to the neck that can take a long time to fully heal. Although made fun of in movies and popular culture, a whiplash or cervical strain, especially in older victims, is a severe injury that involves a tearing of the ligaments and muscles supporting the neck. The negative can be permanent, leaving scar tissue within the muscles and ligaments.
  • Broken Bones. Many workers suffer a broken bone in a leg, arm, foot, hand, or other body part, In the best case scenario, the bone heals on its own or after surgery. In the worst cases, the bone must be internally fixated by plates, rods, and screws so that it heals properly. This can cause permanent pain. Broken bones can include hairline fractures and complex fractures. The pain from the break is usually quite intense. Sometimes, there are issues with the hardware loosening, which may result in additional surgery for removal of the hardware after the bone has healed properly. Otherwise, the hardware is usually left in permanently.
  • Loss of Limb. Employees who drive or work with heavy machinery are always in danger of losing a leg, arm, hand, finger, foot, or toe in a workplace accident. Some amputated body parts can function with the use of a prosthesis. Any worker who loses a limb or has a body amputated is likely to suffer strong emotional losses in addition to the physical pain. A loss of a combination of any two limbs can mean lifetime compensation for the injured worker even if the worker can return to some form of work.
  • Burns cause more than physical pain; They also usually cause disfigurement. Burns can occur due to a fire, an explosion, electrical failure, or exposure to toxic substances. In Virginia, if the burn did not occur to a ratable body part (typically a limb), and the employee has returned to work at full duty, then compensation may be limited to medical compensation and a maximum of 60 weeks for the disfigurement.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries. Many workers who fall or suffer a workplace accident suffer muscle, ligament, and tissue damage, most commonly referred to as “strains.” These injuries, even when they heal properly, can cause a great amount of pain and can take weeks or often months to properly heal. Again, older patients are much more difficult to heal. In some cases, even a soft tissue injury in an elderly worker can be permanent, and can prevent the worker from returning to work in his or her former profession, especially if that profession involved heavy manual labor. Note: Many workers who are initially told they have a muscle “strain” later find out that their injuries are much more severe. If, for instance, you are suffering from numbness and tingling and/or shooting pains into your legs, arms, hands, or feet, you may, in fact, have a disc injury, and you should insist on being referred to an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. An MRI should be administered to assess if you have a bulging or herniated disc.
  • Mental injuries. Mental injuries often accompany physical injuries. Sometimes, mental injuries occur without physical injuries. An experienced North Carolina and Virginia work injury attorney can explain what benefits are allowed for mental injuries. Workers who suffer mental injuries often need to be treated by a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Many of these mental injuries are just as severe, if not more severe, than the physical injuries. We have represented numerous clients whose psychiatric injuries are so severe—such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or severe clinical depression, that the worker is no longer able to engage in any gainful employment.

In addition to workplace accidents, many workers suffer occupational illnesses. Occupational illnesses will be discussed in another blog.

Injured at work? Contact a tough work injury advocate today.

Joe Miller Esq. has been helping injured workers for over 25 years. He has helped thousands of North Carolina and Virginia workers get full compensation and strong settlements including past and future lost wages, medical bill payments, and permanent partial impairment. To make an appointment with attorney Joe Miller, call (888) 694-1671 or complete his contact form.

The Math Involved in Workers’ Compensation Cases

Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2016 at 2:00 pm    

There is a lot of math associated with worker’s compensation cases. Injured workers and their attorneys need to keep track of. These are just some of the math figures involved:

  • Your correct wage
  • Your medical bills
  • All the items you should be reimbursed for—especially mileage expenses
  • Vocational expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Impairment Ratings
  • The number of weeks you can get disability
  • Interest payments
  • Cost of Living Adjustments
  • Lump Sum Calculations

An experienced Virginia workers’ compensation usually has software to keep track of all the relevant figures so you get the full amount that you are due.

Contact Joe Miller today if you were hurt at work

Virginia Workers’ Compensation attorney Joe Miller has helped thousands of clients get a strong recovery. He has helped clients for over a quarter century. Attorney Miller understands each part of the state Workers’ Compensation Law, the practical issues, and the legal arguments that help win cases. For advice on your claim, please phone lawyer Joe Miller at the Work Injury Center today at 888-694-1671. You can also complete his contact form.

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