Yearly Archives: 2017

When Should I Get a Second Opinion?

Workers' Compensation

When Should I Get a Second Opinion?

As workers’ compensation attorneys, we get asked a lot of questions everyday. I love getting these questions because it shows that my clients and potential clients are engaged in their cases and are working to understand the workers’ comp process. Never be afraid to ask your attorney questions.

One of the questions I hear most frequently is, “When should I get a second opinion on my medical treatment?”

 

When it comes to workers’ comp claims, there are a couple of ways to obtain a second opinion evaluation.

  • Ask the defendant (your employer/insurance carrier) to provide one
  • Request the Industrial Commission to order a second opinion

 

Generally you would ask the defendant before seeking help from the Industrial Commission; however, it’s always a good idea to follow the advice of your attorney when it comes to what’s best for your case.

 

As for when you should ask for a second opinion — it’s going to depend on your case. Typically, unless there is a dispute about the medical treatment, it’s probably best to wait until the end of your treatment. This is because you can get the most bang for your buck since the second opinion doctor can review all of your treatment.

 

Of course, if there is a dispute about your treatment, you should seek a second opinion when the problem arises. That way the dispute can be resolved as quickly as possible, and you can be properly evaluated, treated, and compensated. Your attorney should be able to help you through a situation like this.

 

If there is any dispute over your treatment, seek a second opinion; otherwise wait until your treatment ends. If you are dealing with a workers’ comp case and require a second opinion, contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.

What Evidence Do I Need for My Social Security Case?

Social Security Disability

What Evidence Do I Need for My Social Security Case?

When it comes to putting together a social security disability case, it all comes down to your ability to prove your medical condition. A strong social security disability case requires three things:

  • Timely medical records
  • Accurate medical records
  • Sufficient medical records

When looking at a social security case, timely records means that your records need to be up-to-date with your condition. For instance, if you have a rapidly changing condition, you’re going to need more recent records than someone who has a more stable condition.

 

In order to prove the accuracy of your records you must show evidence for your claims. For instance, if you report a bone fracture, your x-rays must show where the bone is broken. If your doctor reports that you are unable to stand for a period of 30 minutes, but you can indeed stand for that long, those reports will not be considered accurate. (Remember that the records must also come from a medical professional.)

 

Finally, you must provide sufficient records. This means that the Social Security Administration needs your medical reports to be thorough. It’s not enough to state your condition. Your records need to detail things such as where your injury is located, how your doctor came to their diagnosis (e.g. what tests did they run?), and what treatments you’ve received.

 

Having all of this information can make a huge difference in your case and whether the Social Security Administration will consider you compensable or not.

 

Building a strong case starts with timely, accurate and sufficient medical records. Start working with an experienced attorney early on in your Social Security Disability claim so that they can help you build a strong case from day one. Be sure to give us a call for a free consultation.

Will Workers’ Comp Cover an Idiopathic Fall?

Workers' Compensation

Will Workers’ Comp Cover an Idiopathic Fall?

Idiopathic conditions are often related to work injuries. Whether or not these injuries are covered by workers’ compensation often depend on exactly how the injury occurred and what caused it. When looking at idiopathic conditions, it’s important to first determine what exactly does “idiopathic” mean?

Idiopathic refers to conditions that are spontaneous or pre-existing. Some examples of these kinds of conditions include things like:

  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

 

It can also refer to more spontaneous conditions, such as if your leg were to suddenly give out.

 

So how do these conditions factor into workers’ comp? Well, if your pre-existing or idiopathic condition is the only reason for your injury, then chances are your injury will not be covered by workman’s comp. However, if the injury is the result of your work, you probably will be covered.

 

Regardless of whether or not your idiopathic condition makes you more likely to be injured, the important thing is that it was caused by your work. So in other words, even if you were predisposed to back pain, if you strained your back doing a routine part of your job, then that injury is probably compensable.

 

And of course, if you experience any kind of injury at work, always file an injury report with your employer. That way when it comes time to determine the exact cause of your injury, there will be a record of your injury.

 

Idiopathic conditions can be compensable. If you’re unsure of your exact situation, be sure to reach out to an experienced attorney. At Oxner + Permar we offer free consultations to help you determine the next steps for your case.

What are Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangements?

Workers' Compensation

What are Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangements?

If you are receiving Medicare and have been injured at work, you may have heard of a Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement or WCMSA. When dealing with workman’s comp and Medicare, you may be required to set up a WCMSA as part of your settlement.

If this happens, you will be asked to set aside a portion of your workers’ comp benefits in an account. This money will be used to cover treatment and medical procedures related to your work injury once you begin earning Medicare. However, it’s important to note that this money can only be used to cover things that are usually covered by Medicare with the exception of medication for your work-related injury.

 

The reason for this is account is because while workers’ compensation covers 100% of your work-related injury treatment, Medicare does not. In fact, Medicare only covers 80%. The WCMSA ensures that you will have money to cover that remaining 20% once your Medicare payments start.

 

As stated before, you can also use your WCMSA to pay for medication. If it looks like you might run out of funds to cover your medication, it may be worth looking into a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

 

Navigating the various laws surrounding workman’s compensation and Medicare can be complicated. Work with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate your case. Don’t hesitate to give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.

Oxner + Permar Gives Back: Food Banks

Community

Oxner + Permar Gives Back: Food Banks

As summer comes to a close, we feel that it’s important to remind everyone about the importance of donating to your local food banks. As we mentioned, summer brings a very high demand on food banks. Many children rely on free or subsidized meal programs at school during the school year. However, once school lets out for the summer, this safety net against hunger vanishes.

As a result, many families look to food banks for support. The peak time for donations is around the holidays and we see substantially fewer donations during the summer. Because of the higher demand for food, and the lack of donations, many food banks struggle over the summer months. By the time kids are going back to school, it’s likely that their supplies are heavily depleted.

 

It’s important to remember to give to food banks throughout the year, and not just during the holidays. You may have seen some of our billboards around town promoting food donations to food banks. At Oxner + Permar, we believe it’s important to look after our community in any way possible. Helping to make sure that everyone has access to a good meal is just one way we do our part.

 

As summer ends, many food banks are trying to restore depleted supplies. If you’re able, we encourage you to find your local food bank and make a donation!