Yearly Archives: 2018

If I Settle My Case, Do I Have to Quit My Job?

Workers' Compensation

If I Settle My Case, Do I Have to Quit My Job?

This is a question that often comes up when clients are dealing with a workers’ compensation case. Many are concerned that they’ll have to add searching for employment to their list of things to worry about while recovering from their injury. While there is no requirement that says you have to quit your job if you settle, it’s still possible you may find yourself unemployed after your settlement.

Quite often an employer will ask you to resign as part of a certain type of settlement. These settlements are usually for significantly more money than what would cover your disability rating. If you take a settlement that matches your rating, it is extremely unlikely that your employer will ask you to resign.

 

The reason this could happen is that when you’re offered a bigger settlement, the insurance company is paying to give up their obligation for your future medical care. So for example, let’s say you were allowed to return to work after being awarded $50,000 for your shoulder injury. If six weeks later you returned to work and re-injured your shoulder, not only would you have the $50,000 from your first claim, you’d also be able to start a new claim.

 

By asking you to resign as part of the settlement, the insurance company can ensure that they won’t have to pay you twice. In fact, if you hear about someone who was fired after a workers’ comp claim, it’s more likely that they were offered money in order to resign. But their boss would have encouraged the rumor that they were fired…or at least, they won’t do anything to correct the rumor.

 

This is because if employees think that the claim caused a coworker to be fired, it will prevent other employees from filing a claim themselves — which means that the employer will save money. You shouldn’t let these rumors prevent you from submitting your workers’ compensation claim. While you can be asked to resign, it is illegal for an employer to fire you for filing for workers’ comp.

 

If you’ve been injured at work don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to help guide you through the process. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to get you the benefits you deserve.

Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence?

Workers' Compensation

Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence?

We understand that after you’ve been injured on the job, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make that wrong right. And sometimes, simply receiving workers’ compensation for your injury doesn’t feel like enough. However, according to workman’s comp law, you are not allowed to sue your employer for negligence. The only avenue is through workers’ compensation.

As a follow up question, I frequently have clients ask, “But what if I can prove that my employer was negligent?” Even if they were somehow negligent, you still cannot sue.

 

It IS possible to get an additional 10% penalty against your employer if you can prove that they willfully failed to comply with any statutory requirement; however, cases of the Industrial Commission enforcing this penalty are very rare. “Willful Failure” is a very high standard to meet. Generally the employer would have to be at fault for something far more serious.

 

The only exception to being able to sue your employer in the case of an injury is if your employer was required by law to carry workers’ compensation and failed to do so. In this case, your employer cannot claim the Workers’ Compensation Act as a defense in a lawsuit. In this case, you would be able to sue.

 

In the vast majority of cases, you may not sue your employer for negligence. When it comes to workers’ comp cases, it’s always a good idea to work with an experienced attorney who has a good understanding of what you can or can’t do with your case.

Do I Have to Pay Back Bills Paid by Health Insurance?

Workers' Compensation

 

Do I Have to Pay Back Bills Paid by Health Insurance?

Sometimes it can take a while before workers’ compensation benefits kick in. This means while you’re waiting, you’re responsible for covering the costs of treatment. If you have health insurance, it’s possible that they’ll cover your medical bills while you’re waiting for workman’s comp benefits. So what happens once you’ve been awarded workers’ comp benefits? Will you have to pay your insurance company back?

Like many things in the world of workers’ comp, there is no easy yes or no: the answer depends on a few factors. If your health insurance is an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Plan, then you will likely have to pay at least some of the money back. Frequently, multi-state employers carry these kinds of plans.

 

On the other hand, if you have a local health plan, chances are you won’t have to pay them back. However, in order to ensure you won’t have to pay it back, you’ll need to have your attorney put the proper language into your settlement documents.

 

If your workers’ comp claim is denied and your health insurance is denying coverage, make sure to send a copy of your Form 61 to your insurance company. This will notify them that you are not receiving workers’ comp benefits, and that they are supposed to begin covering your bills.

 

It’s possible that you may receive a letter from your insurance company asking for details about your workman’s compensation claim. If this happens, you’ll want to have a conversation with your attorney as soon as possible to discuss next steps.

 

Dealing with a workers’ comp claim can be incredibly complicated. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have an experienced attorney on your side to help you navigate the process. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation.

 

Johnson & Johnson Talc Trials Continue

Uncategorized

Johnson & Johnson Talc Trials Continue

We’ve written before about an ongoing series of cases involving Johnson and Johnson and a mass tort involving the use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder leading to ovarian cancer. To catch you up, despite several studies that show a link between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer, many companies such as Johnson & Johnson have failed to label products appropriately.

Last year after a mass tort began against Johnson & Johnson, the company was ordered to pay a settlement of $72 million. In May of this year, a second verdict was handed down for $55 million.

And then, just this summer, a third case was settled against Johnson & Johnson. A California woman was awarded $417 million dollars in her settlement. Eva Echeverria, who is now 64 years old, reported using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product since she was 11.

 

She stopped using the product in 2016 as soon as she learned about its connection to ovarian cancer, but by then it was too late. Ms. Echeverria was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. She hopes that her case will help other women learn about the dangerous connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The court ordered that Johnson & Johnson pay $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 in punitive damages.

 

If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder as part of a feminine hygiene routine, be sure to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Call Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.

 

What Do I Do if I Discover I Have a Faulty Hip Replacement?

Uncategorized

What Do I Do if I Discover I Have a Faulty Hip Replacement?

 

When you undergo a major surgery, you’re putting your life in the hands of the surgeons and doctors who will care for you. But they’re not the only ones you have to put your trust in. You also have to trust that the tools and equipment doctors use are reliable and safe. This shouldn’t be something you have to think about, but it does come up. Unfortunately, one medical device company is under scrutiny for claims that they have produced faulty hip replacement devices.

Stryker Orthopaedics is a company that makes hip implants; however, in recent cases the implants are failing years before they’re supposed to, causing nasty symptoms such as thyroid problems and vision loss.

 

Some other major symptoms include:

 

  • Pain in your hip, leg, or groin
  • Swelling
  • Grinding, squeaking, popping, or other sounds that could be the metal rubbing together
  • Difficulty walking or moving

 

You should also be mindful of the symptoms of metal poisoning which could be brought on by the erosion of metal at the joint:

 

  • Damaged kidneys
  • Depression or other psychological changes
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Rashes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Cardiomyopathy

 

If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of a faulty hip replacement, you should contact your doctor immediately. Once you have received medical attention, call an attorney right away. Faulty hip replacements are both expensive and traumatic. You should be fairly compensated.

 

At Oxner + Permar, we believe in protecting your safety and comfort and ensuring that you receive fair compensation. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.