Posts By: Kristin Henriksen

Help! The Insurance Carrier Isn’t Paying Me the Correct Amount!

 

Help! The Insurance Carrier Isn’t Paying Me the Correct Amount!

When you’ve been injured at work, workers’ compensation is a vital part of your recovery process. You’re reliant on that money to pay for everything from food to bills to medical expenses. It’s important that the amount in your check is correct. Your weekly checks should be for 66.66% of your pay the year before your injury.

 

There are several reasons the amount might be incorrect. For instance, it’s possible that the insurance carrier just didn’t calculate your income correctly. In some cases we have seen, the insurance carrier has not accounted for overtime pay, bonuses, or other pay that falls outside of your normal work hours.

 

It should be fairly easy to clear up any mistakes by reviewing your pay records. Here are some things you should make sure you include in the calculation of your income:

  • Bonuses
  • Overtime pay
  • Additional allowances such as a company vehicle or travel stipends
  • Any pay that falls outside of your normal work hours

 

If the carrier still refuses to agree to raise your pay to meet your income after reviewing your records, an attorney can help you ask for a hearing or file a motion to clear up the underpayment. Every little bit counts when you’re out of work due to an injury. Make sure you’re receiving the compensation that’s owed to you.

 

Hiring an attorney can help clear up any discrepancies in pay. If you’ve been injured at work, be sure to contact an attorney at Oxner + Permar. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, we have the experience to get you the benefits you deserve.

My Insurance Carrier Didn’t Authorize the Referral of My Doctor: What Should I Do Now?

My Insurance Carrier Didn’t Authorize the Referral of My Doctor: What Should I Do Now?

When dealing with a workers’ compensation case, we often hope that everything follows procedure: that we can read attorney’s blogs and find step-by-step online “How to File for Workers’ Compensation” guides and that everything will work out fine. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.

What should you do if your insurance carrier fails to authorize the referral of your treating doctor? When you find yourself in this scenario, chances are you’re in need of additional medical treatment or medication, and waiting around isn’t really an option. However, there are steps you can take to get the treatment you need.

 

  1. An attorney can secure additional treatment and authorization of further medical care from the Industrial Commission in an expedited hearing or in an emergency hearing, depending on how dire the situation is.
  2. You can get your own care and then ask the Commission to authorize it.

 

Recently we helped one of our clients deal with this situation. We advised them to take option two and encouraged them to seek their own medical care when the carrier did not authorize it in a timely manner. As it happened, instead of going to litigation, the insurance company agreed to the doctor that they selected. It can be difficult to know what to do in situations like this, so we recommend seeking advice from an experienced attorney.

 

If the insurance carrier does not approve of your doctor, be sure to contact an experienced attorney. There are steps you can take to ensure that your rights are protected.

If My Condition Changes, Can My Permanent Partial Disability Claim Award Change As Well?

If My Condition Changes, Can My Permanent Partial Disability Claim Award Change As Well?

If you’ve received an award for a permanent partial disability claim (a lump-sum paid following a Form 26A), that decision can feel set in stone. You’ve gone through the legal steps and had an official decision made about your health and your benefits. However, that’s not entirely the case. Did you know that you have one year to make a claim for a change of condition? This can apply to any change in your physical condition whether it improves or worsens.Pain in a man's body. Isolated on white background. Collage of several photos

For instance, let’s say you’ve been injured at work and you find yourself with limited mobility in your arm. Then as you return to work, instead of your condition improving or staying the same, you notice your injury is becoming worse and, as a result, your job is becoming more difficult to do. In this case, you should contact an attorney.

It’s possible that you may be entitled to additional compensation. When you received your initial award, that amount was based on your condition at the time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when your condition is being reevaluated, you will be asked whether or not you’ve done anything to aggravate your condition. If it’s determined that your injury was worsened by something preventable, you may not be granted additional compensation.

If you believe that your condition has changed for the worse, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options. An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help guide you through the process of adjusting your claim.

Did you know that you have one year to make a claim for a change of condition? Your claim is not set in stone — if your condition changes you could be eligible to revise your reward.

Am I Entitled to a Second Opinion?

Am I Entitled to a Second Opinion?

It may seem unfair, but insurance carriers have a lot of say in your workers’ compensation claim — especially when it comes to determining your doctor. In a workman’s compensation case, the insurance carrier gets to select your doctor. This makes many people uneasy. The insurance carrier will use the doctor’s evaluation to determine how much they will pay you in benefits. How can you trust that this doctor isn’t siding with the insurance company to downplay your injuries?

Or maybe you just want to know whether there are other additional treatment recommendations out there that could help relieve your pain or lessen your disability. Fortunately, in the State of South Carolina, you have the right to seek a second opinion from the doctor of your choosing. If you are dissatisfied with your first evaluation, you should appeal to the insurance company for a second opinion.Female medicine doctor hand holding silver pen writing something on clipboard closeup. Medical care, insurance, prescription, paper work or career concept. Physician ready to examine patient and help

What if my second opinion is not accepted?

In some cases, the insurance company may not agree to grant a second opinion. However, your insurance company does not have final say on the matter. If they refuse, you can appeal to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. In most cases they will order the insurance company to provide you with a second opinion.

Sometimes it can feel like the insurance companies have all the power and that you’re fighting an uphill battle the whole way. But there are people who have your back and are there to support you. The Workers’ Compensation Commission wants to make sure that your case is being handled fairly. Many doctors have their patients’ best interests at heart and want you to recover as quickly and fully as possible. But honestly, one of your greatest assets is an experienced attorney.

Having an attorney on your side who not only understands the law, but has experience dealing with insurance companies is someone who truly has your back. We can evaluate your situation and know when you’re being treated fairly, and when you need to take action. At Oxner + Permar, we’re passionate about standing up for our clients. Make sure you have someone who’s willing to stand up for you.

If you’ve been injured at work, you have the right to a second opinion when it comes to your evaluation for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have any questions about getting a second opinion, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.

How Long Does It Take for Disability Checks to Start Coming In?

How Long Does It Take for Disability Checks to Start Coming In?

If you’ve suffered a work injury and you’re out of work, receiving temporary total disability checks may be all that’s keeping food on your table and the electricity running. Knowing you’ll be receiving weekly checks is a huge relief. But the first day goes by, and you haven’t received your workers’ comp check yet. “That’s okay,” you think to yourself. “It’s only the first day. It’s not unusual to wait a couple of business days to receive a check.”

But then after two or three days you begin to worry. And after six days, you’re beginning to wonder if your check will ever come. But don’t panic yet. Your check is coming. In fact, this is completely normal: There is a seven-day waiting period before you receive your workers’ comp check from your employer.

Hands giving & receiving money - United States Dollars (or USD) bills

However, just because it takes a week for the insurance carrier to start paying your workman’s compensation benefits, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get paid for that time. If your work injury results in a disability or inability to work for more than 14 days, then the insurance company is supposed to pay you for the original seven-day waiting period.

If the insurance company refuses to pay you for that time, you should contact an experienced attorney to find out what action you should take next. It may just be that they haven’t sent your check yet. Unfortunately this can happen, and as long as they get the check to you within the proper window, they won’t be held accountable for your late check.

Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you. If you’re waiting on weekly disability checks, and you’re not sure whether you’ve been waiting too long or not long enough, one of the attorneys at Oxner + Permar would be more than happy to evaluate your case.