What Happens If I’m Injured While on Medical Restrictions?
After you’ve been injured at work, it’s very likely that you’ll be given work restrictions by your doctor. If this happens, you’ll be able to return to work in a light duty job. This job is likely a modified version of your old job, or an alternative job that complies with your restrictions. In many cases this is a good situation, and there are no problems. However, just because this job falls within your work restrictions, that doesn’t mean additional injuries won’t occur.
It could be that you end up overusing one body part to compensate for your injury. For example, let’s say you injured your shoulder while at work. When you start your light duty job, you’re probably going to have to work one-handed while your injured shoulder recovers, and it is quite possible for you to injure your other shoulder.
If this happens, it’s likely the insurance company won’t agree to pay for the injury to the other body part. But don’t let that stop you! We have had success at the Industrial Commission in getting compensation and medical treatment for this kind of injury. In the past we’ve been able to show that since the second injury was a direct and natural consequence of the original injury, it should be covered.
It is possible to earn compensation for an injury that occurs while you’re on light duty restrictions. If you’ve experienced a similar work related injury, give us a call for a free consultation.
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.
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:
- 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?
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.