What is a Mediation?
If you’re dealing with a workers’ comp case, it’s possible that you might have to have a mediation. But what exactly is mediation? Also known as a mediated settlement conferences, mediations are informal meetings where a neutral party will hear both sides of your case and help you work out a compromise. If that happens your case can settle there.
There are several reasons why your case might go to mediation. For example, if your claim is denied, the Industrial Commission will probably order your case to mediation before it goes to a hearing.
Another reason you might go to mediation is if your case has gone on for a long time. The Industrial Commission will want to see if mediation can help wrap up your case in a satisfactory way for both parties.
However, just because you are required to go to mediation doesn’t mean it has to end in any kind of agreement. The only requirement is that you are there — which means if you are uncomfortable with the compromise suggested in mediation, you don’t have to agree to it. If you do reach an agreement, it will be written up, and boths sides will be asked to sign it. Once that happens, the decision is final: there is no backing out.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that the objective of a mediation isn’t necessarily to settle your case. In many instances, you and your case might not be ready for settlement. But that doesn’t mean your mediation is a waste of time. You can still come to agreements on other things such as a change of physicians, approval of surgery, raising your weekly checks etc. These things will put you on a much faster route to settlement and ensure that you’re getting a settlement that’s fair to you.
Mediations may seem scary, but they aren’t! We’ve done thousands of them, and we’ll be happy to guide you through yours. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you.
How Many Hours Do I Need to Have Worked to Receive Social Security Disability?
Social Security can be a great help to injured workers in the United States. However, in order to qualify for these benefits, there are several requirements you’ll need to meet. One such requirement is to have worked a certain number of hours. Often, I have clients ask what those requirements are.
The first thing I tell them is that they need to make sure their disability meets the following:
- You are unable to do the work you did before
- Your work cannot be adjusted due to your injuries
- Your disability has or will have lasted one year or will result in death
If you meet these minimum requirements, the next step is to look at whether you’ve worked enough hours, recently enough, to qualify for Social Security Disability. This is determined through Social Security work credits.
Credits are based on your wages. In most cases you need 40 credits to qualify for SSD, and 20 of those credits need to have been earned in the last 10 years. It’s possible to earn up to 4 credits each year.
While this is an average, there are many factors to take into consideration. For instance, younger workers who become disabled often don’t need as many credits to qualify for SSD. That’s why it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney. We can help guide you through your case.
If you qualify for Social Security Disability, don’t hesitate to speak with someone about your case. At Oxner + Permar, we offer a free consultation to ensure you’re taking the next best steps with your case.
What Should I Do If I Lose a Loved One to a Faulty Drug or Medical Device?
The death of a loved one is never easy. What can make it worse is finding out that something that was supposed to help them ended up being the cause of death. Unfortunately, many people experience the loss of a loved one due to a faulty drug or medical device. When this happens, it can be difficult to know what to do next. You feel angry, frustrated, and helpless.
Taking legal action against the pharmaceutical company can be a good way to not only get justice for your loved one, but also help prevent future wrongful deaths. The first step in taking on a pharmaceutical company is to do a bit of research. Find out if anyone else has experienced a similar death or injury.
It’s possible that there’s already an ongoing mass tort against the company, in which case you could add your case. Even if it doesn’t seem like there are many other reports, it’s still possible to take the pharmaceutical company to court.
Also consider contacting an attorney. Attorneys who frequently deal with dangerous drugs will likely be aware of all on going cases that are similar to yours. They’ll be able to guide you as to what your next steps are. At Oxner + Permar, we offer free initial consultations so we’ll be happy to discuss your case and explore your options.
If you have lost a loved one to a faulty drug or medical device, don’t go it alone. Reach out to an experienced attorney who isn’t afraid to take on big pharmaceutical companies.
Can the Insurance Company Use My Social Media Accounts as Evidence?
After you’re injured at work, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not a photo you post on social media is going to damage your case. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. Defense attorneys know that most of us share every aspect of our lives online, so they will absolutely dig through any social media account they can find to gather evidence on why they shouldn’t pay you.
It can be hard to believe that the insurance companies would stoop this low, but one of our clients experienced it first hand. She had a 10-second video, shot by her child, of her hugging her spouse after returning from seeing her mother who was terminally ill.
The defense attorneys took that video and tore it apart for evidence. Soon they were asking questions such as “You seem to be moving okay, are you sure you’re hurt?” and “You seem to be carrying a bag, how much did it weigh?” These questions have the potential to save their client tons of money — which is why it’s important not to give them anything to work with in the first place.
This may feel like a huge invasion of privacy, but the truth is they don’t see it that way because you are volunteering this information. Regardless of whether or not your profile is public, there’s still a good chance an attorney will find it. That’s why the best course of action is to simply temporary disable your social media accounts while your case is ongoing.
Be cautious with your social media, and don’t volunteer information that could be construed as incriminating. If you have any questions about your case, contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.
Be Careful! Don’t Let Your Workers’ Comp Case Be Discredited
Unfortunately it’s become very common for insurance companies to attack your credibility in order to get out of paying for your workers’ comp benefits. They will try to persuade the court that you are lying about your injury so that they don’t have to pay.
There are many ways that an insurer might attack your credibility, but one of the most common is to look at the beginning of your case. Quite often they will do their best to point out any inconsistencies with the story of how your injury occurred.
They’ll compare your accident report with your doctor’s record and the recorded statement that the insurance company took from you. This is why it’s important to be consistent as possible when reporting your injury.
It’s impossible to know which details will be the ones that affect your case. So while it’s important to be thorough, it’s also important to be consistent. If you can get a copy of your reports, that will help you remember what you said in each. That way details won’t slip through the cracks.
One way to help you avoid pitfalls such as inconsistency is to work with an experienced attorney. If we get involved early, we can help you foresee any problems that might arise before they become major issues.
With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to help defend your rights. Don’t let an insurance company wrongly attack your credibility.