Getting a Second Opinion
When something as important as your workers’ compensation benefits is based on the evaluation of one doctor, we understand the desire of many of our clients to get a second opinion. It can give you the security and peace of mind to know that you’re receiving workman’s comp benefits and work restrictions that are most appropriate for you and your recovery. So after a work injury, is it possible to receive an evaluation from a second doctor to assess your case?
The good news is: in most cases, yes! In South Carolina everyone is permitted to ask for a second opinion, and in most cases, the Commission finds these requests reasonable. More often than not, insurance companies are willing to work with us to get you a second opinion without the hassle of litigation.
Of course your insurance company is going to want some say in which doctor you choose to give you a second opinion. However, we have experience working with insurance companies to help pick a physician that is agreeable not only to them, but you as well.
When it comes to your care, it’s best to have as many people on your side as possible. Whether it’s your doctors or your attorney, it’s good to know that your worker’s compensation benefits are fair and that your work restrictions are fair. At Oxner + Permar we’re passionate about ensuring that our clients are given the best tools to make their recovery process as easy as possible.
Never hesitate to ask for a second opinion when it comes to your work injury. Insurance companies are often willing to work with us to make sure your health evaluation is as accurate as possible. For more frequently asked questions be sure to visit our FAQ page.
Join Us for the 9th Annual Run, Walk and Roll for Rehab—and Help People Reclaim Their Lives!
Oxner + Permar believes in taking care of injured workers and their families—and our support reaches far beyond the courtroom. One way we help those injured on the job is to sponsor community support services like those offered to adults and children whose lives have been altered by serious injury or disease. Oxner + Permar is a proud “Gold Level” supporter of Vidant Health Rehabilitation Service’s Rehab Road Race. The Run, Walk and Roll for Rehab 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will be held on September 24, 2016, and we hope you’ll join us for this fun and touching event.
In addition to raising critical funds, this Run, Walk and Roll for Rehab promotes outdoor recreation for people of all levels of physical abilities with a course that accommodates racing wheelchairs, sport chairs and hand-crank bicycles. The net proceeds benefit important programs and services for patients. For example, donations from previous races have been used to further expand Vidant’s specialty equipment that helps improve muscle strength and balance, and promotes independence in daily living. Such equipment and services enables Vidant to fulfill their mission of helping people reclaim their lives.
The team at Oxner + Permar is passionate about helping injured workers make a recovery after an injury. Please consider sponsoring and/or registering for the Run, Walk and Roll event. Support from community members and sponsors is essential. Contact Kathy Garren, Chair of Rehab Road Race Committee, at 252-847-0207 for additional information.
Together, we can make an incredible difference in the lives of countless patients and families who depend on Vidant Health Rehabilitation Services. Hope to see you on the course in September!
Join the team at Oxner + Permar in making a difference in the lives of injured workers. Register for the Run, Walk and Roll event in September for a fun way to make a big impact!
Don’t Let Your Insurance Company Control Your Care
Unfortunately, insurance companies nowadays often intimidate injured workers by reminding them that they—not you—have the “right to direct medical care.” In other words, your employer and the health insurance company on their plan have the power to decide which physician you should see.
To some extent, this is true, but there are exceptions. Keep in mind that in some circumstances employees can select the physician of his or her choice. You just need the right attorney to help you navigate the workers’ compensation process and understand what those exceptions are. If you’ve been injured on the job and need to see a physician, here are a few key points to consider:
Your insurance company is not your physician. Don’t empower them; empower yourself and your doctor. After all, you know best about your injury, and your doctor knows how to help you get better. He or she is the one who went to medical school, received the proper training, and understands the practice of medicine. Not your insurance company.
You have a right to the best medical care. If your doctor believes certain treatment is appropriate for you and the workman’s comp insurance company is refusing to pay, you and your doctor need to fight for the proper course of treatment.
Team up with your doctor to fight for your rights. Have your doctor detail in writing why he or she feels you need a particular treatment. Your attorney can then use this documentation to file a motion with the Industrial Commission, seeking approval for the recommended care.
Don’t allow yourself or your physician to get frustrated and give up. If the care you need is not being authorized or is being denied by an internal utilization review conducted in-house at the insurance company, keep fighting. Your health is worth the fight!
Oxner + Permar has won case after case in which it seemed that the employee was going to be bullied by the insurance company. We don’t let that happen. In workers’ compensation cases, we care about the employee who has been hurt on the job, and we know how to make sure that their rights are protected. And insurance companies know our reputation—as attorneys who don’t give up until they get the care that they deserve.
Kids Chance of North Carolina—College Scholarships for Families Who’ve Experienced Catastrophic Work Injuries
When a person is injured at work, the impact to the worker is huge, but the effects it can have on the family can be just as devastating. The income that you expected to earn is compromised, often making it difficult to pay rent and bills and to fund retirement and college savings. The financial loss to the family simply isn’t well compensated in the Workers’ Compensation system. This is particularly true for catastrophic injury and death cases in which the victims are unlikely to ever work again.
It is devastating to have your dreams and goals derailed by an injury. It is ten times worse when you feel your injury is hurting the future of your children. That’s why Oxner + Permar supports Kids’ Chance, a charitable organization offering college scholarships to the children of workers who were killed or catastrophically injured at work. As attorneys who care deeply about our clients’ well-being, we want to do everything we can to get the word out there about this important charity—especially because workers who suffer these types of injuries (and their families) have so many other things weighing on their minds.
If you know of a family who might qualify for a Kids’ Chance scholarship, please join us in spreading the word so that we can help as many people as possible through this wonderful charity. As a member of the board for Kids’ Chance of NC, Oxner + Permar is committed to getting the applications into the hands of those who need them. Please visit the Kids’ Chance website for more details.
Hezekiah Hardee’s father was seriously injured on the job, but through Kids’ Chance of NC, Hezekiah was able to earn a scholarship that made his dreams of attending college come true. Read his story
When you’ve been fired or laid off, you may (incorrectly) assume that you’re entitled to unemployment benefits. You’re shocked when the claim you submit to the Employment Security Commission is denied. How can that be? Your former employer has the right to block your benefits if you were fired with cause — if, for example, you ignored multiple performance warnings. Timing is everything when trying to obtain unemployment benefits. Generally you should file for benefits within the first week after any severance pay, vacation pay and/or separation pay are exhausted. BUT, if you have an active or pending workers’ comp claim when you are terminated, then see the blog below on that subject. That could change everything! Remember, if you want to file for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work and be available for work.
If you have filed for unemployment and have been denied, you have only 15 days to appeal the decision! That’s not a lot of time. If you’d like the help of an experienced attorney, you need to call us as soon as you can. We’ll try our best to stop the battle and get your unemployment compensation rolling along — or perhaps find a compromise with your former employer that will get you at least a partial benefit, depending on the circumstances. You can find further information about filing for unemployment benefits on the NC Employment Security Commission’s website.
This article was written by Todd P. Oxner