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Archive for November, 2017

What Information Does a Lawyer Need After a Work Injury?

work injuryIf you have been injured at work, it makes sense to hire a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you get the compensation to which you are entitled. However, what should one expect when they decide to call a work injury lawyer? Understanding the information a lawyer needs before making the call can lead to a better consultation and get more out of the typically free service law firms offer to their potential clients.

Employment Related Information

The first thing a lawyer will need is your employment information. This includes:

  • The company you were working for when you were injured along with your job title and the length of time employed prior to injury.
  • The state in which the company is located including where you do most of your work and which state in which you were hired.
  • As detailed information as possible on the duties and tasks required to perform the job in which you were hired to determine eligibility for compensation as a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Information on Wages

The amount of benefits offered to workers largely depends on the average weekly pay of a worker. Further, the marital status and number of children under the age of 18 can have an impact on a claim award. Have this information ready prior to calling a lawyer for the best idea of how successful your claim will be and what you can expect out of an award.

Accident or Incident Information

The accident itself can have an impact on what can be recovered in terms of compensation after an injury. Relevant information includes:

  • All available information about the injury such as where the injury happened, when the injury happened, and the details that led to the injury. For repetitive injuries, this can include when symptoms began and when it began impacting the ability to work.
  • Date in which your employer was notified of the injury along with whether notification was written or orally communicated.
  • Contact information for witnesses of the accident.

Information on Medical Attention Received

History of medical treatment has a bearing on how the claim will proceed. This information includes:

  • When and where medical attention was first received.
  • Timeline of medical treatment since the first visit.
  • Contact information for medical providers visited for the work injury.
  • How doctors were chosen for care and how referrals between doctors were handled.
  • Information on an independent medical exam, if applicable.

Other Information

Above is the minimal information a person should have on hand when contacting a lawyer. Having correspondence with the employer or insurance company such as if you have received weekly benefits, how medical care was paid for, outstanding medical bills, contact information of any insurance agents spoken to, and any offers that have already been made on the claim are helpful when applicable to the situation. Further, any information from before the accident such as previous injuries and illness or previous Workers’ Compensation or personal injury claims can be helpful.

The next step is finding the right lawyer for your case. Contact our team today for a free consultation on your claim.

Tips for Employers: Drug Testing After a Work Injury

work injuryWhen a worker is injured on the job, it’s difficult to be critical since they are in pain. However, having a drug test after a work injury can be crucial. While Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, a worker that was under the influence will not be eligible for the same benefits as an employee that was exercising proper behavior. In fact, a drug test could prevent a worker from collecting benefits at all.

Drug testing an employee is not always legal. This is because they are owed a certain amount of privacy. However, when an injury becomes involved, the legal stance changes a bit. In many cases, there is good reason to be suspicious, which is when it is legal to drug test an employee normally. In most cases, it can be difficult to prove there was good reason to be suspicious but having an accident that could have been avoided is one of the best ways to justify why an employee should be tested.

However, there should still be caution expressed, as illegally testing an employee will only cause worse issues when it comes to the work injury.

Written Policy

Hopefully, as an employer, you have considered the possibility of an injured worker prior to its happening. Additionally, it should be a consideration of how it will be handled if an intoxicated person comes to work even if they are not injured. The best thing a company can do is write a drug testing policy in their employee handbook, outlining reasoning for drug testing and having employees sign an acknowledgment of your policies.

Test Quickly

A drug test should happen as soon as possible after an injury. The quicker the test, the more accurate the results. After all, many drugs, such as alcohol, quickly dissipate and are difficult to prove. However, showing the person was above the acceptable BAC percentage an hour after the injury will be good evidence against the claim.

Use a Reputable Lab

If you use a lab that is not reputable, it will be argued during the claim. Don’t count on the employee not having legal representation, as many immediately seek a lawyer after being injured on the job.

Give Care Immediately

Regardless of the results of the test or if you are able to demand a test, medical care should be given as soon as possible. Even if the employee was heavily intoxicated, you still have a duty of care in ensuring they receive medical attention when necessary.

If you have been injured at work and your employer is trying to use evidence of intoxication against you, contact our team today. We understand both sides of defense and will use our experience to benefit you.

Tips to Avoid Desk Job Injuries at the Workplace

injuriesAs desk jobs become more popular as a type of occupation, injuries related to such jobs are increasing. It may sound unlikely an injury would incur while sitting behind a desk but sitting all day can have a negative impact on the body, especially considering approximately 80% of workers today work in a role that involves little or no physical activity. Straining the arms or sitting without proper support, along with fast typing, puts workers at a higher risk of injury than most consider.

Further, desk jobs heighten some risks for repetitive injuries. For instance, someone may develop carpal tunnel or other wrist-related injuries by continually using a keyboard every day, particularly if the keyboard is not ergonomic. While these types of injuries are not always avoidable, particularly when you have a predisposition toward development of certain conditions, there are some tips that can make your work environment much more comfortable.

Tips for a Pain-Free Desk Job

If you are beginning to feel the first signs of a work injury, or are concerned about aches and pains you have been feeling, consider the following tips to help take care of yourself at work.

  • Consider where your computer monitor is positioned. Is it straight in front of you or do you find yourself often move your head or bodily position to better view the screen? While turning your head may seem like a small motion, straining your neck each day throughout a full workday can lead to a larger issue down the line.
  • Is your keyboard starting to cause an issue in your wrist? When you type all day, having a flat surface on which to type is imperative. Otherwise, you will find yourself positioning your wrists in such a way that increases the likelihood of injury. If your wrists are often sore, consider a wrist brace or ergonomic keyboard to help give your wrists much needed support.
  • Take a look at the chair you sit in each day. Does it have enough back support? The most important part to have support is the lower back, which is also where many chairs fall flat. There are devices that can be attached to office chairs to give extra support, which could help your body strengthen over time.

If you already are seeing the signs of a work injury, contact our team today for a free consultation on your claim.

Post-Work Injury Checklist

work injuryWhen you are injured at work, it can be a time of many emotions. First, there is the concern over your health and safety. But second, there is the concern over what this means for your job and what actions need to be taken following an injury that happens in the workplace. While each state has its own regulations on how things are handled, and each company has its own set of policies, there are steps that can be taken in any jurisdiction or company following an accident.

Steps to Take After a Work Injury

Following a work injury, take the following precautions to ensure your rights are protected:

  • Seek Medical Care. This should always be the first step when you have been injured. Not only does your personal safety and health come first, but have documentation of your injury will help when filing a claim. Further, it looks suspicious when an injury is severe enough for a claim yet was not severe enough for immediate care.
  • Report to Your Employer. Whether you have a repetitive injury that has worsened over time or have been injured in an accident, your employer needs to know. Further, it needs to be made clear that the injury or damage has come as a result of the job. As soon as the injury becomes apparent, be sure to notify your supervisor, preferably in writing for documentation purposes.
  • Request an Incident Report. Your supervisor has an obligation to file a report of your injury. If they do not comply or simply forget to create the report, send a letter that states the facts about the injury and incident, then give that letter to your supervisor while keeping a copy for yourself.
  • Witness Reports. If anyone was a witness to the incident, be sure to get their contact information as their testimony could be needed for your claim, particularly if the company tries to counter.
  • Doctors Notes. If there are tasks you cannot complete under the order of a medical professional, have them document those limitations. Not only will this make it easier to communicate your limitations with your employer, it will give a factual basis for your claim.

If you have been injured on the job, you need legal representation to ensure a successful claim. Contact our team today for a free consultation on your case.