Category Archives: Nebraska

Brain Injury Association of Nebraska Advocates, Educates through Upcoming Conference

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BIANE_LogoBrain injury is caused by trauma, and it causes lifelong problems to which victims and their loved ones must adapt.

Our firm and our senior member, Rod Rehm, has represented victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) since the early ’80s. Obtaining recognized evidence concerning most TBIs has been made much easier by associations such as the Brain Injury Association of Nebraska (BIA-NE).

This group of victims and their families have worked tirelessly to inform and educate the public and our lawmakers about TBI. BIA-NE has been a strong and effective advocate for victims and their families. There are a lot of really interesting and helpful resources on the website. In addition, the group hosts events that offer information and support, including an upcoming conference in Kearney from March 31 through April 1. The registration deadline is Friday, March 25, so please register for the conference through this link.

Organizers suggest the following people should consider attending this conference, according to the website:

  • “People with Brain Injuries
  • Family Members/Caregivers
  • Health Care Professionals (See For Professionals)
  • State Agency Personnel
  • Educators who work with brain injury or special needs children.
  • Law Enforcement Personnel
  • Anyone interested in issues and trends in brain injury”

In addition to the upcoming conference, BIA-NE also holds events that focus on supporting veterans and their caregivers.

TBI victims now face more accepting judges, juries and insurance companies as they seek proper treatment and compensation thanks to this inspiring advocacy.

Rehm, Bennett and Moore is proud that Rod Rehm has been designated as a Recognized Brain Injury Attorney by the Brain Injury Association of Nebraska.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Health, mental health, Nebraska, Safety violations, Workplace Injury, Workplace Safety and tagged , , , .

Workers’ Compensation and Child Support in Nebraska

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Doing_the_best_she_canWhat happens when you are injured at work, but you also pay child support? In Nebraska, generally, there cannot be liens against workers’ compensation benefits. However, Nebraska Revised Statute 48-149 provides for one of those rare instances where a lien may be instituted against workers’ compensation benefits for child support orders. In other words, if you have a Nebraska child support order, it is likely that any child support that is due may be garnished from your workers’ compensation benefit checks or from a workers’ compensation settlement.

If there is an out-of-state child support order, however, the order must first be transferred to the Nebraska courts or to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services before a child support order may attach as a lien to Nebraska workers’ compensation benefits. In order to do that, there are certain procedures that must be followed for a proper transfer of a child support order to Nebraska courts. Often, these procedures are not followed by other states and therefore, there is not be a proper lien against Nebraska workers’ compensation benefits to be garnished. If the out-of-state child support order was properly transferred though, the order will be treated the same as a Nebraska child support order, and workers’ compensation benefits may be garnished to pay said child support.

Regardless of where a child support order is located, it is absolutely imperative that you inform your lawyer about any child support that you owe so your lawyer is able to help you navigate through your workers’ compensation claim and child support concerns.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Nebraska, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , , , .

Pregnant Workers Should Get Workers’ Compensation If They Have a Claim

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pregnany at wrokA new law went into effect during 2015 in Nebraska that requires employers of 15 or more employees to accommodate pregnant workers on the job. This is a significant change that affects working women by expanding workplace protections for those who become pregnant.

Nebraska’s protections for pregnant employees go beyond even the standards for pregnancy discrimination under federal law. The new law also protects women with post-childbirth medical conditions and women who choose to breastfeed or pump.

This law means that pregnant women in Nebraska will be able stay on the job longer and will have an easier time returning to work.

This accommodation includes obtaining “equipment for sitting, more frequent or longer breaks, periodic rest, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring, light-duty assignments, modified work schedules, temporary transfers to less strenuous or hazardous work, time off to recover from childbirth, or break time and appropriate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing breastmilk.” Nebraska Revised Statute 48-1102 (11)

These changes outlaw discrimination against a pregnant woman with respect to hiring, advancement, discharge, training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. These protections extend to a pregnant employee before, during and after a pregnancy.

Unfortunately, pregnancy doesn’t mean that women can avoid work injuries, especially in female-dominated fields like nursing and human-services support. Sometimes employers and/or insurers will attempt to use the excuse that since an employee is going to be out because of pregnancy that they do not have to pay temporary disability benefits to an injured worker who is suffering from a work injury.

But when an occupational or work injury and a non-occupational injury, combine to cause disability, employers still have to pay those disability benefits. Nebraska’s new law on pregnancy doesn’t change that fact. If anything, smart and ethical employers will attempt to accommodate injured pregnant employees in legitimate light-duty jobs so they do not have to pay disability benefits.

In addition, when a pregnant employee is injured on the job and is receiving workers’ compensation benefits and later is ordered by her physician not to perform certain work activities or is in need of bed rest due to the pregnancy, an injured and pregnant employee’s workers’ compensation benefits cannot be reduced or suspended on account of the pregnancy in both Nebraska and Iowa.

However, not all employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers understand or follow the law. If you are injured and not receiving workers’ compensation benefits because your employer says that they could accommodate your job but for you being pregnant, you need to call a firm that handles both discrimination and workers’ compensation law. You should also call an employment lawyer if you are pregnant and being forced to take unpaid leave rather than having your job duties modified or changed.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Employment, employment law, Health, Nebraska, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , .

Thanksgiving Thoughts: Appreciating Workers and Stores Closed on Holiday

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thanksgiving.jpegWhat are your plans later in the week? Will you gather with family, friends, and loved ones? And do you plan to go shopping? Or do you have to work and just hope, like many truck drivers, that you’ll get a warm meal that may or may not involve turkey on Thursday?

I want to thank everyone who doesn’t have a choice in the matter and who will be working on Thursday, including first responders, health care workers, truckers and retail workers. I also want to provide a few links to online articles I found that list stores that have chosen to be closed on Thanksgiving so these employees can be with their loved ones, whether friends or family. Each list is slightly different, and I realize that there are different stores in Iowa and Nebraska, too, so that’s why there are three links.

In addition, if you plan to do some shopping on Black Friday, please take note of this OSHA FactSheet resource regarding crowd management safety guidelines from the U.S. Labor Department’s Twitter feed.

Also note that the offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore and Trucker Lawyers will close at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27, for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be open again at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30.

We are thankful for so much. At this time of reflection, we are especially thankful for family, friends, and the opportunity to advocate for clients who make our work worthwhile. Happy Thanksgiving!

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Employment, employment law, Holiday, Iowa, Nebraska, OSHA and tagged , , , .

Workers’ Compensation Basics: Trials

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judgeIf your workers’ compensation claim has been denied or if there are any disputes involving your workers’ compensation claim, your lawyer may file a Petition with the Workers’ Compensation Court. This Petition is a lawsuit against your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, seeking benefits to which you are entitled but are not properly being paid.

Once a Petition has been filed, the case will be assigned to one of the seven workers’ compensation judges in Nebraska. Then, the case will eventually be given a trial date; this date is usually less than a year after the petition is filed (nine months is a good estimate).

The trial will then be held in the county where the accident occurred. If the accident occurred out of state, then the trial will be held in Lincoln. However, the parties may agree to have the trial anywhere within the state if another location is more convenient for those involved. In situations where it may be difficult for a witness or party to attend trial in person, the parties may agree to conduct the trial via videoconference with the judge.

When it comes time for trial, the judge assigned to the case will hear all of the evidence (including the testimony from all witnesses). The trial usually takes about a half day or sometimes a whole day, depending on the number of witnesses. Rarely do workers’ compensation trials go beyond one day. After the trial has concluded, the judge will issue a decision in approximately one to six months. At times, however, issuing the decision can take even longer than six months on more complicated cases. The decision will be either an Order of Dismissal of the case or an Award of Benefits for the case. In either instance, any issues that were presented at trial will have been addressed by the Court in the decision, which is a final order. Although the decision is final, either party may choose to appeal the decision to the Nebraska Court of Appeals and/or eventually to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Today’s blog post is a part of a continuing series that explores the basics of workers’ compensation. Please read the previous blog posts in the series by clicking on these links, and be sure to consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer with questions:

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Nebraska, Trial, Workers' Comp Basics, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , , , .

Worker Safety Should Be Profitable

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A safer workplace can result in cost savings like not being fined by OSHA.

Can a focus on worker safety be more profitable to a company in the long run? I believe it can. 

A safer workplace can result in cost savings like not being fined by OSHA or have to take the time and energy for employees to defend a business against an OSHA investigation. In addition, it makes economic sense to have healthy employees who aren’t injured, resulting in fewer workers’ compensation claims. Workers will also feel more confident in going to work where an employer has a focus on safety instead of having an employer that doesn’t have proper machine guards in place or uses some of the tactics found in this investigation.

OSHA recently reported a news release about a Norfolk, Nebraska, company named MP Global Products, LLP, which allegedly has problems providing a safe workplace.

A tragic workplace incident in March prompted the OSHA investigation when a temporary employee endured his fingers being amputated while working. The investigation itself led to additional safety issues, resulting in “two willful, 22 serious and one other-than-serious safety violations carrying proposed penalties of $244,000,” according to the news release. The company also ended up in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program as a result of the inspection.

“A Norfolk flooring materials company tried to hide hazardous machines from federal inspectors and threatened to fire employees who complained about unsafe working conditions during an investigation into why a 65-year-old temporary worker suffered the amputation of one finger and severe damage to another when his left hand was caught as he operated a machine. 

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found the man’s employer, MP Global Products LLC, attempted to conceal an entire production line from them. Inspectors found numerous machines lacked safety guards that exposed workers to amputation injuries on that line and throughout the facility. Workers also told investigators the company threatened to fire those who told inspectors about their safety concerns.”

Here’s another version of the same incident. This time the article was reported on an insurance-industry website.

“MP Global shut down an entire production line, turned the lights off and herded employees into the back room where they were instructed to remain quiet during OSHA’s inspection. This was a willful attempt to prevent inspectors from discovering numerous machine safety violations in the plant,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Knowingly requiring workers to operate unsafe machinery and threatening their jobs for reporting unsafe work practices are illegal and shameful activities. MP Global needs to immediately correct the multiple machine hazards in its facility.”

In this case, a worker’s injury was the catalyst for the OSHA investigation and inspection. Manufacturers may not follow safety protocols to maximize profits, but that profit is often at the worker’s expense, resulting in safety problems and even worker injuries. It is frustrating and just plain wrong when profits are being valued above worker safety, in addition to this example where employers threatened workers’ jobs for wanting a safe environment and reporting concerns.

I hope that this business now understands the importance of a safe workplace that benefits both employees and profits. 

“To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Omaha Area Office at 402-553-0171,” according to the OSHA news release.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in fines, Money, Nebraska, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, violations and tagged .

Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding the Injured Worker’s Right to Medical Care

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choose-a-family-doctorHere’s the next installment in the series that looks at the basics of workers’ compensation.

Under the Nebraska workers’ compensation laws, you may have the right to choose a family doctor to treat you for your work-related injury.

You may choose a doctor who has treated you or an immediate family member before this injury happened.

Immediate family members are your spouse, children, parents, stepchildren and stepparents. The doctor you choose must have records to show that past treatment was provided.

If you want to choose your doctor, you must tell your employer the name of the doctor you choose.  You need to do this as soon as is practical after the accident or as soon as your employer gives you the notice of the right to choose your family physician to treat you for your work injury form.

If you are in need of immediate medical attention and or emergency medical care, you have the right to obtain care immediately.

If you, or your family, do not have a family physician, then your employer has the right to choose the doctor to treat you.

However, if your workers’ compensation claim is denied for any reason, you have the right to choose any doctor to treat you for your injury.

Any time you are faced with a major surgery recommendation for your injury, you have the right to choose the surgeon to do the surgery.  You can choose any surgeon.

If you have any questions about your medical rights please feel free to contact us.

Read the previous blog posts in the workers’ compensation basics series by clicking on these links:

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Doctor, Doctor Choice, Nebraska, Workers' Comp Basics, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , .

Ranked No. 44: As ‘Nice’ as it Gets for Women in Nebraska?

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Nebraska recently changed its tourism brand from the stalwart of “Nebraska … the good life” to “Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice.” However, the wage gap for women in this state is neither nice nor contributing to “the good life” for women and their loved ones in this state.

In all but three of Nebraska’s 93 counties, the percentage of women between ages 25 to 54 who work is well above the United States’ national average, according to an American Community Survey featured recently in an article in The New York Times by Gregor Aisch, Josh Katz and David Leonhardt. This is positive information, particularly when you take into account that places with low levels of female employment have a lot of overlap with high-poverty geographical areas of the United States. 

I was initially encouraged by these numbers. It’s definitely a good thing to have high employment in our state. It’s no secret that Nebraskans can appreciate hard work. That must be part of what they are talking about when they said “the good life.”

However, this encouragement waned considerably when I also noted that a study from the National Women’s Law Center using 2013 data found that Nebraska (again, among the states with the highest percentages of working women in the entire nation) is also ranked as number 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., for wage gaps between median male and female earnings.  Forty-four. That puts our great state in the top ten worst states for this disparity. The data showed that full-time, year-round working women in Nebraska are paid, on average, 74.1 cents per every male-earned dollar. This is compared to the national average of 78.3 cents and the No. 1 spot, Washington, D.C., at 91.3 cents.     

Nebraska is saturated with hard-working women, so why do women’s wages appear to not reflect this? Why are Nebraska’s working women earning nearly $1,000 less per month than Nebraska’s working men? Why do Nebraska’s working women have to work more than 16 months to earn what Nebraska’s working men earn in 12 months? It doesn’t seem fair that states with fewer women out working for a living actually rank higher.

To be clear, these numbers do not necessarily show that women in Nebraska are systematically paid less for the same work as men (although this is certainly a nationwide issue). This is not the situation the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was necessarily designed to address. The EPA prohibits wage discrimination “between employees on the basis of sex … for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.” 29 U.S.C. §206(d)(1). The numbers in this study are based on median earnings for full-time year-round workers, regardless of occupation.

Even so, again, the percentage of female workers in Nebraska is well above the national average. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women in America make up nearly half the workforce. In 4 out of 10 families, they are the equal, if not main, earner. They are now more educated than men, earning more college and graduate degrees. The many reasons we may present to explain why women earn less apply in every state, not just Nebraska. Yet, here we are, living “the good life” at number 44. And that reality isn’t very “nice” in Nebraska or anywhere else. 

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Government, Legislation, Nebraska and tagged , , , .