Tag Archives: Government

What To Do When You Get Hurt At Work

Posted on by

Today’s post comes from guest author Catherine Stanton, from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.

As an attorney who has practiced in the field of Workers’ Compensation for more than 28 years, I have seen many changes in how the system treats injured workers.  During this age of progressiveness in New York, when the minimum wage has increased and the requirement for paid sick leave has been implemented, it only stands to reason that injured workers would be treated with dignity during their quest to obtain monetary benefits for their lost time and obtain the medical treatment necessary during their recovery. 

Unfortunately, however, there has been a nationwide focus on Workers’ Compensation reform with the emphasis on cost savings, often at the expense of the injured worker.  New York State has followed along in this national trend; therefore, it is even more imperative to know what to do in the event of a work-related injury or illness.  Injured workers must notify their employer immediately – preferably in writing if possible – within 30 days and file their claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the date of an accident or onset of an illness.     

Additionally, finding the right doctor is one of the most important decisions you can make during this particularly rough time. After you are injured, you obviously must seek immediate medical attention before you do anything else. Don’t wait or assume your injury is going to heal, because if you are unable to work, benefits will not be payable until the date of the first medical treatment. You might need to go to the hospital if your injury is an emergency or life threatening, but in most cases you should be able to visit your physician. Either way, be sure you notify the medical professional that you are being treated for a work-related injury as any treatment should be billed through Workers’ Compensation.  It is important that your treating physician be coded to practice before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board because of the medical evidence necessary to proceed with a claim, the myriad of forms they are required to file, and the possibility of their testimony in the future.  

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has implemented medical treatment guidelines for injuries to the back, neck, shoulder, knees, and bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. Medical providers must comply with these guidelines in their treatment of injured workers, which have a number of treatments or tests that are preauthorized based upon certain findings. If the modality of treatment is not included in the guidelines, a variance may be requested. There are different forms for different requests and different timelines in which to file. A doctor not coded in Workers’ Compensation or inexperienced in this procedure could prevent you from receiving proper or timely treatment. 

Payments made for lost time are based upon the earnings of the injured worker, as well as the overall degree of disability. The degree of disability is based upon the medical evidence submitted by the injured worker’s treating doctor, as well as the opinion of the insurance company’s consultant. Many times these opinions are at odds and medical testimony is necessary so the law judge can make an informed decision. Doctors who are coded understand the procedure and the necessity of being available to testify on your behalf at these medical depositions. The insurance carrier will question the doctor on whether he or she is coded, which may impact the judge’s perception as to a doctor’s credibility regarding treatment guidelines, degree of disability, or earning capacity. Ultimately, the length of time and the amount of weekly benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive benefits once permanency is determined by a law judge is based on a finding of loss of earning capacity. In many cases, there can be a difference in years. 

Nothing is better than finding a doctor who is competent, empathetic, and an expert in his area of specialty, but finding one with all of these qualities who is also knowledgeable in Workers’ Compensation is invaluable. 

 

Catherine M. Stanton is a senior partner in the law firm of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP. She focuses on the area of Workers’ Compensation, having helped thousands of injured workers navigate a highly complex system and obtain all the benefits to which they were entitled. Ms. Stanton has been honored as a New York Super Lawyer, is the past president of the New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, the immediate past president of the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, and is an officer in several organizations dedicated to injured workers and their families. She can be reached at 800.692.3717.

 

  

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 Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injury and tagged , , .

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Labor Department

Posted on by

Today’s post was shared by the U.S. Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov

Happy belated 103rd birthday to the department that helps keep workers safe and paid fairly for their efforts on the job. The Labor Department includes 28 agencies like the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), which is of great interest to our lawyers and staff members, as we advocate for injured workers in Nebraska and Iowa.

The historical pictures in this post are quite enlightening, and it’s nice that some of the points have links for additional information about the people or situations featured. Have a safe and productive week.

In honor of the Labor Department’s 103rd birthday on March 4, here are some facts we bet you didn’t know.

  1. President William Howard Taft signed the Organic Act creating the U.S. Department of Labor literally during his last few hours in office on March 4, 1913. Taft signed reluctantly, figuring incoming President Woodrow Wilson would create the department anyway. Labor organizations and advocates had been pushing for a seat at the president’s table for decades.President-elect Wilson and President Taft were photographed at the White House just before Wilson's inauguration ceremony. Credit: Library of Congress.That same day, President-elect Wilson and President Taft were photographed at the White House just before Wilson’s inauguration ceremony. We’d love to know what was so funny. Credit: Library of Congress.
  2. During World War I, a War Labor Administration was created within the fledgling Labor Department to organize labor production. It was so effective that many New Deal programs and the World War II labor program were modeled after it.Patriotic art was commissioned to inspire workers to join wartime efforts, including this like this awesome painting by Gerrit A. Beneker – pictured here with his model.Patriotic art was commissioned to inspire workers to join wartime efforts, like this awesome painting by Gerrit A. Beneker – pictured here with his model.
  3. The first woman in the president’s Cabinet was Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of labor from 1933-1945. Among her accomplishments: the 40-hour workweek, Social Security and Unemployment Insurance.Frances Perkins at her desk wearing a tricorn hatPerkins’ signature look – a tricorn hat – was the result of this advice from her mother: “Never let yourself get a hat that is narrower…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

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 day care, Department of Labor, Ernest Wilkins, Frances Perkins, fun facts, justice, Martin Luther King Jr., War Labor Administration, women and tagged .

Oklahoma Work Comp Opt-Out System Under Legal Attack

Posted on by

Today’s article was shared by Jon L Gelman, who practices law in New Jersey, and the blog post comes from workers-compensation.blogspot.com. This article is a good example of how states can dramatically vary in how they treat injured workers and even businesses when it comes to workers’ compensation systems. The trend seems to be towards businesses (or their insurance companies) gaining cost savings through decreasing protections of workers, or at least adding hoops for workers to jump through and also doing blanket denials of needed care for a hurt worker. like in this article “Opting Out” of Worker’s Compensation Hurts Workers and Employers (Part 2).

However, in Oklahoma, where workers’ compensation is no longer mandatory for businesses, there is some pushback coming from a couple of state senators and a firefighters’ group. It will be interesting to see what happens next in that state. And the example of Oklahoma is a good reason why, if workers suspect they have a case that might include more than one state, it’s important to speak with an attorney to figure out those details so the workers’ compensation case can move forward in the jurisdiction that makes the most sense for the situation.

The recently enacted, and high innovated cost-savings opt-out program in Oklahoma workers’ compensation has come under direct legal attack as being unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, Sen. Harry Coates (R-Seminole) joined Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) and the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma in filing a challenge against the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1062, the workers’ compensation reform bill passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Fallin during the 2013 legislative session.

“As a longtime businessman, I recognize that it’s necessary to have workers’ compensation rates as low as possible. In fact, I believe we need a workers’ compensation administrative system, just not the unconstitutional and unworkable system created by Senate Bill 1062.

It’s wrong that a fire fighter or any other injured worker should have to pay back benefits after returning to work. This is just one of many problems with this new law.

Instead, I’d support a bill that would give Oklahoma an administrative system like that in Missouri, which is working very well only a few years after being approved by that legislature. Back in 2005 when Missouri went to an administrative system, The Oklahoman advised the Oklahoma legislature to adopt the Missouri workers’ compensation system. That was good advice!

In 2012, the often-quoted Oregon Study showed that while Oklahoma had the sixth highest workers’ compensation rates in the…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

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 Oklahoma, Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma, Rep. Emily Virgin, Sen. Harry Coates, Senate Bill 1062 and tagged , .