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Workers Compensation Law

Workers Compensation State Laws

Workers Compensation is a statutory body of law which differs from state to state.  Generally, if an employee is injured in the course and scope of employment, the employee will be entitled to wage loss benefits, related medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation assistance.  The amount and duration of these benefits vary according to the applicable state’s law.  The following is an overview of general workers compensation tenets.

The following is an overview of general workers compensation tenets.

I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

 

II. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS

 

III. TREATMENT

 

IV. FEDERAL WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Federal Workers’ Compensation law and benefits are completely different than most state programs. Federal Workers’ Compensation law governs employees of the federal government. This would include IRS employees, postal workers and any other employees of the federal government.

The rule of thumb from a chiropractic perspective when treating an injured federal employee, is to bill and treat them exactly as you would a Medicare patient

V. COMBINATION WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND AUTO ACCIDENT CASE

Work comp/auto combo claims present some complications to the treating doctor. When an individual is injured in an automobile accident while in the course and scope of employment, the bill should initially be sent to the work comp carrier, which is the primary insurer. When the work comp carrier denies the bill and as long as the issue has not been subject of workers compensation litigation, then secondary carriers may be billed.

The only other complication that a combination workers’ compensation and automobile accident claim can present is confusion when the attorney for the injured employee is litigating both cases at the same time. Often the attorney representing the injured employee will have two cases for which they represent the injured employee. One is the workers’ compensation case, which consists of permanency, wage loss and treatment benefits. The other case is a claim against the negligent driver’s automobile liability policy. This would be for recovery of pain and suffering and permanency benefits. Any confusion that may exist can easily be overcome, as long as the clinic understands that there are two cases pending regarding the same accident.

VI. ATTORNEY

When Should an Injured Employee Consult an Attorney?

Many states have developed systems designed to allow injured employees to litigate disputed claims without the need for an attorney. Certainly it is every injured employee’s right to appear “Pro Se.”  However, Workers’ Compensation law remains one of the most complicated areas of the legal system and legal assistance is often required.

An injured employee should receive competent legal advice if one of the following things occurs:

  1. The injured employee is not certain about the rights and benefits of workers’ compensation.
  2. If the Employer/Insurer is misinforming the injured employee.
  3. If the injured employee has received a severe injury with the need for prolonged treatment, wage loss benefits, and/or vocational rehabilitation benefits.
  4. If the injured employee has been denied a workers’ compensation benefit.

Many injured employees are concerned whether they can afford an attorney. Nearly all workers’ compensation attorneys will provide a free consultation to an injured employee. Information will be compiled by the attorney and a recommendation will be made on whether or not to retain legal counsel.

If you would like to discuss in confidence how we can help you make a workers’ compensation claim, contact Crabtree Health Law P.A. today at (651) 351-1400, (800) between 8am-5pm CST, M-F.