Many injured workers on workers’ compensation do not plan for getting fired or laid off from their jobs. An employer may have fired them in retaliation for seeking workers’ compensation benefits (which is against the law), or they may have been fired for reasons unrelated to their workers’ compensation claim. Layoffs are often due to unforeseen economic downturns or budget cuts.
People in this situation may be concerned about the future of their workers’ compensation benefits and should seek advice from a workers’ compensation attorney in Oregon.
A workers’ compensation attorney would advise that typically if someone was already receiving benefits when they were fired or laid off, they should continue to receive them if they were injured while working and approved for benefits while still in the job. However, if the person was fired for cause, such as a disciplinary issue, he or she may lose the benefits. A person may also lose benefits if their doctor determined they were fully recovered before being fired. This is because, even if the person was not fired, the benefits would likely have stopped anyway.
A workers’ compensation attorney would also confirm that even if a layoff coincides with the employer going out of business or filing for bankruptcy, this event should not affect someone’s benefits, as they are paid by the former employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. That said, if the insurance company begins having financial troubles, it is possible a person may stop receiving benefits as a result.
Most occupations require workers to perform repetitive tasks. Whether it’s typing on a keyboard or operating large machinery, many jobs can be physically limiting. Repeating your actions or holding yourself in a particular position for hours at a time has been known to take a toll on physical health. These types of work-related injuries in Oregon are more common than most people think.
What Ergonomics Are
Adjusting the work environment and conditions to reduce the physical stress and strain on an employee is considered applying ergonomics. Typically, jobs requiring individuals to remain in static positions or using repeated motions have the greatest risk factor for ergonomic work-related injuries. Assessing the environment and adjusting workspaces can often make a significant difference to the employee’s everyday experience.
Changing the Way We Work
Most companies today provide an ergonomic assessment for their employees. From something as simple as an anti-fatigue mat to changing a desk’s configuration, ergonomics can increase worker morale and preclude worker’s compensation claims and absences.
If you feel you’re working in an environment that could benefit from an ergonomic assessment, talk to your employer. Chances are they’d prefer to provide an accommodating solution than risk downtime and reduced productivity due to work-related injuries.
When you need to file for a workers’ compensation claim, several mistakes can slow the process or even cause the claim to be denied.
Don’t Handle Your Claim Alone
One of your first calls should be to a workers’ compensation attorney in Oregon to assist with your claim. They know the system and can provide guidance and advice to expedite your claim.
Not Keeping Accurate Records
Detailed and accurate records can make or break your case. Be sure to keep track of time missed at work due to the injury in addition to any medical expenses incurred. Your records can help ensure you are paid the correct amount of compensation.
Failing To Record the Injury
Immediately report a work injury to your supervisor and make sure they document it. Failure to do so or a delay in reporting can make it more challenging to get the claim approved.
Not Seeking Treatment
Even if you think the injury will not affect your day-to-day life, obtaining a medical record of the incident is vital. Documenting the history of treatment and expenses also means you have a medical professional’s opinion on your side.
Your workplace injury could not only affect your ability to do your job, but it could also affect your future health. Don’t take chances; talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected as an employee.
When someone mentions a workplace injury, it’s likely that you picture a gruesome or dramatic injury. While these intense and sudden injuries are certainly a possibility, there’s another type of injury that is easier to forget about it. Take a minute to learn about repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) and how they relate to workers’ compensation in Portland, OR.
The Signs of RSIs
RSIs are a result of the cumulative effects of a repetitive posture or motion required on the job. This includes hunching over a desk, scanning groceries, lifting power equipment, and everything in between. Some common conditions related to repeated stress include carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and rotator cuff syndrome. Common symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, reduced motion, and more.
Who’s At Risk?
There’s no one industry or vertical that’s most at risk for an RSI. If you complete similar tasks every day, you’re potentially at risk. That’s why it’s important to understand your compensation rights.
What Should You Do?
The first step is to pay attention. If you believe an ache or pain is related to something you do at work, be sure to notify your employer right away. Waiting to see if the problem will improve (i.e., “toughing it out”) is never the right option, as it can lead to more serious injuries. Additionally, your claim can be rejected if you wait too long. Because workers’ compensation in Portland, OR, is unique to our state, it’s best to contact a local attorney who can clarify the RSI rules for you and help you submit a successful claim.
If you’re hurt on the job, you deserve to be compensated. However, many employees forego the workers’ compensation process, believing that it will create more trouble than it’s worth. Take a minute to learn about some common preconceived notions that are simply incorrect. Instead, you’ll find the truth about workers’ compensation benefits in Oregon.
The First Myth: It’s Discretionary
Many employee benefits are non-mandatory, including retirement plans, vacation allotments, and tuition reimbursements. But you’ll notice that workers’ compensation isn’t on this list. That’s because it’s not optional. Your employer is required by law to provide these benefits.
The Second Myth: It’s Fault-Based
Some workers believe that they won’t receive any compensation for injuries that they cause themselves. It’s important to remember that this is a myth—even if your injury was due to your own inexperience or inattentiveness. If you receive injuries during work hours, you have a case for workers’ compensation. Keep in mind, however, that this does not apply to incidents related to drug or alcohol use.
The Third Myth: It’s Grounds For Dismissal
If your boss attempts to let you go after you seek workers’ compensation benefits in Oregon, it’s crucial to consult a lawyer right away. This is an act of retaliation, and there are significant penalties for employers who engage in such a practice.
Reach out to the attorneys at Mark Thesing Inc. to learn more about workers’ compensation.
When an injury leaves you unable to resume your previous employment duties, vocational rehabilitation is available to help you. Vocational rehabilitation refers to the various services that assist people with returning to suitable employment after they are medically cleared to work.
These services include vocational assessments, new skills training, refresher courses, career counseling, employment searches, and more to help injured individuals find work that suits their ability.
Mark Thesing Inc. is available to consult with you when you need to discuss vocational rehabilitation in Oregon. There are resources you can use for vocational rehabilitation based on your circumstances, and we will give you the advice you need.
As vocational rehabilitation relates to your workers’ compensation claim, there are important things to keep in mind. While workers’ compensation covers tuition for skills training and lost time, it does not guarantee that you will be placed in new employment. Also, if you have accepted a lump sum settlement, workers’ compensation will not cover your vocational rehabilitation.
If you need legal advice regarding your case, our attorney is happy to speak with you. Our law firm is on the side of individuals who have been injured in the workplace.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, Mark Thesing Inc. is here to review your options with you. Our workers’ compensation attorney in Oregon will carefully review your claim and advise you on how you can proceed in your particular case. When you feel your claim was unfairly closed, you have up to 60 days to appeal the decision from the date of the Notice of Closure’s mailing date.
There are a number of grounds on which you can appeal the closure of your claim. These include when your claim was incorrectly closed before it should have been, your temporary disability benefits were for an insufficient duration, your condition was medically stationary, your permanent disability award is not an adequate amount, and other situations.
Your appeal opens the reconsideration process, which is your last chance to submit new information and documentation supporting your reasons for the appeal. Make sure you have all necessary medical and employer documents that pertain to your case.
Remember, your final Order of Reconsideration may increase, reduce, or maintain your benefit amounts depending on your situation and the documentation you provide. If, however, you still disagree with the reconsideration, you can request a hearing with the Hearings Division of the Workers’ Compensation Board within 30 days of the order. If you need further information, our workers’ compensation attorney is here for you.
Serious job-related injuries can have a lasting impact on individuals. If you have sustained a severe injury that prohibits you from working, you may qualify for permanent disability in Oregon. In many cases, whether or not an individual qualifies for permanent disability will take some time to determine. The first step, though, is to seek medical attention and file your Workers’ Compensation claim through your employer.
Individuals who are eligible for Workers’ Comp will first receive temporary disability benefits while undergoing treatment by a doctor. Consideration for permanent disability does not begin until the doctor determines that an individual’s condition will not significantly improve with further treatment and that the workplace-related injury has left that individual with a permanent impairment.
The amount of time this process takes will vary from case to case. In some instances, insurance companies will award individuals total permanent disability benefits, while others will be eligible for partial disability payouts. If you require legal advice or assistance with your disability claim, Mark Thesing Inc. is here to schedule a consultation. Our law firm provides aggressive representation to help clients secure the compensation that they need.
Workers’ Compensation limits employer liability in Oregon by granting claimants benefits for lost pay, medical expenses, and other costs without having to prove that the employer is at fault. This no-fault system means that the employer cannot be taken to a jury trial, and benefits cannot cover the adverse effects of an injury to the employee’s life outside of work. In many instances, especially in cases of minor injuries without serious, long-term complications, this system protects both the employer and the employee.
However, there is an important exception to this rule. Until 2001, employers could not be sued in court even if they had denied an employee’s Workers’ Compensation claim. The Oregon Supreme Court decided in Smothers v. Gresham Transfer that individuals whose employer had denied their due coverage may take up the matter in the courtroom. In 2017, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot deny additional claims for the later effects of injuries that resulted from the same workplace incident.
If you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. When your initial claim is denied, or your later claim is denied for effects that developed later, you need to consult with an experienced attorney. Mark Thesing Inc. is here to discuss employer liability and defend your rights.
Worker’s compensation is paid by an employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. If you, as an employee, become sick or are injured at work as a result of your job, you may be eligible to file a worker’s compensation claim. Some workers may worry that, depending on who is at fault, they may or may not be covered, but who is at fault is not necessarily as crucial as to whether your situation has occurred due to your work. It’s always best to consult a workers’ compensation attorney in Oregon.
What Every Employee Should Know
Most workers don’t think twice when they accept their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance payments, but they should. When an employee is injured at his or her workplace and has accepted the worker’s compensation insurance, they no longer have a right to sue their employer. In times past, before worker’s compensation insurance, people could not afford to sue their employers. A workers’ compensation attorney will tell you that this led to a law requiring every employer to provide worker’s compensation insurance to provide for lost wages and medical care for employees and protect employers from being continually sued. In most cases accepting your employer’s worker’s comp insurance is the best choice, as it protects everyone.