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Mesothelioma - The Workers' Comp Blog

 

Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of awareness brought to us about something called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is more than just a word in a commercial. It is actually a severe form of cancer for which treatments are available but as of now, a cure is not known. Unfortunately, many people have been exposed to factors which can cause mesothelioma. Although there are other factors such as genetic and other health issues, the main known cause of mesothelioma is an exposure to asbestos.

 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for decades to create everything from flooring boards to roofing shingles. It was commonly used in insulation for many years and as such many people have been exposed to it. People who used to work in construction, mines, shipyards, and even those who worked in buildings that had asbestos in the materials used to make them are at a much higher risk of developing mesothelioma. However, it is also worth mentioning that mesothelioma can be a genetic disorder, so if you are diagnosed with it you may not have been exposed to large levels of asbestos. Different people develop mesothelioma after being exposed to varying levels of asbestos, so there are other factors at play that you need to discuss with your doctor first.

 

There are many different symptoms to mesothelioma due to the fact that there are different forms of the cancer. Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, painful coughing, pain under the rib cage, abdominal swelling, unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest or stomach, unexplained weight loss, and more. It is always important to report any concerning symptoms to your doctor right away, especially if you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos. Remember that it can take decades for mesothelioma to develop after your exposure, so there may always be a chance that your disease was work related.

 

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you believe it may be due to a job, then call Collier today for your free consultation. No one should have to go through a diagnosis like this alone and we know how financially catastrophic the treatment can be. Get in contact with us and we will do everything possible to help you through every step of your possible workers compensation.

 

Workers Compensation and Private Investigators – How to Protect Yourself

Very often with workers compensation claims, people believe that it is either not as severe as people say or doesn’t exist as all. While this is not true in the least, there is still a negative connotation around it. According to recent findings, only one to two percent of workers compensation claims are fraudulent. This doesn’t stop certain employers from attempting to prove that the claims are false, however, and some even go to lengths like hiring private investigators to prove their thoughts are accurate.

One of the biggest issues with private investigators is that they are hired by someone who may not have your best interests in mind. This means that they likely have no concern about fair or honest reporting, as they are either biased against you by whoever has hired them or they are paid more if they find what your employer wants them to. This means that some even edit down hours and hours of footage to shorter pieces which show you as more active than you are or as doing something you claim brings you pain. It doesn’t matter if it is something you could not avoid doing for whatever reason. Also, they are able to film you from any public property which means that if you are doing something as simple as grocery shopping, you may be caught on camera.

In order to make sure that you are protected against this activity, you should always follow every bit of your doctor’s advice. If you are told not to lift anything over 15 pounds, then don’t. This includes pet food at the grocery store. If you are not supposed to bend at the waist, then make sure that you are not bending down to grab something off the bottom shelf or out of a basket. While this may be nearly impossible, it is important to do all you can to protect yourself against this kind of footage.

If you have been hurt on the job, call Collier Law Firm and discuss what else you can do to make sure your claim is seen as legitimate. Sometimes having the injury isn’t enough if there is footage made to look like you are not in pain. Call us today for a free consultation and see what we can do to help prevent you from losing your case.

Is A Heart Attack Covered Under Workers Compensation?

Heart attacks are much more common than any of us would like to think about. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, heart related illnesses are the number one killer in the United States. If their statistics are correct, a person suffers a heart attack once every thirty four seconds. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s a terrifying number. Almost every single person knows someone who has had a heart attack, or has had one themselves. This brings about a very good question. Can you claim a heart attack under workers compensation?

In Ohio, that is exactly what one widow tried to do. A few years ago, the mayor of Toledo suffered a heart attack in February while he was driving and ended up crashing his sports utility vehicle into a pole. He had just delivered a statement to the public that, due to extreme winter conditions, they would be restricting vehicular movement on the roads in a couple of hours. The mayor then got back into his government owned vehicle and travelled to Costco, which was a person errand. It was also stated, however, that he would often take the long way home after these news conferences to check the state of the roads for himself. Once he crashed, he was taken to the hospital where he survived for five days before succumbing to his injuries.

Soon after his death, his widow applied for workers compensation, saying that he was acting in his duties. She also claimed that the heart attack he suffered was due to the stress of work. While her first claim was denied, she appealed it and won. This was then appealed and then denied again. She has since filed a lawsuit.

In North Carolina, for someone to claim that a heart attack is due to work, you must be able to show that extraordinary or unusual physical exertion was present, including strain or a causal connection between the exertion, strain, and heart attack. Your previous medical health must also be taken into account.

If you or someone you love has had a heart attack at work and you think it may be related, call Collier Law Firm for your free consultation and see what we can do to help you. After all, your main goal should be getting back to your old self.

Workers' Compensation Problems with Reporting Policies

If you have been reading this blog for a little while, you will know that you should always submit an injury claim as quickly as possible. In fact, we always suggest at least a report as soon as the injury happens. While this is going to be the best thing that you can do for yourself, it isn’t always what happens. After all, how many times have you bumped your head or closed your hand in a door at work and thought nothing of it. After all, it happens all the time. I hit my hand earlier when I tried to grab something out of the refrigerator. We normally don’t even think to tell another person about it. What happens, however, when your company policy mandates that you file a report immediately? It may not be as good as you think.

    In fact, the Department of Labor recently filed a lawsuit against U.S. Steel Corp due to a policy such as this. The rule in the company is that any injury that is sustained must be reported immediately. This sounds like a great idea, however not every injury is immediately apparent. The main issue was that U.S. Steel Corp took disciplinary action against a couple of workers that delayed writing up a report after an injury.

    One that many of us probably would have been guilty of was the case of the splinter. A utility technician in Pennsylvania found a splinter in his thumb and, thinking nothing of it, removed it and went back to work. After two days, however, he felt extreme pain and noticed his thumb began to swell. He went to the doctor for it and was given antibiotics. He then reported the injury to his employer and was suspended for five days without pay for not immediately stating that he had gotten a splinter when it first occurred.

    Always be sure to check your company’s injury reporting policy. I know that I would not have thought much about a splinter at work, but for some companies you do need to report every single thing. If you have been injured at work, then call Collier for your free consultation and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you deserve. No matter what the injury, we will be sure to fight for you!

What Should I Do? - Workers' Blogger

Many people are hurt on the job over their time working. This may be something simple like a small cut or a burn, however it may be something much more impactful. There are a few steps that you should take no matter what kind of injury you sustain, even if you think it is minor. Unless the injury is something like a very minor papercut or a gently stubbed toe, be sure to submit a claim to your employer explaining the injury just in case something occurs later which was caused by the incident. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

The first thing you should do when you are hurt on the job is check to see who is around you. This is especially true if you notice people that you are not well acquainted with. If you see someone in the area that can be used as a witness for your injury that you do not have any sort of relationship with, it will be better for you in the event that something goes to a judicial hearing. Having someone impartial who is able to explain exactly what happened will be extremely beneficial for you, so be sure to get down the names and contact information of anyone who saw you get hurt.

Always write down the story of your injury. Be sure to inform your employer about the incident with as many details as possible. Either copy the report and get them to sign it for your own records or submit it by email and ask them to respond that they have received it. This will ensure that you have a paper record stating that you alerted the proper people of the injury. Make sure that you don’t forget to submit a claim to the Industrial Commission as well.

If the injury requires, make sure that you seek any medical attention that is suggested as soon as you can. Keep all of these records as well, and make sure that you ask the doctor to write down any diagnosis that they find. Be sure to keep copies and the originals of these documents together when you can.

Call Collier if you have been hurt at work to ensure that you get the proper compensation. Remember that we offer a free consultation so you should not hesitate in reaching out so we can help you.