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Workers' Comp - Do I Need to Take the Blame?

Getting hurt on the job is something that can be terrifying and stressful beyond belief. Not only are you worried about trying to get yourself back to being healthy and able to do all the things you could prior, but medical bills can pile up and you are out of work. This is why worker’s compensation is something that is so invaluable to anyone who is working for any amount of time in any type of profession. One question that often comes up when we consult is “Does it matter if it was my fault?” or “Do I need to prove it wasn’t my fault to get compensation?” One of the wonderful things about worker’s comp is that it doesn’t really matter.

Worker’s compensation has long been established as a “no fault” ruling. This means that it does not matter who, if anyone, was at fault in your injury. Legislators have come to realize that the blame has little to do with these cases, and many times they can be argued in circles until both parties are cast as guilty. Due to these facts, it has been decided that despite what may have occurred, you still need to receive compensation if you have been harmed while performing your job duties. Despite what differences there may be from state to state in worker’s compensation laws, this is one thing that does not change nationwide.

Here at Collier, we want you to know that the law doesn’t care if the injury was your fault and neither do we. Accidents happen and sometimes the result can be life changing. You need someone who will be on your side one hundred percent, and you can rest assured that we would be proud to be those people. No matter what has occurred, we want you to know that you can rely on us to help you fight and get everything that you deserve from your worker’s compensation claim. We refuse to play the “blame game” when it comes to your health, especially when it is something as pressing as an injury that keeps you out of work. Call us today for a free consultation and see just how much we can do for you.

Preexisting Conditions and Workers Compensation

Getting hurt on the job is not only confusing and stressful, but it can also be extremely infuriating. While your employer and those around you are most likely supportive of your current plight, not everyone has the same view. In fact, for many people it is in their best interest to prolong any payment and treatment as long as possible. This can be legally accomplished by quite a few different courses of action. Unfortunately, all of them are damaging to you. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a claim of a preexisting condition.

Insurance companies never want to pay out money to you. If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Insurance companies, while extremely necessary, can certainly drag their feet about paying out claims. While this is an inconvenience at best, it can be absolutely crippling at worst. If you have been hurt on the job and need to pay medical bills, not hearing anything from your worker’s compensation claim can make you want to pull your hair out. Getting hurt in America is not a cheap activity, and having payment be withheld can seriously impact you and your family. Medical bills generally do not like being kept on a shelf and falling behind on the payments because you are unable to work is almost impossible to avoid. Often, by claiming a preexisting condition an insurance company can postpone payment until a much later date.

This is much more common if you are an older employee or if you have previously gone for medical attention on a similar claim. Another thing that can catch the attention of insurance companies is if you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Even if it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the injury you have sustained was a direct result from a claim which is legitimate, your compensation may be lessened due to the lawyers whom the insurance company is using. This is one of the main reasons you always want to be sure to hire your own lawyer in the case of a worker’s compensation claim. Collier Law has special experience working on both sides of the claims and so will always be your best bet for winning as much money as possible. Call today for your free consulation.

Collier Law Workers' Comp serving the following areas:Gastonia, Dallas, Hardins, Ashebrook Park, Lincolnton, Brookford, Hickory, Granite Falls, and Lenoir.

Arguing Worker’s Compensation Claims

Having an injury on the job can sometimes be scary. Take for instance the case of Mr. Ed Martin, Texas Deputy Sheriff. We all know that the life of a police officer, and almost any other first responder, is a hectic and stressful one. This is true of not only those who put on the uniform, but of their families as well. Certainly, no one knows this better than Ed Martin and his wife and children, who ten years ago faced the unimaginable.

In June of 2006, Martin responded to a 911 call and was greeted by a shotgun blast which nearly killed him. Thankfully, this story has a mostly happy ending in regards to Martin’s survival. At 3:30 in the morning, Martin placed a call to his wife telling her to get their three children up at meet him at the hospital which he was being taken to via helicopter. Although Martin’s arm was severely injured and the main artery had been torn open, doctors were able to save him. They credited this mostly to his bullet proof vest and the speed with which the helicopter was able to medically evacuate him to the hospital. You can then imagine the Martin’s surprise when a couple of weeks later they got a phone call stating that they would need to pay $7,300 for a “not medically necessary” life flight.

Although Martin did not hire a lawyer for his workers compensation claim, he was assigned a case manager nurse from the insurance company. He stated that even though she would sometimes seem infuriated because of the problems he was having with the company, she was actually the one giving information to the claims company that was stalling his rehabilitation. This company found many things over this time “not medically necessary”, much to Martin’s confusion. While he returned to work after two years, both he and his doctors believed that he should have waited. Unfortunately, due to state laws, he was running out of time on his worker’s compensation payments and could not go without a paycheck. As of 2011, his left hand still had only half of the strength that his right one did.

This is something we want to help everyone avoid. This is why we offer a free consultation on your case. Call Collier today and make sure that you get the coverage that you deserve.

Am I An Independent Contractor or An Employee?

One of the biggest problems that many people have is figuring out if you are actually an employee or not. “But I get paid!” I can hear you say, “I have to be an employee! I have a job!” Believe me, I can understand your confusion at this question. The truth is, just because you get paid doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an employee. While technically you may be employed by a company to produce either items or a service, you may not be an employee by definition.

An employee is technically someone who generally only works for one company. This, however, isn’t the only factor. An employee will also work specific hours that are set forth by the employer at this employer’s place of business. Many employees are welcomed and encouraged to join a union. They are also generally able to apply for things like benefits through work and unemployment if let go. An employee is also covered by federal laws which set a minimum wage and overtime laws. One of the biggest differences is that the net pay that an employee receives is after most taxes have been taken out by the employer.

Alternately, an independent contractor can work for multiple companies doing specialized work which they have had previous education for. They will often work from home and so can work any hours they choose as long as deadlines are met. There are not unions that allow independent contractors and cannot apply for unemployment if let go. There are also not employment benefits like health insurance for an independent contractor. There is no protection that assures they receive minimum wage and there is no overtime pay. Also, taxes are not taken out for things like social security and Medicare, so these must be paid separately.

The difference that we are most concerned about is that independent contractors cannot apply for worker’s compensation. Where an employee can apply for worker’s compensation benefits if hurt on the job, an independent contractor does not have this ability. If they are hurt on the job, the treatment falls completely to them and no compensation will be provided. Are you an independent contractor or an employee? If you are still not sure, check with those you work for. It can mean the difference between paying for treatment yourself and calling Collier!

Am I Getting the Right Workers' Comp Benefits?

The world of worker’s compensation is a confusing one. Each state has their own laws and sometimes it can seem like these laws change on an almost daily basis. Although many people believe that once you are hurt you can spend a great deal of time reading or pursuing a hobby, this often is not true. You are normally focusing on getting better and back to work and so you don’t have much time that is spent lounging around as most people imagine. Even if you did have copious amounts of time to devote to something, it most likely would not be the state laws for worker’s compensation. Also, if you did set your sights on understanding the ins and outs of these laws, you would have to have quite a bit of time. Having a thorough knowledge of things like this takes years.

Knowing if you are getting the right benefits for your specific case is something that is best left to a professional attorney. While you can collect quite a bit of information from books and the internet, this may be either outdated or incorrect. Unfortunately, sometimes it is both. It is also rare that any location has every bit of information available to the public unless it is an extremely common topic. As with anything else, it can take ages to collect vast amounts of information regarding worker’s compensation. This information is constantly changing as well, and so it takes years and years to really have a firm grasp of what benefits the laws provide you for each different state in this country.

Luckily for you, Trey Collier has had years to devote to this exact subject. After going to school for three different degrees, he also spent time learning both sides of worker’s compensation cases through his legal career. He began by working for a law firm which supported employers and insurance companies. He soon realized that he preferred the other side of the battlefield, however, and put all of his knowledge and experience toward fighting for you. This means that he knows how both sides work intimately. It is this information that he puts to good use each and every day to benefit those who have been hurt. Call today and see just how beneficial Trey Collier can be for you!