Hillsboro Worker Compensation Attorneys
While some industries pose more of a risk for injuries on the job than others, the fact is, people can be hurt at work in all industries. Even if you work in an office, there is a chance you could be injured at work from a rip in the carpet that you trip over or a leaking faucet in the bathroom that causes a slippery floor.
Yes, some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, but regardless of what your job is – there is a chance you could be injured while doing it. And, it is because of this across the board risk that the state of Oregon requires that all employers carry worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.
Some of the benefits you may be entitled to when you file a worker’s compensation claim include:
- Medical care for the injury or illness
- Compensation for permanent injuries
- Replacement income
- Benefits to survivors of workers who are killed on the job
- Vocational or retraining costs
Worker’s compensation insurance is different than your medical or dental policy. It actually provides medical coverage and income in the event you are injured while at work. Specifically, any medical bills relating to your on the job injury and up to two-thirds of your lost income could be recuperated through a worker’s compensation claim for benefits.
The trouble is, filing for and receiving your worker’s compensations benefits is not an easy process. In fact, the policy is only held in care of your employer but, is actually owned by an insurance company who is determined to make sure that they have to pay out as little as possible.
While you may have a strong relationship with your employer – they are not in charge in this instance. The insurance company is in charge and, they will work hard to make sure you receive the least amount of money possible.
Luckily, our team at Shlesinger & deVilleneuve manages more than 1,000 worker’s compensation cases each year, and we know all of the intricacies of the process.
When you call our Hillsboro office, we will schedule you for a complimentary consultation where we can get to know you and understand more about your story and circumstances. The filing and appeal process of a worker’s compensation claim is governed by very strict timelines – and, if you miss a deadline your benefits could be denied permanently.
It is important that you have an experienced and highly-skilled legal team on your side to ensure your application for benefits is approved. There is an exhaustive list of supporting documents that you must submit with your application. And, each of those documents must support the story that you tell your boss and your medical provider. If any of those required documents are absent from your application or, if there are perceived discrepancies in your story – your application could be denied and benefits will not be awarded.
The best way to avoid all of this is to call our office today. We will schedule a complimentary consultation where we can meet you and learn the whole story from start to finish. And, don’t worry if you have filed for benefits but have been denied – we may be able to still help providing the deadline for filing the appeal has not passed.
When we work with worker’s compensation clients we do not charge for our services unless we win a settlement on your behalf. You should be focused on healing from your injury and getting well – not worrying about paying our fee.
Here we have include additional information for various stages and terminology you may encounter during your worker’s compensation claim process:
Filing a Claim
Strict time limits control this process. A claim should be filed immediately with your employer for whom you were injured. Injured workers in Oregon experience some of the toughest hurdles. When you know you have been hurt on the job, tell your employer promptly. Get medical attention promptly. It is also critical that you give the medical provider accurate and complete information as to the where, time and how the incident occurred. Make sure you review this information with the provider before leaving his/her office. Many cases are won or lost depending on the contemporaneous history given to the medical provider who treats you for your injuries. Do not allow anyone to pressure you into failing to promptly report your injury EXACTLY as it happened! -immediately. Contact us promptly if you need assistance with filing your claim.
Strict time limits control this process. If your claim is denied, the notice should contain a strict time limit to appeal. If you receive a denial letter or notice of closure, you only have 60 days to reply. If you miss this deadline, you probably will be barred from appealing. Contact us promptly to avoid being stopped from appealing a good case. Contact us promptly if you have received a denial on your claim.
Notice of Closure
When your claim is closed, you may receive a notice awarding permanent partial disability benefits. This notice should also contain a strict time limit to appeal. If you receive a denial notice or notice of closure, you only have 60 days to reply. Again, you must act within this time limit to avoid losing the opportunity to increase an insufficient award. If you have received a Notice of Closure, do not trust the insurance company to award you the right amount of money. It takes an experienced attorney to navigate through this process and fight for everything you are entitled to. Contact us promptly if you have received a Notice of Closure.
Medical Service and Vocational Retraining Disputes
Under the current trends of Oregon Workers’ Compensation, it is not uncommon for an injured worker to be denied necessary medical services or vocational retraining. The Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay for necessary surgeries and treatment. Again, notices denying any of these types of benefits are accompanied by strict time frames. If you receive a notice that your medical treatment is being refused or you do not qualify for vocational retraining benefits, please contact us promptly so we can advocate for your rights.
Occasionally, an injured worker is hurt at a job site controlled by someone other than his/her employer or by an individual not associated with the worker’s employer. When this occurs, the worker may have what is called a third-party claim which is very similar to a personal injury claim. A third-party claim provides, potentially, an additional source of recovery to an injured worker. These claims also contain strict time limits that an injured worker is often completely unaware of. Contact us promptly if you have been involved in such a work injury.
Settlement of your Workers’ Compensation claim is often a viable option. If you are interested in pursuing settlement of your Oregon Workers’ Compensation claim, this requires an experienced attorney. The insurance company will not be looking after your interest when it comes to potential settlement of your claim. If you receive any form of a settlement offer, call us right away, since you may be signing away valuable rights and agreeing to an amount far less than what you are entitled to.
Attorney fees in Oregon Workers’ Compensation cases are set by state statute. The manner of how a fee is paid depends on how your claim is resolved. Attorney fees are strictly contingent. This means if you do not receive a recovery or increase in benefits, you do not owe your attorney a fee.
Sometimes it is necessary for your attorney to incur out-of-pocket costs to develop your case. This is often true if there is a denial on your case and we are preparing your case for hearing and/or possible settlement. These are not attorney fees, but are fees for such things as medical record duplicating charges, attorney-doctor conferences, treating doctor medical reports, forensic investigation, expert witness fees, filing fees, court reporting fees, arbitration/trial court fees, and so on.