Portland Worker Compensation Attorneys
If you own a business in the state of Oregon, you are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance for your staff. If you are an employee (meaning not self-employed) then you are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. It’s a pretty great deal because, as an employee, if you are injured while you are working and have to miss work – the workers’ compensation policy is designed to provide you with a portion of your salary and funds to cover your medical bills until you are ready to return to work. The bad news is, over time the laws and rules of the program have become so complex and confusing that most injured employees are unable to navigate the system themselves and secure those funds and benefits that they deserve.
Workers’ compensation claims are governed by some very strict rules, and even stricter timelines. In fact, the time limitations for filing for your workers’ compensation benefits are completely fixed and inflexible – and, if you miss the deadline you will be responsible for payment of all of your medical bills and you will not receive remuneration for your lost income. Additionally, the process for establishing your injury is also very strict. You must report your injury to your employer immediately and seek professional medical attention. All of these visits and reporting must be documented in order to substantiate the injury and the validity of the claim.
As soon as you have received the proper medical attention for your injuries – call our office to schedule your complimentary consultation. The sooner you have us in your corner, the sooner we can start gathering all of the necessary information to compile a stellar application, get your timeline established, and ensure no deadlines are missed.
For the most part, there are five basic benefits that an approved Workers’ Compensation claim will yield:
- Compensation for irreversible disability
- Vocational or retraining costs
- Medical care for illness or injury
- Benefits for survivors of employees who were killed on-the-job
- Replacement income
When your employer provides workers’ compensation insurance to you and your co-workers, he does so by purchasing a policy from an insurance company. That means when you file your workers’ compensation claim, you are dealing with the insurance company – not your employer. While you may have been a good and loyal employee for many years, and have developed a friendship with your employer – none of that influences your workers’ compensation claim. Your employer can be sympathetic to your situation, but he cannot request for your claim to go one way or another. The insurance company sees you as a liability and will work to find every way to ensure that you get as few benefits as possible – if any.
Shelsinger & deVilleneuve was founded more than four decades ago with passion and determination to fight for the little guy and stand up against the big insurance companies. Each time we advocate for one of our clients that passion is what drives our actions and fuels our determination. We use that same drive and determination to successfully settle more than 1,000 workers’ compensation claims each year. Working with our firm, you will find that we are dedicated to exceeding your expectations. Contact us today and get your complimentary consultation scheduled. There is no need to worry about payment, as our fee is not paid unless we win your case.
Filing a Claim
As stated above, the workers’ compensation application process is controlled by very strict timelines. You must submit a claim with your employer immediately following your injury. You must obtain medical attention quickly. During that medical visit, you must give the attending physician an accurate and thorough timeline of the events leading up to and during the accident or injury. Before you leave that appointment, read the chart notes that the provider has made and confirm that everything you said is stated correctly. Everything should be just exactly as it happened and exactly as you stated. Never report false information.
If it happens that your initial application is denied, you are allowed 60 days to file your appeal of the decision. If you refuse to do so, your benefits are forfeited completely. And, you are liable for all bills related to your injury.
Notice of Closure
If you receive a Notice of Closure, it may come with only a partial award for benefits. If this is not correct and you would like to appeal, you must file your appeal paperwork within 60 days or forfeit any remaining benefits you may need.
Medical and Vocational Retraining Disputes
In some cases, an injured worker will be denied their right to professional retraining and specific health treatments. These benefits are additional costs and ones that the insurance organizations are often unwilling to cover. Contact our office immediately if your claims for medical coverage and professional retraining have been denied. We can help to figure out the next steps and advocate for your best interests.
Third Party Claims
While workers’ compensation is designed to cover your medical expenses and loss of income in the event of an injury on your employer’s property. But, if you are injured while working but by someone or something that is not associated with your work, you may have a 3rd party claim. This would be something like a Fed-Ex driving being attacked by a canine on someone’s property. These claims can provide some additional benefits to the injured party.
Obtaining a settlement is often a good option for an injured worker. If this is an option that you would like to know more about, contact our office right away. The insurance company will be determining the amount of your settlement, and having a skilled attorney advocating for your best interests could make the value of that settlement must different.
Oregon law provides that attorney fees in workers’ compensation cases are not due unless a settlement or judgment is obtained. This is referred to as a contingency fee, and provides that the claimant is not responsible for paying the attorney fees unless there is a win.
In addition to attorney fees, there are certain costs associated with submitting and following through on a workers’ compensation claim. These costs could be things like a court transcriber or expert witness. Appealing a denied or closed claim will often have more out-of-pocket expenses for your attorney to pay – and for you to repay.