Independent Medical Examination for Workers’ Compensation: What to Expect
If you’ve been injured at work, you may want to hire Glendale workers compensation lawyers to help you with your case. Once you’ve filed a claim, you may be asked to have an independent medical examination to review your condition. If you’re asked to attend an examination, don’t panic — inform your workers compensation lawyers in Glendale who may be able to tell you what to expect. Learn more about What Happens After a Work-Related Injury?
If you’ve been injured at work but haven’t filed a claim yet, time is running out. Call Hickey & Turim, S.C. for a free consultation at 262-797-6677 today.
The Independent Medical Examination (IME)
Your Glendale workers compensation lawyers may inform you that an IME may be requested if there is any question about your condition or the level of compensation you deserve. A doctor usually performs the exam that your employer or their insurance company hired. In some cases, your state’s workers compensation agency may request the IME.
If it will work in your favor or counter an IME that another party requested, your own workers’ compensation lawyers in Glendale may request another IME. This means there is a chance that you may have to go through more than one IME.
Once the exam is complete, the doctor may issue a report that includes answers to one or more of the following questions:
- Were you accurately diagnosed, and does that diagnosis match your claim?
- Is it possible that your accident was caused outside of work?
- What is the impairment rating of your condition?
- Will additional treatment or testing help? If so, what do you need?
- Have you reached the maximum medical improvement and aren’t expected to improve no matter what treatments are done?
- What work restrictions should you have?
- Are you able to return to work? If so, when?
Your Glendale workers compensation lawyers may be able to use the answers to the exam in your favor or may need to be prepared to counter them.
Preparing for the Exam
Before the exam, you may want to meet with your Glendale workers compensation lawyers to go over what you can expect in the exam. Your lawyer may be able to tell you how these appointments usually go and help you be more relaxed in advance of the exam.
It would help if you were truthful about your medical history, including any injuries that may have happened in the past. You want to outline reasons why this injury caused at work is different from other injuries in the past.
The doctor may ask you how the accident happened and gather more information from you regarding your diagnosis and treatments so far. You’ll likely discuss your current symptoms and condition, and then the doctor will examine you.
Additional Information that Glendale Workers Compensation Lawyers Want You to Know
Workers Compensation Coverage
While most American workers are covered by workers compensation programs, a smaller percentage of workers might not be covered. Many states have laws mandating that companies operating in the state must have a workers compensation policy with a valid insurer. However, certain employers might not be required to have a policy. Before hiring a team of Glendale workers compensation lawyers, it’s a good idea to check if your employer has a workers compensation policy. Learn more about What types of benefits does workers’ compensation provide?
Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Workers Comp
Furthermore, some injuries might not be covered in a workers comp claim. The primary defining characteristic of a valid workers compensation claim is that the victim sustained the injury in a work-related task (or the illness developed due to a work-related task). Injuries sustained in certain situations may be exempt from a compensation claim. States typically set restrictions on what constitutes a “work-related activity,” and you can check with any of your local Glendale workers compensation lawyers if you have questions about your injury.
Having documentation from a doctor and an independent medical exam is one way to bolster your chances of successfully arguing your case. In the event of a repetitive motion injury or a stress-related injury, it’s wise to have as much documentation as possible regarding your injury. This is because you may have to prove that a work-related task was the primary cause of your injury.
Suppose you have recently been diagnosed with an occupational injury, such as mesothelioma (from asbestos exposure) or black lung disease (from exposure to coal mine dust). In that case, it’s essential to stay mindful that your workers compensation claim may look a little different from the average claim. For these illnesses, the statute of limitations would apply from the date that you were diagnosed — not the date at which you were first exposed to the harmful substance. A skilled team of Glendale workers compensation lawyers can help you understand how your claim may be filed and processed.
Denied Workers Compensation Claims
A large percentage of workers’ comp claims are denied each year. It’s not uncommon for some insurers to look for any possible reason to deny a claim; after all, insurance companies are businesses looking to turn a profit. The more money they pay out in claims, the less money they retain as a profit. If you’ve already filed a claim and have been denied, this may be an excellent time to speak with some of the top workers compensation lawyers in Glendale, WI. Some claims are denied due to lack of evidence, while others are denied due to minor clerical errors. It may be possible to appeal your claim and successfully negotiate for a fair settlement. Deadlines in the appeals process are often very short, so it’s wise to turn to Glendale workers compensation lawyers for legal counsel as soon as you are able. This will ensure that you can have a fair chance at getting compensation and are not just shot down without a chance to appeal.
What To Look For in a Workers Compensation Lawyer
Experience and Caseload
Your initial question for the Glendale workers compensation lawyers you are interviewing should be about their experience. You need to know that these professionals are not only experienced in law, but they should also specialize in workers compensation. Choose someone with extensive experience in settlement negotiation, but also focus on whether your attorneys have significant experience arguing these types of cases in court. You should also ask how often these attorneys have represented clients whose injuries and their causes are similar to your own.
You should also discuss what portion of the attorneys’ cases is made up of workers compensation cases. A law firm, such as Hickey & Turim SC, should specialize in these cases, and they should comprise the majority of their caseloads. These professionals and their firms should have established networks of support, such as expert witnesses, investigators and other support staff, to help them with your case.
You need to stay informed about your case and have access to any information that is case-related. Therefore, you should discuss your Glendale workers compensation lawyers’ preferred method of communication and how often you should expect to receive updates. Find out how quickly you can expect a return call or email and under what circumstances you need to contact them. For example, if your health changes or you are being harassed at work, your attorneys should know immediately. Make sure you are comfortable with your lawyer’s communication procedures.
You are in a fight, and you need an advocate who has a history of success. Your very life and livelihood may depend on finding an attorney who has a high rate of success. You should also ask whether your attorney is willing to go to court to continue the fight if the settlement negotiations don’t result in adequate compensation.
Legal fees are always a consideration. Most workers compensation lawyers don’t require an up-front fee. Instead, they tend to take part of your settlement or award. However, if they don’t win your case, you may still have to pay some legal fees, such as court or investigation fees.
Therefore, ask your Glendale Workers Compensation Lawyers, such as those at Hickey & Turim SC, about your initial fees, their portion of the settlement and any fees you may be responsible for when the case is over.
Respect and Care
Before you hire a workers compensation attorney, you should feel comfortable with the process. For example, you should feel as if your attorney respects you and cares about you and your case. You need to know that you can easily work and communicate with your firm and lawyer. Pay attention to how you feel and how you are treated during your interviews.
Contact Hickey & Turim, S.C. Today
At our firm, we want you to be as prepared as possible for your entire injury claim. We offer free case evaluations for new clients who would like more information about the workers compensation claims process. For more information, call the Glendale workers compensation lawyers at Hickey & Turim, S.C. today.
Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you are unable to work because you were injured while on the job, is there a way to get paid while you are recovering? Take a walk to your human resources office and report your injury as soon as possible after the event occurs; then call one of the best workers compensation lawyers in Glendale. Of course, seek immediate medical attention if the injury calls for it. Document everything — details of the actual accident, time of day, conditions of the area where the accident occurred, note any witnesses present. Take lots of pictures, both of the area where the accident occurred and of any injuries you sustained as a result of the accident.
If the accident was obviously work-related, you have witnesses, and you can provide pictures and medical evidence, you probably do not need the assistance of an attorney. As long as the benefit settlement reimburses you for medical expenses and lost wages and you are satisfied with the resolution, there is no need to pursue further action.
However, if you do not feel the compensation is fair or fails to cover the costs you incurred as a result of the accident, contact the Glendale workers compensation lawyers at Hickey & Turim. They bring several years of experience successfully settling workers’ comp claims, getting you the compensation that is rightfully yours.
There are four types of benefits you can receive through a workers’ comp claim. These include:
- Weekly wage compensation
- Reimbursement of medical expenses
- Benefits should you be permanently impaired as a result of the accident
- Cost for vocational rehabilitation
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to look over each of these and determine how much each could be worth. It is crucial to have a lawyer on your side, especially for the more confusing numbers like how much future compensation you will need for medical expenses and how long you may need weekly wage compensation. It is easy to see the receipts from what you have already spent or lost out on, but calculating the damages for the future is more difficult. This is why you absolutely need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
What you cannot collect as part of a workers’ comp settlement
The workers’ comp laws only provide for the items listed above. They do not provide compensation for any pain and suffering that may occur due to the accident. The benefits are there to cover wages when you are not able to work. If the injury is so bad that you cannot return to your job, you will continue to receive your weekly wages. Still, if you wish to recover damages for pain and suffering damages, you may have to contact Glendale workers compensation lawyers and file a personal injury case.
How long do workers’ comp benefits last?
The length of time you can collect workers’ comp benefits varies from state to state. There is no limit on how long you can receive permanent disability benefits; however, some states will stop the benefits once a person reaches the age of 65. It is best to speak with a lawyer to determine how long you may be able to collect benefits for and how much to expect after your settlement.
How much will you get a week?
Total disability is about two-thirds of your average weekly wage, which may include overtime. There is a cap in most states at about $1000 per week. Partial disability is figured out a bit differently. If you can work part of the time, your average weekly wage is deducted by the percentage of time you are capable of working.
Workers compensation lawyers in Glendale can help if you are not getting satisfactory assistance from your HR representative or your claim has been denied. Experienced Glendale workers compensation lawyers at the law firm of Hickey & Turim can meet with you to discuss how they can help you obtain the workers’ compensation benefits that are fair and appropriate in light of your injury.
Tips for Managing a Denial of Workers Compensation Benefits
Our Glendale workers compensation lawyers have represented clients struggling to retain the benefits they are entitled to following a work-related incident. It comes as no surprise that a claim denial can be both frustrating and worrisome. Knowing the best way to move forward can leave many injured workers scratching their heads, unsure of what to do next. Following a work-related accident, it’s possible to be left to manage complications, all of which our team from Hickey & Turim, S.C. can assist with.
Understanding Why Your Claim Was Denied
It can be incredibly stressful for someone injured and reliant on workers compensation benefits to receive a denial letter. One of your first questions will be, “why?” Sometimes, making sense of the denial letter is confusing; however, understanding the reason behind your claim is critical to sort out how best to rectify the situation. Common reasons employees may receive a denial letter include:
- You failed to seek medical treatment
- You are unable to tie your injuries to the accident that happened at work
- You did not notify your employer after the accident, leaving them to question the validity of your claim
- You did not follow recommendations for medical treatment
- Your employer is disputing the claim
- You have a pre-existing condition
Should you receive a denial after attempting to obtain workers compensation benefits, it’s critical to reach out to our workers compensation lawyers in Glendale, Wisconsin. We can assist in correcting the situation and providing the best opportunity to receive the benefits you need.
If you are currently managing a denial of your workers comp benefits, consider keeping the following tips in mind:
Contact a Lawyer with Experience
Should you receive a denial letter, take immediate action before it’s too late. By contacting our firm, we will be able to review the situation, determine what happened, and sort out the proper next steps to take. Often, having a legal professional on your side can offer much peace of mind. With our assistance, you provide yourself with the best opportunity at a favorable outcome. We have handled so many cases like yours in the past that we have the necessary experience to assist you in getting compensation for your accident. We know how to calculate what your case is worth, what arguments to use to have the best chance at a claim, and how to argue for you in court. We can file all of the necessary paperwork and talk to the other parties on your behalf while you focus on healing from your accident.
Gain an Understanding of Why Your Claim Was Denied
If you have received a denial letter for your claim, it’s crucial that you not give up or delay moving forward with the next steps. Know that it could be possible to rectify the situation. The first step to this will be gaining a better understanding of why your benefits were denied. In some situations, you may be able to correct the issues rather quickly. Having your lawyer review the denial letter is recommended as they will be able to sort out how to proceed. It is not uncommon for a workers’ compensation to be denied, only to be overturned at a later date. It is important to not give up if you think that you deserve to get compensation for your accident. A workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, S.C. will be able to lead the way for you and fight any appeals that seem unfair. A lawyer can find loopholes in a denial of a claim and determine what the next steps you need to take will be. This takes all of the guesswork out of your claim and enables you to utilize an expert’s skills for your claim.
Consider Whether it’s Necessary to File an Appeal
Your denial letter should include a timeframe to respond. In some situations, it may be in your best interest to file an appeal. Because the process can be complicated and vary from state to state, pursuing guidance from a workers comp lawyer will be in your best interest.
Are you dealing with complications following your work-related accident? Was your claim recently denied, and you are struggling to obtain the assistance you are so desperately in need of? Don’t hesitate a moment longer—our team from Hickey & Turim, S.C. is prepared to help you. No matter the reason for the denial, we can help understand what happened and strategize the best way to move forward. To learn more, contact our Glendale workers compensation lawyers to get started.
If you have suffered a work injury, you may want to consult with one of the professional Glendale workers compensation lawyers from Hickey & Turim, S.C. Our law firm has successfully represented many injured workers in obtaining the financial compensation they are entitled to.
One of the most frequent issues that come up with our clients is determining what their rights are when it comes to returning to work after sustaining a work injury. Many Glendale workers compensation lawyers have found that employers and/or workers compensation insurance carriers may put undue pressure on an injured worker to return to work before they are physically ready. Sometimes, the injured worker themselves may feel financial pressure to return, especially if they were dependent on overtime pay to make ends meet.
Even in the best of situations, there are still risks that an injured worker faces when deciding to return to work. Injured workers who have Glendale workers compensation lawyers representing them may find those risks are decreased because their lawyers are there to advocate for them.
It is not unusual for a doctor to recommend an injured employee’s return to work be on a part-time or limited duty basis. This is especially true if your injury has not fully healed yet. Your employer is required to obey whatever restrictions your doctor has placed on your return and is also required to provide any accommodations you may need. These accommodations may include a different work schedule and/or different job duties, depending on the circumstances of your injury and medical limitations.
Another right an injured worker has when they return to work is the right to continue to receive medical treatment. If you have returned to work but still need to attend doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, or any other treatments, you have the right to attend these appointments and — under your workers comp claim – you are entitled to receive compensation for the time missed from work to attend these appointments.
If your employer refuses to grant you the time off for your medical appointments or threatens you with punishment or termination for taking this time, it is critical to contact your workers compensation lawyer to let him or her know so your lawyer will be able to fight for your rights that you are entitled to. There are both federal and state laws that protect injured workers from just this type of harassment.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today to Learn More
There is no question too great or small about your workers’ compensation claim. Feel free to reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, S.C. today to set up a consultation and speak about your case. We can answer your questions, take a look at what happened to see if you have a good shot at winning your case, and will give you the best advice we can on how to proceed. The ultimate decisions you make will be up to you, but we can help explain legally what you may be entitled to and what the best decisions to get compensation could be.