Workers’ Compensation Information

When an employee is injured while he/she is working, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. This system provides care and benefits to those hurt on the job. Since it was put into effect in the early 20th century, its laws go beyond covering workplace injuries, but also illnesses that come about because of workplace conditions, called occupational diseases. Compensation laws are different from state to state. There are also special laws for federal employees, and for workers in specific industries like railroad employees.

Benefits supplied by this compensation include the recovery of lost wages, medical treatment, and compensation for permanent disability. Some state programs also give their employees vocational retraining and return-to-work programs. Some states also provide monetary benefits to the family of workers who have been killed on the job or die due to an occupational disease. In exchange for this coverage and benefits, the workers cannot sue their employers for negligence. The laws give employers and co-workers a sound fraction of protection by regulating the amount employees can get from their employers. More importantly, the laws prevent injured employees from suing their co-workers. The compensation system is a kind of no-fault system. The carelessness of an employer or co-worker is not the concern; the injured employee is simply being compensated for work-related reasons.

As I have said, workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, so if you have been injured on the job, you need to find out whether you are entitled to the benefits offered by your state’s workers’ compensation laws. To do this, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in your area who is experienced. If you are not covered by workers’ compensation, it is possible to bring a civil claim against your employer or even a third party. You can even bring a suit against a manufacturer of a faulty product.

Most injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation are the logical mishaps caused by something mechanical or some object around the work area. Diseases, if they are caused by toxins from work are covered. Even mental and physical strain or stress because of a demanding job or an unfair supervisor will be covered.

Keep in mind that there are circumstances that are not covered by workers’ compensation. These, too, are logical: an injury from horseplay at work; injury traveling to and from work; if the employee leaves during break or lunch to do an errand and is injured. There are three things you must do if you think you have a claim to workers’ compensation:

Report you injury to your employer immediately.
Complete a claim form.
File the claim as soon as possible.

Have a legal expert review your claim before you submit it.

Examination Of California Labor Laws On Patient Handling Policy Amongst Health Care Workers

The existing legislation on health care workers in California has encouraged safe patient handling policy as specified under the AB 1136 of California labor laws. With the new year, employees and employers are both expected to observe the newly amended policies with regards to workers that belong in the health care industry – to be specific, concerning the handling and care for patients.

This amended section of the California labor code, under Section 6403.5, states that all employers in California must come up with an injury prevention plan for all of its health care workers. This is designed to ensure that workers do not suffer from muscoskeletal or back injuries resulting from lifting patients and providing various forms of manual care for patients resulting to such injuries. This new legislation in the California labor law is effective starting January 1, 2012, which is detailed more on the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act.

It is part of the employer rights to compel their workers to provide the highest possible care to patients, which is why the law has also suggested that you come up with a comprehensive plan on patient handling. Unlike the original labor law wherein workers cannot refuse the employer’s instructions when it comes to caring and handling their patients. Thus, the plan that you have established must include the option of replacing manual lifting with the use of powered patient transfer devices, or lift teams, which consist of other health care workers. All members of the lifting team must be well trained in the field of patient handling and care. It must also be specific to the patient’s individual needs, which is why clinical assessment and training is vital in this work environment.

Before the employer can assign a “lift team” in the hospital or health care facility, they need to sponsor safe lifting techniques and other forms of training. Aside from handling or lifting patients, they must also be knowledgeable on re-positioning or transferring patients, as well as operating the lift devices that are used. The law does not require hospitals or health care facilities to hire a new set of staff to make up the “lift team”; thus, they cannot be charged with employer liability by utilizing the existing staff for this purpose.

Before this bill was put into law and is pending for official mandate in the state of California, there were several health care workers among various facilities within the state that were penalized for refusing to lift or handle the patient themselves, due to various reasons but mostly consisting of concerns for their own health. This is why this law has been revised so that employees might be able to observe their own right to health and eliminate risks from injuries.

The whole idea behind enacting this amendment in the California labor laws is to create a safe work environment for all health care workers. On the other hand, keeping your workers safe and healthy is vital in making it possible for them to provide utmost health care and discipline within the workplace. All hospitals in California that are discovered to willfully violate the OHSA recommendation is charged with a crime wherein they are subject to various civil penalties as indicated in the Labor Code Section 6429.

Important Labor Laws You Should Know When Starting a Business

Whenever you are looking to start a business (doesn’t matter if it is an online or offline venture), it’s always good to get in touch with legal experts or local governing bodies to get an idea of laws and regulations that will affect your business. From advertising and marketing to workplace safety, and finance to intellectual property laws, there are certain rules and regulations that you need to abide by, not to forget the licensing or registrations that you will have to go through before commencing a business.

Business laws can differ from one country to another and one state to another state, so it’s always advisable to do the due diligence and save your business from trouble later on. There are certain laws that affect a specific type of businesses, for example, the food safety laws are devised for businesses dealing in food & beverages, or import and export laws for businesses involved in import and export. But there are some laws that affect almost all businesses, for example income tax laws or labor laws.

Labor laws consist of laws,decrees, rules, and regulations that involve the relation of employees and employers. Some common labor laws include minimum wage, working hours, child labor, worker’s safety, or workers compensation. Let’s have a look at some of these laws. But remember that this post is meant only as an overview, and you must consult with the legal experts and the concerned authorities to be sure of your rights and obligations.

Working Hours:

Its mind boggling to know that working hours were ranging from 10 – 16 hours, and that too for six days a week in the olden days. These days, eight hours a day or 40 – 48 hours a week is pretty much a standard in all developed countries. However, the employees can choose to work for extended hours on their own (in return of overtime compensation). Of course there are exceptions, and you won’t see this law being applied at some places or in certain sectors, still you need to keep your working hours somewhere near to the standard.

Work Health and Safety:

To start with, you need to provide your workers with a safe working environment, to make sure workers are not subjected to injuries or illness due to the working conditions or nature of job. You need to make sure that appropriate safety measures are in place, protective gear is available when needed, and all sorts of safety standards are observed at workplace, plants, warehouse, and transport.

Workers Compensation:

In case a worker suffers a job related injury or illness, the business will have to pay for medical and rehabilitation bills, disability payments, and other benefits depending on the severity of the injury or illness. Again, workers compensation laws will vary from one place to another, so you need to consult with the local experts (e.g. workers compensation Atlanta) instead of relying solely on the online information.

How Workers Compensation Protects You

In the event that you were injured at work, then more than likely you have an understanding of the process and know that there is a lengthy list of specifications to cover to be able to obtain the financial benefits that is needed for you recover properly and eventually go back to work. Oklahoma workers compensation laws, just like any other jurisdiction, could be very complicated. In case you are experiencing difficulty and cannot get benefits, it is advisable to get help with this case. The best way to do is to hire one of Oklahoma lawyers with the experience to handle your case.

For the time being, some of the basic things to consider when it comes to claims and other issues associated with workers compensation will be mentioned below:

Even though this might surprise most people, the real intent behind the laws for workers compensation in Oklahoma would be to protect the employer and worker. Obviously, the laws are in place to safeguard the worker in terms of providing benefits for the injuries receive to help with health care and other basic expenses incurred.

These laws likewise protect the company in many ways. Essentially, these laws function as a shield from nearly all lawsuits against workers. The reasons usually are that the amount of benefits that an injured employee gets will be pre-set by the statutes in Oklahoma and also that the company will generally have available funds for the employee based on contributions made towards insurance for workers compensation.

The legislation in Oklahoma protects all workers with hardly any exclusion. The only known exception for companies is a business that has five or a lesser number of workers, all of whom will be directly connected to the company. In any other case, workers can be assured that when they are injured at work, there are remedies and assistance available for them.

In general, the Commissioner of Labor in this state has the power to supervise the workers compensation claims and program as well as to impose the law and fines if any violations take place.

The Whitten Law Firm provides individualized legal services, by qualified Oklahoma lawyers for each client, in all venues of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court as well as appeals at all levels which include the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals and the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In addition, the Whitten Law Firm offers assistance with obtaining settlement approvals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Visit their website at http://whittenlaw.com to find out more.

How Do The Workers’ Compensation Laws Affect Minors?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance plan required to be carried by all employers. Workers’ compensation insurance supplies benefits to employees who are injured on the job or developed an illness because of their job. This includes medical treatment benefits, disability benefits, as well as death benefits. In many cases, workers aren’t even aware that they are entitled to this coverage and most aren’t aware that it exists until they actually need it.

Workers’ compensation laws are in place to make sure employees who become disabled or injured while working are compensated, removing the need for legal action. In exchange for qualifying for and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the employee then cannot sue their employer for any other damages, including pain and suffering.

Workers’ rights laws also supply benefits to an employee’s dependents should an employee die from an accident or illness related to their occupation. It doesn’t matter whether the employer is at fault or was negligent in the incident causing the disability or injury for an employee to receive benefits. As long as the disability or illness was sustained during and because of their employment, an employee qualifies.

Minors are no different in qualifying for compensation than adults. Should a minor who is legally employed experience a disability due to an injury or illness related to their occupation, they qualify for the exact same benefits as any other employee would. The only difference between a workers’ claim for an adult and a claim for a minor would be in the case of a minor working in a situation that violates New Jersey or Federal child labor laws. If child labor laws were violated in the employment of the minor, awards for disability or death are twice the standard benefits.

There are numerous laws and factors regarding child labor. Without proper research or guidance, an employer could easily violate child labor laws. The kind of work the minor is doing, their age, the hours they are employed, the environment of their work and whether or not the hours are during school are all issues directly related to obeying the child labor laws.

In addition to a child being awarded twice the standard benefit in a workers’ compensation case, employers can be charged with a crime and face a maximum of $4,000 for each offense.

The laws regarding employment’ compensation and child labor can be extremely complex and difficult to understand. It would be nearly impossible for the average parent to be familiar with every element of either of them. Ensuring that the rights of the child are protected can be difficult when going at it alone. When parents aren’t clear on the laws, it is essential that they seek legal representation for their child. Hiring an attorney familiar with workers’ compensation and employment law can help you navigate that complicated maze.

Workers Compensation Protects You

The workers’ compensation system was designed to provide certainty for injured workers in the event of a workplace injury. In exchange for certain benefits, the law does not allow a direct lawsuit against the employer at common law. The unfortunate truth about Workers’ Compensation cases is that employees often times find themselves pitted against the interest of employers. Insurance companies handling the claim have been retained by the employer; their goal is to deny or minimize claims to realize a cost savings, frequently at the expense of the injured worker.

While workers’ compensation law provides a statutory recovery against employers for workplace injuries, injured workers may also have a personal injury lawsuit against other parties who share responsibility for the accident, also known as “third party defendants”. A “third party cause of action” means that if someone other than your employer is responsible for the accident that caused your injury, you may sue the third party in addition to bringing a workers’ compensation claim. A third party claim can be made against the manufacturer of a product or the company that installed a piece of equipment, controlled a work site, maintained land or caused a motor vehicle accident.

Workmen’s compensation is considered to be a no fault system that allows injured or sick employees to receive expenses and lost wages while not suing employers. Benefits to the employee include: 100% of your medical care is paid for, the right to choose the doctor of your choice, 2/3 of your salary or wages are tax free while you recover from the accident until Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

If you are wondering, when should you report an injury? Report as soon as you realize that you have an injury. It’s impossible to understate the importance of notification when it comes to a work related injury. You want to be on record with your employer immediately; your employer should have you fill out Form 45, the state Workers Compensation form. Illinois allows 45 days to file a claim. Failure to do so may provide justification for a workers compensation carrier to deny benefits, even if the workplace injury is very serious. Besides contacting your boss or benefits director (typically an HR function), you should consult an attorney. The Illinois Workers Compensation law is structured so that attorneys are not paid unless there is a settlement. It is in your benefit to consult an attorney immediately if you have an injury and enter into an Attorney’s Representation Agreement.

Don’t forget to document what caused the accident as it is important in filing a claim. Provide your employer and attorney with the following information if the injury was the result of a specific accident: the names of all witnesses, the description of how, when, and where the accident and injury occurred, and any other information that will help resolve the claim.

After the claim has been filed, you are assigned an arbitrator and a case number. During the status call, you can request a trial or make other emergency requests. This bi-monthly review process can continue until your claim reaches the red line which is about three years at which point the Arbitrator could dismiss the claim for failure to prosecute if you are still not treating at that time.

Different types of injuries associated with Worker Compensation claims include:

Warehouse/Factory Worker Injuries
Healthcare Worker Injuries
Office Worker Injuries
Shipping/Trucking Worker Injuries
Airline Worker Injuries
Repetitive Trauma Injuries
Third Party Causes of Action

Howard Ankin founded the Ankin Law Office LLC over 12 years ago; the firm is known and respected as one of Chicago’s top Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Law practices. With extensive experience practicing personal injury, workers compensation, wrongful death, social security disability, and criminal and civil litigation, Howard has devoted his professional life to seeking justice on behalf of his clients and providing superior legal support for all of its clients. Howard Ankin prides himself in representing his clients as their friend and attorney, often providing quality referrals for legal matters outside of his practice areas. His investment in the Ankin Law Office LLC is evidenced every day as families throughout the Chicago area and Illinois return to the firm for legal guidance at all stages of their lives.

Business Ventures Using Worker’s Compensation Law

People can easily benefit from any kind of employment particularly those who have some form of compensation law implemented. Medical insurance plans are provided to workers under a basic compensation agreement and this is primarily to assure them with a sense of medical security for when they are faced with a medical emergency. Having a worker’s compensation contract frees the employer from the possible burden that can be brought about by employees suing them on account of negligence.

This article will be discussing the different aspects in relation to compensation law in the workplace for any kind of industry. An employee may be given the opportunity to receive medical coverage as part of the compensation benefits that he or she will be given in return for the inability to sue the employer when events involving negligence may arise in the future. Compensation bargain settlements are almost always part of the income which comprises part of the worker’s regular salary.

Medical benefits are not the only things that the compensation law aims to provide workers, but it is also more of a comprehensive insurance policy for all kinds of needs. Employees can benefit from compensation bargains in terms of receiving adequate life support coverage, disability benefits, and also possible economic loss assistance. These benefits are coordinated by the employer with government offices to make every aspect legal in accordance with the labor code.

Compensation law for workers was something developed by the trade unions early on together with the growth of the industrial societies all over the world. Employers gave their employees improved working environments together with their comprehensive insurance coverage when the law was applied. The law is also favorable to the employers because workers refuse the right to press charges against them should any problems arise in work when the law is implemented.

The compensation law provides much assistance to workers but employers can acquire high expenses especially if they are not well informed about the law. There are plenty of ways to reduce the costs incurred by employers yet still have them provide for the needs of their employees. The employers just need to regulate the claims made upon them by ensuring that every claim is legitimate.

There is a chance where the compensation law could back fire thereby creating disadvantageous effects that can cause harm to the employer and the employee as well. It is not uncommon for businesses that provide worker’s compensation to incur some form of additional expense when the ruling is put in order. Employers should always be aware of the possibility that there will be members of the staff who can fabricate one story after the other that will entitle them to settlement payments.

The compensation law can cause some problems not only for the employer but the employees as well even if the ruling is meant for their benefit. With regard to compensation for workers, only a limited form of assistance should be expected. Having a compensation bargain automatically disables any right that the employee previously had in terms of any legal action against his or her employer.

The pattern that can be seen here is the possibility of employees charging compensation for even unrealistic claims and employers not acting responsibly in terms of employee safety. The compensation law and every other law for that matter carry their sets of pros and cons when people choose how to apply them. The way to resolve this issue is by learning how to go about the ruling where a majority of the positive elements can overcome the negative ones.

When implemented, there is a requirement that should be accomplished with the clauses of claims and negligence which are a part of the compensation law. When dealing with such a rule, the preliminary concern is with regard to how it can make workers and employers work better together. Employees should be happy with their employment situation and having compensation rulings can lead that to happen.

Workers Compensation Attorney – A Good Career Choice

Among the many types of law available for study and specialization, workers compensation is one of them. Becoming an attorney, or a lawyer at all, is hard but rewarding work if you put in the time and effort.

Like all attorneys, you must first attend college and then become accepted into law school. Choose a school that offers a thorough selection of electives or specialty courses in workers compensation. A strong workmans’ compensation curriculum will give you a good start to becoming a highly-trained workers compensation attorney.

Once you’ve entered law school and have worked your way through some of the prerequisite courses, start concentrating in workmens’ compensation classes. Familiarize yourself with the professors of those classes and get to know them. A good attorney is always building contacts and networking for the future. Let the faculty know of your desire to become a workers’ compensation attorney and use their expertise and guidance to help navigate through your studies. Additionally, pay attention in classes and keep in mind how workmans compensation can apply to the world around you, in and out of law school.

As many as there are, classes do not make the man, or in this case, the attorney. Most law schools require internships in a law firm before you may graduate. Search for internships in with a firm that specializes in workers compensation. Summer internships or associate programs are a wonderful way to network and find another workmens compensation attorney who can lend you advice in the field. Internships will also help you decide if worker’s compensation is truly the right field of study for you.

Upon graduation, there is one hurdle left: the Bar Exam. All attorneys of any specialization must pass the Bar Exam in their states before being allowed to legally practice. To be a workers compensation attorney requires an enormous amount of time dedicated to studying, and all general law as well. Buckle down and study hard to pass the first time.

Finally, the day has come and you’ve passed the Bar Exam. You are now ready to begin working. Target firms where you interned; if you are lucky, a workmans’ compensation attorney in one of those firms may be able to help you get a job. If a position with one of those firms is not available, use the workmens’ compensation networking and contacts you developed in school to apply for jobs at firms that specialize in workers compensation. Be sure to emphasize your education, your experience, and of course, your enthusiasm for becoming a workmans compensation attorney.

As you become more experienced you will begin building your client base. When you first begin practicing law, you may not necessarily be practicing only workers compensation law; you may be receiving all sorts of cases in many areas. Work those cases and begin to let your associates and colleagues know that you are specifically interested in working on workers compensation cases. Additionally, search your area for a local Bar Association and join the branch for workmens compensation attorneys. This will help you network and build a solid base of clients who are specifically looking for a workers compensation attorney. Apply all your knowledge acquired from school, internships, and legal practice, and become a successful and knowledgeable workmans compensation attorney.

Workers Compensation Laws

These law vary from state to state, some workers who have been injured on their job where there are four or more employees may receive medical care and financial compensation without having to prove the employer was at fault in the accident. In fact, if the worker compensation law apply under the circumstances, then these laws are the workers only remedy, and the employee cannot sue an employer for injuries received on the job laws vary from state to state.

Worker Comp Law is a system of laws that protect an employer from liability from employees when they sustain workers comp injuries while at work or sustain work related diseases. Pain and suffering are not included in calculating an employees right to limited workers comp. The workers compensation tables vary from employee to employee, and, state by state.

They usually include a need for review by a workers compensation board and are calculated by an analysis of the injury, whether it be specific or general, or, temporary or permanent. But this is an area where the simplicity of its function and purpose can be its complexity.

You have the responsibility to tell the doctor how you were injured and if you believe the injury may be work related, and whether it may be worker compensation related injury before receiving medical treatment the insurance company has the right to terminate benefits on your claim till the workers compensation board reviews you claim and makes a temporary decision based on the facts. Compensation Lawyers are knowledgeable of this law and its complexity.

Changes to Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Law in 2011

In the spring of 2011, Illinois lawmakers made some changes to our state’s workers’ compensation laws. In this area of law, the interests of the employee and those of the employer are generally at odds. The new changes are aimed at helping businesses save money, which inevitably comes at the expense of injured workers.

We generally recommend that an injured worker seek out an experienced workers’ compensation attorney and at the very least get an initial consultation. Now, we believe it’s even more important for an employee to have someone on their side who is familiar with the law. The new law affects injuries occurring on or after September 1, 2011.

Illinois workers are still allowed to choose their own doctor, as well as a second doctor if they want to switch or get a second opinion. And any referrals from these doctors should be covered, as well. This is known as two chains of referrals. However, employers now are permitted to have preferred provider networks (PPOs) for workers’ compensation, and the law penalizes employees if they don’t choose one of these approved providers. If an employee opts out of the network (which is allowed if requested in writing), it counts as one of their choices of doctors, and they are left with just one.

Doctors and other health care providers who treat injured workers are paid from a set fee schedule. The new law reduces the fees, paying providers about 30% for treatment of work injuries. Again, this reduces the cost for employers.

In addition to restricting doctor choice and reducing doctor fees, the new changes to the law limit wage benefits, as well. When a worker is unable to return to their previous occupation, or must work for less pay as a result of their work injury, they are entitled to a wage differential. These are payments given to the worker for a portion of the difference in their pre- and post-injury wages. These benefits used to be available indefinitely, and even for life. The law now says they can continue for five years, or until the worker turns 67, whichever is later.

Benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury, are limited, as well. In order to determine benefits, this type of injury is measured by a percentage of loss of used of the hand. The new law limits the percentage to 15% (and 30% in some cases), and caps benefits at 190 weeks.

The 2011 changes also affect how a worker proves their case. In situations where a worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury, the law still says that the worker can get benefits if the intoxication was not the cause of the injury. So if the worker was drinking on the job, and then something heavy randomly fell on them, they could still get benefits. However, if they were drinking and their drunkenness caused them to stumble and bump into a shelf, which then caused something heavy to fall on them, benefits would be unlikely. The new law makes these cases more difficult for injured workers by saying if they fail a drug or alcohol test, it is assumed that the intoxication was the cause and it’s up to the worker to prove otherwise. This puts the burden on the employee. The law also says that benefits will not be available for workers who are highly intoxicated. (You can’t get benefits in any situation if you are acting “outside the scope of your employment” when injured; extreme intoxication puts the worker in this category, according to the new law.)

Another restriction on the availability of benefits is when it comes to proving permanent disability. An employee’s testimony is no longer considered a good way to determine this. Instead, arbitrators must look at a list of objective factors, including the employee’s age, occupation, future earning capacity, and evidence of disability in medical records.

One more notable change: All the arbitrators will be terminated and must reapply if they want their position back. We suspect that most will be rehired.

There are additional changes to the text of the law, but in our opinion these are the most significant. If you have any questions, talk to an attorney who focuses their practice in this area. They should be fully aware of the new laws and ready to explain how they might affect your claim. If you already have a claim, or your injury occurred prior to September 1, 2011, the new laws likely won’t affect your case.