Unmasking the Insurance Companies Traps

workers compensation attorney Allentown

In workers’ compensation cases, the relationship between claimants and insurance companies often seems like a high-stakes game of chess. The problem is that you, as a claimant, must play the game, while the insurers play the rules.

While the system is designed to provide financial relief to those injured on the job, it’s no secret that insurance companies often employ a host of less-than-honest strategies to protect their bottom line.

Every workers’ compensation attorney in Allentown knows this and, as someone whose livelihood may depend on a successful claim, you need to be acutely aware of these strategies as well.

Today, we’ll be exploring several of these tactics, offering you an invaluable insight into how they work, in order to equip you with the knowledge essential to recognize and protect yourself in the face of the insurance industry’s schemes.

Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable: The 90-Day Trap

If the workers’ compensation insurance company is paying benefits to you pursuant to a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (TNCP or NTCP), you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Benefits paid pursuant to such a document can be stopped by the insurance company at any time within 90 days of the date your disability began. By “coincidence”, the period of time during which you may be required to treat with a company doctor is 90 days.

Why does this make a difference? If the insurance company issues a Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP), or if they pay you benefits pursuant to a TNCP for more than 90 days, the company is legally responsible for your claim, which means that they have to keep paying you benefits until you agree to let them stop, you return to work at no loss of wage, or they obtain a court order, which is not easy. 

Pennsylvania Workers' Comp Offsets

Insurance companies are well aware of these deadlines and deal with them by entering into cozy relationships with company doctors. The doctor who is so nice to you for the first 60 days may suddenly turn on you just in time for the insurance company to issue a notice denying your workers’ compensation claim and stopping your benefits.

Insurance companies pressure these doctors to release work injury patients before 90 days have expired. This is ordinarily accomplished by having the doctor say that you have recovered or that your problems are related to some pre-existing condition.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Subrogation Cases

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued several cases that have a significant impact on an insurance company’s right to recover from the proceeds of personal injury cases against third parties arising out of cases in which the plaintiff has received benefits for a work-related injury.

Pennsylvania State Police v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 184 A.3d 958 (Pa. 2018)

Watch out if an insurance company tries to assert a right of subrogation in a case under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law where the plaintiff is receiving Heart and Lung Act benefits. 

The Heart and Lung Act provides for payment of full salary and medical expense benefits to certain municipal employees including firefighters and police officers who are temporarily disabled because of work-related injuries.

An insurance company has no right of subrogation for either salary or medical expense benefits paid under this statute. Sometimes an insurance company will claim they are entitled to recover the amounts that were otherwise payable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, or approximately two‑thirds of salary benefits and all medical expense payments.

They have no such right. If the third-party claim is covered by the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law and the benefits were paid pursuant to the Heart and Lung Act, the insurance company or the employer has no right of subrogation.

Whitmoyer v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 186 A.3d 647 (Pa. 2018)

Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable

Sometimes insurance companies try to slip language into third-party settlement agreements that give them the right to reduce payment of future medical expenses. For example, an insurance company may put language in a third-party settlement agreement in which they agree to pay 40 percent of future medical bills with the plaintiff/claimant to pay the remainder.

Under Pennsylvania law, following repayment of compensation paid to the date of the third-party settlement, the employer or the insurance company may not reduce payment of future medical expense benefits. They have the right to pay reduced wage loss benefits in the future if the third-party recovery exceeds the amount of the lien, but they do not have the right to reduce future medical expense payments.

Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Offsets

It’s bad enough that your benefits are fixed on the date of injury and never go up. Insurance companies also have the right to cut your workers’ compensation benefits based on other benefits that you receive.

  • If you are receiving Social Security Retirement benefits, the insurance company is allowed to reduce your wage loss benefits by an amount equal to half of your monthly retirement benefits.  
  • If you’re receiving pension benefits from a plan that was funded by the employer for whom you were working at the time of injury, the insurance company can take a dollar-for-dollar credit for those benefits.
  • If you received a severance package that was funded by your time-of‑injury employer, the insurance company has a right to take credit for that.

Your benefits will also be reduced for each dollar you receive in unemployment compensation benefits during your period of work-related disability. The insurance company giveth and the insurance company taketh away. 

Where to find an experienced workers’ compensation attorney near me in Allentown?

If you need an adept legal team that factors in every detail to help you realize maximum benefits while avoiding common work comp pitfalls, you won’t find anyone better on either side of Little Lehigh Creek than Liberty Bell. 

For more than two decades, our ethical attorneys provided comprehensive guidance to injured workers throughout Allentown and the region, helping them realize maximum benefits and secure their future. Today, we’re here to do the same for you. Reach out to us for a 100% free, no-obligation consultation!

Settling a Work Comp Claim: Dangers Nobody Warns You About

Allentown workers compensation attorney

Considering how life-altering workplace injuries can be, both physically and financially, securing fair compensation through a workers’ compensation claim can be a critical step toward financial stability.

However, while settling a work comp claim can provide you with the support you need to recover and move forward with your life, this process is not without its hidden dangers that, more often than not, go unmentioned.

Fortunately, it is possible to avoid these common pitfalls, especially if you have a good Allentown workers’ compensation attorney, who will expand on the information we provided here, thereby giving you all the tools necessary to successfully realize your claim.

Understand the Compromise and Release Agreement

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation cases are settled by entering into a compromise and release agreement. The parties then must go to a hearing in which the workers’ compensation judge determines whether the injured worker understands the significance of the agreement.

Settling a Work Comp Claim Dangers

In Hong v. WCAB, 51 A.3d 905 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2012), the injured worker entered into a lump sum settlement. The agreement did not say whether unpaid medical bills would be paid in addition to the lump sum. After the settlement, the injured worker learned that one physician had an outstanding bill in excess of $37,000.00 which the employer refused to pay.

The Commonwealth Court stated that to set aside a compromise and release agreement, the party trying to set it aside must show fraud, deception, duress, or mutual mistake. The court found that none of these factors was present. 

The court found that had the claimant wanted to ensure payment of past medical bills in addition to the lump sum, his counsel could have included appropriate language in the agreement. That the claimant had counsel was an important factor for the court.

Bottom line: Make sure you understand the Compromise and Release Agreement, including any provisions concerning the payment of medical expenses.

Protecting your right to medical coverage

If you are keeping the medical expenses open when you settle your case, look closely at the language. Sometimes injured workers will settle a workers’ compensation case while keeping the insurance companies’ responsibility to medical bills open.

In DePue v. WCAB, 61 A.3d 1062 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2012), the injured worker entered into a compromise and release agreement which described the injury as “closed head injury with seizure disorder and short-term memory loss.”

After the compromise and release agreement was approved, the injured worker filed a penalty petition alleging that the employer failed to pay for medical bills for a shoulder injury and then filed a review petition to add a left shoulder injury to the description of injury.

The Commonwealth Court ruled that the injured worker cannot do so. In connection with the resolution of the case, the injured worker is bound by the description of injury contained in the compromise and release agreement. 

The parties can, by agreement, say that the agreement is without prejudice to the right of the claimant to add additional injuries at some future point. Absent that language, the injured worker is going to be bound by the description of injury contained in the compromise and release agreement.

Bottom line: If you are keeping medical expenses open in the settlement of your workers’ compensation case, pay careful attention to the description of the injury contained in the agreement, to avoid falling into this common insurance company’s trap.

What was the biggest workers’ comp settlement in Pennsylvania?

This is one of the most common questions work comp lawyers hear anywhere from Lehigh Valley to Pitsburg, expecting to hear about astronomical sums. The truth, however, is – it doesn’t really matter.

There are limits on the benefits an injured person may receive under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.  For the profoundly injured or disabled worker who may need expensive medical care, it may make no sense to settle a workers’ compensation case.  Merely because an attorney settled a workers’ compensation case for a large sum of money may mean nothing if the client gives up medical coverage.  If the settlement is used to pay for medical treatment and the money runs out, the client may have nothing but Medicare to pay for additional medical treatment, and Medicare has very significant coverage limitations.

Workers’ compensation is not like a personal injury law, in which an individual can recover for loss of future earning power, pain and suffering, and economic damages.  Most workers’ compensation recoveries in Pennsylvania are limited primarily to medical expense coverage. When the parties settle a workers’ compensation case, it is a true settlement in which all parties agree to the settlement amount. In a personal injury case, an attorney can always let a jury decide the value of the case. That cannot be done in workers’ compensation court.

Work Comp Claim Dangers Nobody Warns You About

If a firm brags about a multi-million-dollar workers’ compensation settlement, they represented somebody who suffered a catastrophic injury and settled the case for a lump sum the insurance company was willing to pay because it thought it would be cheaper than paying for future medical expenses. 

If the insurance company thinks it is cheaper to pay millions in a lump-sum settlement of medical expenses, do you think the worker may have been better off with open life-long medical coverage? Don’t be fooled by people bragging about settling such cases.  We routinely reject requests to settle their claims for medical benefits because it sometimes is not in the interests of the profoundly sick or injured to give up medical coverage.

Where in Allentown can I find a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney?

At Liberty Bell, we have extensive experience helping individuals navigate the convoluted alleyways of Pennsylvania’s work comp system. Our team of highly knowledgeable lawyers from Allentown knows the ins and outs of the process and can help you avoid common dangers and pitfalls with the utmost confidence. Reach out to us today for a free consultation and ensure you have a team who will fervently advocate for your rights!

2 Unknown Factors for Successful Work Comp Claim

work injury attorney Allentown

It is a well-known fact that workers’ compensation cases can become extremely complex, either from the very beginning or at some point during the process, primarily because of a massive number of factors that must be taken into consideration.

While having complete medical documentation and adept legal guidance from a reputable work injury attorney in Allentown are key, there are two lesser-known factors that can impact the favorable resolution of your claim: the witness’s memory and the judge’s mindset.

How can the witness’s memory impact the claim resolution?

While we generally think our memories are excellent, we tend to reconstruct the past in a way that is consistent with our interests and emotional needs. However, this also makes our minds easily tricked into remembering things that did not occur.

Attorneys throughout Lehigh County often deal with witnesses who are far too confident in their recollections. Some people simply cannot be convinced that their memories may be wrong no matter how strong the evidence.

A real-life example

Years ago, a young associate I supervised was concerned that a particular witness in a workers’ compensation case did not wish to acknowledge that her memory of the events that led to her injury was incorrect. The theory in the case was simple.

She was a woman in her 50s who, for many years, hoisted reams and boxes of paper onto her right shoulder to carry them from one location in the store to the other. Over the course of time, her right rotator cuff deteriorated and finally tore. 

Because virtually all the burden of doing this was on her right shoulder and arm, her left rotator cuff was fine. The woman, however, was convinced she suffered a specific incident in which she hurt her shoulder. 

How can the witness's memory impact the claim resolution

While it is probable that, at some point, she started feeling some pain in her shoulder when she lifted boxes, the problem was that she wrote two separate statements about how she injured her shoulder and made no mention of any specific incident.

In both statements, she said that she developed the symptoms over time. This was a perfectly reasonable explanation for her condition which, if accepted by the judge, would have resulted in a determination in her favor.

To make matters worse, the medical records of five separate medical providers, including a physical therapist, made no mention of a specific incident resulting in an injury. She insisted, however, that she told “all of them” about the time she lifted a box of paper on her shoulder and hurt herself. 

I explained to my associate that she needed to discuss with the woman the problems associated with contradicting her own medical records and statements and talk to her about the fallibility of memory and the tendency for people to remember things that occurred in the past in a way that is consistent with their emotional makeup, needs, and interests. 

I joined the associate in a conference room while she spoke with the claimant. She began by discussing the issue of memory, and the client acknowledged that she understood that memory is fallible. She discussed the problems associated with contradicting your own statements when testifying before a judge.

She explained the problem of trying to say that six separate medical providers had somehow recorded her history incorrectly. In the end, the woman agreed her memory of the incident was wrong, and that there could not have been a specific injury that resulted in her rotator cuff tear.

The U-turn

When she appeared before a judge, she testified consistently with her statements and the history that she provided to her medical providers, stating that the symptoms had occurred over the course of time and seemed to worsen during work hours. Her testimony was perfectly fine.

However, on cross-examination, the attorney asked the claimant if there was a specific incident that resulted in her injury. So strong was her memory of a specific incident, that she fell into the trap.

She claimed there was a specific incident, and then was subjected to 25 minutes of cross-examination during which she was confronted with both of her witness statements and the medical records from six different medical providers in which no history of a specific incident was recorded.

The Outcome

I genuinely believe this woman was testifying truthfully, in the sense that she honestly believed that her shoulder injury had resulted from a single incident in which she had lifted a box of paper onto her shoulders. I also believe, however, that this memory was completely false and that her shoulder problem resulted from repetitively lifting such boxes onto her shoulder over the course of time.

When the pressure was on, however, she could not resist insisting on the accuracy of her memory, which had predictable consequences: While my associate was able to get the case settled, the value of the settlement had gone down considerably. 

The Takeaway

When a witness testifies to a story that is contradicted by multiple documents containing descriptions of statements made by the witness, it is nearly impossible to convince a finder of fact that the witness is testifying truthfully. 

Therefore, if you’re due to testify in a workers’ compensation case, it is highly advisable to acknowledge the fact that your recollection of past events may not be perfect and to rely on the guidance of your legal counsel instead.

Will the mindset of the judge affect the outcome of my case?

Will the mindset of the judge affect the outcome of my case

Does the mindset of the judge have an impact on the likelihood that you will win or lose your workers’ compensation case? This is one of the most common questions we hear in our law firm and the answer is, unsurprisingly, “yes”. Like everyone, workers’ compensation judges in Pennsylvania have their own viewpoints, biases, and life experiences. 

Some are highly skeptical about certain medical providers. Others are skeptical about particular attorneys or law firms. Some judges are pro-employer, others pro-claimant. As such, it is only natural to conclude that the mindset of the judge can have a serious impact on whether you win or lose your workers’ compensation case.

Who’s the preferred work injury attorney near me in Allentown?

Whether you wish to discuss your options regarding long-term disability benefits or need a reliable team to help you avoid insurance companies’ traps after filing a claim, Liberty Bell should be your first choice. With a proven, 20-year-long track record of success, our dedicated team from Allentown has extensive experience of the region’s legal landscape and can help you navigate every facet of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law with utmost confidence. Reach out today!

Long-Term Disability & SSDI: A Comprehensive Analysis

Work injury lawyer Allentown

Many working Americans have long-term disability coverage through their employers. What they don’t realize is how the deck is stacked against purchasers of employer-supplied disability insurance.

Imagine you were injured in an automobile accident and filed suit against the man who drove his car into the back of yours because he was busy texting his bookie. You showed up in court and amazingly enough, the judge is the person who smashed into the back of your car! 

Over in the jury box are his wife and family. The defense attorney is his brother. You, of course, are all alone, because you didn’t know that you needed a work injury lawyer in Allentown. What do you think the outcome will be?

License To Steal: How Long-Term Disability Insurance Companies Cheat You Blind

The above hypothetical scenario, disconcerting as it may be, paints an almost perfect picture of how long-term disability claims are handled. Though the law that governs these types of policies says that the insurance companies are supposed to administer these claims in a fair and impartial manner, most of the insurers pay lip service to this requirement.

The insurance company has an array of professional claims people who gather your medical records, and have them reviewed by physicians who make their money certifying that you’re not disabled. Claims personnel make intrusive phone calls to your doctors and then place misleading descriptions of the conversations in the claim record.

Long Term Disability SSDI

To top it all off, you probably won’t know that you’re entitled to take a look at all the records that the insurance company is using to determine whether you’re entitled to benefits. If the record in the case is closed by the insurance company, you won’t have the right to submit more evidence into the record if you’re required to take an appeal of the decision to a federal judge.

Considering all the complexities of the process already imposed by the system, as well as the immense potential for further complications, it’s safe to say that trying to pursue a long-term disability claim on your own would be a grave mistake. Instead, hire an experienced lawyer at the earliest possible moment and let their expertise guide you toward financial security.

Supplementing Your Lost Income: How Your Long-Term Disability Insurance Should Bridge The Gap

After a life-changing injury or medical condition leaves you disabled, it can be difficult to know what your future has in store for you. Other than your own recovery, one of your first priorities is to secure your finances.

Facing what could amount to years without an income is certainly frightening, but fortunately, long-term disability insurance may be able to help you stay afloat during your absence from the workplace.

However, while long-term disability insurance can be a wonderful asset, it can also be very tricky for some individuals to obtain. With complicated application and appeal procedures, many people have a challenging time collecting the benefits that they have paid for much of their tenure with a particular employer.

When these individuals do finally succeed in obtaining long-term disability benefits, many are surprised to learn that it is not an immediate and complete income replacement: it acts primarily as a supplement and is not available immediately. Here are some important things to know about your long-term disability policy benefits:

  • You will not receive your long-term disability benefits immediately after you apply. There is a window in which you will not receive long-term disability benefits. This is known as the elimination period and typically lasts three to six months. During this time, your short-term disability will still be paying out, so you will still have some supplemental income.
  • You may have to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, as well. Insurance companies are concerned with their bottom line, and if there is another way for you to collect money, they will insist that you do so. If your Social Security Disability Insurance application is successful, the amount you receive monthly will be taken out of your long-term disability benefits, and you will receive the excess.
  • Long-term disability benefits are not meant to replace your income, they are meant to supplement it. This means that you will be receiving a percentage of your income, which will be outlined in your long-term disability insurance policy. Typically, those on long-term disability receive about 60% of their former income.
  • Employer-sponsored plans are covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a law drafted to benefit employers, not employees. If your claim is denied, you may have to pursue internal appeal rights. If you do not have an attorney assisting you in your internal appeal, the decision may be nearly impossible to get reversed.

Now That Taxes On The Wealthy Have Been Cut, It’s Time To Cut Benefits For The Disabled

One of the saddest myths perpetuated by the right is that most people collecting Social Security disability benefits are lazy, as Senator Rand Paul once implied. “Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?” – Senator Paul asked, demonstrating that he has no idea what the program is about.

President Trump’s 2018 budget called for $72.5 billion in cuts in SSDI and supplemental security income (SSI), another program for disabled people, over 10 years. His position on this is ironic, given that nine out of the ten counties with the highest share of working-age adults collecting SSDI benefits voted for him. 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is not a welfare program

We pay into the program to insure against the risk that someday our bodies may give out on us and we will be unable to work. The benefits paid are meager and difficult to get. Sixty percent of the claims are turned down anyhow and, if you appeal a denial, it can take as long as 2 years to get a hearing before a Social Security judge. 

SSDI is a program for people who are desperately ill and suffering from cancer, severe heart disease, uncontrollable diabetes, or other terrible ailments. Beneficiaries of SSDI benefits have a mortality rate that is three times that of people their age. About one-fifth of men and one-sixth of women in the program die within 5 years of getting their first Social Security disability check. 

Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

Long Term Disability Insurance Companies

The process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be daunting. Many people are unsure of where to start and are intimidated by the large number of applicants who are denied benefits each year.

One of the first questions we are often asked as Social Security disability attorneys is if the individual even qualifies for SSDI benefits. While it can be challenging to determine each individual’s eligibility, especially since many people suffer from several ailments simultaneously, we have included some of the basic requirements for disability benefits below.

Are You Eligible to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

SSDI benefits are benefits that you work hard to earn, and have paid for over your working life through FICA taxes. Depending on the length and recency of your work history (it varies based on your age), you may have already met the work requirements to be eligible for SSDI, so let’s look at some of the other qualifiers:

  • You are unable to work because of a disability;
  • You have medical records that support your disability;
  • You have been, or are expected to be, disabled and unable to work for at least 12 months;
  • You are under the age of 65.

The Social Security Administration provides a comprehensive list of qualifying disabilities, and here is an example of just a few:

  • Blindness;
  • Amputation;
  • Cancer;
  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • Spine injuries;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol;
  • Heart conditions;
  • Diabetes;
  • HIV-positive diagnosis;
  • Mental impairments such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or PTSD.

Each condition has its own set of guidelines and standards for being considered a disability, and solid medical evidence of your conditions and treatments provided by your physician can greatly help your case. Remember, be sure to list all of your conditions when applying for SSDI and not just the ones you consider disabling, as their effects will be considered as a combined whole.

Star Trek, Social Security Disability, and the Nature of Human Rationality – Thinking Like Mr. Spock Is Not Logical

In Antonio Damasio’s book, Descartes’ Error, he relates the story of a patient he calls Elliot, who appeared to be “intelligent, skilled and able-bodied,” but who nonetheless was incapable of working and whose application for disability benefits had been denied.

When Dr. Damasio met Elliot, he was coherent and capable of talking about all that was occurring in the world, including political affairs, history, and business. His memory of his life story was flawless.

Elliot had an excellent job and was rising up the ladder in a good firm. Eventually, however, he began to develop headaches that interfered with his ability to concentrate. His condition worsened, and his work had to be completed or corrected by others. His family physician suspected a brain tumor, which turned out to be correct. 

Just above his naval cavities, he had a tumor about the size of an orange that compressed both frontal lobes. Though benign, the tumor was growing rapidly and he had to undergo surgery if he were to survive.  His medical team successfully removed the tumor. Unfortunately, however, he was left with a radical change in personality.

Though he continued to be intelligent, he could not get up for work without prompting. He proved to be unable to manage time and devoted inordinate effort to activities that were only loosely related to his main tasks or were relatively trivial compared to other pressing matters.  

He read and understood the materials provided to him, but he would devote his time to activities he found most interesting rather than those that were most important. For example, he occasionally began sorting client documents, which he ordinarily did well. Suddenly fascinated by a particular document, he would waste an entire day reading and analyzing it, ignoring more important tasks.

Soon he lost his job, fell prey to con artists, and lost all his money and his family. Elliott suffered no anxiety from his poor decisions. He accepted catastrophic reversals with complete aplomb, never losing any sleep. He could have starved to death, calmly accepting his terrible fate.

Star Trek fans think of emotions as interfering with, rather than supporting rationality. When the Enterprise faced annihilation at the hands of the evil Klingons, Captain Kirk nearly always turned to Mr. Spock, whose emotionless logical advice often saved the day. Had Elliott been advising Captain Kirk, he might have been too busy making a paper clip chain to consider how to maneuver the ship away from the Klingon death rays.

Decision-making can be rational only if we suffer the emotional consequences of error. Though anxiety can be disabling if it is excessive, it is an adaptation crucial for survival. If he were not a fictional character, it is likely that Mr. Spock would need Dr. Damasio to testify in his social security disability hearing.

Who’s the leading work injury lawyer near me in Allentown?

Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

While long-term disability benefits do have certain limitations, they are an important financial lifeline for many individuals and families throughout the United States. If you have been injured and are applying for long-term disability benefits, or have already been denied, reach out to Liberty Bell Workers’ Compensation today, located near Allentown Public Library.

With decades of experience in the field and thousands of successful cases behind us, we’re the premier team to guide you through the complexities of Pennsylvania’s legal system. Don’t wait to realize your rights – call our office or begin a live chat now to schedule a free consultation with our firm!

What If Multiple Parties are Involved in the Car Crash

Sometimes in a car crash, there can be multiple parties liable for its cause. This means that if the victim gets injured he/she can recover compensation from all the parties responsible for the car crash.

When and How Multi-Vehicle Car Crashes Happen?

Several points of impact may include multi-vehicle car wrecks which result in severe injuries and even death. Some very common cause of multi-vehicle crashes include:

  • Distracted Driving: There are higher chances that drivers who are distracted cause multiple vehicle accidents. Distraction can be anything like using mobile, talking to the passenger, eating, drinking, or adjusting GPS or radio.
  • Tailgating: Driver who don’t keep a safe distance from other vehicles and have to apply to slow down or apply brakes in very little time if the vehicle ahead of them has to stop suddenly. This may cause a chain reaction of multiple vehicles hitting each other.
  • Impaired Driving: Drivers are less alert when they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In such a condition they may not be able to quickly react to something going on ahead of their vehicle.
  • Speeding: Driving at a high speed causes loss of vehicle control and rear-end collisions which result in multiple vehicles smash if they don’t stop. The risk is much higher when multi-vehicle collide on the interstate when they are traveling above 50m/hr.
  • Drowsy Driving: When drivers are fatigued or drowsy they may doze off behind the steering wheel and this maximizes the chances of a dangerous vehicle collision.
  • Weather Conditions: often multi-vehicle wreck is the result of bad weather conditions such as high winds, snow, rain, or fog. A multiple-vehicle crash may happen when any of these factors are combined with the recklessness of the driver.

Get In Touch With An Experienced Legal Professional

If you got injured in a crash involving multiple vehicles then this personal injury case is different. You then need to contact a qualified lawyer to guide you about your case. Get in touch with the Stockton car accident attorney to know about your legal options.

Liability for Multi-Vehicle Accidents

In case the accident happens two or more vehicles are involved in the crash then the liability falls on multiple drivers. The driver who initiated the crash is often liable for most of the fault. However, the rest of the drivers are also responsible for over speeding or any other form of recklessness discussed above if found guilty.

If the accident is the result of any form of negligence discussed earlier, the victim is eligible for damage compensation including lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.

As these cases are complicated so claimant needs to hire a skilled lawyer to investigate the case and represent you in court. You will be immediately offered a settlement by the insurance company.

Do not trust such offers as the case needs time for the investigation to access liability. Contact the lawyer as they are prepared to seek out video footage of the accident, consulting medical experts, study the vehicle damage as well as interview witnesses to find out the fault.

What Injuries are not covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance?

As a rule of thumb, any injury sustained during an activity that benefits your employer renders you eligible for worker’s compensation insurance. However, if an injury can easily be healed with the contents of a first aid box, it means it is not severe enough to file a compensation claim; a minor bruise, cut, and a onetime headache do not qualify. However, circumstances of an accident can be unusual, so you never know where you stand. If you are confused regarding a workplace injury, you must consult a personal injury attorney to determine your fate. Worker’s compensation laws may differ from state to state, and there are exceptions to every situation. Personal Injury Attorney in Woodland Hills mentions the types of injuries that are normally not covered by worker’s compensation insurance:

Accidents during Commute to and from Work

If you get into a traffic accident while travelling to work or getting home from work, your injuries will not be reimbursed by the company’s worker’s compensation insurance. However, if you were using a company car and your job location I not fixed, you can claim for compensation. You can also qualify for insurance if you were running an errand for your boss on the way to work.

Injuries caused by Horseplay or a Fight at Work

Fooling around or quarrelling with a colleague at the workplace does not fall under the scope of employment; therefore, you cannot demand compensation for getting hurt due to your personal antics, competitions, or rivalries. On the contrary, you might qualify for reimbursement if you were an innocent bystander or your employer did not discourage the illicit behavior. 

Injuries resulting from Intoxication

If you show up at work drunk or are under the influence of a drug, the employer is not responsible for whatever trouble you get into. Intoxication boggles the mind and deteriorates coordination between the mind and body, so you become more susceptible to accidents. However, intoxication defenses are difficult for an employer to prove, unless you are forced to undergo a blood test on the spot.

Accidents occurred during Recreational Activities

Many employers arrange for recreational activities for the mental and physical wellbeing of the staff. These activities are optional, and may or not be executed on the work site. Injuries incurred during recreational activities are only compensable if they were carried out during working hours and your boss obligated you to participate. Moreover, you may also deserve reimbursement if the recreation included work related events, such as a presentation or discussion that is in the interests of the company.

Injuries incurred during Lunch Break

If you leave the work premises during lunch break to eat out or take care of some other personal business, you shall consider yourself outside the boundaries of employment. Your boss cannot be held liable for an accident that occurs while you are utilizing free time for something that doesn’t concern them. Compensation claims could be valid if you were hurt inside the office break room or cafeteria. As you were near and accessible to the employer during time off, it denotes mutual benefit.  

Offsite Injuries

If you are away from work for the sake of executing personal missions, it does not concern the employer. However, your injuries are covered by worker’s compensation if they happened while you were working from home, travelling between two work sites, involved in offsite education/training integral to the job, or engaged in a business trip.

Why Drivers Need Personal Injury Lawyers in an Accident

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be one of the most devastating things that you
will ever have to deal with in your life. Not only can you and another person get hurt in a car
accident, but the damage to your vehicle could be so great to the point that you actually have to
get it impounded and buy a new one. This is why so many people are interested in getting an
accident attorney who can work with them when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
The accident attorney will be able to take your case on for you and help you to get the
compensation that you both need and want in order to get on with your life.

The most important thing for you to consider is hiring a personal injury attorney so that they can
work with you want a case in order for you to get some type of compensation. A lot of people
who are involved in a motor vehicle accident get hurt and they may have to deal with medical
bills and medical issues for many years to come because of the fact that this accident happened
in the first place. This is why it is so important for you to consider working with a professional
los Angeles personal injury attorney so that they can take the case on for you and get you some
type of compensation in order for you to feel better about the outcome of the problem itself. 
What you would want to know about a professional accident lawyer is that they can take on a
motor vehicle injury case for you, but they will have to know all of the details about the injury
and accident before they are able to take you on as a client. This means that you may have to
indulge different types of medical issues to these professionals in order for them to get you the
help that you need in a secure and professional manner. They will be able to sit down with you
and discuss the different types of options that come if they were to take you on as a client and
what you should expect after going to a court of law for this case in general.

It is so important for you to consider working with a professional car accident lawyer like
Attorney Payam Shayani because of the fact that this is someone who specifically works on
motor vehicle accident cases each and every day. You can feel confident knowing that this is a
professional who will be able to walk you through the process of going to court because of the
fact that you were in an accident and were hurt or severely dealt with car damage because of a
result of this. The lawyer can walk you through this process so that you do not feel so out of
place when it comes to finally go into a court of law to have your case heard in front of a judge
with the lawyer by your side.

Different Types of Worker’s Compensation Fraud

Accidents can happen anywhere, including your workplace. Sometimes, the nature of work or the working environment can deteriorate one’s health. When an employee files a lawsuit against the employer, the company’s reputation is put at risk.

The Worker’s Compensation Insurance is a program designed to take care of work related injuries and illnesses among employees. With a sound insurance plan, business owners can prevent employees from suing and dragging them to court; the employees get the benefits they need and the employer is saved from paying the expenses out of pocket. Worker’s compensation covers medical bills and lost wages for an indefinite time period.  

While the program was established for the wellbeing of business owners and their staff, many individuals try to manipulate it for personal gains.  Wheat Ridge, CO Worker’s Compensation Lawyer state that worker’s compensation fraud comes in different forms; anyone among the employee, employer, or healthcare provider can be held liable. 

Worker’s Compensation Fraud by Employees

Worker’s compensation fraud by an employee is the most common of all three. Sometimes workers fake an injury or illness to get time off without deduction of salary. Pretending to have a fever and submitting a fake doctor’s certificate for leave is something that is witnessed frequently at offices and workstations.

At times accidents do occur and cause mild injuries to employees. The employee may exaggerate the injury or illness to avoid coming in for work. For example, ordinary leg cramps could be described as intolerable pain, which is keeping them from standing up or leaving bed.

Some workers utilize injuries that were not inflicted on the job. An injury encountered elsewhere is demonstrated as one caused at the workplace, so the company pays for their medical expenses and lost wages.

Worker’s Compensation Fraud by the Employer

Many business owners only buy worker’s compensation insurance because it is a requirement of the state. The interest of their employees does not concern them, so they seek shortcuts to minimize the payables.

Presenting employees as independent contractors, wrongly classifying workers, or showing a lesser number than the actual quantity of staff are a few widely used strategies. Many companies misinterpret the job requirement and lie about environmental safety to qualify for cheaper premiums.

Although this technique helps them save substantial payments in the beginning, they have to pay heavy fines and penalties when they get caught. In some cases, higher taxes are imposed and employees have to be paid more for ‘extra work’.

Worker’s Compensation Fraud by Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospital accountants tend to take advantage of the system. Physicians give an incorrect diagnosis or represent a minor injury as a serious medical condition. They overcharge for patient care and bill the company for treatment that was neither necessary, nor provided.

By fooling the injured employee and their employer, they are able to extract a good load of money from the insurance program. A wrong procedure or unsuitable medication that harms the patient shall be considered as medical malpractice. Medics that are accused of insurance frauds and medical malpractice can lose their operating license. Medical practice lawsuits ruin the reputation of healthcare facilities and sometimes cost them millions of dollars.

What is the Difference between Disability Benefits and Workers Compensation?

When an employee gets injured enough and is rendered unable to do the jobs he is assigned, he may be entitled to different types of financial support. These include:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Disability benefits
  • Social Security Disability Insurance

Employees are entitled to different kinds of benefits depending upon their circumstances. The key difference between workers’ compensation and other disability benefits are given below:

Workers’ Compensation vs. Disability Benefits

An individual is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when he or she gets injured at work. It is a requirement according to most states’ legislature that employers carry workers’ compensation in order to cover their injured employees. On the other hand, state disability benefits provide the individual with weekly reimbursements when he/she is not well enough to work at his/her usual or customary job. The main difference between the two benefits is that workers compensation insurances an employee for injuries for which the employer is responsible.On the other hand, disability benefits are not provided through the employer, but these benefits still reconcile for any lost wages.

An individual may be eligible to receive disability benefits while he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This happens in cases when the state disability benefits are higher than the workers’ compensation benefits.

In cases where the employer or the insurance company do not agree with the fact that the employee should be provided workers’ compensation, the state may entitle him or her to state disability benefits till the time the dispute is brought to a conclusion. The state may ask for the return of the money when the employee is finally provided workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation temporary benefits are paid to an individual till the time their condition turns out to be permanent and inactive. In such cases, the injured individual may get to receive permanent disability benefits and medical care for a life-time. On the other hand, state disability benefits can be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks.

Sometimes, an injured employee is provided with both SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for both simultaneously, certain conditions need to be fulfilled. If someone is expected to remain disabled for a period of at least a year, or is suffering from a deadly illness and has paid significant funds that make him eligible for social security disability system, the person may be entitled to both workers’ compensation (or state disability benefits) and SSDI at the same time. However, SSDI may get reduced by the workers’ compensation receipt or state disability benefits.

People are normally not entitled to unemployment benefits and temporary disability benefits (received through workers’ compensation) simultaneously. In cases where doctors find out that the individual is unable to continue work and the employer is unable to find a suitable job in their company that the injured individual can perform, the individual can be entitled to unemployment benefit. Theseunemployment benefits can only be paid for a maximum of six months.