Industrial injuries; forever changing people’s lives
In our 29 years of doing workers’ compensation law at Taubman Law, I have handled practically every type of claim. The bureau bifurcates, or divides out, benefits; nothing is automatic. Every claim must be applied for. Let’s look at Monica Thayer’s Industrial accident of July 2, 2012 and, as we do, ask yourself CAN THIS APPLY TO ME?
Here’s the full story on Ms. Thayer: Click for story
Obviously Ms. Thayer’s industrial claim will be allowed and all her medical bills related to this will be paid, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Next, she’s entitled to Temporary Total Disability (TTD) for all lost time paid at 72% of her full weekly wage for the first 12 weeks and then 2/3 of her average weekly wage (AWW) for her missed time after 12 weeks. In order to get TTD, the injured worker needs to miss 14 consecutive days of work. If the the injured worker misses 7-14 days, they lose the first week of TTD. Temporary Total Disability continues until she:
a) returns to work
b) could return based on her doctor, but does not
c) is declared medical maximum improvements
Next, her claim must be properly allowed: the Bureau will only pay for treatments related to allowed conditions. Based on the fact that Ms. Thayer is having bad dreams, she should have been referred to a psychologist for evaluation and diagnosis. Once this has been done, her claim can be appropriately amended to include these new conditions. This can be done also for the medical aspects of her claim. For example, Ms. Thayer’s pony tail was caught in the machine and violently jerked backwards. Her claim was probably originally allowed for a strain of her neck, amongst many other conditions, but if a herniated disc developed, it could further be added to the claim.
Next, the statutes relating to the type of machine should be checked to see if a violation of a specific safety statute (vssr) was committed by the employer. This adds additional benefits to the claimant in the form of a penalty against the employer.
While this is being done, the attorney should check into whether a product liability claim exists against the manufacturer of the machine. This is a separate 3rd party tort against the manufacture not related to the workers compensation claim.
Once Ms. Thayer is off TTD, she has other options based on her physical conditions:
1) If she returns to work and waits 26 weeks, she can file for permanent partial disability (PPD). Ohio does not pay injured workers for pain and suffering. This is akin to that; it’s the residual or permanent disability left after 26 weeks. The award depends to a large degree on what the state’s examining physician finds. Skilled lawyers know how to find the flaws in the state’s report and maximize the injured worker’s own examining doctor’s findings.
2) If Ms. Thayer does not return to work as a result of the injury, but is not on TTD she can file for WL (wage loss) There are two types of WL ..(a) working and (b) non-working. The complexities of WL can not be explained here, but I would be glad to discuss this with anyone who calls my office at 216-621-0794
3) If Ms. Thayer can never return to any type of sustained remunerative employment, not just doing her original job but any type of work, she can file for permanent total disability (PTD). If found to be PTD, she can get paid for the rest of her life or until her condition changes. Additionally, once an injured worker is declared PTD, she can get other benefits. Finally, an injured worker may also file for social security disability while this whole process is going on.
We handle every workers’ compensation case that comes through our office, major or small, like we outlined above. We do this because we understand that your livelihood is at stake. We pride ourselves on helping individuals get the compensation they deserve and are entitled to. If you or a loved one has ever been hurt while working, contact us to get the benefits you are entitled to.
TAUBMAN LAW – WE MAKE WORKERS COMP WORK FOR YOU.
This post was written by attorney Bruce Taubman of Cleveland, Ohio. You can reach Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org.