Common Workers Compensation Definitions and Acronyms (I-W)

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018 at 9:27 am    

This is the second part of a summary of common medical acronyms and terms. These definitions apply to many aspects of an employee’s workers compensation case:

  • IME. Independent medical examination. This is an evaluation performed by a non-treating doctor. It is usually requested by the employer to evaluate whether a worker is ready to return to work. Often, the IME doctor is hired by the employer and works to show the employee is ready to return to work, or that a treatment recommended by your authorized treating doctor is not medically necessary. It is essential that an injured worker prepare for the IME exam beforehand with an experienced North Carolina or Virginia work injury lawyer. The attorney can explain what takes place at the exam and what the employee is required to tell the IME doctor. The lawyer will usually contest the IME doctor’s report through the worker’s own treating physicians. In North Carolina, An IME can also be requested by an employee to show the current doctors aren’t helping the worker – and that the worker should have the right to switch to a new physician.  
  • Indemnity benefits. These are generally the non-medical payments – including temporary total disability pay, permanent partial disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits and death benefits.
  • IR. Impairment rating. Also known as PPI or permanent impairment rating. Workers are entitled to treat with physicians, therapists, and other health providers as long as they are helping the worker get better. At a certain point, most workers reach the level of maximum medical improvement. This is the point where additional medical care won’t help improve the employee’s medical condition. At this point, the worker will be examined by the treating physician to analyze if he/she has a permanent disability. The seriousness/level of the disability is then given a percentage impairment rating.
  • For example, the doctor may say the ability to hear is only 40% of what it was prior to the accident or the impairment rating of the ability to use a left leg is 30% of what it once was. In Virginia, for instance, a 30% impairment rating of the leg would equate to 52.5 weeks of comp checks. So, if the worker had a weekly comp rate of $500.00, that would be $26,250.00.
  • But it should be noted that no matter how high the rating is, sometimes the impairment rating is really not significant in terms of the value of the claim. For instance, if the worker is unable to return to his or her job due to his injuries, and he or she is still receiving comp payments each week, then he or she can in any event usually only receive a maximum of 500 weeks of benefits. The additional weeks provided by an impairment rating are not allowed to increase the 500 weeks. In addition, under Virginia Law, one cannot receive temporary total disability (TTD or comp payment) benefits at the same time as permanent impairment benefits.
  • So, in our example of the 30% leg rating of a person who remained out of work, could not return, and was still receiving his TTD benefits, the 30% rating would not matter, because we’d really be looking at the 500 weeks and that’s it. On the other hand, if the worker had returned to either full duty or a job paying the same as the pre-injury wage, or even a lesser-paying job, then the he or she would be entitled to receive the impairment rating.
  • The other reason an impairment rating can be important is if the injured worker has received a rating to two or more ratable body parts. If that is the case, and the ratings interfere with the worker’s ability to work, then it is possible that a permanent and total finding may be made by the Commission, which could entitle the employee to lifetime benefits, not just the 500-week benefits. For instance,
  • LE. Life expectancy. This is the number of years the worker is expected to live based on his/her age, gender, and physical condition. It is used when lump sum payments are being considered. Essentially, a worker’s yearly wage loss and yearly medical bills are multiplied by his/her life expectancy to get the cost of future benefits. These numbers are set by statute in both Virginia in North Carolina.
  • MMI. Maximum medical improvement. This determination is made by a physician. It essentially is the time when additional medical treatment won’t help the patient get any better. When a worker reaches MMI, the impairment ratings of any permanent impairments are typically analyzed and oftentimes, the treating physician may order a functional capacity exam (FCE) to determine the worker’s permanent physical restrictions. MMI does not end medical benefits. Injured or ill workers may still need regular checkups, treatments and therapies so a condition doesn’t worsen, and medical devices and prescriptions. The employer’s insurance carrier should pay for these long-term medical costs.
  • MSA. Medicare Set-Aside Agreement. MSAs are usually considered when a worker wants to enter into a lump-sum settlement and is a currently-qualified Medicare recipient. In the workers compensation context, these are usually folks who have been determined to be disabled by Social Security for more than 24 months. Those people automatically qualify for Medicare coverage after the 24 months elapses. The gist of the concept of an MSA is that the worker may not “double-dip”. One cannot receive a sum of money for future medical care from the carrier in settlement and then turn around and utilize their Medicare to cover the same injuries. The worker is required to protect Medicare’s interests. The employer’s insurance company will generally obtain a Medicare-Set Aside Report. That report is then sent off to CMS, the review office for Medicare, and they will either approve the suggested set-aside amount, or suggest a different amount. The MSA essentially sets aside the sums that the settlement will use for medical bills so the Medicare isn’t required to pay those expenses. The MSA is usually funded by an annuity purchased by the workers comp carrier, which annuity will pay out a seed amount in the first year and then a set amount each year thereafter for the worker’s life expectancy to cover the injury-related medical expenses that Medicare would normally cover.
  • NCM. Nurse Case Manager These people work for the insurance company. On the surface, they are trying to help workers schedule their medical appointments and get to their appointments on time. On the surface, they are available to answer questions workers have about their medical care and prescriptions. The reality is that they are working to get you back to work as soon as possible. They often look for workers to miss appointments or fail to take medical advance – and then help their employer try to terminate your benefits. Workers should review with skilled work injury lawyers exactly what case managers can and can’t do. For example, while CMs can help you get to your appointment, they do not have the right to be in the room when you are being treated by a physician.

 

 

 

    • PTD: Permanent and total disability. Some workers can never return to work. Workers who lose both eyes, hands, arms, legs, or feet (or a combination of two) can claim permanent total disability benefits. Also severely brain-injured workers and workers with severe burns may qualify for permanent and total disability. These benefits cannot be claimed until the worker approaches the end of his or her 500 weeks. Then the Commission makes the assessment as to whether or not the work injury qualifies for permanent and total to go beyond the 500 weeks into lifetime benefits.  In North Carolina, in addition to the categories of injuries mentioned above, after an injured worker reaches 425 weeks of TTD benefits, he or she may make an application for extended benefits beyond the 500 weeks by showing a “total loss of wage earning capacity” due to his or her work injuries. That being said, once the worker on extended TTD starts receiving Social Security Retirement benefits, there is a “set off” of 100% of the retirement benefits.
    • PT. Physical therapy. Workers often need many different types of therapy so they can get better. Physical therapy focuses on helping the patient with physical injuries such as a sore back or rotator cuff injury to the shoulder. Other types of therapy include occupational therapy, speech therapy, and vocational therapy.
    • RSI. Repetitive stress injury. This is an injury that develops over months or years due to constant repeat pressure or motions. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a well-known RSI. It may be possible to claim worker’s compensation for an RSI though the employer will argue that it wasn’t due to an accident and isn’t an occupational illness. That being said, most other forms of repetitive stress injuries are not compensable under workers compensation law. A skilled work injury can explain when and how a claim for an RSI injury can be made.
    • SOL. Statute of limitations. All work injury claims must be brought within specific time periods or the claim will be forever barred. It’s important to see an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible so you meet this crucial deadline. Typically, one must file a claim within two years of the accident or one is forever barred from recovery.
    • TPD: Temporary partial disability. This term applies to workers who can return to some sort of modified or light duty work, but for less money than their pre-injury wage. The amount received is 2/3rds of the difference of their pre-injury and post-injury, light duty wage, for up to 500 weeks.

 

  • TTD. Temporary total disability. This is the term applied to the typical “workers comp check” benefit received by the injured worker each week. This term applies to an employee who can’t return to work at any level based on their doctor’s note, and it is typically 2/3rd’s of the injured worker’s average weekly wage, for up to 500 weeks.

 

    • Vocational benefits. Some workers may not be able to return to work at any job – but may be able to obtain new work if they are retrained. Vocational benefits pay for the cost of retraining this type of injured worker. Vocational benefits can include tuition, books, the cost to get to the training, and other related expenses.

 

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor or VRC. This professional is knowledgeable about what work is available for specific skills in the region where the worker lives. The expert evaluates if work is available and what type of training is needed to that type of work. The vocational expert also reviews if the worker is capable of being retrained. Be forewarned that these experts are on the dole of the workers compensation insurance company. Their goal is often not to find you a job, but to make you “jump through hoops” in order to trip you up so that your benefits can be cut off. Going through vocational rehabilitation is usually a very annoying and frustrating experience. Sometimes, it is used to put pressure on the injured worker to settle their claim for a lesser amount. We usually advise our clients to simply endure the “game,” and play it, until we can get their case in a good position for settlement.

 

  • Workers’ compensation rate. This is the amount the worker is actually paid if the claim is approved. The starting point is 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage or .66667 of the pre-injury average weekly wage.

Don’t wait. Call the North Carolina and Virginia Law office of Joe Miller Esq., today. We have the experience and resources to help you get justice. You may have a large recovery coming your way. help now, phone 1-(888) 667-8295 or complete my contact form to discuss you work injury claim.

Common Workers Compensation Definitions and Acronyms (A-F)

Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2018 at 11:21 am    

North Carolina and Virginia use a lot of confusing terms in worker’s compensation cases. An experienced work injury term understands these definitions. He knows how they affect your claims for lost income, payment of medical bills, and other aspects of your case. A few of the more common worker’s compensation terms are these:

  • Accident. In both North Carolina and Virginia, work injury claims are brought based on two criteria. The first is that an employee suffers an accident at work. The second is that the worker suffers an injury.  To prove an accident, there is no requirement to show the employer was negligent or failed to exercise proper care. There’s no need to assert or prove negligence or fault on the part of the employer. In North Carolina, except for back injuries, an “accident” is harder to prove than in Virginia. In North Carolina, there must generally be some kind of “slip, trip or fall,” that led to the injury. In Virginia, this is not necessary. For instance, in Virginia, if your job required that you pick up a 100 lbs item, and during that process, you felt a sudden “pop” in your shoulder which caused injury, then this would qualify as an “accident.” In North Carolina, that would not qualify as an “accident,” because there was no “slip, trip or fall.”
  • AWW. Average Weekly Wage. This is the calculation of the amount the worker earned on weekly basis prior to the accident. This is the gross amount, prior to deductions for taxes or other items. For workers who worked for more than a year, it is generally the average of the worker’s earnings in the 52 weeks prior to the accident. Workers are generally entitled to 2/3rds of their AWW for the time they can’t work – up to preset maximums. If that calculation is not fair for whatever reason—for instance, if the employee received a significant promotion and wage increase during the prior 52 weeks, then adjustments can be made.
  • Compromise and release. This is basically an overall settlement agreement so that workers can be paid in a lump sum instead of being paid on a weekly or monthly basis. It is usually used  when the worker has reached his/her maximum medical improvement – the time when additional further treatment will not improve his/her condition. Experienced work injury lawyers work to get the right lump settlement based on many factors. Some of these factors including reasonable understandings of the patient’s future medical needs and expenses, his/her life expectancy, and other factors. In North Carolina this is often referred to as a “clincher.” In Virginia, it is simply referred to as a “full and final settlement.”
  • Dependent. This term is used when a worker tragically dies due to a workplace accident or occupational illness. Generally, a surviving spouse and dependent children are presumed to be entitled to some worker’s compensation benefits on behalf of the deceased workers. Dependents include children under 18 and handicapped children 18 and over. Dependents can also include grandchildren and siblings. Even dependent parents and grandparents may be eligible if it can be shown they were financially dependent on the worker who died.
  • FROI. First report of injury. This is essentially the notice/report that the worker gives the employer when he/she is injured. In addition to placing the employer on notice. Generally, the notice must be given to the employer within 30 days and should be preferably in writing. We have seen cases get denied when suddenly the folks you reported the accident to verbally are no longer around, or worse, deny that you reported the accident to them.  This is also the terminology used to refer to the requirement that the employer report your injury to the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission or the North Carolina Industrial Commission, as the case may be. Note that the employer will often be heard to tell the employer “Don’t worry, we have filed your claim for you.” What the employer is usually referring to when they way that is the FROI. It has zero legal effect on your claim and you need to know that your employer cannot file your workers compensation claim for you. The report of injury is not a filing of your claim and does not provide you with any rights at all. The filing of your claim must be done by you or your attorney. In Virginia, that begins with a Claim for Benefits and in North Carolina, it begins with a Form 18. The filing of these forms makes clear to the insurance company and the Worker’s Compensation Commissions that you are demanding your wages, medical bills, and any other benefits.
  • FCE. Functional capacity evaluation. This is an evaluation usually performed by a physical therapist or occupational therapist. It typically lasts for four or more hours and it is conducted to determine which of your job tasks you can and can’t do. The FCE professional will examine physical abilities such as how much you can lift or carry, how long you can stand without having to sit, your ability to reach, whether you can hold items with your hands, how well you can speak, and other functional abilities. After the examination, you will be rated on a continuum of physical ability, which goes from the lowest, meaning sedentary, to the highest, which his very heavy. These examinations are also often used to provide a permanency rating with regard to your injured body part (s). After the evaluation, a report will be drawn up and you will typically have a scheduled visit to review the results with your authorized treating physician, who will usually then sign off on the FCE, or make modifications.
  • Future medical bills. It’s easy to calculate past due medical bills. Employees should understand that in worker’s compensation cases, the employer or the employer’s insurance company is required to pay all your future medical bills in relation to your work injury as well. Generally, workers seek medical help until they reach their state of maximum medical improvement. After that stage, many patients still need to continue seeing therapists and other health providers so their condition doesn’t worsen, or to decrease ongoing pain. Future medical bills also include the cost of medications, prosthetics, and medical equipment that you’ll need for the rest of your life. The insurance carrier should pay your medical bills as they become due. Additionally, your lawyer will work with your doctors to calculate the likely future medical bills if you want to enter into a lump sum settlement.

At the North Carolina and Virginia Law office of Joe Miller Esq., we answer your questions and guide you through each phase of your work injury case. We’ve been fighting for injured workers more than 30 years. To speak with a strong advocate, call 1-(888) 667-8295 or complete my contact form to schedule an appointment.

Your Workers’ Compensation Rights in Virginia and North Carolina

Posted on Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 3:06 pm    

Anyone injured in a workplace accident or who becomes ill due to an occupational illness has the right to request that the employer pay workers’ compensation benefits. There is no requirement that the employee prove fault. Injured workers must report their injury to their employer or a supervisor.

Once the injury is reported (sometimes after emergency medical care is obtained), the worker can seek medical help. Virginia and North Carolina workers’ compensation will normally pay for all your medical bills.

Worker’s compensation should pay all your medical bills to get better and to stay better. That includes:

  • The cost of emergency room care, ambulances, and other care you need immediately after an accident
  • Any surgeries that are require and the cost of any hospital stay
  • Checkups with your authorized treating physician and the work your that doctor does to coordinate all your other care
  • Treatment with psychiatrists, psychologists, and health care counselors for any behavior health, anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues if properly referred by the authorized doctor;
  • Treatment with pain management doctors, neurologists, and other specialists if properly referred by the authorized treating doctor;
  • The care you need from a broad range of therapists. This can include, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, work hardening, and many other types of therapy.

The time you need to spend with chiropractors is generally covered too, within limits.

In Virginia, unless you have already established a course of care with someone, you are able to choose from a list of 3 doctors (called a “panel”) provided by your employer. This applies for each type of specialist and care. If the doctors aren’t helping you or your employer doesn’t work with the medical providers you need, an experienced work injury lawyer may be able to help get authorization to see doctors of your own choosing.

In North Carolina, there is unfortunately no provision for a panel of three doctors. You must usually go to whomever you are directed by the workers comp insurance company; however, unlike Virginia, there are other provisions for a second opinion in the event you disagree with the findings of your authorized treating doctor.

If you need prosthetics, a wheelchair, braces, or other medical equipment; the cost of those devices is normally covered, too. Additionally, workers’ compensation should cover all your prescriptions and medications too.

Vocational rehabilitation

In some cases, workers need to be retrained because they’ll never be able to return to the type of work they did before the accident or illness. Skilled work injury lawyers help you get the funds you need to be to be retrained or reeducated if you need vocational help.

Disability Benefits (Your Workers Compensation Weekly Checks)

Employees, in general, are entitled to a percentage (66 and 2/3rds, or .66667) of their average weekly wages while they can’t work. The percentage is a compromise that ensures workers get a good part of their pay. Workers don’t get 100% because the compromise in the law that was agreed upon long ago was and is that the worker doesn’t have to prove the employer was at fault for the accident. There are some limitations such as that there is a one week waiting period and there is a maximum rate on how much a worker can be paid for work injuries. There is also a minimum amount, if your wage exceeds the minimum amount.

There are several different types of disability payments depending on the severity and the type of injury or illness:

  • Temporary total disability. Here, the worker can’t work at any type of job at all and is being held completely out of all work by his or her doctor. BUT, if the worker comes under an AWARD, then if he or she is unable to return to the pre-injury job, the worker may still receive ongoing checks. The worker will hopefully though be able to return to work at some time. The worker gets the 2/3rd’s figure until there is a determination he/she can return to work at his or her pre-injury job, or is otherwise released to full duty.

Most workers receive temporary total disability. Their medical bills are covered for life as long as it can be proven that the treatment is related to the work injury, and reasonable and necessary to treat the condition.

  • Temporary partial disability. Some employees can return to work but with restrictions. Examples of restrictions include not being able to stand for more than a half hour or not being to lift more than 20 pounds. Workers who return to work with restrictions or with restricted hours usually receive less pay then before they were injured. These workers, in addition to their lower pay, are entitled to partial wage loss work injury benefits – based on the fact they are losing some pay due to their injuries or illness. The rate is 2/3rds of the difference between the pre-injury and light duty wages.
  • Permanent partial disability or impairment ratings. (PPD or PPI) Some workers can return to their prior job but have to cope with a permanent injury such as the loss of a finger, permanent damage to their legs, arms, hands or feet, loss of hearing, sight, or significant disfigurement due to scarring. The worker who returns to work is therefore still entitled to some extra pay for this permanent partial disability based on the type of injury and the severity of the injury. For example, in North Carolina, a worker who loses a leg is entitled to up to 200 weeks of compensation payments, even if they are able to return to work at a higher paying job after the accident. So what about if the worker has not lost the leg, but there is permanent damage due to surgical intervention? The doctor, in consultation with physical therapists, comes to an opinion on the percentage impairment in the leg. Then that percentage is used to determine how much of the 200 weeks the worker would be entitled to. So for instance, a 20% impairment would yield 40 weeks of comp checks, since that is 20% of 200 weeks. It is usually paid in lump sum. The same is true for all of the body parts eligible for an impairment rating.

It bears noting a very important difference between North Carolina and Virginia in this regard. In NC, the highest ratable body part for impairment is the back, which really includes the entire spine, even the neck. That comes in at up to 300 weeks.

In Virginia, not only is the back on the highest ratable body part, it is not considered a ratable body part at all. In other words, in Virginia, a back or neck injury is not eligible for an impairment rating at all. The spine is not a ratable body part.

  • Permanent total disability. Here, the medical evidence confirms that the worker will never be able to return to his/her prior job or to any other job -even with retraining. This worker is entitled to his/her average weekly wage percentage for the rest of the worker’s life. To qualify in Virginia, the worker generally must have a severe brain injury; severe burns; the loss of both hands, eyes, arms, legs, and/or feet; or paralysis. In North Carolina, after

Death benefits in Virginia and death benefits in North Carolina due to a workplace accident

Tragically, some workers die due to falls, explosions and other causes. As a general rule, states like North Carolina and Virginia pay a significant part of the funeral and burial costs. Additionally, spouses and dependents normally entitled to a percentage of their loved one’s average weekly wages up to 500 weeks. It may be possible to obtain a lump sum payment. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can explain if stepchildren, adopted children, and other dependents, parents, and other relatives may qualify.

Contact a respected Virginia or North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney immediately

Delay can absolutely hurt your case. We have had to turn down many, many cases simply because the caller waited too long to contact a lawyer. At the North Carolina and Virginia Law office of Joe Miller Esq., we have the experience and resources to help you get justice for your work injuries or occupational illness. We’ll fight to get you ever dollar you deserve. For help now, call 1-(888) 667-8295 or complete my contact form. He’s been fighting for injured workers for more than 30 years.

The Role of Nurse Case Managers in North Carolina and Virginia Worker’s Compensation Cases

Posted on Friday, October 26th, 2018 at 4:44 pm    

The title sounds good. A nice nurse case manager (NCM) will help you communicate with your doctors. They’ll help you get to your appointments and look out for your best interests. But don’t be fooled. The nurse case manager is hired by the employer’s insurance company to help you return to work – often before you’re really ready.

Nurse case managers help set up appointments with your doctors, psychologists, and therapists. They keep notes on your appointments and progress including if you missed or were late for appointments. They meet with your doctors, sometimes while you are meeting with your doctor, other times after ou have left the appointment.

Nurse case managers report back to the insurance company. They are really the “eyes and ears” of the insurance company insofar as your medical treatment is concerned and is part of what I call the trinity of “defense professionals” that are typically employed to try and derail your case. If the insurer thinks that you aren’t following your doctor’s treatment plan for you, they can seek to terminate your rights to both wage loss benefits and payments for medical treatments.

The better nurse case mangers do help in a lot of ways

  • They help patients make appointments with the right health care providers
  • They usually attend the medical appointment with you
  • They help you get the transportation you need if you can’t drive or get to the medical providers’ office.
  • They will keep track of your diagnosis, prognosis, treatments, and medical issues
  • A good nurse case manager can sometimes even advocate for treatments that your doctor recommends when your insurance company may balk at paying for expensive treatments.

Concerns injured workers should have about nurse case managers

That being said, we have found that that “good” nurse case managers are a rare occurrence. Usually, spurred on by the insurance company, the nurse case manager’s aim is to encourage your doctor to release you to return to work. While employees generally do want to return to work where they can get full pay, enjoy doing a job well, and enjoy the companionship of workers – employees should know they have the right to return to work when they’re healthy and not before.

A nurse case manager means that you will lose some privacy over the way you handle your recovery. For many workers, the pain and anxiety of the recovery process can be unbearable. It’s not comfortable for many workers to have to share intimate and personal information with anyone who is not fighting for them 100 %. Many people are afraid to admit how much they really hurt. With their health providers, they should be more open – but with a nurse case manager, they may not fully say all their complaints – which can hurt their case.

Nurse case managers are informed of your medical history, your disability, what caused the accident, the work restrictions you have, and other personal sensitive information.

Losing your privacy pales in comparison to some of the other things nurses can do to directly affect your benefits.

  • The nurse case manager may try to get your doctor to say you are healthy and don’t need any more medical treatments
  • The nurse case manager may question (and pressure) the doctor about why you still need treatments
  • He or she may pressure the doctor to release you to light duty, meaning some type of work, even something not really viable such as a 2 lbs lifting restriction, which enables the employer to put you into a “dead end” job and on a path to being fired, or gets your benefits cut off if you are not under an Award
  • She/he may question your doctor as to why work restrictions are still needed – why you can’t work at full duty
  • Will seek to get you or the doctor to say you’re not really hurting all that much
  • Leave out important oral and physical details when reporting back to the insurance carrier for the employer

Your rights when a nurse case manager is assigned to your workers’ compensation claim

Employees should always speak with an experienced work injury lawyer as soon as a nurse case manager asks to be involved in your claim. The attorney will explain what the nurse case manager can and can’t do. The attorney will explain that the nurse case manager does NOT have the right to be in the examining room with you the entire time and that you have the right to speak with your physician in private, so you don’t hesitate to say everything that’s wrong with you.

Even if the nurse case manager can directly help, for example  – help you move because you’re not mobile due to leg or feet injuries –  once you are in the doctor’s examining room, you have the right to ask the nurse case manager to sit in the waiting room, assuming the doctor is agreeable.  

Many workers have significant injuries that cause additional problems that are not obviously related to the original injury. For instance, workers with severe spinal injuries may be embarrassed to admit in front of the nurse case manager that they are experiencing incontinence or erectile dysfunction—and the worker may not realize that these issues are directly related to their spinal injuries. The physician needs to understand all your physical pains, issues, and emotional anxieties to treat you properly.

In addition, some workers hate to admit they can’t do their job. They may try to do more than they can to get back to work. Doctors need to conduct a full examination to understand if you can do your prior job. They need to conduct tests to analyze what restrictions (such as not lifting more than 20 pounds) are required. When the nurse case manager is out of the room, the doctor and the patient won’t feel rushed or pressured. They can review each job task that you must do to work.

You have the right to be present when the doctor or health provider and the nurse case manager review your case. The nurse case manager is supposed to be working for you, even though in fact, she is an agent of the insurance company. You have the right to know what is being discussed about your case. If a nurse case manager violates this right, you should inform your lawyer.

You also have the right to challenge any inappropriate activity the nurse case manager engages in.  Despite her name, the nurse case manager MAY NOT manage your medical care. That is the job of your treating physician. For instance, your nurse case manager does not get to decide what kind of treatments you need and where they may take place. An NCM’s attempt to divert you to another facility for additional testing or away from a specific specialist recommended by your doctor is not allowed. Her refrain that such a facility or specialist is “not in our network” holds no weight with the Commission. If your treating doctor recommends a certain facility or specialist, then that is where you are to go and the NCM has no right to interfere.

If such attempts to manage your care become an issue, your lawyer may request that the NCM be removed from your case and another nurse case manager be assigned to your case.

Get help from an experienced North Carolina and Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer today

Attorney Joe Miller has been a strong advocate for North Carolina and Virginia workers for more than 30 years. He’s helped thousands of injured workers get a just recovery. He’ll guide you through every stop of the workers’ compensation process including dealing with a nurse case manager. To make a free appointment, please call 1-(888) 667-8295 or complete my contact form.

Workers’ Compensation for Public Servants – Firefighters, Police Officers, and Medical Emergency Service Workers

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 4:49 pm    

Police officers, firefighters, and providers of emergency medical services deserve more than just our thanks and respect. They deserve to be honored for the extremely hard jobs and often dangerous work they do. One way to honor them is to pay them the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve when they are unable to perform their jobs due to workplace injuries or occupational illnesses.

Why the jobs of so many public servants are so dangerous

  • Police officers. Police officers are constantly at risk of being shot or attacked. Just one domestic dispute which gets out of control, one police stop of someone who has a weapon, or one accident while they are trying to direct traffic or help the public – can end in the police officer losing his/her life or suffering long-term injuries. Police work is a tough balance between helping the public and protecting the civil rights of defendants. Police officers also need a proper balance between the emotional stresses of their job and the demanding physical requirements of their job.
  • Firefighters. Any fire can take a firefighter’s life. Even the most skilled firefighters can die or require long-term care if the flames suddenly shift direction or if the smoke overwhelms. Firefighters often must deal with dangerous chemicals and toxins. In some cases, they risk their lives to save a child, spouse, relative, friend, or even a beloved pet from on the onrush of the fire’s flames.
  • EMS employees. EMS workers often fly or speed to help get medical care to someone who has been the victim of an accident, an attack, an illness, or just the events of daily life. EMS workers can be injured in car crashes getting the accident site or going to the emergency room. They can suffer infections or contract diseases from the people they treat. Often, carrying or lifting a patient can result in chronic pain.

Many public servants work long hours, sometimes in the middle of the night. Injuries are a natural part of all three types of public service jobs.

Injuries and illnesses that firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers often need medical care and time off from work for

 

Public servants who exert themselves physically and emotionally and who work with people in distress can easily suffer an accident or attack that leads to one or more of the following injuries/illnesses:

  • Burns. Firefighters and other servants who get burned during a rescue process, putting out a fire, or for other reasons often need multiple skin graft surgeries. Some workers need to have plastic surgery. These workers often need to take months off from work just to deal with the physical recovery. Many workers also require long-term psychological counseling especially if the burns are on their face or arms.
  • Smoke inhalation. When there’s fire, there’s often smoke. Firefighters inhale the chemicals which can be dangerous. Fires use up the oxygen the firefighters need to breathe. Without oxygen, workers can die due to asphyxiation. Survivors can suffer serious lung damage.
  • Overexertion. Police officer, firefighters, and EMS workers often need to carry or lift heavy objects, move people, or push equipment out of the way. Overexertion often caused back pain, neck pain, and other types of aches. Treatments usually requires extensive physical and rehabilitative therapy. There have been some recent cases that appear to carve out a bit of an exception to the typical rule that such injuries are not compensable as workers compensation. If it can be shown that the overexertion or repeated carrying or exertion occurred over a defined period of time, in that it represents one “piece of work” —such as the rescue of a person from a burning building—then this has been held to be compensable in Virginia.
  • Injuries due to blunt force. Firefighters are at risk for beams, roofs, and other objects falling on them. Police officers are at risk for being struck or getting injured while trying to avoid being hit. EMS workers can be struck by objects at the accident site they go to help the accident victims.
  • Broken bones. One misstep can cause a public servant to fall. A police officer who is attacked can suffer broken ribs, a broken limb, or other broken bones. Firefighters who are struck by objects or who fall (on a floor or even through a floor) can break a bone in any part of the body. One slip means an EMS worker injuries himself/herself and possibly the person who’s being helped.
  • Cuts and bruises. Firefighters, EMS workers or police officers, or any public servant can be injured due to broken glass or other sharp objects if they’re in a vehicle accident or for other reasons.
  • Exposures to toxins and dangerous chemicals. Firefighters may be exposed to toxins when they try to put out a fire. Toxins can cause more than they respiratory problems. They can cause cancer.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-Although to a certain degree, “this is what you signed up for,” even the strongest of individuals can break if the situation is so suddenly shocking or frightening that it is out of the norm of what the public servant would normally be exposed to.

Other typical injuries that cause a public servant to need to file for workers’ compensation include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Respiratory disorders and illnesses
  • Amputations
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Muscle, ligament, and tissue damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Heart problems such as angina and high blood pressure
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Radiation exposure

 

Firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers are very prone to develop stress-related disorders and diseases. For this reason, injured public servants should feel confident that these medical conditions will be taken seriously by the North Carolina Industrial Commission or Virginia Workers Compensation Commission.

Get help for your work injury claim today

Joe Miller Esq. has been helping public servants and all types of workers for more than 30 years. At the Work Injury Center, he represents work injury victims in both North Carolina and Virginia. He’s helped thousands of workers get economic justice. To speak with an experienced, caring workers’ compensation lawyer, please call (888) 694-1671 or fill out my contact form.

Why Broadside Accidents and Head-On Crashes are So Dangerous

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2018 at 4:07 pm    

Not every accident is equal. At one extreme are rear-end collisions which rarely kill someone. In most cases, the car accident victims suffer whiplash and soft tissue issue injuries. At the other extreme, are head-on collisions and broadside collisions. These latter types of injuries often kill a car occupant or cause the driver or passengers to suffer very serious injuries.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, for the year 2016:

  • 1,441 people wee killed in car accidents
  • 130,137 people were injured
  • There were over a quarter-million vehicle crashes – nearly 700 a day
  • Nearly ¾ of all crashed occurred between 7am and 7pm
  • Nearly 1/3 of all accidents were due to speeding

Experienced North Carolina car accident lawyers guide families of the deceased and guide the survivors through each phase of the trial process.

Broadside collisions

In this type of a crash two vehicles collide front to side. This means the front of one car, usually the car at fault, drives into the side of another car. Broadside crashes are also called T-bone crashes because the position of the cars on impact looks like the letter “T.” Because the cars strike at right angles to each other, there’s a strong likelihood that one or both cars will spin out of control which can cause a multi-vehicle accident.

The occupants of the car whose side is struck often suffer the most harm because the side of a car offers virtually no protection – unlike the hood of the other car. Side airbags are also less likely to deploy than front air bags. The occupants of both cars are likely to be thrown about the car, if the airbags don’t deploy. The occupants in the car whose front strikes the other car are also likely to be thrown into the windshield or the dashboard. Occupants of both cars are likely to be thrown into each other.

How broadside car crashes happen

Generally, the car whose front strikes the side of the other car is the car at fault. The driver and the owners of this front car should be held accountable for any injuries or deaths they cause. Some of the reasons for broadside accidents are:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Failing to merge properly
  • Running through a red light or a stop sign at an intersection
  • Not yielding the right of way
  • Driving while distracted. Drivers who are distracted can easily veer into the wrong lane or run through an intersection. Distracted driving includes texting while driving, talking on a smart-phone, or eating or drinking while drinking
  • Not being prepared for bad weather including icy roads, oil slicks due to rain, glare due to the sun, snow, and sleet
  • Defective car parts
  • Cars that haven’t been inspected

Types of injuries drivers and passengers suffer from T-bone accidents

The worst-case scenario is that a driver or passenger will be killed. When someone dies, experienced North Carolina and Virginia car accident lawyers file wrongful death actions on behalf of the estate of the decedent and the surviving family members.

Survivors of broadside collisions can suffer traumatic brain injury, paralysis, broken bones, acute and chronic bone, damage to ligaments and muscles, damage to the spinal cord, internal bleeding, and any many other injuries. Some injuries may resolve with months or years of medical care. Other injuries can completely alter a person’s life. Flying glass, striking other car parts, knocking into passengers, and even being stuck on the steering column are common broadside injuries.

In addition to killing or injuring passengers, T-bone crashes often destroy the vehicles involved or require extensive repairs. Generally, if the cost to fix the car is more than the value of the car, the damage is considered a total loss. In total loss cases, owners are entitled to demand payment from the responsible drivers/owners and applicable insurance companies for the value of the car.

Head-On Collisions – Causes and Dangers

Head-on car crashes are often deadly. Survivors often suffer catastrophic injuries which require a lifetime of care. Many victims often need the jaws of life tool just to be extricated from the vehicles. In most cases, one driver is clearly in the wrong because he/she was in the wrong lane of traffic. But this is not always the case. Sometimes a vehicle may be knocked into the oncoming lane by a vehicle headed in the same direction, in which case the fault would originate with the vehicle who slammed into the car that was thrust into the oncoming lane. Some reasons why a driver might go the wrong way down a one-way street, drive on the wrong side in a two-lane road, or go the wrong way on a road ramp are:

  • Intoxication. Drivers who are drunk lose any sense of where they are
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs. Drugs affect a driver’s ability to reason
  • Driver distraction. Drivers who talk or text on cellphones, or who aren’t watching the roadway, can find themselves going in the wrong direction into a stream of traffic
  • Speeding. Cars that go too fast may miss signs indicating which lanes of travel they should take
  • Bad weather, slick roads, pouring rain, heavy fog, and even glare from the sun can make it difficult for drivers to see where they are and where they should go;
  • As mentioned above, another driver traveling in the same direction who loses control and  knocks the head on driver into the oncoming lane.

In head-on collision cases, the personal representative for the estate of someone who was killed can hold the driver who was going the wrong way and/or other at-fault drivers accountable for wrongful death damages. In North Carolina, the Estate of the deceased should sue the irresponsible driver for all their damages such as physical pain of the deceased, loss of service and society, as well as the emotional suffering of the beneficiaries, lost wages, and medical bills. Medical bills include surgeries, hospital stays necessary to attempt to save the life of the decedent.

In addition to standard damages, experienced North Carolina trial lawyers will often seek to punish the driver’s bad behavior through an award of punitive damages. Punitive damages can be awarded in North Carolina, if a defendant acted recklessly, wantonly, or maliciously. A case can be made that a drunk driver, a distracted driver, or a speeding driver was acting recklessly and without any regard for the safety of passengers and the occupants of other vehicles.

Of course, if the deceased or injured driver was acting in the course of employment, an additional claim must be made for workers compensation benefits. If there is a death, then there are additional workers compensation death benefits available to the dependents of the deceased worker under the Workers Compensation Act. It is very important, particularly in Virginia, that the injury case against the other driver NOT be settled, as long as there is a pending workers compensation case. If this occurs, it could wipe out any workers compensation benefits available to the dependents of the deceased or the ongoing workers compensation case of the injured worker.

Make the call to a respected North Carolina and Virginia accident lawyer today

At the North Carolina and Virginia Law office of Joe Miller Esq., we have the experience and resources to hold irresponsible and reckless drivers accountable for the physical pain and emotional harm they cause. Attorney Joe Miller has been fighting for injury victims for more than 30 years. To schedule a free consultation, please call (888) 694-1671 or complete my contact form.

Common Reasons Injured Workers File North Carolina and Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claims

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018 at 9:18 am    

Accidents at work happen for all sorts of reasons. Many injured workers who call our office start out talking about all the reasons why the employer was “at fault” for the accident, and how they want to “sue” their employer because of this.
First of all, with extremely limited exceptions, you cannot “sue” your employer. All cases against an employer for work-related injuries are subject to either the Virginia or North Carolina Workers Compensation Act.

That being said, there is also no requirement to prove the employer caused the accident or was negligent. The main requirements are that the worker was an employee, that the accident was work-related, and that that the worker currently cannot work because of the injuries suffered in the accident. North Carolina has a higher requirement of proof than Virginia. In Virginia, an employee can simply be lifting something very heavy or be forced to turn in an awkward way—and this can be compensable.

In North Carolina, unless it is a back injury, this will not suffice. There must be a slip, trip, or fall to qualify for a work injury.

Workplace accidents can differ depending on the type of work you do. Generally, construction workers and folks in high-risk occupations such as tree-cutting are more prone to accidents than other workers. Still, nurses, technical workers, restaurant servers, and anyone in any job may suddenly find themselves unable to work due to a workplace injury.

Some of the injuries that force workers to file a workers’ compensation claim are:

  • Overexertion. Workers who do any type of physical labor such as firefighters, police workers, janitors, industrial workers, and construction workers – are often lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling heavy objects. Nurses are often lifting and turning patients and mattresses. Everyone has their breaking point – the point where one extra motion causes a backache, a pulled muscle, or other physical injuries. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, repetitive motion injuries are not compensable under workers compensation.
  • Slips, trips, and falls. At nearly every job, it’s possible to slip and fall. Factory workers can fall over equipment. Retail workers can fall over merchandise. Apartment workers can fall over loose wires. Teachers can fall over books on the floor or something spilled on the floor. Again, there is no need to prove someone was at fault. Falls can cause broken bones, severe bruises, back and neck pain, brain injuries, and other injuries that need long-term treatment to get healthy again.
  • Falls from high place. Construction workers, firefighters, and other workers can fall from high-beams, scaffolding, ladders, and other places that are high. These falls are especially dangerous. If the worker dies, a distinct possibility, the family of the worker has the right to request workers’ compensation benefits. If there are no witnesses, then there can be a challenge to the compensability of the case.

Workers who survive the fall may suffer paralysis, traumatic brain injury, never damage, broken bones and other serious injuries. Workers who can’t work again due to these injuries can claim up to 500 weeks of temporary total disability benefits. (TTD) Workers with certain types of injuries may have the right to demand additional benefits, as they near the end of their 500 weeks, which would be permanent and total injury benefits. Workers who can work again but at less stressful jobs can claim temporary partial disability (TPD) until they can work again. When the worker then starts working at a lower paying job, they can claim partial disability work injury benefits at 2/3rds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the lower wage, for up to 500 weeks.

  • Being struck by an object. Construction workers, even when wearing helmets, are at constant risk of being struck from above by falling equipment, lunch pails, tools of the trade, and other equipment. Retail workers can be struck by falling merchandise. These injures can cause brain injury and other serious harm. Sometimes workers get pinned against a dangerous object. An object may be thrown at them by someone who wasn’t looking.
  • Motor vehicle. Anyone who drives a car, truck, or other motorized vehicle for a living may get into an accident. Distracted drivers, speeding drivers, drunk drivers, and just careless drivers are likely to cause an accident. Drivers who are focused on their work may get into an accident. The main issue in vehicle accidents is whether the accident occurred while the worker was doing his/her job and did the accident cause your injuries. You should know that even if the worker is at fault for the accident, he or she still may be able to recover workers compensation benefits. A huge caution: NEVER settle your third party injury case before your workers compensation case. This could subject you to being cut off of your benefits, in most cases, permanently.
  • Equipment accidents. Forklifts, cranes, scaffolding equipment, electronic tools, and other work equipment may malfunction. The equipment may not be used properly. Workers may not see that someone else is using the equipment. Employers are generally required to follow federal regulations such as OSHA (Office of Safety and Health Administration) rules and local state work safety rules. Each piece of equipment should be inspected before it is used. Workers should be trained on the proper way to use electronic devices, jackhammers, expanding ladders, and other devices. Workers are supposed to also be trained on proper safety measures so that electronic shocks, chemical or electric burns, radiation exposure, and other life-threatening injuries don’t occur or that they are protected – such as by wearing goggles and gloves. Once again, there may be a third-party claim against the manufacturer of a piece of equipment. Once again, you should NEVER settle the third-party claim prior to the workers comp claim, or this could deprive you of your ongoing benefits.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. Repeating the same motion over and over again can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, inflammation, and other injuries. People who work with computers or do assembly line work are especially prone to get these injuries. While there is usually a requirement to show a specific accident caused your injuries, employees who are required to do repetitive work may have a legal basis for arguing the claim is an occupational illness or that one particular accident made the condition worse.
  • Workplace violence and catastrophic, violent injuries. The police are especially prone to being attacked during arrests, while investigating crimes, and while handling domestic disputes. A disgruntled worker or an angry worker may take out his/her frustrations on other workers. Angry customers or armed robbers can harm store clerks, retail workers and other types of employees. Nurses, counselors, or other medical personnel who work in mental health facilities or rehabilitations facilities have and do frequently suffer attacks from mentally disturbed or otherwise violent patients or inmates. Anyone who suffers injury due to workplace violence is entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. Many victims of violence end up not just with physical injuries, but with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) , severe depression, anxiety, and need years of psychological counseling and psychiatric treatment for their physical injuries. Many will never be able to return to their former occupation because of what they were exposed to on the job. We represent many clients who have suffered PTSD as a result of violence in the workplace, or simply because they have suffered a violent and catastrophic accident such as a fall from heights.  

In all work injury cases, employees are entitled to payment of all reasonable and necessary medical bills including surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, emotional counseling, medical devices, and medications. They should demand their wage loss benefits, which are 2/3rds of the Average Weekly Wage usually for up to 500 weeks, as long as the injured worker is unable to work.  Workers shouldn’t be forced back to work until they are ready. In some cases, injured workers may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits so they can transfer to a different type of job.

Understand your work injury rights by calling us today

At the North Carolina and Virginia Law office of Joe Miller Esq., we are respected for our ability to get strong results. For more than 25 years, we’ve been fighting for injured workers. We work to show your claim is valid. We understand the arguments insurance companies use to try to deny your claim.  Do not wait to call us or take any action in your case without calling our office first. Many injured workers ruin their case by taking action on their own without contacting a knowledgeable workers compensation lawyer. Please do not do this. Attorney Miller works with your doctors to understand your medical condition, prognosis, and the reasons you can’t work. To speak with an experienced work injury lawyer, please call (888) 694-1671 or fill out my contact form to schedule an appointment.

Teachers and Workers’ Compensation Rights

Posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2018 at 1:00 pm    

Teachers help our country become a better place by education our children and giving them hope for the future. While there are many rewarding sides to teaching, there are physical risks and a great deal of stresses. These risks and stresses can lead to accidents and illnesses. Several questions also arise in teaching claims such as whether claims can be made if you get hurt in after-school and away-from the school activities. In addition, with regard to public schools, which are typically funded by cities and counties, settlement may be out of the question. This is because for the most part— with some exceptions— municipalities and public entities tend to shy away from settling workers comp cases. It really depends how the public entity is insured and whether there are funds set aside to settle cases.

Physical injuries that can lead to teacher workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina and in Virginia

Some of the ways teachers can hurt while teaching include:

    • Slip and fall accidents. Teachers can slip, trip, or fall in a lot of different ways. There’s a lot of traffic among students, teachers, and even parents. This puts a lot of strain on physical resources. Tiles can be become cracked or broken, carpets can tear, and outdoor lighting may not work which can make it hard to see. Students often leave books on floors. Locker contents can spill. Bathrooms can become messy. Kitchen areas often become wet and dangerous. Just one bad slip or trip can cause broken bones, spinal cord damage, chronic pain, muscle damage, torn ligaments, and other injuries. Bad falls can even result in a traumatic brain injury.
    • Exposure to toxic chemicals and substances. Some old schools still have asbestos which can cause life-threatening illnesses. Many schools have mold and dust which can make it hard to breathe. Teachers may suffer rashes, headaches, and other illnesses due to the environment they work in. In severe cases, teachers may even be diagnosed with cancer. Teachers who acquire illnesses may have the right to workers’ compensation benefits based on having an occupational disease; however, these claims can be difficult to prove without the proper proof. This proof tends to come in the form of air samples of measurements of these substances, as well as definitive statements from a qualified doctor that the illness of the worker is from exposure at the job site.
    • Repetitive stress issues. Teaching involves different types of repetitive stresses such as constantly writing on chalkboards, using computers on a daily basis, marking papers, and other repeated actions. These stresses can cause carpal tunnel syndrome requiring the teacher to take off from work while he/she receives treatment. Other complications include bursitis (inflammation), tendinitis, and rotator cuff injuries. Repetitive stress injuries may be compensable if the worker, with the help of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can show:
      • That the stresses were due to work conditions and not home or other conditions
      • That the school environment contributed to their repetitive stress injuries and
      • That the risk of developing repetitive stress injuries were more than the general public typically faces
    • Injuries that are unique to the courses being taught. Chemistry teachers might have a chemical accident. Driver’s education teachers are always at risk of a student getting into a crash. Physical education teachers constantly risk a pulled muscle, sprained back, or other injury. Teachers who work with after-school musicals can hurt instructing a student how to dance.
    • Unusual stresses. Teaching is hard work. There’s constant pressure from parents to want their kids to excel. Often, teachers need to be substitute parents. Many children have emotional problems. Teachers have to make sure their students pass standardized tests. There’s a lot of paperwork. Many days, teachers suffer from depression, frustration, high blood pressure, and anxiety. These stresses can lead to mental health concerns which require the teacher to take time off to rest and get psychological help. Unfortunately, these sorts of things are not typically going to be compensable via workers compensation.
    • Violence and physical attacks. Sadly, in some schools, teachers are either attacked directly by disgruntled students or they are hurt trying to break up fights. In many schools, these days, gun violence is a major realistic concern. Teachers may be also be stabbed or kicked. Teachers who are physically attacked or shot have the right to demand workers’ compensation while they tend to their physical and emotional health. Exposure to a violent incident may result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

 

 

 

 

  • Benefits an injured teacher or a teacher with a work injury or proven occupational illness is entitled to:

 

Teachers are entitled to the following:

  • The cost of all medical treatment including pain doctors, orthopedists, surgeons, hospitals, and other physicians
  • The cost to treat with physical therapists that are reasonably required to heal physical injuries
  • Payment for psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health counselors – as reasonably needed
  • Generally, 2/3rds of the teacher’s average weekly wages while the teacher is temporarily unable to work for up to 500 weeks.
  • Permanent and Total disability payments for life if the teacher can’t return to work, and the injury qualifies as a permanent and total disability case.
  • If the teacher is able to return to work, possible additional money if there is a permanent impairment to a ratable body part;
  • Mileage reimbursement to and from the medical provider’s offices

Teachers may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation if they are unable to return to teaching again.

Dependents of teachers who are tragically killed have the right to demand workers’ compensation death benefits.

Some additional teacher workers’ compensation issues

Some additional issues teachers face in claiming North Carolina or Virginia work injury benefits.

  • Injuries after-school and away from work. Many teachers work as sports, cultural, and other instructors after school. Many times, these activities take them to other schools and to organizations at places in different counties and even in different states. As a general rule, teachers are entitled to workers’ compensation as long as they were in the employ of the public or private school district when the accident occurred.
  • Injures while driving to school. Generally, teachers are not entitled to work injury benefits while they commute to school. Each case is unique. Some exceptions do apply. Injured teachers should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to learn if they have a claim. For example, a teacher who volunteers to take children home from an after-school baseball game may have a claim if an accident occurs on the way home.

Speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer today

Attorney Joe Miller Esq., has helped thousands of injured employees get justice. He’s been a strong advocate for injured workers for more than 25 years. He understands your legal rights and works with your medical doctors, and independent doctors, so you aren’t forced back to work until you’re able to work. For help now and answers to your questions, please call (888) 694-1671 or complete my contact form.

Three Doctor Panels in Virginia Workers Compensation

Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 2:47 pm    

Virginia Workers Compensation Attorney Joe Miller explains when you may be entitled to a three-doctor panel of doctors to choose from for your ongoing medical care for your work injury:

What if I’m hurt on the job in Virginia and my employer has failed to maintain workers compensation insurance?

Posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 at 9:33 am    

What if you’re hurt on the job in Virginia and your employer has failed to maintain workers compensation insurance? Attorney Joe Miller explains in his latest video:

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