Today’s post is from our colleague Matt Funk of New York.
Many times insurance medical examinations are considered by injured employees to be the same as Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs). There is nothing farther from the truth. These examinations are bought and paid for by the insurance company and for their benefit.
The insurance carrier doctor is no friend to an injured worker. He or she is a private consultant paid for by the carrier.
You should be prepared for these examinations by knowing your rights and how to protect them:
1) You have the right to bring a family member or friend with you to the examination.
You can bring your spouse into the examination room during the examination. This is important because it allows for a witness to testify at court about the validity of the examination and to dispute tests that the doctor claims to have done.
2) You are permitted to audiotape or videotape the examination.
And there is nothing in the law that requires you to tell the insurance company doctor that you intend to tape the examination.
3) You should Continue reading
Most of us know that, for both professional reasons and in the interest of safety, remaining sober while on the job is essential. However, it is important to also recognize that workers who are intoxicated at the time that they sustain a work injury stand a far lower chance of ever collecting workers’ compensation.
If the blood test shows the presence of alcohol or drugs, odds that the employee will be able to collect workers’ compensation are much lower.
This is because of the intoxication defense: if an employer can prove that intoxication was the cause of the workers’ injury, then they employer is not required to provide workers’ comp for that injury.
Now, there are some notable Continue reading
Computation for your TTD benefits should reflect not only your basic salary but also overtime, tips, incentives, hazard pay, and other payments that you would typically receive each week.
Today’s post is from my colleague Brody Ockander of Nebraska. Note that Iowa law is slightly different from Nebraska law. Iowa law entitles an injured worker to approximately 80% of take-home pay (instead of 2/3 in Nebraska) for the time off work because of a work injury. That rate is based on an average of wages for the 13 weeks (instead of 26 weeks in Nebraska) before injury.
In Nebraska, workers’ compensation law entitles you to 2/3 of your average wages when you are off work because of an injury. This average is based on your wages the 26 weeks before you were injured. This is known as temporary total disability (TTD).
How TTD Works:
If you are an injured at work, you are entitled to TTD so long as you are under a doctor’s care, that doctor has you on work restrictions preventing you from working, and your doctor has not placed you at maximum healing for your injury.
While off work for your injury, make sure you are getting the proper amount of money you are entitled to. Employers use many techniques to manipulate your wages to pay you less than you are legally entitled to.
Improper ways your Employer “miscalculates” your average wages to pay you less:
- Including weeks you worked Continue reading
Follow these tips to stay safe on winter roads.
Today’s post comes from my colleague Rod Rehm of Nebraska.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a fantastic web page on how to stay safe if you have to work during or after a winter storm.
If the weather is poor, staying off the road is clearly the best thing to do. However, if you have to drive during a winter storm, here are some great tips OSHA offers on preparing your vehicle for dangerous weather.
Inspect your vehicle thoroughly.
- Brakes: Make sure they provide balanced and even breaking. Check that the brake fluid is at the proper level.
- Cooling System: Ensure the proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water.
- Electrical: Check the ignition and makes sure the battery is fully charged and that the connectors are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition.
- Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
- Exhaust: Check the exhaust for leaks and that the clamps and hangers are snug.
- Tires: Check for good tread depth and for signs of damage or uneven wear. Check inflation.
- Visibility: Inspect exterior lights, defrosters, and wipers. Install winter wipers. _ Check your oil levels.
Bring a winter emergency kit including:
While diabetes is not a work injury or illness, it can have a serious impact on the rate at which an injured worker recovers. For instance, people with diabetes may have a much harder time healing from a foot or leg injury.
The latest edition of the annual Official Disabilities Guidelines (ODG) has been released, including the latest ODG volume on treating patients. ODG Treatment is the nationally recognized standard for medicine in determining the scope and duration of medical treatment in workers’ compensation. For the first time this year, ODG Treatment includes a chapter on diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are nearly 26 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and an estimated 7 million more people suffering who have not yet been diagnosed. Clearly, the implications of diabetes on workers’ compensation are significant.