Archive for July, 2012

SEVEN MISTAKES YOU CAN AVOID WHEN INJURED ON THE JOB

July 30, 2012

By Richard H. Irwin, Esq.
Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist
(State Bar of California)

1. REPORT THE INJURY – If you are injured on the job report your injury. Ask your employer or a DWC1 (claim form). Fill it our and request a copy for your own records.

If you work for a small company and you are uncertain if they are insured for work-related injuries or how they will treat you once you report your injury, immediately document the fact that you submitted a claim form. This can be done by requesting a copy signed as received by your employer/sending a letter to your employer confirming that you reported an injury on a certain date. You might even text your employer or supervisor if he or she uses a cell phone.

2. SEE THE DOCTOR – If you believe your injury requires medical treatment or evaluation, ask your employer to see a physician immediately. This is not only the best way to ensure that your injuries are attended to, but the best way to document your injuries.

In fact, when you see the physician make certain that you indicate all symptoms that you are having and parts of your body that you believe were injured. Failure to mention a symptom or part of body may be used against you if you pursue the claim further.

(CONTINUED ON OUR NEXT BLOG)

CHAOS IN COURTS CONTINUES

July 23, 2012

CHAOS IN COURTS CONTINUES

Heiting & Irwin

By: Dennis R. Stout

 

The domino effect of the budget shortfalls in the State of California court system continues to develop. Previously the Los Angeles Superior Court system announced the closure of four civil courtrooms in Pomona. Most recently, the San Bernardino County Superior Court system has announced that the entire Chino courthouse will close effective January 1, 2013. This will include both civil and criminal divisions, with cases likely to be reassigned to the Rancho Cucamonga and/or Fontana courthouses for hearing.

There was discussion in the San Bernardino County Court system that the Barstow facility would also be subject to closure. Cutbacks in Big Bear and Needles have already resulted in cases being reassigned throughout the county system, including Barstow. It appears that the Barstow Superior Court is safe… for now!

Closure of entire court complexes effect not only litigants but local law enforcement and businesses as well. The inconvenience to litigants by having to travel to venues farther away, wait in longer lines, and have their cases likely take longer to complete, will create further backlogs in the justice system with greater time and expense for all.

There does not appear to be a quick or easy solution to the budget problems. Private litigation (mediation, arbitration, trials), outside of the court system, may be the wave of the future. Attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are ready, willing, and able to assist all litigants in these tough times.

A Remedy Remains: “Stolen Valor” is Still Fraud

July 16, 2012

by Sara B. Morgan, Esq.

Although the Supreme Court recently overturned the Stolen Valor Act of 2006, there are still legal consequences for lying about receiving awards and medals won through military service. Indeed, the ruling in U.S. v. Alvarez does not constitute an endorsement for stealing valor.

Instead, in finding the Act unconstitutional, the Court determined only that imposing federal criminal charges for such conduct violated the First Amendment protection of free speech. However, nothing about the High Court’s ruling disturbs the laws of torts or precludes any civil action by private parties. So, if I bestow something of value upon a person because of his misrepresentations about military service awards, I can still sue to get it back. Further, I may be able to get what are known as punitive damages, which are a monetary award designed to punish this type of despicable behavior.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A WORK RELATED INJURY

July 13, 2012

By Spencer E. Archie, Paralegal to:
RICHARD H. IRWIN, ESQ.
Certified Workers Compensation Specialist

The general and safe response is that all injuries should be handled the same way, however, that methodology may not be practical in the course of your work day. Any injury that causes you to believe that you need the care of a doctor should be reported immediately.

The person(s) that is considered your immediate supervisor is the person or persons you should first notify of your injury. In as clear and precise manner as possible, report to your supervisor exactly how the injury happened, noting the time and place where the event occurred. If the injury is serious enough for medical attention, request and insist that they send or take you to their emergency center for care.
Your employer must give you a DWC-1 claim form within one (1) day of knowing that you were injured. Filling out the claim form opens up your workers’ compensation claim. State law also lays out benefits beyond the basics that you may qualify for once you file the claim form with your employer.

If your employer does not give you the DWC-1 claim form, ask your employer for the form or call the claims administrator to get it. The claims administrator is a person or entity handling your employer’s claims. The name, address and phone number of this person should be posted at your work place in the same area where other work place information, such as where the minimum wage is posted. You can also get the form from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) web site at http://www.dwc.ca.gov. In the left navigation pane, under I Want To, click on Find a Form.

Heiting & Irwin has over 100 years combined experience assisting injured persons. Our Workers’ Compensation department is supervised by Richard H. Irwin, Esq., a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation. If you or someone you know has been injured, it is important to consult with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney in a timely fashion. To schedule a free consultation, please call our office at (951) 682-6400.

Five Things To Do After an Accident

July 9, 2012

Should you have the misfortune of being involved in an auto accident, it is important that you gather information and undertake a few responsibilities.

These are the most important steps to take following a collision. Click here for a useful form that you can keep in your vehicle. This form will help you gather important information at the scene of the accident.

1.         Obtain the information listed on our form:

Name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number of all drivers.

Insurance information from all the other drivers (Ins. co. name, telephone number and policy number).

License plate number and (VIN) for all other vehicles.

Name, phone number and address of any eyewitness to the collision.

2.         Report the accident:

immediately to the police and cooperate with them in preparing an accident report. If no police are available to respond to the scene, consider contacting the local police agency to determine if you can complete a report at a later time.  You will also need to fill out and file an SR-1 with the DMV.

to your insurance company, even if you are not at fault. If your insurance policy provides medical payments coverage and you require medical treatment because of the accident, your insurance company will provide you with information about how to use that coverage. Additionally, you may need to make a claim under your policy’s uninsured coverage (if your policy provides such coverage).

3.         Photograph:

Vehicles involved in the accident. Take several photographs that clearly show any damage. Take photographs from different angles and all four sides of the vehicles. Consider keeping a disposable camera in your car for this purpose, although a cell phone that takes quality pictures will work too.

Your injuries.

4.         Seek medical treatment without delay if you are injured or experiencing pain.

5.        Obtain legal advice by calling Heiting & Irwin before meeting with any insurance company representative, filling out insurance documents or giving a recorded statement or medical authorization to any insurance company (even your own). You have no obligation to provide this information before you have had the opportunity to speak with an attorney. If an insurance company representative contacts you before you are prepared to discuss your claims, politely explain that you do not wish to discuss the matter at this time, and you will contact them in the very near future to discuss your claims.

We suggest that you consult with an experienced personal injury firm.  Heiting & Irwin, offers free, no-obligation initial consultations. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with a thorough, thoughtful case evaluation that will help you to decide how best to proceed with your claims. Call (951) 682-6400, email or visit our website for more information.