Posts Tagged ‘workman’s comp’

SEVEN MISTAKES YOU CAN AVOID WHEN INJURED ON THE JOB – PART 2

November 6, 2012

by Richard H. Irwin, Esq.,
Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist

3.  SDIDo not delay File for State Disability Benefits through Employment Development Department as early on as possible in your case – even if you are receiving monetary benefits for Workers’ Compensation from your employer or their insurance carrier. Filing for such benefits, even if denied initially, will usually help to establish a “claim date” that will allow you to pursue such benefits at a later date when, for example, your Worker’s Compensation benefits cease.

It is not unlawful to file for such benefits at the same time you are receiving your Workers’ Compensation benefits, although you cannot receive full SDI benefits in addition to your Workers’ Compensation benefits.

4.  DO NOT REPRESENT YOURSELF – At least not without first speaking with an attorney experienced in handling Workers’ Compensation matters. Would you do your own heart surgery? Representing yourself in a system mired with complex litigation issues may not be a life and death matter, but your decisions, if in error, could cost you thousands of dollars, delayed or denied medical care, and/or substantial delays.

We’ve represented clients who came to us after having represented themselves for months, even years. In certain cases, they failed to file documents or pursue benefits in a timely manner, costing them thousands of dollars in benefits. Don’t let this be you.

(TO BE CONTINUED ON OUR NEXT BLOG)

Injured on the Job? File for State Disability Benefits!

February 29, 2012

By Richard H. Irwin, Esq.

For the majority of the California Workers’ Compensation injury claims there is now a 104 week limit for temporary total disability – compensation payments made to an injured worker while unable to work because of the injury. This benefit is paid based upon two-thirds of an employees’ average weekly wage (up to certain state maximum weekly amounts) while a physician has indicated that the individual is “totally temporarily disabled”.

Unfortunately, for injuries after 1/1/08 this benefit is limited to a total of 104 weeks within the first five (5) years from the date of injury. The result is that individuals with serious injuries may lose this benefit they so desperately need prematurely; based upon the fact their period of being totally temporarily disabled lasts for more than a total of 104 weeks during this period. If, however, they filed for SDI (State Disability Insurance) they may be able to receive this benefit, or an amount substantially similar to said amount, for an additional year.

The difficulty, however, is that SDI bases it’s weekly benefit entitlement on earnings of the individual preceding their filing of a claim for SDI. As such, if an individual waits several months after their injury before filing for SDI they may have little, if any, earnings during the period preceding their claim due to the fact that they have been out of work, with no earnings upon which pay a State Disability benefit.

To avoid this pitfall, it is recommended that the injured worker file for SDI immediately after their injury even though they may be entitled to, or already receiving, temporary total disability benefits under the Workers’ Compensation system. In this manner, although they are not entitled to receive duplicate benefits (and are typically denied SDI benefits) they will have established their claim date so that when their temporary total disability benefits run out and they still have a physician certifying that they are unable to work they can usually collect up to another year of benefits – via State Disability. This can be a substantial benefit to anyone who has sustained a serious work-related injury.

PROTECTING A LITIGANT’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY

January 20, 2011

by Sara B. Morgan, Esq.

In today’s modern social environment, it has become increasingly important to manage one’s personal and private information in order to protect against identity theft, fraud, and the like. As participants in a lawsuit, plaintiffs and defendants alike are often required to disclose a great deal of personal information, including financial and medical documents, identification information, and background details. However, one’s mere participation in a lawsuit does not automatically waive the right to privacy, and experienced, competent attorneys can assist clients in protecting their personal information.

For example, in the course of a personal injury lawsuit, a party’s personal information is often collected by a professional photocopier who makes distribution to the appropriate parties. These professional photocopiers are required by law to keep copies of the information collected for at least 6 months after the final resolution of the legal matter. Code of Civil Procedure, Section 2020.440. Maintenance of those files arguably creates a risk of exposing that personal information, especially in light of the ever-advancing developments in electronic technology and associated criminal activity.

However, the best defense, as it were, is a good offense, and the skilled attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are experienced in navigating the waters of discovery. We work tirelessly and diligently to protect our clients’ rights to keep their personal information private by narrowly tailoring the scope of discovery to only those matters at issue in the case. By doing so, we limit the invasiveness of the litigation process by protecting from disclosure as much personal information as possible.

While most clients are not thinking about protecting their personal information when they first call us, we are on the job from day one. We offer free consultations, a warm and inviting office, and a friendly staff to anyone interested in speaking about a potential legal matter with a law firm with over 35 years of experience in catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, auto and motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, premises liability, products liability, elder abuse/nursing home negligence, and Worker’s Compensation claims.