Many times the injured worker is unaware of his/her “rights” concerning workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, this information is not normally provided by the employer. Please note that the hiring of an attorney does not cost the individual any money. There is no fee unless we can make a recovery for you.
The following information will assist an individual in taking the first steps to protecting their rights. It will also enable them to review their own circumstances to determine if they are receiving appropriate treatment for their particular injury, if they are obtaining accurate temporary disability compensation and finally, what type of permanent partial disability settlement benefits they may be entitled to receive.
Please call Chiaf Law Offices if you have any questions at 405-524-1501 or 1-800-375-3228
The most important first step the injured worker can take is notification to their supervisor/manager that they have sustained an on-the-job injury, either due to a single event or over the course of time (cumulative/repetitive trauma). It is best if you can complete an Incident Report on the date of your injury or on the date you become aware that you think repetitive trauma has caused an injury to yourself. If you are denied this request, you should contact an attorney immediately.
Request Medical Attention
The injured worker should request medical attention from the employer immediately. In the event you have already allowed the company physician to provide treatment, you may still be able to change to a physician of your choosing by way of court approval.
Do Not give a recorded statement to anyone
You may divulge information that may be misconstrued against you at a later date or is privileged information.
Where you hired in Oklahoma?
Although many employees work outside of the State of Oklahoma, if you were hired in Oklahoma to perform the job, you may still pursue your claim in the State of Oklahoma. You may have been hired over the telephone.
You should consult with an attorney at this point to determine your rights concerning treatment and/or if you may be entitled to temporary disability compensation while receiving treatment, or other benefits. Remember, there is no fee if there is no recovery.
File a Form 3
Unless your Form 3 is filed by the appropriate time, you lose many valuable rights. Check with an attorney to verify if you are still within your time-frame to file. An attorney may determine that certain factors allow a longer period of time, especially if you have asbestosis, silicosis or nuclear radiation. Normally, however, for single-event injuries, the Form 3 must be filed within two (2) years from the date of your injury. For cumulative trauma injuries, the Form 3 must be filed within two (2) years from the date of your last exposure at work.
Are you receiving the proper amount of (TTD) temporary total disability compensation?
Many times after we review an individual’s case, we determine that they are being underpaid on their weekly benefits. Every dollar can make a difference for you! Chiaf Law Offices will ensure that the insurance company complies with the proper method of determining your average weekly wage and the benefit due and the length of time required to pay.
Have you been offered a final settlement?
Following your treatment, you may be entitled to a PPD, permanent partial disability settlement. There are several ways to conclude your claim. Before accepting any settlement, you should contact an attorney to determine if it is a fair and equitable settlement for the type of injury you sustained. A quick settlement may provide immediate money; however, it may also deprive you of future benefits and may well be inadequate for the type of injury you have sustained.
Do you need medical maintenance?
Some individuals require ongoing medical attention, prescription medication, hearing aids, etc. to maintain their current level of recovery.
Can you return to your previous line of work?
Under certain circumstances, you may qualify to return to school and learn a new trade.
In the event you cannot return to your previous line of work or you cannot be retrained for another trade, you may qualify for 15 years or longer worth of benefits. This is also known as PTD, permanent total disability.
Have you been disfigured?
If your injury has resulted in disfigurement, you are still entitled to a settlement. Perhaps you may also benefit from plastic surgery to diminish your disfigurement.
Has a family member suffered a death?
Many deaths that do not appear related to employment may actually be covered by workers’ compensation. The spouse and children under the age of 18 and/or dependent handicapped family members and/or children enrolled in college may be entitled to substantial benefits. You should consult with an attorney to review your specific facts.
Chiaf Law Offices will be happy to review your case with you at no cost.