A lot of questions arise when an injured worker misses work during the 7 day waiting period to attend medical treatment. The law clearly states that if a work injury causes an injured worker to miss work due to attending or traveling to and from a medical appointment, that worker is entitled to be reimbursed for the time lost based on the worker’s average daily wages.
There is no waiting period that has to be met before the injured worker’s right to this reimbursement begins.
Many times employers are not aware of this law – also sometimes the insurance company believes the employer should pay it and the employer believes the insurance company should pay it.
Nevertheless, it should be paid and if it is not then a violation of law has occurred. Let us know if you have any questions.
In Indiana, workers’ compensation pay is issued for as long as the authorized workers’ compensation physicians say that you require medical treatment, unless your employer offers you suitable light duty work beforehand. Once light duty is offered, you will need to return to work light duty. If light duty work is not offered, you are paid until you reach what we call maximum medical improvement (this is the point in which the doctor says that you do not need any more medical treatment). If you are permanently and totally disabled (this means that you can no longer perform reasonable types of employment ever again), you can receive a weekly workers’ compensation check for life.
When your weekly workers’ compensation checks ends, you have the right to appeal the termination of your weekly checks by filing a State Form 38911 with the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board appealing the termination of your weekly checks. Once you file that form with the State Board, you will be sent to an independent doctor who will determine whether or not you need more medical care. If you require more medical care, your weekly workers’ compensation checks should resume back to the last date paid. The insurance carrier for your employer can appeal the opinion of the independent doctor but typically, they will not do so. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
As a final note, your weekly workers’ compensation checks may stop with little or no notice to you. You need to keep an eye on when you think the doctor will release you from his/her care. At this point, your checks will typically stop unless you are permanently and totally disabled. If you have any questions or need clarification, please call us at (800)809-3776.
There is a misconception in workers’ compensation cases that the insurance company can dictate what treatment you require. For example, if the attending physician (the doctor the insurance company selects) recommends 12 sessions of therapy, the adjuster legally cannot arbitrarily decide that you only need 6 sessions.
The doctor, the insurance company selects, is the boss. Any treatment he/she recommends must be provided by the insurance company. Please let us know if we can help you with such an issue. We are seeing adjuster’s act as doctors in more and more cases wherein they are making the decision themselves that the doctor is ordering too much medical care. For a free consultation, please call (800) 809-3776.
Last week a fertilizer facility in West, Texas was the site of a major explosion. According to sources, a fire broke out after work hours. State and federal investigators have not yet determined the cause of the disaster. The explosion that followed could be heard miles away and was so powerful it registered as a small earthquake.
The West Fertilizer Co. stored, distributed and blended fertilizers, including anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate, for use by farmers around the Central Texas community. Many other towns in Texas, like many towns across America, have small fertilizer distributors operating under similar regulations near populated areas. Local zoning authorities, not a federal agency, determine how close a facility, like West Fertilizer, can be to population centers. Under state law, storage of hazardous chemicals must be disclosed to the community fire department and to the county emergency planning agency, in addition to the state.
In Texas, the state’s minimal approach to zoning puts plants just yards away from schools, homes, and other populated areas. Do you know if you live near a facility that stores or manufactures extremely hazardous substances?
Last week, attorney Nathan Maudlin, of Klezmer Maudlin P.C., received a favorable decision from the Indiana Court of Appeals. In the case, a decision from the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board was vacated and remanded back to the Board.
At the hearing before the Board, the Board member awarded benefits to an injured worker, but only ½ of the claimed lost wages (TTD). Attorney Maudlin appealed on behalf of the injured worker and argued that the evidence presented at hearing did not support an award of 50% of the lost wages and only supported an award of full lost wages. The Court of Appeals agreed and determined that the award was not supported by the evidence.
Attorney Nathan Maudlin was pleased that the Court of Appeals sent the case back to the Board. The Board is now required to state with more explanation why the decision was made. Mr. Maudlin’s goal is to fight for his client’s right under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act and to help obtain maximum benefits owed to injured workers.
Carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS), tendonitis, bursitis, epicondylitis, etc. are examples of repetitive trauma. Your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may deny your claim for a repetitive trauma injury. Your employer’s decision may be valid or it may be an effort to avoid a flood of similar claims by co-workers.
“If we approve one of these claims, we may have dozens more”, might be your employer’s concern.
To support the denial, many employers hire physicians who share their conservative beliefs that repetitive trauma claims are not work related injuries. You may appeal the denial. If your symptoms were caused by your job duties, you have the right to appeal. Exploring legal counsel may benefit you in this situation. Our office welcomes you for a consultation at no charge.
All Indiana Worker’s Compensation attorneys charge the same because fees are set by Indiana law. Klezmer Maudlin can only charge a percentage of any recovery received therefore will not charge you an up-front fee for our services. Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, attorney fees are limited to 20% of the first $50,000.00, and 15% of any remaining balance. With limited exceptions, we also will collect our out-of-pocket expenses from the recovery and not from you.
If you hire us with an offer already given to you, we will typically agree not to charge an attorney fee unless we recover additional money. For example, if you hire us with an offer already of $5,000.00 and 3 months later we tell you we can only get you $5,000.00, we will typically not charge you. We will discuss this in more detail at our initial meeting, once everything has been answered properly we will put our agreement in writing.
If you have any questions regarding our attorney’s fee, please contact us at 1-800-809-3776.
Workers’ comp carriers, more than ever, look for ways to avoid paying expensive treatment. Whether you’ve been ordered to have an MRI, surgery, a spinal cord stimulator or pain treatment, be aware that the workers’ comp carrier may seek to avoid paying for these necessary treatments. Tactics used by these carriers may include utilization review, a second medical opinion, a psychological evaluation or simply denying the treatment.
Don’t let the insurance company get away with denying you needed medical care! Under the law in Indiana, the workers’ comp carrier MUST provide you with all necessary care as deemed medically needed by the attending physician. If you need assistance, please contact our office.
If you would benefit from legal counsel, our office does not charge for a consultation. We’re here to offer our experience to make sure you receive what you’re legally entitled.
Did you know that all Indiana Worker’s Compensation attorneys charge the same fees? The fees are set by Indiana law. Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, attorney fees are limited to 20% of the first $50,000.00, and 15% of any remaining balance.
Klezmer Maudlin can only charge a percentage of any recovery received and never charge you an up-front fee for our services. With limited exceptions, we also will collect our out-of-pocket expenses from the recovery and not from you. If you hire us with an offer already given to you, we will typically agree not to charge an attorney fee unless we recover additional money. For example, if you hire us with an offer already of $5,000.00 and 3 months later we tell you we can only get you $5,000.00, we will typically not charge you.
We will discuss this in more detail at the initial meeting and put our agreement in writing. If you have any questions regarding our attorney’s fee, please contact us at 1-800-809-3776.
Article from the Community Health Network Foundation: IMPACT UPDATE March 2013
Klezmer Maudlin reaches out to brain injury patients to brighten their holidays.
When the team at the legal firm, Klezmer Maudlin, PC, wanted to give back to their community as a team, they chose to focus their generous attention to the brain trauma patients at Hook Rehabilitation at Community Hospital East.
“Every day we work with people who have been injured on the job. We’ve seen firsthand that when the injury includes brain trauma, the patient needs extra care and understanding,” says Randy Klezmer, partner at Klezmer Maudlin. “This stirred in us a special empathy for people who, like our clients, are fighting a courageous battle to restore normalcy and quality of life. Often they can’t do anything to help themselves–they can’t think for themselves or do the daily tasks that they had done in the past. They sincerely need the care and compassion of the community.”
“Randy and his employees at Klezmer Maudlin go above and beyond to improve the lives of our patients,” says Shelly Bingle-Coffman, Community Health Network Foundation director of development. “Over the holidays, Randy and his staff toured the inpatient and outpatient rehab center and delivered more than 60 goodie bags, room to room. They even bought one patient a guitar, amp and lessons because his injury didn’t allow him to play the trumpet any longer.”
“We had heard about these two young patients, ages 15 and 20, who because of financial hardship would not have a Christmas this year. So we bought them special gifts,” says Randy. “We wanted to bless the patients, but it was our team who felt the most blessed. We stood teary-eyed around these young patients as they opened their gifts. It was the most special thing our firm has done since I’ve been an attorney.”
In addition to this very personal expression of compassion, the firm also made a significant gift of $10,000 in 2012 and have pledged additional gifts in years to come to be used toward Hook’s greatest needs. Randy Klezmer also offers legal help by serving on the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana. He frequently addresses conferences on issues related to the laws and financial benefits that injured patients are qualified to receive from an injury on the job.
Community Health Network is grateful to the firm of Klezmer Maudlin for their thoughtfulness and generosity toward our patients. Their kindness demonstrates that sometimes all it takes to make a difference are open eyes to see where the needs are and a willingness to help.
According to the BIA of America website, brain injury is not an event or an outcome. It is the start of a misdiagnosed, misunderstood, under-funded neurological disease. Individuals who sustain brain injuries must have timely access to expert trauma care, specialized rehabilitation, lifelong disease management and individualized services and supports in order to live healthy, independent and satisfying lives.
*Weakness in your arms or legs
*Dizziness or loss of vision
*Loss of consciousness or confusion
*Vomiting or nausea
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force.
Acquired Brain Injury: An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth.
*Diffuse Axonal Injury (TBI)
*Coup-contre coup injury (TBI)
*Second Impact Syndrome (TBI)
*Open and Closed Head Injuries
*Penetrating Injury (TBI)
*Shaken Baby Syndrome (TBI)
*Locked in Syndrome (TBI)
*Anoxic brain injury (ABI)
*Hypoxic brain injury (ABI)
We have experience representing clients with TBI. Throughout the year, we sponsor various programs for Community (Hook) Rehabilitation. Mr. Randy Klezmer serves on the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana. He frequently addresses conferences on issues related to the laws and financial benefits that injured patients are qualified to receive from an injury on the job.
We are only a phone call or email away to answer any questions or concerns you may have about a workplace brain injury.
Temporary Total Disability (TPD)
Many times, the employer’s doctor will place temporary restrictions after a work-related injury. If the employee cannot perform his/her regular job, the employer is obligated to pay temporary total disability (TTD) until the employee either goes back to work, or the injuries reach a state of maximum medical improvement. However, the law allows an employer to create temporary light duty jobs as a way to avoid paying TTD. Light duty jobs include sedentary or sit-down jobs or even working reduced hours.
However, if the light duty job causes a worker to earn less than at the time of the injury, the employee is entitled to another benefit, temporary partial disability (TPD). TPD is calculated by taking 2/3 of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage (before taxes) at the time of the injury and the actual amount earned after the injury. For example, assume that at the time of injury the employee averages $600 per week before taxes, and that employee suffers an injury that causes the employee to be only able to work half time during the healing period and earn $300 per week. In that case, the employee is entitled to 2/3 of the difference between the average weekly wage of $600 and what was actually earned, $300, or $200 per week. There is a 7 day waiting period, but if the temporary partial disability lasts more than 21 days, the employee is entitled to be compensated for the first seven days.
We are not sure why, but many times employers do not pay TPD. Maybe they think that if they offer any light duty work, even if the light duty job pays less, they do not have to pay anything else. Well, they are wrong. If you have suffered a work injury and are working light duty and not earning the same amount of money as at the time of your injury, you probably have a right to TPD. Please contact us with any questions.
Nathan B. Maudlin, PC