workers comp indiana

Case Study: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition most often affecting one of the limbs (arms, legs, hands, or feet), usually after an injury or trauma to that limb. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and mild or dramatic changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area.

hands-crpsCRPS can be a controversial topic due to disagreements between medical professionals. Doctors aren’t sure what causes some individuals to develop CRPS while others with similar trauma do not. In more than 90% of cases, the condition is triggered by a clear history of trauma or injury. The most common triggers are fractures, sprains/strains, soft tissue injury (such as burns, cuts, or bruises), limb immobilization (such as being in a cast), or surgical or medical procedures (such as needlestick). CRPS represents an abnormal response that magnifies the effects of the injury.

Our office recently helped a worker afflicted with CRPS when the insurance company’s physician disputed the diagnosis. We arranged for another medical opinion with a well-respected physiatry (rehabilitation) physician who testified that the worker indeed suffered from CRPS.

Diagnosis is based on the affected individual’s medical history and signs and symptoms that match the definition. But because several other conditions can cause similar symptoms, careful examination is important. Since most people improve gradually over time, diagnosis may be more difficult later in the course of the disorder.

With a dispute between physicians, our office successfully persuaded the Judge to order an independent medical exam with a physician selected by the Judge. That third physician agreed with the CRPS diagnosis and our client received specialized treatment including a series of Ketamine infusions. Ultimately, our client improved dramatically and has returned to work.

Are you or someone you know suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? Call our office at 317.569.9644 or email rklezmer@klezmermaudlin.com to talk to one of our experienced attorneys to see how we can help.

Construction Site Accidents Happen, We Can Help

stock-photo-16304582-construction-site-accident1-300x250The construction industry can be a very dangerous field of work. Contractors, developers, property owners, product manufacturers and employers are required to abide by strict construction site safety regulations, but sometimes they don’t always comply.

If an employee has been injured during a construction job due to safety standards not being met, the accident victim may be eligible for compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim. But did you know that parties other than your employer could potentially be liable for your work injuries in a third-party claim? Other responsible parties include subcontractors, equipment manufacturers and drivers.

In 2013, one in five worker deaths were in construction. OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has four different categories of construction worker injuries titled “the fatal four” which include falls, electrocutions, “caught in-between” and “struck by object.” The fatal four account for 58% of construction worker fatalities.

Some common construction site injuries and accidents that we handle include…

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Heavy machinery/crane accidents
  • Exposure to dangerous, toxic chemicals
  • Fires and explosions
  • Trench and scaffolding collapse

Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible and seek medical attention. Focus on your recovery while the lawyers at Klezmer Maudlin work on your case to help get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Our lawyers will help you gather the evidence you need to your suit. Regardless of who is at fault, you have a right to file a claim for benefits which cover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.

If you file a third-party claim, the compensation revered is in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits which can include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and more.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a construction accident, call Klezmer Maudlin at 317.569.9644 so we can get started right away at pursue your claim.

Hiring an Attorney for Your Worker’s Compensation Dispute

 

Should I hire an attorney?

It is your right to either represent yourself in a worker’s compensation dispute or to hire an attorney. If an Application for Adjustment of Claim (Form 29109) is filed with the Board in your case, then by law, your employer must hire an attorney. Thus, it is often advisable, although not required, that the injured worker be represented as well.

When deciding whether you want to involve an attorney, keep in mind that Indiana’s worker’s compensation laws are written in a way which tend to favor the employer as opposed to the injured employee.

How much does it cost to hire a worker’s compensation attorney?

A free legal consultation with an attorney experienced in the Indiana worker’s compensation system may help you to better determine whether your rights are being protected and whether legal representation is needed at that time.

Attorney fees are limited by the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act. According to the law, attorneys can charge $200.00 up front, as well as a percentage of any recovery received in a worker’s compensation case. Attorneys may be willing to waive the upfront fee until the case is settled. The current recovery fee percentage is 20% of the first $50,000 and 15% of any remaining amount.

Example:

Deborah and her attorney settled her worker’s compensation case for $60,000. Since the attorney agreed to waive the upfront fee of $200 until the case was resolved, a breakdown of attorney’s fees includes $200, plus 20% of $50,000, plus 15% of the remaining $10,000.

Amount to Attorney: $200 + (.20 x $50,000) + (.15 x $10,000) = $11,700

Amount to Deborah: $60,000 – $11,700 = $48,300

At the end of the case, you may also be asked to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the attorney for items such as medical records, postage, long distance phone calls, appointments with specialists, and so forth. These expenses were not included in the above example.