Can a workers compensation claim be reopened? Yes. If a claim has been closed less than 60 days, the appropriate action is to protest or appeal the closing order. If it has been more than 60 days, a doctor must certify that there is objective evidence (x-ray, MRI, etc) of a worsening of the medical condition caused by the industrial injury. Be aware- after seven (7) years the claim may not be re-opened for all benefits.
Exposure to noise greater than 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent hearing loss. Farmer? Tractors operate at greater than 85 decibles. Logger? A chainsaw operates at greater than 85 decibles. Rockstar? Your music is likely louder than 85 decibles. Workplace hearing loss can be accepted as an injury (if sudden) or an occupational disease (if over time). If you experienced hearing loss due to workplace noise, you may be eligible for medical treatment and financial compensation! For a free injury consultation, contact Peter Abbarno at (360) 736-1301. To learn more about hearing loss prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a brochure at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-175/pdfs/2007-175.pdf
Are you worried about an upcoming “Independent” Medical Exam? There is nothing independent about an IME!!
An Independent Medical Exam can derail a worker’s medical treatment, financial benefits, and result in premature claim closure! An IME is often scheduled by a Self Insured Employer or the Department of Labor and Industries when the conditions of a claim are disputed, treatment of a condition is disputed, restrictions due to the conditions are disputed, or the Employer or Department of Labor and Industries want to close a claim by finding the condition has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and requires no more treatment. A claim closing order could result in the termination of all benefits.
Once the report from the IME has been released, the injured worker and the worker’s attending physician has the right dispute the findings and conclusions of the Independent Medical Examiner. It is important to keep an eye on the “clock” since an order must be appealed within 60 days.
Don’t let this happen to your claim. If you’ve had a workplace injury, contact Peter Abbarno at Althauser Rayan Abbarno for a FREE consultation by calling (360) 736-1301. Our offices are conveniently located in Downtown Centralia and Olympia and we represent injured workers throughout Washington State, including Thurston County, Lewis County, Cowlitz County, Grays Harbor County, and Pacific County.
Are you eligible for Workers Compensation benefits? Former NFL cornerback Courtney Robinson was denied benefits when he was injured at Seattle Seahawks minicamp! The Court found an Employee-Employer relationship only exists where (1) the employer has the right to control the employee’s physical conduct in the performance of duties and (2) there is mutual consent to an employment relationship. The claim was denied because Minicamp was a tryout- not mutual consent! If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact Peter Abbarno for a free injury consultation at (360) 736-1301. We represent injured workers in Thurston County, Lewis County, Cowlitz County, Grays Harbor County, Pacific County, and throughout Washington State. Our offices are conveniently located in Olympia and Centralia. Call us for a free Injury consultation today!
If you’ve been injured at work, your employer is not allowed to “suppress” your claim, which means: inducing an injured employee to not report the injury or treat the injury as an off-the-job injury. The employer also can’t force the injured worker to go to “their” chosen doctor.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)? To establish work-related CTS, an injured worker must show that 1) workplace activities contributed or caused the CTS; 2) the CTS was properly diagnosed by a medical professional; and 3) it is established that the workplace activities, on a more probable than not basis, contributed to the CTS. High risk jobs that contribute to CTS include Carpentry; Roofing; Dry-wall installation; Boat and home building; and Seafood/fruit/meat processing and canning.
Workplace Injury? Trust Althauser Rayan Abbarno: Worker’s Compensation Attorneys!
If you’ve been injured on the job, read all communications from the Department of Labor and Industries or self injured employer very carefully! If an order is not appealed properly and within the right amount of time, an injured worker may waive all rights and benefits associated to the claim.
The Department or self insured employer may try to close your claim by placing the language “This Claim is Closed” somewhere in the middle of a Payment Order or other Order to close the claim before you’ve received all your benefits and finished treatment.
The Department may deny you all future benefits, treatment, and the opportunity for vocational retraining. Generally, an injured worker only has sixty (60) days to protest or appeal an order from the Department of Labor and Industries or Self-Insured Employer.
If an injured worker does not protest or appeal a closing order within 60 days of receiving the order, rights and benefits may be terminated, including Time Loss, Loss of Earning Power, Medical Treatment, Vocational Services, Permanent Partial Disability awards, and Pension awards.
If you or someone you know was injured at work, contact Peter Abbarno with Althauser Rayan Abbarno for a free injury consultation in Olympia or Centralia by calling (360) 736-1301.