Legal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Get Your Injury, Accident, And Insurance Questions Answered By Attorneys Who Know The Law
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Can I Receive Workers Comp Benefits If My Spouse Died While On The Job?
Yes, you very well may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if your husband or wife dies while on the job or dies from a job-related injury, accident, or condition, or disease. As long as your spouse’s death arose from his or her employment, you may have a valid workers’ comp survivor’s benefits case. How much you receive in benefits after your spouse’s death depends on several factors, including which state you live in. If your husband or wife has died as a result of their job, or if your workers’ comp survivor benefits have been denied, you should speak with an experienced, knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney today about your situation.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured By A Defective Product?
If you or a family member has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, the company that manufactured or sold the product could be held responsible. After the injury or accident takes place, but sure to seek medical attention immediately. In addition, be sure to save the product and all related paperwork (manual, receipts, etc.). If there were witnesses, be sure to collect statements and contact information. Take pictures of the accident scene. Finally and most importantly, be sure to report your injury to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and call a defective products injury attorney in your area.
What is ERISA?
While the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) sounds like it simply protects workers’ retirement funds, it actually protects a large range of employee rights as they relate to worker benefit plans. ERISA protects your retirement benefits, pension plans, 401k plans, profit-sharing plans, health care benefits, life insurance benefits, and disability benefits. ERISA makes certain that workers receive their benefit rights and that employers never fire or discriminate against their workers in order to deny them their benefit rights. If you have had a ERISA claim wrongfully denied or if you believe that your employer, insurance company, or union is violating your rights in relation to a benefit plan in Missouri or Illinois, call an experienced ERISA attorney today.
Can I Collect Workers Compensation For An Illness?
As long as your illness, condition, or disease is directly job-related, you may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. In the past, workers have successfully filed workers’ comp claimed for work-induced diseases and conditions such as lung diseases, heart disease, asbestosis, mesothelioma, stroke, anxiety, depression, migraines, chronic pain, arthritis, and cancer. In all of the above cases, your disease or illness must arise directly from your job. For example, your lung disease must be caused by the air quality at your job, while your depression or anxiety must be tied to the stress of your job. In some cases, you may be eligible for workers’ comp if your job aggravates a current illness or condition that you had before starting your job.
Do I Have To Be Injured On The Job To Receive Workers Compensation?
While you do not have to be at your workplace physically when an injury takes place in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits, you do need to be engaged in a work-related activity to successfully file a workers’ comp claim. For example, if you are injured while traveling to or from work or if you are injured while on a business trip, you may be able to receive workers’ comp for your accident and injury. Likewise, if you are injured during a mandatory job-related social function, you may be eligible to collect workers’ comp benefits.
What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ comp, is a form of insurance that must be legally provided by employers to employees in the case of an on-the-job or work-related accident, injury, disability, condition, or illness. Under the law, most employers must provide workers’ comp benefits (in the form of fixed monetary payments) to injured workers regardless of fault and, in exchange, workers are not able to sue their company for the accident or ask for punitive damages. In addition, if a worker is killed on the job, workers’ compensation should be provided to that worker’s dependents.
I do not like the company doctor. Can I quit seeing him and go see my own doctor?
Under Missouri workers' compensation law, the employer has the right to direct the medical treatment. That means the employer gets to choose your doctors. You can always ask the employer to allow you to go to a different doctor, and a good employer may accomodate that request and select a different doctor for you to see. However, most employers are going to require you to go to the doctor they choose (or tell you that you have to go to whomever the workers' compensation insurance carrier tells you to see). If you feel that the "company doctor" is actually endangering your health, then you may be able to ask an administrative law judge to order a change in medical provider. You will most likely need legal assitance to do this, so please call us at 877-315-8111 if you think you are in danger due to the treatment you are receiving from the company doctor.
What should I do immediately after an accident where I am injured?
If the police are involved in making a report, make sure that you get the name of the officer, the police department for whom the officer works, and the accident report number if possible. If there are witnesses to the accident, make sure you write down the names and addresses of any witnesses present at the scene, as the police officers don't always list witnesses on their reports. Even if the police officer tells you that he has all of the information about the other driver, make sure you do not leave the scene unless you have the name and address of the other driver and his insurance information.
If you are injured enough that you have to be hospitalized, make sure a loved one takes photographs of the damage to your vehicle. If you have injuries that are visible, such as severe lacerations,bruises, or open wounds, make sure that photographs are taken of your injuries as well. You also want to note the date on which the photographs of the vehicle and your injuries were taken.
Finally, make sure you report the accident to your own insurance company, even if the accident wasn't your fault. You do not need to use your own insurance benefits, but it is always a good idea to put your insurance company on notice of an accident, just in case the other driver doesn't have insurance and you need to use your uninsured motorist coverage in the future.
The insurance adjuster is calling me. What should I say to him?
You will probably receive a call from an adjuster for the other driver once the other driver's insurance company is notified of the accident. Our advice is to tell the adjuster that you cannot give a statement without speaking to an attorney first, and that you want your attorney present with you while you give the statement. If you do not intend to hire an attorney, you still don't need to give a recorded statement if a police report was completed. Insurance adjusters may try to trick you into giving answers that will actually hurt your case in the future and make it sound like the accident was your fault. It is never a good idea to give a recorded statement without an attorney present.
The insurance adjuster for the other driver told me that she won't pay my medical bills while I am receiving treatment, and that I will have to wait until I settle my case to get reimbursed for my medical care. Is this true?
For the most part, this is true. Most liability insurance carriers only pay the other driver's medical bills at the time of final settlement. They do not pay medical bills as you go along. You will need to pay your own medical bills (either with your own insurance or with your own money) while your case is pending. If the accident is truly the other driver's fault, you should be reimbursed for these expenses at the time of settlement or, if the case is not settled, if you win at trial.