Salem Worker Compensation Attorneys
Today, the state of Oregon requires employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. This means that – if you work for an employer – you have worker’s compensation insurance that is meant to protect you if you are injured on the job. Workers’ Compensation is supposed to cover your medical treatment and provide a portion of your wages until you can come back to work. Unfortunately, Oregon’s worker’s compensation laws have become so complicated that most people hire an attorney to help them file their claims and get their benefits!
There are many difficult regulations about worker’s comp claims; one of the most important is that Oregon has very strict time limits to file for your benefits! You must seek medical attention and tell your employer that you have been injured as soon as possible! Once you have done this, you should call us within a week, if possible, so we can help you gather the information you need and give you valuable advice on how to proceed with your claim. At Shlesinger & deVilleneuve, we understand the complexity of Oregon’s Worker’s Compensation laws, and we know how to help you get the benefits you are entitled to receive. Workers’ Compensation Benefits fall into one of these “types”:
- Medical care for the injury or illness
- Compensation for permanent injuries
- Replacement income
- Benefits to survivors of workers who are killed on the job
- Vocational or retraining costs
From the time that you file a “workers’ comp” claim, you have stopped working with your employer on the claim specifics, and are instead now working with the insurance company who manages your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance policy. While you may have a very good relationship with your employer, they are hands-off at this point. Unfortunately, your employer’s insurance adjuster does not have your best interest at heart; their job is to pay you the least amount they can – as quickly as possible. We specialize in worker’s compensation law because our firm was founded on our passion for advocating for clients who are at the mercy of big insurance companies! The firm of Shlesinger & deVilleneuve has more than forty years of skill and experience advocating for the legal rights of injured Oregonians! Last year alone, we successfully negotiated almost a thousand Worker’s Compensation claims. Call our office; we will get back to you the same day to schedule a complimentary consultation, and our attorney’s fees are contingent on the recovery of your benefits. At Shlesinger & deVilleneuve, your welfare is our bottom line; “they” may not have your best interests at heart – but we do!
Filing a Claim
Strict time limits control this process. A claim should be filed immediately with your employer for whom you were injured. Injured workers in Oregon experience some of the toughest hurdles. When you know you have been hurt on the job, tell your employer promptly. Get medical attention promptly. It is also critical that you give the medical provider accurate and complete information as to the where, time and how the incident occurred. Make sure you review this information with the provider before leaving his/her office. Many cases are won or lost depending on the contemporaneous history given to the medical provider who treats you for your injuries. Do not allow anyone to pressure you into failing to promptly report your injury EXACTLY as it happened! -immediately. Contact us promptly if you need assistance with filing your claim.
Strict time limits control this process. If your claim is denied, the notice should contain a strict time limit to appeal. If you receive a denial letter or notice of closure, you only have 60 days to reply. If you miss this deadline, you probably will be barred from appealing. Contact us promptly to avoid being stopped from appealing a good case. Contact us promptly if you have received a denial on your claim.
Notice of Closure
When your claim is closed, you may receive a notice awarding permanent partial disability benefits. This notice should also contain a strict time limit to appeal. If you receive a denial notice or notice of closure, you only have 60 days to reply. Again, you must act within this time limit to avoid losing the opportunity to increase an insufficient award. If you have received a Notice of Closure, do not trust the insurance company to award you the right amount of money. It takes an experienced attorney to navigate through this process and fight for everything you are entitled to. Contact us promptly if you have received a Notice of Closure.
Medical Service and Vocational Retraining Disputes
Under the current trends of Oregon Workers’ Compensation, it is not uncommon for an injured worker to be denied necessary medical services or vocational retraining. The Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay for necessary surgeries and treatment. Again, notices denying any of these types of benefits are accompanied by strict time frames. If you receive a notice that your medical treatment is being refused or you do not qualify for vocational retraining benefits, please contact us promptly so we can advocate for your rights.
Occasionally, an injured worker is hurt at a job site controlled by someone other than his/her employer or by an individual not associated with the worker’s employer. When this occurs, the worker may have what is called a third-party claim which is very similar to a personal injury claim. A third-party claim provides, potentially, an additional source of recovery to an injured worker. These claims also contain strict time limits that an injured worker is often completely unaware of. Contact us promptly if you have been involved in such a work injury.
Settlement of your Workers’ Compensation claim is often a viable option. If you are interested in pursuing settlement of your Oregon Workers’ Compensation claim, this requires an experienced attorney. The insurance company will not be looking after your interest when it comes to potential settlement of your claim. If you receive any form of a settlement offer, call us right away, since you may be signing away valuable rights and agreeing to an amount far less than what you are entitled to.
Attorney fees in Oregon Workers’ Compensation cases are set by state statute. The manner of how a fee is paid depends on how your claim is resolved. Attorney fees are strictly contingent. This means if you do not receive a recovery or increase in benefits, you do not owe your attorney a fee.
Sometimes it is necessary for your attorney to incur out-of-pocket costs to develop your case. This is often true if there is a denial on your case and we are preparing your case for hearing and/or possible settlement. These are not attorney fees, but are fees for such things as medical record duplicating charges, attorney-doctor conferences, treating doctor medical reports, forensic investigation, expert witness fees, filing fees, court reporting fees, arbitration/trial court fees, and so on.