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How to value your workers' compensation case.
At Alana C. DiCicco Law, we're dedicated to ensuring you are represented in navigating all aspects of your workers' compensation claim - you don't have to go it alone!
We've represented numerous clients in injury cases and we have extensive experience in the complicated area of Oregon's workers' compensation laws. We're here to help you.
Alana has extensive experience in the field of Oregon Workers' Compensation Law. She worked for several large defense workers' compensation law firms before opening her own practice and following her dream of representing injured workers. Her background as both a defense and claimant's attorney gives her particular insight into managing a successful workers' compensation case. She is dedicated to helping her clients obtain all the benefits they are entitled to under the law.
Alana lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, son, and daughter. She enjoys helping her clients, painting, reading, and the outdoors.
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4207 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97202, United States
What is workers' compensation? Can I get workers' compensation if I am an independent contractor? How long do I have to work somewhere to get workers' compensation?
It is a fact of life that people get injured at work.
Sometimes injuries happen quickly and unexpectedly, like a slip in the bathroom or a crash of the delivery truck; other injuries take years to develop from the continuous strain of carrying heavy loads or other intense activities.
Whatever the case may be, Oregon law requires most employers to carry insurance to benefit workers who are injured on the job. It is important to know that there is no fault to prove or disprove in workers' compensation. It does not matter if you are at fault or your employer is at fault or if any third party is at fault; for the purposes of receiving workers' compensation benefits, all that matters is whether your injury is work-related. However, if a third-party is at fault (someone not from your company) then you may have a law suit against that third party as well.
Oregon law states that "subject workers" are entitled to workers compensation benefits in Oregon. The vast majority of workers in Oregon are “subject workers.” Being a subject worker means that you are employed by a company or individual for a salary or hourly wages. It does not matter how long you have worked at your job. Independent contractors are not subject workers. However, in some instances a worker may have been improperly categorized as an independent contractor by the employer. In these cases, the worker is entitled to benefits under Oregon’s workers’ compensation laws
How do I file a workers' compensation claim in Oregon? What forms do I need to file and where do I file them?
Filing a workers' compensation claim is a straightforward process. Many hospitals and doctor's offices are familiar with work-related injuries and have the forms on hand. You can also read below and follow the links to download the forms that you need, or you can request them from your employer.In Oregon, a workers’ compensation claim should be filed with either an 801 Form or an 827 Form. An 801 Form is usually completed by the worker or the employer (or both). An 827 Form is usually completed by the worker’s physician. Both forms require the worker’s signature in order to constitute a legal claim under Oregon law. 801 and 827 Forms can be found at the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division website: here.
Your employer, physician, or an Oregon workers’ compensation attorney can also help you obtain these forms. If you have any questions about which forms to file, do not hesitate to give us a call.
Retaining an Oregon workers’ compensation attorney is free. Your attorney will only be paid if they win or settle your case. If you decide to retain an attorney for your workers’ compensation case, you will need to sign a retainer agreement. You will never need to pay for an Oregon workers’ compensation attorney out of pocket.
Can I get my wages paid if I was injured at work? Can I get pain and suffering?
Injured workers in Oregon are entitled to be compensated for time lost from work. "Time loss" benefits (also known as temporary disability benefits) are equal to 66.66% or two-thirds of your wage at the time of the injury. Time loss benefits are paid to you by check every 14 days and are not taxable wages. Injured workers are also entitled to payment of medical costs such as treatment and prescription medication related to their work injury. Cash settlements or money awards are often available to workers with permanent impairment. If a worker's injury prevents him or her from returning to their job, then "vocational retraining" may be available to help the worker gain new job skills. Pain and suffering awards are not allowed in workers' compensation cases. However, if there was a third party at fault in your injury, like a motorist or some other party who is not your employer, then you may have a case against that party where you can get pain and suffering damages.
My workers' compensation claim is denied? How to I appeal this denial? How do I fight the insurance company?
If your claim is denied, you will receive a Denial of Claim notice informing you of the denial and of your appeal rights. A claim denial means the employer/insurer has denied your Oregon workers compensation claim and you will receive no benefits for your injury.
You have 60 days from the date the denial issued to appeal the denial. If you believe the denial was issued in error and that you should receive benefits for your injury, then you should involve an Oregon Workers' Compensation attorney immediately. Your attorney should appeal the claim denial by filing a Request for Hearing with the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board.
We will offer you a free consultation if you believe your Oregon Workers' Compensation claim has been wrongfully denied.
I have not heard anything about my filed claim. What's going on?
It is important to understand that most employers have workers' compensation insurance to cover their employees if they are injured at work. However, the insurance companies have an interest in saving as much money as possible and are very meticulous in reviewing claims. Oftentimes, these insurance companies will deny valid workers' compensation claims.
After you file your claim, you will be contacted by your employer or their insurance company to confirm receipt of your claim. The employer/insurer has 60 days from receipt of the initial claim (usually an 801 or 827 Form) to either accept or deny your Oregon workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is accepted you will receive an Initial Notice of Acceptance explaining that your claim is accepted and what condition (injury or occupational disease) it is accepted for. The Notice of Acceptance will also state whether your claim is “disabling” or “non-disabling.”
An Oregon workers’ compensation claim is "disabling" when a worker must miss work due to his or her injury, or when the injury results in permanent impairment. An Oregon workers’ compensation claim is non-disabling when there are less than three days of missed work and the claim is not likely to result in permanent impairment for the injured worker.
Hearing loss is a common form of occupational disease workers' compensation claim. The term "occupational disease" simply means that it develops over time as opposed to acutely from one accident. The burden to prove an occupational disease falls on the injured worker in Oregon. The injured worked has to prove that his or her overall work activities are the major contributing cause of the occupational disease. In the case of hearing loss, this would mean the worker must prove his or her lifetime of employment was greater than 50 percent the cause of their hearing loss.
There are multiple factors that can cause hearing loss. First is genetics or a family history. Second could be injuries or illnesses such as very high childhood fevers. Third is normal aging. This is often called presbycusis which is the Latin term for "aging ear." Finally, exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss. This is usually from gun use (target practice, hunting, or military experience), riding motorcycles, or from work exposure.
There are many types of jobs that have very high noise exposure levels. Common ones include truck driving, welders, firemen, pilots, and metal fabricators. If you think you have hearing loss related to exposure to loud noise at work, it is important to file your claim as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more likely it is that you will also have aging of the ears making it more difficult to prove that the majority of your hearing loss is related to work.
Hearing loss is a common workers' compensation claim. If you have worked in an industry that exposed you to loud noises over long periods of time, then it is very likely that you have had some hearing loss as a result. Thankfully, Oregon Workers' Compensation laws can help you receive some benefits to help correct this hearing loss.
Once you have filed your workers' compensation claim for hearing loss, the insurer will do one of several things They may accept the claim. Or, very frequently, they may deny the claim. A denial can be for several reasons. The most common is called a compensability denial and is when the insurer is denying the claim because they do not think your hearing loss is related to your work exposure. But they may also deny the claim because they do not think they are the insurer responsible for your hearing loss. In this scenario, the insurer is essentially acknowledging that your hearing loss is related to your employment, but they think a different insurer or employer should pay for it. This comes up quite often when an injured worker has worked for several different employers and had noise exposure at each job.