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Workers’ Compensation Leaves Victims of Disease to Often Suffer in Silence

When we think about worker’s compensation issues, we invariably think of those injured on the job. Maybe it’s a back injury that limits a return to work, or perhaps a slip, trip or fall. Outwardly apparent injuries are a no-brainer, it would seem, when it comes to qualifying for benefits. Often the victims of diseases caused by their chosen profession or employer find the road to being made whole again much more treacherous.

Cloudy Causality

There’s no denying the cause of an injury when it happens at work. Whether it is a piece of machinery that causes an amputation, or a repetitive motion injury brought on by doing the same thing day after day at your job, injuries are easy to trace back to one root cause. Even then, it can be hard to collect. But what if the condition that kept you out of work, or ended your career altogether, was brought on over time, due to a cause not able to be seen tangibly? This the situation many who suffer from a disease caused by their work environment deal with for the rest of their life.

Burden of Proof

Diseases typically don’t set-in quickly, they are the result of exposure to a working condition that continues over time. They may also have other causes. Cancers and lung ailments are perhaps the most notorious work-related conditions, but can’t they also be caused by other environmental issues? Therein lies the rub for those stricken with diseases they feel are caused by their work conditions. Even when they can pinpoint what may have made them sick, to prove their case they still must:

  • Suspect their job was to blame.
  • Build a case not only targeting the employer, but also refutes all other possible outside causes.
  • Do all this in the timeframe outlined by their state of residence, which often doesn’t allow for the full onset of symptoms.

High Cost of a Failing System

States can point to workers’ compensation fraud as one of the reasons the bar is set so high for disease victims, and they are not derelict in doing so. Even when the disease is not imaginary, there are those doctors who will look for the deep pockets when deciding to assign blame.

Still, those who suffer from a disease caused by on-the-job conditions require medical treatment. Oregon and Ohio, two of only a few states that track outcomes of workers’ compensation claims, tell the tale. Disease claims are denied three times as much as injury claims, putting the burden of paying for medical treatment on taxpayers and families, to the tune of an estimated $152 million, according to a . Most of that amount comes out-of-pocket from those families affected, putting a huge strain on their personal financial situation.

If you feel that you or someone you love is suffering from a disease with work-related causes, don’t suffer in silence. Contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez today at 702-388-4476 and have your voice heard.





Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job Offer




The Benefits of Hiring An Attorney After a Work Injury

A workplace injury can be a nightmare. Your injuries may prevent you from working – from earning the income you need to survive. During this already stressful time, you need to navigate the process of filing a worker’s compensation claim.

Doing this on your own may be difficult, and yield less than optimal results. Sometimes, in the worst scenario, you may be wrongfully dismissed by your employer after suffering a workplace injury.

In times like these, you need to rely on the skill of an experienced Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney will aggressively represent your interests, compelling your employer and its insurer to meet their financial responsibility to provide the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries.

Nevada Law Provides For Workers Compensation Benefits

Under the state of Nevada’s Industrial Insurance Act, a worker who suffers injuries on the job is entitled to medical care and other compensation. The care and compensation are “benefits” issued by an employer’s insurer in response to filing and processing of a valid workers’ compensation claim. Specific medical benefits include medical, surgical, hospital or other treatment, nursing, medicine, prosthetic devices, and more. Whether you have suffered a strain, sprain, or permanent disability, these benefits apply. Not only that, but medical benefits are also applicable if you have been exposed to a contagious disease in the workplace. Additionally, if you have lost a loved one to a death in the workplace, you may have a claim for benefits as well.

Of course, when an injured worker needs medical care, he or she must travel to a healthcare facility. Fortunately, Nevada’s workers’ compensation law provides for mileage reimbursement for this travel. In addition to mileage reimbursement, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits to account for any permanent restrictions you have suffered on your ability to work. This type of rehab benefits may include being reassigned to a “light” duty position, or job training, education, and placement assistance in the event you are unable to return to your previous position.

By failing to obtain the aid of a workers’ compensation attorney, you may fail to fully secure all compensation to which you are entitled.

Beyond healthcare benefits, compensation is provided for any disability suffered. Disability may be total or partial, and temporary or permanent, depending on the specifics of the workplace injury suffered. These factors are taken into consideration along with the injured worker’s annual salary. A partial, temporary disability reflects the lower end of the compensation scale. Conversely, a total disability represents the higher end of the compensation scale.

When you retain a skilled Las Vegas workers compensation attorney, your lawyer will consult with medical experts to ascertain the full extent of your disability, and pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. Trying to do it on your own may inevitably result in your failure to secure all evidence needed in a timely fashion and successfully argue for full benefits.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured On the Job In Las Vegas

If you have suffered a workplace injury in the state of Nevada, reach out to a skilled and experienced Las Vegas workers compensation attorney. In addition, download our free checklist, Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job. This checklist may help answer additional questions you have.





Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job Offer




The Benefits of Hiring An Attorney After a Car Accident

A car accident can be an unwanted lesson in humanity. People, businesses, and institutions do not always do the right thing – even when they are clearly at fault, and legally obligated to compensate an accident victim. This is why it is critical to obtain the help of a car accident attorney in the aftermath of an accident.

Attempting to obtain compensation for personal injuries, property damage, and other losses on your own in the wake of a car accident can be a maddening, time-consuming ordeal, yielding suboptimal results. To compel at-fault parties and their insurers to do the right thing and provide the right compensation in a timely manner requires the skill of an experienced car accident attorney.

Ensuring You Receive Full Compensation Following a Car Accident

One of the most important differences between car accident cases handled by an attorney and those handled alone involve the compensation received.

If you have been injured or suffered property damage to your vehicle in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation. This compensation is designed to cover past, present, and future medical bills, lost income due to missed work, the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle, as well as other losses.

If you try to seek this compensation by yourself, you will be dealing with an insurance company. Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses, it is in their interest to pay accident victims as little compensation as possible. Accident victims frequently receive poor service from insurers and, on their own, obtain far less compensation than what is deserved and necessary to recoup expenses incurred through no fault of their own.

This is why it is in your interest to hire an attorney to deal with the insurance company and, if necessary, the at-fault driver. An experienced car accident attorney will provide a number of valuable services. First, a skilled attorney possesses the experience needed to successfully negotiate the terms and conditions of the case, whether it concerns a minor fender-bender or a serious collision. Second, a lawyer may be able to assist you with compensation for lost wages if you were forced to miss work while recovering from injuries suffered in the accident. Third, a professional will be able to provide a referral list of physical therapists and doctors who can provide the medical care you need to heal from physical injuries and emotional trauma suffered.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured Or Suffered Property Damage In A Car Accident

The last thing you need after an accident is stress that you didn’t do the right things directly after. Download our free checklist What To Do After Being in a Car Accident so you have all of the information you need.





Steps To Take After a Car Accident Offer




Most Common Work-Related Injuries

You go to work every day to make money, not suffer an injury. However, workplace injuries do occur. Unfortunately, according to the data provided by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, workplace injuries can be fatal. OSHA reported in 2014, about 4,679 workers were killed on the job.

What can you do to protect yourself from suffering a workplace injury?

Whether you work in an office environment or construction, knowing the most common workplace injuries may help you to avoid an accident at work.

Common Workplace Injuries

The following are common injuries that occur on the job:

Workplace Injury

  1. Overexertion: This is a broad category, including injuries related to carrying, lifting, pulling, holding and throwing items at work.
  2. Falling on the Same Level: This injury refers to falling on a surface without elevation. For example, slipping on a wet office floor can cause injuries.
  3. Falling to a Lower Level: Falling from an elevated surface includes falling down stairs or from a ladder or roof.
  4. Bodily Reaction: This injury is caused by slipping or tripping at work without falling. You may not fall, but you suffer some kind of sprain or injury from trying to prevent a fall.
  5. Roadway Incidents: A roadway, or highway incident, causes an injury when you are injured in a car crash while conducting business.
  6. Struck by an Object: This is the most serious type of workplace injury. It occurs when an item falls from the shelves or something is dropped by another employee and hits you.
  7. Struck Against an Object: Unlike injuries caused by something dropping on you, this workplace injury happens when running into a wall, table, door or table.
  8. Violence and Assaults: Injuries from violent acts happen less frequently than other common workplace injuries. However, any time an employee must engage in a physical attack, injuries can happen.
  9. Compressed by Machinery: Handling sharp and large machinery is extremely dangerous when there’s possibility of getting caught between the equipment.

If you’re injured at work, you may be eligible to receive workers compensation.

Get the Help You Need When Injured at Work

When you’re injured at work, you feel overwhelmed and confused. Your medical bills need to be paid and you’ve lost income from the time you’re not able to work. You’re not alone. Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez are here for you. Contact us at 702-388-4476 regarding your workplace injury and get the help you need.





Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job Offer




How to File an OSHA Complaint

Workplace Safety

Workplace injuries that happen due to preventable circumstances are the most regrettable. Many employees notice these accidents waiting to happen but don’t take action because they fear being reprimanded by their boss or losing their job. That’s why it is important to know, due to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employees have a right to file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace.

While it is against the law for employers to reprimand or fire workers for filing a complaint, OSHA will withhold your identity from your employer if you request them to do so.

Filing a complaint with OSHA is serious business and not a decision to be made lightly. To ensure your complaint gets full attention, it helps to know how OSHA categorizes them. Complaints coming from employees, for example, are given greater attention than complaints coming from nonemployees or passersby. While it is against the law for employers to reprimand or fire workers for filing a complaint, OSHA will withhold your identity from your employer if you request them to do so. Some employees choose this option to give them peace of mind. Keep in mind, however, that your anonymous complaint will get treated as a complaint from a non-employee.

If you are a member of a union, your representative can contact OSHA for you.

If you are non-union, there are three ways to file your complaint:

  1. Online

    OSHA has a convenient online form workers can use to send in their complaint through OSHA’s website. It is signed using an e-signature and forwarded to your nearest OSHA Regional or Area office. As with every method, you can indicate you do not want your name revealed to your employer.

  2. Mail or Fax

    You can download a complaint form or request one from your local OSHA Regional office. Simply mail or fax your signed form to the closest location. Your information is kept confidential. Written complaints like this are more likely to result in an onsite inspection by the OSHA.

  3. Telephone

    By calling your local OSHA regional office, you can discuss your complaint and get answers to any questions you may have.

No matter how you choose to file, make sure to describe the workplace hazard as clearly and completely as you can. Be sure to include how often the hazard poses a threat to you and your coworkers. If you’re able to, include photographs when you file.

Have you been hurt on the job and you’re not sure what to do? Call the personal injury attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476 to set-up a free consultation.





Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job Offer




Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits After You Win Your Case

Collect Compensation

You work hard for the things you have. No shortcuts or schemes, your work is honest-to-goodness labor. So, when you get hurt on the job, it’s well within your rights to fight for workers’ compensation benefits. After all, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves and your family still has to eat. If you fight a claim, successfully challenge it, and win your case, it’s certainly a victory. However, how do you ensure you actually collect the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve?

Be Persistent

Winning and collecting benefits can mean two different things. After scoring the victory of entitlement, your next big job is to pursue collection. Insurance agencies are not take-charge on dishing out money – even when legally obligated to do so. The collection process may involve jumping through hoops. Being persistent, keeping proof of your effort and pushing through are the first steps toward collecting an award due to you.

Don’t Toss Out Relevant Paperwork

Remember the pile of paperwork you amassed to support your argument? Keep it, because there’s a good chance you’ll need to use it again. The insurance agency’s job is not to create a smoother path toward collecting benefits. If anything, it will do the opposite and behave idly while you scramble for your award. This is the point where many people drop the ball and give up. That’s what insurers tacitly hope you will do. So, you may need to send or resubmit certifications, doctor notes, receipts and anything else to support your position. It may seem like a do-over, but be prepared to do it anyway.

Have Legal Resources on Hand

After a legal decision has been issued giving you the right to collect benefits, insurers only have a set length of time to respond. Typically, the period is thirty days. If your pursuits are met with resistance, you always have the option to appeal and complain. You also have the option to enlist the services of a workers’ compensation attorney to help expedite your payout. You have the right to collect, so don’t be afraid to retain assistance in doing so.

Not sure what the next step is in your workers’ compensation case? Call the qualified attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez today at 702-388-4476.





Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job Offer




Cases in the News About Workers’ Compensation

Worker's Compensation Cases

The status quo for workers’ compensation was rocked in 2015. The state Supreme Court weighed in on fairness and a tragic death sparked a discussion on what workers’ compensation should truly encompass. There are three cases that changed the face of workers’ compensation in Nevada and started a discussion on how the state should handle future cases.

Justice for the Self-Employed

The Nevada Supreme Court supported self-employed workers’ rights this year by ruling that wage determination should include more than just salary for self-employed individuals. A delivery driver appealed the state for additional compensation when he fell during a delivery and subsequently hired an interim driver, which reduced his business income. The State Court agreed that the driver’s business earnings should be factored into his compensation benefits.

Cirque du Compensation

A death in the production of Cirque du Soleil’s production of “Ka” thrust the international company into the spotlight and the results weren’t pretty. Injured employees spoke out citing inappropriate recompense from both the company and the state. Just like other high-risk, highly physical careers such as electrical line work and farming, Cirque employees found that the workers’ compensation program aimed for rehabilitation rather than return to work. Workers found themselves healed but not whole. The fight for adequate compensation will be at the forefront of the workers’ compensation fight in the coming year.

Finding Worker Fraud

It wasn’t just companies that needed to pay up in 2015. A Las Vegas resident plead guilty of workers’ compensation fraud and is awaiting sentencing, facing up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The man applied for workers’ compensation citing a back injury while working at Dunkin’ Donuts but was found to not only have a pre-existing back injury but also to be operating a handyman business while collecting disability. The man confessed to his abuse of the system but Nevada officials will continue to closely monitor those collecting workers’ compensation for fraud.

If you believe your worker’s rights are being violated, the first step is filing a worker’s compensation claim. Then, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to navigate the long and difficult road to receiving your fair compensation. Workers’ compensation is morphing in Nevada and 2016 promises to be another big year for worker’s rights.

Who Can Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Disability

Founded in 1935, the U.S. Social Security program has aided the most needy Americans – the old, the sick and the disabled – for almost a century. The program continues to this day and is a valuable resource for those who can no longer provide for themselves. Eligibility revolves around the amount of time your worked and how recent the work was performed. Here is a quick rundown on who is eligible for and can be helped by Social Security benefits:

Those under 24 years of age – A candidate must have worked for one and a half or more years in the last three ending with the most recent quarter when the disability began. Simply put, you must have worked for half the time you were capable.

Those 24 to 31 years of age – To be eligible, you must work during half the time for the period beginning with the quarter after you turned 21 and ending with the quarter you became disabled. This amounts to about three and a half years of full-time employment.

Those over 31 years of age – Similarly, people in this age bracket must work have full-time employment during five out of the ten year period ending with their disability – not a particularly stringent requirement.

For more information on Social Security benefits and your eligibility for them, please contact us at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, and Martinez. We can be found online at GGRMlawfirm.com or reached directly at 702.388.4476.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Apply for Social Security Disability

If you are paid as an employee, part of the withholdings made from your paycheck support the Social Security Disability Program. Accordingly, if you become disabled, and meet the requirements of the program, you are entitled to receive Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI), also known as Title 2 or DIB benefits, from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The benefits paid are based on your earnings history. If you need to apply for disability benefits under SSDI, a federal benefits program is administered by each state.

How to Apply for SSDI

In the past, it was necessary to make an appointment and go into your local Social Security office to apply for SSDI benefits. Today, there’s no waiting for an appointment with a Social Security representative – you can immediately start your application online by visiting the US Social Security Administration’s website.

To apply for benefits online you will need to:

You will be required to answer questions about your disability and your work history. You will also fill out a detailed Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire, and you’ll need to submit medical records that support your claim. Your credibility is vital in the application process, and it’s important to make sure all backup material is accessible when you file your claim.

Once your application is submitted, the Social Security office then sends your file to be reviewed for approval or denial, based on the information you have provided. In the event your application is denied, there are further steps you can take, including filing an appeal.

If you have been denied twice and are ready to go to court, please contact our law office at 702-388-4476. You can also reach out to us on our contact form on the home page.

2015 Changes to Nevada Police/Firefighter Heart and Lung Laws

Police Fire Injury

The Nevada state legislature has made a major change to the laws that cover heart and lung disease benefits for police officers and firefighters. Senate Bill 153 was changed to expand the protections afforded to these professionals when they have heart or lung illnesses that are debilitating. The legislature has clarified the following:

  • A police officer or firefighter doesn’t have to prove that exposure on the job caused a disabling heart or lung disease.
  • Employers can’t attempt to prove the firefighter or police officer had a pre-existing condition that caused the illness or that something unrelated to their work caused it.
  • Heart or lung disease will be presumed to have started from and during employment as long as the claimant has been continuously employed as a salaried police officer, firefighter, or arson investigator for at least two years on a full-time basis before he or she was disabled.

This presumption applies if:

  • The heart or lung disease caused the disability during the course of the claimant’s work
  • The disease causes the claimant to quit or retire before serving for 20 years but when the period after leaving work equals the number of years worked.
  • The firefighter or police officer stops working after 20 years of service at any time.

SB153 also includes an exception to this presumption that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. It effectively excludes firefighters and police officers from this presumption if they regularly use tobacco products within a year or don’t follow their doctor’s instructions for health care. Employers and insurers can use these circumstances to defend against claims.

If you’re a firefighter or police officer who has heart or lung disease, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, and Martinez Law Firm. The laws governing compensation are complicated and may include aspects of both worker’s compensation and personal injury law, and you’ll need an experienced law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Call us at 702-388-GGRM (4476) for a free consultation to discuss your situation.