Workers’ Compensation FAQ
How is my average weekly wage determined?
Generally, an average of your weekly wages is determined based on the last 52 weeks of your work. However, while your overtime is included, it is only considered under your normal hourly rate.
May I choose my own doctor?
Generally, yes. But some choices may be limited if your employer is on a managed care plan.
May I change doctors if I am not happy with my physician?
You may change doctors once simply by filling out a form with your new doctor. Referrals from your primary doctor are not considered a change.
Can my employer send me to a doctor for an evaluation?
Yes. Employers are allowed to have you evaluated by a physician of their choosing. Such doctors do not become treating doctors.
Are there any co-pays or deductibles for my medical expenses?
No. Although an employer can contest whether the recommended treatment is reasonable or necessary.
What happens if I am injured because my company refuses to follow safety rules or regulations?
Your benefits can be increased if your employer violates safety rules or regulations, but your benefits can be decreased if you violate a safety rule or regulation. For example, if you are a delivery driver, you should always wear your seat belt.
Will my case be decided by a jury?
No. Cases are decided by an administrative law judge after a hearing or by an agreed settlement. There are no juries.
Who will pay my medical expenses in the future?
Your employer is responsible for all future medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary to treat the original injury. Some employers will try to purchase that right from you, but it is generally not a good idea to sell that right. The law currently limits the length of time you may exercise this right, but there are ways to extend this time period.
What happens if my injury gets worse over time?
You have a limited time after your case is resolved to reopen your claim and ask for additional benefits if your impairment has increased.
How are benefits paid for a permanent injury?
Benefits are paid either weekly for 425 weeks or in a lump sum. While this can be negotiated, it is up to the insurance company of the employer to decide whether they want to pay you in a lump sum or not.
In some circumstances, benefits may be paid for a longer period of time, especially with an injury that causes you to be permanently unable to work, also known as a permanent total disability.
How are you paid?
My fees are based on a percentage of what I recover for you and are set by statute. My fees start at 20 percent of the first $25,000, 15 percent of the next $25,000 and 10 percent above that, up to a maximum of $18,000 (for injuries after July 14, 2018). All of my fees in workers’ compensation cases are calculated before I calculate expenses. In addition, there may be some costs associated with gathering medical records, reports and other evidence, which you would only owe in the event I win or settle your claim.
Do you give free initial consultations?
Yes. I am always willing to speak with an injured employee and answer any questions that I can.
*Court costs and case expenses will be the responsibility of the client only if we win or settle your claim. If we do not win or settle your claim, you owe nothing.