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DO I HAVE A CASE?

Currently Viewing Posts Tagged Workers Compensation

It’s in the DNA

I am not a chef and I do not like onions but I have been told the following: If you run cold water over an onion and knife when you are cutting, the water neutralizes the chemical in the onion and keeps you from crying.

Recently, I have had several clients continue working at their jobs, despite their injuries. Despite what the doctors’ reports and notes say. They had been put out of work by their doctor and still gone back to work. So, as part of their claim, they have little or no loss of wages from their crash.

It’s not unusual for defense attorneys or adjusters to question how hurt they really are, if their injuries don’t keep them from working. I understand that argument.

My response to them, or my explanation of ignoring  the doctor, is that they had to work. They had to work for money; or for failure of losing their job; or for the simple motivation of not wanting to miss time from work.

In school, there are always teachers and students who never miss time from school. No matter, they show up. I think that same attitude carries into the work life. Some just have it in their DNA to not miss time. So, it may seem strange to ignore a doctor’s “out of work” note, but I guess that’s why it happens.  Like pouring water to keep the tears away?

As you think about it, would you accept that as a juror, or think that the client should just listen to their doctor?

And since it’s the weekend blog and lots of rain could be in the forecast, here’s a Did you know? Did you know that each king in a deck of playing cards represents a king in history? Spades is King David; Clubs is Alexander the Great; Hearts is Charlemagne and Diamonds represents Julius Caesar.

And for our pic o’ day, a happy potato!

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The Value of a Finger

During my second year of law school, I started looking for my first job at a law firm. I was hired as a law clerk at a busy Oklahoma City personal injury firm (Homsey Law Center).

Initially, I was assigned as an all-purpose clerk, which is code for duties that included going to the bank… and stacking the cokes and diet cokes in the kitchen. My office was in the storage room/closet. After they put my desk in there, it was still the storage room/closet, that now had a desk pushed against the wall. I was just excited to have a legal job.

Soon, I was assigned to the worker’s compensation section which included working for an attorney who was very long suffering with my lack of knowlege. On the first day as he was describing the laws of an Oklahoma job injury, he also showed me his hand. He did so to explain that he had lost a portion of his finger on the job when he was in college. Then, he went on to explain what he had been paid for a partial loss of a finger, and what it would mean under those existing Oklahoma worker’s compensation laws. Basically, he was explaining the value of the loss of a finger.

Over July 4th, it was reported that New York Giants defensive player Jason Pierre-Paul was injured in a fireworks accident. Soon, it was reported that the injury had caused him to have his right index finger amputated. That led everyone to wonder if it would impact his football career. That is still a question.

Prior to the injury, Pierre-Paul had been offered a franchise tag (How NFL teams can contractually control players who have not signed) one-year offer of $14.8 million dollars, because he and the Giants had been unable to agree on a long term deal. At that time, the Giants had reportedly made a contract offer of 60 million dollars over 5 years with 30 million of it guaranteed. Now, it’s being reported that the long term offer has been withdrawn and there is question about the franchise tag one-year offer.

The loss of Pierre-Paul’s index finger may have significant financial consequences to him after the report that the long term contract offer has been withdrawn. It is a reminder that a person’s loss from injury has different values because each loss has its own factors.

I regularly get asked the question, “what is my case worth?”. Sometimes I will have a person ask me, “Isn’t it true that the insurance company is supposed to pay me three times medicals?”. I have heard people say that they were going to wait to hire a lawyer because they first wanted to find out what the insurance company was going to offer for their case. The two stories above show the difference in potential claim value, even thought they both lost all or a portion of an index finger.

There are a lot of factors that determine the value of a claim. Of course, it helps to have experience and to  have handled other claims similar, as well as understanding what juries might consider in determining the value of a case at trial. What it doesn’t include is some mathematical equation for the injury, and it shouldn’t include the false hope of waiting on an adjuster to say what is fair. Just my 2 cents.

And since it’s Monday, I figured that we needed to be all business for pic o’ day!

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Working Difficulties

Delays in workers’ comp system hold up treatments is the title of an article in Pilot Online. It tells the story of the difficulty that workers face in getting medical treatment and benefits, when they are hurt on the job. As a practice, we see these issues that these workers face, while handling their worker’s compensation claims.

The next time that you hear a politician brag about things that they have done to make Virginia so good for business, perhaps you will remember this article. It gives some explanation for what makes Virginia so favorable for the employer.

DID YOU KNOW that in the movie The Wizard of Oz, Toto the dog (real name in life was Terry) had a weekly salary of $125 while the main star, Judy Garland’s weekly salary during the movie was $500? Now here’s the kicker: the human actors who played the Munchkins were reportedly only paid between $50-$100 per week.

 

In a bit of a nod toward all those who went back to school recently, here’s pic o’

Dog ate project

Job Injuries Waiting to Happen

     The following photos were sent to me by email, with a caption of something about the”intelligence of men”. Most states recognize workers compensation claims for injuries that “arise out of and in the course of employment”. I’m guessing that some of the men in the photos may have qualified for workers compensation, at some point in their lives.

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