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NEW YEARS WISHES FOR AN INJURED WORKER

Here’s Our Wishes for you This New Year.

1. That you have a small Worker’s Compensation Case.

Typically, the greater your injuries, the greater your permanent disability and the greater  your settlement.

It would be wrong to ever wish a large settlement upon someone as that would be the equivalent of wishing that they were seriously injured.  Instead, a good law firm will never wish such upon you, but will do everything in its power to see that you receive the highest possible settlement given the severity of your injuries.

2. That, despite your injury at work, you can still continue doing your usual and customary job.

A Worker’s Compensation settlement does not pay for lost income, loss of future earnings or earning capacity or pain and suffering, or other monetary or property losses you might suffer if you are our of work due to your injury, for a period of time, or permanently.

If you can keep working without injuring yourself further that is optimal.  Then, only settlement that you receive would be in addition to your earnings which would be continuing.

3. That if are out of work because of your injury, you are only out a short period of time.

If you are out only a short period of time due to your doctor’s recommendation, you will typically receive 2/3’s of your average weekly wage up to a state maximum while the doctor has you temporarily totally disabled.  Thereafter, hopefully, you can return to your usual job.

The problem occurs if you have an injury that is serious enough to keep you out of work for a long time or requires multiple surgical procedures.

Under current California law you can collect only 104 weeks of temporary total disability benefits within the first 5 years from your date of injury.  Sound like a long time, doesn’t it?  It is, unless you have multiple and/or serious injuries with long-term treatment, multiple surgeries, etc.

Can you imagine getting 2/3’s of your wage and then going down to, let’s say $250 to $290/week?  Who can survive on that in Southern California – unless, of course they are able to return to work.

4. That you have an employer that is able to offer you an alternative or modified job if you are able to return to your “usual and customary job”.

Under these circumstances, if a physician gave you work restrictions that were not consistent with your usual job that you may have been doing for months or even years – hopefully they would have an alternative or modified job available for you that could pay you 85% of what your prior position/job did.  Otherwise, you might be out of a job!

5. That your employer is motivated to take you back.

You can help with this by keeping in touch with your employer while you are out of work.  Let them know your goal is to return to work, if at all possible.  Be honest, open and straightforward at all times.  Keep in touch by advising them of your progress – don’t make them wait until they finally receive a report from your doctor or doctors.

6. That you will be represented by an experienced and candid firm.

It’s always best to have a candid and experienced attorney that, based upon is or her years of experience can tell you ahead of time what to expect and not to expect.  You don’t want a law firm that “blows smoke at you” just in an effort to get you to sign up.

If your lawyer has the requisite experience and knowledge he or she can give you realistic expectations to let you know what you need to plan on, what precautions you need to take, as well as what financial difficulties might be ahead.

Isn’t it better to know what rough water lies ahead – before you are in the middle of it?

7. And, at this time of year and during this crazy year, you will cherish those wonderful friends and family who have supported you and cared for you both before you were injured on the job, and would have stood by you, following your injuries and the uncertainties associated with those injuries.

Richard Irwin

Mr. Irwin is a recognized specialist in Workers’ Compensation law. He has been certified as a specialist by the State Bar of California since 1995. He limits his practice to handling only workers’ compensation cases. View Attorney Richard Irwin's Attorney Bio Here.

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