Hey passengers as part of the LifeTrain’s legal tips segment we are once again honored to have Attorney Ewing Carter III along for today’s ride. Today we will discuss a worker’s compensation question. Let’s head on back to the Legal car and see if we can get the Attorney to help us out.
Chuckie: Good day sir, welcome back aboard.
EC III: Thanks Mr. Conductor, glad to be back aboard.
Chuckie: Sir, I pulled this question out of our ever growing pool. The passenger wrote: I currently work full-time for a major clothing retailer as an Area Supervisor. Last week while helping to
put out some seasonal clothing, I injured my right shoulder lifting a box. The Personnel Mgr. told me to go to the company doctor and get checked out. The doctor took me out of work and ordered an MRI scan of my shoulder. The appointment for the scan is next Tuesday. By next Tuesday I will have been out of work for 11 days. I like and need my job and don’t want to be terminated because of absences. Now my fingers are going numb? What should I do?
EC III: Well passenger, Your injury is covered by workers compensation law. Every state has a Workers Compensation Act that requires all employers with three (3) or more employees to carry workers compensation coverage for employees injured during the course of their employment. Generally, the employer directs the employee’s medical treatment and pays all the bills. When a person is out of work under doctor’s orders for at least seven (7) consecutive days or twenty-one (21) days intermittently, then the employer’s insurance will pay the injured employee 66% or 2/3 of their weekly wage. If, the employer seeks to terminate an injured worker for whatever reason (job layoffs, violations of company policy, etc.), the worker’s compensation benefits are unaffected.
My advice is for you to seek legal counsel because: 1) You are not sure the seriousness of your injury and, 2) You don’t know how long you will be out of work. Counsel can inform you
throughout the entire process in order to ease your worries. Most importantly, you don’t pay any upfront money to your attorney. Also, an added benefit to you is that the
Industrial Commission, which is the governing body over work-related injuries, oversees this entire process. The Commission examines the actions of the employer as well as any attorneys involved for fairness.
Chuckie: Is there a “Pain and Suffering” component to her claim?
EC III: Good question Chuck, no there is no “pain and suffering” component in this claim. Any compensation awarded to the passenger above paying their medical bills and the 2/3rds wage payment (“temporary total disability” money), will be based on a disability rating given by their primary doctor, if applicable.
EC III: How’s that Mr. Conductor, did I make sense.
Chuckie: Good stuff sir. I just happen to know this particular passenger personally so i will get back to you. But, she’s pretty sharp so I am sure you covered this thoroughly enough for her.
Chuckie: Well passengers that’s it for this week’s legally speaking segment. If you would like to submit a question for Attorney Carter just drop it here on the Train (see comments section). Also, Attorney Carter can be reached via his website: http://www.ecarterlaw.com/