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Many workers know that they are entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace or while performing work-related duties. But the workers’ comp system isn’t easy to navigate, and many workers with valid claims will have their claims denied. At Crossman Law Offices, P.C., in Phoenix, Arizona – we are committed to helping workers get the benefits they need and deserve with our skilled team of professional Phoenix workers’ compensation attorneys.
Workers’ compensation law is complex and changes frequently. Working with an Arizona workers compensation lawyer whose knowledge is thorough and current will help you achieve a positive outcome. At Crossman Law Offices, P.C., we only practice workers’ comp law — we do not handle other types of work injury cases in Phoenix, because we believe that specialization is the key to success. We have decades of experience helping injured workers and work hard to provide clients with the most up-to-date information.
If you’re wondering whether you have a case, it’s a good idea to contact us — each case is unique, and that’s why we’re here to answer your questions and inform you about your rights. Our Phoenix work injury attorneys have the skills and experience to handle complex cases, such as those involving independent contractors, and have successfully reopened old injury cases when the situation warrants it.
There are two things that you must do immediately after an injury: seek medical help and notify your employer. If you do not see a doctor right away, it will be easier for the insurer to dismiss your claim. In Arizona, employees are required to notify their employer. You will be compensated by your employer’s insurance provider, so this is a crucial first step.
It is also your duty to make sure the worker’s report of injury is filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Your employer may file this for you, but you are ultimately responsible for this step. The insurer may contact you but probably will not pay any benefits until it receives formal notice from the Industrial Commission. Once it receives that notice, the insurer has 21 days to accept or deny your claim.
Your employer’s insurer must inform you when they make any decision or take any action relating to your claim. You will receive a form, formally known as a notice of claim status. When you work with us, a Phoenix workers compensation lawyer will help you understand these letters and ensure any necessary action is taken immediately.
Notice of claim status forms can address a wide range of issues and decisions. The letters may inform you that:
The letters may also contain information about what benefits are being provided to you, or about many other aspects of your claim. If you do not agree with any of the decisions in these letters, you have 90 days to appeal, so be sure to contact one of our Phoenix denied claims lawyers.
One of the most important notices you receive will state the average monthly wage being used to calculate your benefits. Because workers’ comp is intended to replace part of your lost wages, the compensation you receive will depend on how much you were earning at the time of the injury. This isn’t always as easy to determine as you might think. If room and board, meal disbursements, or other items formed part of your compensation, it can be factored into this amount.
When you receive a notice with the amount calculated for you, you will have a limited time to contest the decision. If you don’t think the amount is accurate, it is very important to use your right of appeal. Once the amount is determined, all future decisions about your compensation for this injury will be based on that amount. Furthermore, if your compensation s denied, it is essential that you get into contact with one of our Phoenix attorneys well versed in terminated benefits law.
You may also receive a notice requiring you to submit to an independent medical exam (or IME). Arizona law permits the employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier to have employees hurt on the job be seen by a doctor of their choosing. Be aware that this exam really isn’t independent: the doctor is chosen and paid for by the insurer, and may not decide things in your best interests. He or she can recommend to the company that you don’t get, or stop receiving benefits. If this has happened to you, a worker’s compensation attorney in Arizona can help.
Your employer’s insurance company and the Industrial Commission need access to your medical records to evaluate your claim. But it is important that access is limited in scope so that private records stay private — they do not need to know medical history unrelated to your claim. Our Arizona workers’ compensation attorneys can help you arrange this so that no unrelated previous injuries or medical conditions will be used against you.
If you received a Notice of Hearing, you will be appearing before an administrative law judge to have your right to workers’ comp benefits addressed. This hearing is just like a trial. It requires extensive representation, and its procedures are just as complicated — so it requires highly qualified representation. The other side (your employer’s insurance company) will have a lawyer, so it is important that you a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona too.
You may receive notices and litigation documents from the other side’s attorney — an Arizona workers compensation attorney help you understand and respond to those. We can also help you prepare for depositions, so you provide a full and honest testimony that bolsters your case. And of course, we will depose any knowledgeable parties to build a strong case and prepare for the hearing.
You cannot be fired specifically for filing a workers’ comp claim in Arizona. If you believe you have been the victim of such a retaliatory action, please contact us, and one of our employee rights lawyers in Phoenix will help.
On the other hand, if you were fired because you were unable to do the job, you have relatively little legal protection — the Arizona workers’ compensation laws do not protect you from being terminated. Fortunately, some unions have made agreements with employers that provide injured employees with additional protection.
If you are fired while receiving workers’ comp, your benefits will not be affected. However, it is important to make an effort to find another job once you are released for work.
The workers’ compensation process is complex, and there are many opportunities for the insurer to deny you the benefits you deserve or not allow you to re-open an old work injury case. Working with an Arizona workers’ compensation lawyer helps ensure you get the benefits you need to care for yourself and your family.
At Crossman Law Offices, P.C., we offer free consultations and handle all cases on contingency — you pay no fees upfront, and no fees unless we win compensation for you. So don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Contact us on 602-248-0380 to set up a free consultation.
“Thanks for all your help with my case. You really helped me a lot and were so easy to talk to. So nice to have my questions answered so quickly and so easily. Great law firm!!!”
– Satisfied Client