Do you need a lawyer?
You definitely need a lawyer if your claim is denied. Otherwise, you might feel like something is wrong in your case. Your adjuster has stopped returning your calls, your temporary disability (time loss) checks have stopped, your doctor says the insurance company will not cover your treatment, or you had an IME (insurance company doctors’ exam) report that did not support you. The truth is, you probably just know something isn’t right. That’s when it’s time to talk to a lawyer.
Your claim is accepted and everything seems totally fine.
Great! You probably do not need a lawyer. But if you have any questions, feel free to call Attorney Colin Hackett. Consultations are free.
Your claim is denied. What can you do?
You should immediately call a lawyer once the insurer denies your workers’ compensation claim. Oregon workers’ compensation lawyers do not charge out of pocket. It costs you nothing for a consultation. Find out whether you can fight your denied claim. Most denied claims have some value. It will take some time and energy for your attorney to get you the best possible result, but it is nearly impossible for an unrepresented worker to win or even attempt to fight a denied claim. Call a lawyer and find out what you can do to fight your denied claim.
Your IME report did not support your claim.
This is very common. The IME system is really set up to give insurance companies an excuse to deny claims or cut off benefits. Treating doctors do not understand that IME doctors are very biased. With the help of an attorney (free of charge), you can fight against a bad IME report. If you feel you have had your claim denied or benefits cut off because of a bad IME report, call Attorney Colin Hackett for a free consultation. We can probably help.
Your employer says you did not get injured at work.
This is common. Employers know that workers’ compensation claims affect their bottom line. Workers’ comp claims hurt their profit margin. You need a lawyer to evaluate the evidence and determine the best strategy to prove your claim at trial. As an experienced trial lawyer, Colin Hackett is very qualified to prepare your case for trial and give you the best chance of winning. Call us for a free consultation.
You have a preexisting condition.
You felt fine before, but now the doctors are telling you that your preexisting condition is really the problem. Sounds crazy, right? The reality is that your work injury is probably the real cause of your disability and need for treatment, but it will take some work to prove it. Attorney Colin Hackett knows how to prove your medical causation case. It requires getting your doctors and possibly even a paid expert to support your claim. However, if you do not hire an attorney to defeat the workers’ compensation insurers preexisting condition defense, you will most assuredly lose out.
You have a new or omitted medical condition claim.
Your claim is accepted, but now they are telling you that you need to make a claim for a specific condition or diagnosis. How does that make sense? It really doesn’t. This is an attempt by the insurance company to make you prove your claim twice (or sometimes even three times!). Every case is different, but usually it’s best to make the insurer pay your benefits without making new or omitted medical condition claims. To do this, you must continue to get treatment. Once the insurance company refuses to pay for something, your attorney can bring a claim against them for the denial. If you already made a new condition claim and it has been denied, you will need an attorney to help win it. Either way, it is absolutely necessary for you to get an attorney. If they have stopped paying your benefits or threatened to stop paying your benefits, call Colin Rockey Hackett Law.
You have an aggravation claim.
Aggravation claims are claims for benefits on older accepted workers’ compensation cases. If your aggravation claim has been denied (and they usually are), you should call an attorney. These cases require medical evidence from your doctor or a consulting expert. Colin Hackett law knows how to handle these cases. Call us for a free consultation.
Your claims adjuster says…..Claims adjusters have a job to do. They work for the insurance company, not you. If you suspect something that your claims adjuster says isn’t true, you cannot rely on your claims adjuster for answers. You have to consult with someone outside of the workers’ compensation insurance industry. That usually means calling a lawyer. If you find yourself repeating the phrase “my claims adjuster says…”, then you should probably call a lawyer to find out what the truth is.
Workers Compensation Resources
The following are links to resources you may need to better understand your workers compensation claim.
- Oregon Workers' Compensation Board: http://www.cbs.state.or.us/wcb
- Oregon Workers' Compensation Division: http://www.cbs.state.or.us/wcd/
- Oregon Workers' Comp Division Administrative Rules: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_400/oar_438/438_tofc.html
- Oregon Workers' Comp Board Administrative Rules: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_400/oar_436/
- Oregon Workers' Compensation Board Decisions: http://www.cbs.state.or.us/wcb/contents/vannatta.htm