Tulsa Oklahoma Workplace Injury Claims Attorney
Have you been injured at work?
Have you lost wages due to your injury? Medical bills piling up? Are you wondering how you are going to pay your bills and support yourself and your family when you are too injured to work and cannot afford medical treatment?
The Workers’ Compensation system exists to protect workers from situations like this. Armstrong & Vaught, PLC holds employers accountable to their obligations under the Workers’ Compensation Law.
Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation laws can be very complex, intimidating, and if not properly followed, an injured worker could lose some very valuable rights. Having a Tulsa Workers’ Compensation lawyer on your side will ensure every right and benefit you are entitled to under the law is thoroughly explained and aggressively pursued. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation about your possible Workers’ Compensation claim. We handle Workers’ Compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. We will charge no fees unless we are able to get you money.
Seeking Medical Treatment and Lost Wages
Unlike similar personal injury circumstances, accidents that occur in the workplace are covered by Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation law, which resembles an insurance program for workers. If you’ve been injured on-the-job, you are entitled to medical treatment paid for by your employer. If you cannot work because of your injury, you may also be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, also know as Temporary Total Disability or TTD. If, because of light duty restrictions, you have returned to work and are working fewer hours and/or receiving less pay, you may also be eligible to receive lost wages called Temporary Partial Disability or TPD. If your employer’s selected treating physician sends you back to work (with or without restrictions), you have a right to disagree with the return to work release and have a right to seek a second opinion. Your employer’s insurance carrier will not openly share this right with you.
A Worker's Compensation insurance carrier can stop your TTD benefits by giving you notice your benefits are being terminated. There is a limited time after this notice to raise an objection and request a hearing with a judge disputing your TTD termination. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side to quickly respond and to argue your entitlement for restarting total temporary disability benefits is imperative.
If your injury occurred on or after 2/1/2014, you fall under the new Workers’ Compensation Commission and have a greater need to have a knowledgable Workers’ Compensation attorney navigate you through the new and extremely employer-biased laws.
It does not matter who was at fault for your accident. If you report a compensable workplace injury, your employer should provide you with medical treatment. If your employer does not send you to a doctor within three days of reporting your injury, you have a right to choose your own doctor and treat with your physician during the period your employer refuses or neglects to provide you medical treatment.
You Have a Right to Change Doctors and Receive Second Opinions
Your employer selects your treating physician. You do however have a one-time privilege to seek a change of treating physician. Additionally, if you disagree with the opinions of your treating physician, you have a right in certain situations to seek a second opinion or an independent medical evaluation, known as an IME. Do not be fooled by an insurance adjuster who offers you a second opinion with one of their hand-picked physicians. A true second opinion physician or IME is a physician selected by the Workers’ Compensation Court or Commission, not by the insurance adjuster.
You Are Entitled to Lost Wages
If the authorized treating physician says that you cannot go back to work because of your injury, you could be entitled to lost wages, called Temporary Total Disability or TTD. Your Temporary Total Disability benefits are equal to seventy percent (70%) of your average weekly wage. These lost wage benefits are not taxable income. If the authorized treating physician releases you to return back to work with light duty restrictions, you are entitled to receive TTD during that period your employer is unable to accommodate the light duty restrictions. If you return to work under light duty restrictions and work fewer hours and/or earn lower wages than before your injury, you may be entitled to additional compensation called Temporary Partial Disability or TPD.
Retraining or Help Finding a Job After Your Injury
If following your release from medical treatment you cannot return back to your pre-injury employment because of your permanent limitations or restrictions, your employer may be responsible to provide you vocational retraining or rehabilitation. Your employer is not legally required to put you back to work in the position you were employed in at the time of your injury after a final release from treatment if you have any permanent restrictions that prevent you from performing your pre-injury work. Your employer can however be required to vocationally rehabilitate you and pay the tuition, books and travel for you to attend a retraining program. If you cannot return to the position you held at the time of your injury but have transferable job skills, you may be entitled to receive job placement assistance to help you find a job.
You Are Entitled to Compensation Even If You Quit Or Have Not Lost Time From Work
Quitting your job or being fired does not bar your right to receive medical treatment or monetary compensation for your injuries. How long you worked with your employer does not effect your entitlement to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Continuing to work does not automatically determine you are not eligible to receive some monetary compensation for your injuries. Following completion of medical treatment you may be entitled to a Permanent Disability award or cash payment for your permanent injuries. This law office can assist you in collecting the maximum compensation for your permanent injuries.
Your Employer Cannot Legally Fire You For Being Hurt or Hiring a Lawyer
Your employer cannot legally fire you for being hurt on the job or for missing time from work while receiving medical treatment. Many employers will try to intimidate or threaten you with a termination for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. Such conduct is unlawful. If your employer terminates you as a result of your work injury, you may have a separate legal action against your employer in addition to your Workers’ Compensation claim. This additional legal action is called Workers’ Compensation Retaliation. This law office sues employers on behalf of our clients that are wrongfully terminated as a result of being hurt on the job.
What the Insurance Company Will Not Tell You
You have a right to change physicians. You also have right to seek a second opinion. You have the right to contest the termination of your weekly disability pay and request a hearing to have your weekly disability pay reinstated. You do not have to let a Nurse Case Manager be present in the examination room with you and your physician. A Nurse Case Manager can assist in your claim. However, that visit with you and your physician is personal and you can restrict the nurse from being present during that meeting. The Nurse Case Manager is a hired representative of the insurance adjuster and anything you say to the Nurse Case Manager will be shared with the insurance adjuster that controls your weekly checks and medical treatment benefits.
Standing Up for Your Workers’ Compensation Rights
If your employer is refusing to send you to a doctor after you have reported an injury, or is telling you that you are not injured or that your injury was not suffered in the workplace, we can help you assert your rights. If your employer’s doctor told you that you can return to work but you believe the doctor is wrong, we can help pursue your right to a second medical opinion and/or a change in your treating physician.
When you hire an attorney in an Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation claim, there is no fee unless benefits are recovered. If you are already receiving TTD benefits when you hire an attorney, an attorney is not entitled to receive a fee out of benefits you are already receiving. It is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation attorney to have all your rights and benefits fully explained. Workers’ Compensation laws can be very complex, and we understand how to pursue the best results within the Workers’ Compensation system.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you get the support you need to recover from your workplace injuries.
Even if you are already receiving medical treatment and/or weekly disability checks, it is advisable to speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation attorney for a no-cost consultation to review all the rights and benefits available to you under the ever-changing Workers’ Compensation laws. Please understand the insurance adjuster or case manager handling your claim is paid by the insurance company to represent the insurance companies’ interests, not yours. Insurance companies have lawyers representing them, and you have an equal right for an attorney to represent what is in your best interests. Remember, insurance companies are not in business to give away money or benefits. They seek to minimize risk and exposure. Having a Workers’ Compensation Attorney on your side will assure you that every potential benefit available to you will be explored, and that you will be properly compensated for your workplace injury to the full extent under the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation laws.
Contact Us Today
We offer a free consultation and evaluation of your claim. We take all cases on a contingency fee — in the rare event we do not obtain compensation through settlement or trial, you would pay no attorneys fees (only minimal court costs). Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll free at (800) 722-8880 orcontact us here on through site.