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Flagstaff Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you ask employers about their most important business asset, most will tell you that it is their workers. That is one reason why the Arizona system of workers’ compensation exists: to help pay for your medical expenses and cover some of your lost income if you are ever hurt on the job.

At the Matt Fendon Law Group, our Flagstaff workers’ compensation lawyers provide full legal help for workers’ compensation claims for workplace injuries and other work-related illnesses or medical conditions.

If you need a Flagstaff workers’ compensation attorney to help you file and settle your initial claim or appeal a claim denial, then contact our law offices at (928) 851-8697 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

Let Us Make a Difference for You in Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Depending on the nature of your work-related injury, illness, or medical condition, making a workers’ comp claim and receiving fair compensation can be simple or complicated.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona (the ICA), the state agency that oversees workers’ compensation claims in Arizona, is not the only organization you will interact with. You will also need to consider the interests of your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance company when negotiating a claim settlement. Unfortunately, their interests may not always be the same as yours.

Having an experienced workers comp attorney on your side when making, negotiating, and settling a workers’ compensation benefits claim can make a key difference in how much you receive. You will want to be sure you leave nothing on the table and that the benefits you receive are enough to match your necessary medical expenses now and in the future.

Why Use Arizona Workers’ Compensation?

Most employees rely on workers’ compensation when they become hurt or ill on the job for one simple reason: Arizona workers’ compensation laws require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

This means that in most cases, a workers’ compensation claim is your only way to receive benefits from your employer when you are hurt on the job.

What are the Benefits of Using Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation benefits everyone in the employment context: you, the worker, your employer, and the state of Arizona.

  • Workers’ compensation insurance means you do not have to sue your employer in a personal injury lawsuit to receive medical benefits and other injury-related compensation. Instead, you must file an insurance claim with your employer.
  • Workers’ compensation benefits your employer by eliminating the otherwise ever-present threat of employee legal action whenever an accident happens.
  • Workers’ compensation benefits the state of Arizona as a whole by reducing the number of employer-employee injury-related lawsuits, which frees up limited court resources for other kinds of cases.

Why Would I Sue My Employer for an Injury at Work?

Generally, workers’ compensation is the sole remedy against the employer as long as they have workers’ comp insurance. You can sue your employer if they are not insured. 

What is a Job-Related Injury, Illness, or Condition?

As long as your injury, illness, or medical condition arises while doing something connected with your employment, it is job-related for workers’ compensation benefit purposes.

This includes the performance of your job duties and job-related travel during work hours.

Some examples of job-related workers’ comp claims include accidents, exposure to toxic substances or allergens, work that requires prolonged, repetitive motions, or work that puts too much stress on the back, knees, or other body parts.

Of course, you also must perform your work safely and responsibly.

For example, if your injury arises from an activity violating your employer’s safety policies and procedures, like fighting with another employee or engaging in horseplay on the job, your employer or its insurance carrier can contest your claim as not being work-related.

Do I Need to Prove Negligence in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

An important advantage of using Arizona workers’ compensation is that you do not need to prove that your injury was your employer’s fault. Workers’ compensation aims to help you receive the benefits and compensation you need, not to blame or punish your employer.

To establish a valid workers’ comp claim, you must show that the harm you suffered resulted from your employment. This makes workers’ compensation claims faster and easier than filing a personal injury lawsuit in an Arizona court, and, in most situations, your outcome is more certain, too.

How an Arizona Workers’ Compensation Claim Works

Your Arizona workers’ compensation claim will ordinarily follow a well-established procedure. Here are the things for you to do, in order:

See a Doctor or Other Appropriate Healthcare Professional

This is not just to treat your injury or condition. You must still show that you have been hurt and demonstrate the severity and extent of your injury, even if you do not have to prove it is your employer’s fault.

Your treating doctor will be an important ally for you in proving the existence of your injury, through medical records and doctor’s notes of diagnosis and treatment.

Notify Your Employer in Writing of Your Work-Related Injury

First, you must notify your employer in writing of the injury, such as by email or text message. This must be done within a reasonable period (2 weeks from the injury should meet that requirement). 

If your injury, illness, or medical condition has delayed symptoms, insurance companies can deny and delay claims filed within one year of the event occurring because the injury was not “forthwith reported.”

Report your injury by filing a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury form. Your treating doctor or other healthcare provider should have copies of this form, or you can download it from the ICA website.

After your employer receives your written notice of injury, it will pass this along to its workers’ compensation insurance company.

Be Ready for Your Employer to Examine You With Its Own Doctor

Your employer has the one-time right to request you to undergo a physical examination by a doctor it chooses.

You can keep this doctor if you wish, in which case this will become what workers’ compensation calls your attending physician. Or, you can choose your own doctor.

In addition, the workers’ comp insurance company can also request that you undergo an independent medical examination if it needs more information to evaluate your claim for compensation benefits.

Finally, if the employer is self insured, they may be able to direct all your treatment and you may not have any choice of doctors.

Negotiate Your Workers’ Comp Claim With The Insurer

Workers’ compensation claims are usually resolved by reaching a negotiated settlement between you and the employer’s insurance company.

This can be a one-time, lump-sum full and final payment. If you settle the case fully and finally, you generally cannot reopen it. You can only reopen the case and receive additional compensation if you settle only the indemnity portion of the case.

What Benefits Can I Receive Through Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical costs, related treatment expenses, and lost wages resulting from workplace accidents.

Some of what you can receive can be scheduled benefits that are they are set by statute but generally paid by an insurance carrier.

Other benefits are called “unscheduled,” and they are based mainly on how much earning capacity you have lost as well as your age, work experience, and education. These payments can also be payable for life. 

Your injuries might be permanent or you might receive temporary disability benefits, and these considerations can also reflect on the workers’ compensation settlement you will receive.

The benefits most commonly connected with workers’ compensation claims include:

  • Paying the costs of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. These include ongoing inpatient and outpatient care, vocational rehabilitation, physical or occupational therapy, and prescription medications.
  • Partial compensation for lost wages. These are payable if your injury means that you cannot go back to work.
  • Death benefits. If an injured worker dies because of a work-related injury, illness, or condition, then surviving family members of that worker may be eligible for these benefits. These benefits include a burial allowance, and dependents’ benefits.s.

Call a Flagstaff Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Many occupational injury claims are quickly and easily settled between the injured employee and the workers’ comp insurance company.

Others, however, can run into resistance from employers and workers’ comp insurers. Either way, having access to experienced workers’ compensation attorneys to help you with your claim is a good idea for the following reasons:

  • An experienced attorney who specializes in workers’ comp law can help you prepare a benefits claim that is less likely to have problems and more likely to cover all the benefits you are entitled to.
  • If you do encounter a challenge to your claim, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can represent you in negotiations with the employer’s insurance company.

The reasons for employer and insurer challenges to workers’ comp claims can vary. Possible defenses can include the statute of limitations (one year), failure to report an injury right away, and disagreements on medical causation and treatment.

When this happens, an experienced Flagstaff workers’ compensation attorney can help you to stand up to these claims by insurance carriers.

Put a Flagstaff Workers’ Compensation Law Firm on Your Side

Arizona workers’ compensation law is an area of legal specialization. At the Matt Fendon Law Group, our highly skilled and compassionate Flagstaff workers’ comp lawyers are ready to provide you with legal representation for all aspects of your workers’ compensation claim.

Our legal team has successfully represented many injured workers and their family members in the Flagstaff area.

Here are some of the specific ways that we help our Flagstaff clients in obtaining benefits for their workers’ compensation cases:

  • Help understand Arizona law and the workers’ compensation process and how it works, including how workers’ compensation can work with Social Security disability benefits.
  • Help provide you with information on the medical care and medical experts you need and where to seek medical attention.
  • Help dealing with your employer and negotiating with the workers’ compensation insurer.
  • Help identify and calculate the maximum workers’ compensation, medical treatment benefits, and other assistance you are entitled to.
  • Represent you at any ICA hearings on your claim and handle your appeal of any claim denial.
  • We can help partner you with attorneys who can help you file a civil lawsuit against third parties who may have contributed to your injury, or if need be, against your employer if warranted for intentional misconduct or retaliation against you for making a workers’ compensation claim.

Call our law firm today at (928) 851-8697 to schedule a confidential, free initial consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in our Flagstaff law office.

Or, you can contact us online to ask a question or to schedule a free case evaluation of your on-the-job injury.

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