Monthly Archives: November 2011

What is “Spousal Reimbursement” in a Workman’s Comp Case?

If your spouse has been injured due to a work related injury or and injury on the job, things can become increasingly more difficult at home. In some unfortunate events the injury is extensive enough that the spouse can’t do the basic necessities without assistance. If this happens, who takes care of the injured worker?

If you are the one that is left to take care of your husband or wife, you may be able to receive payment for “attendant care.” This means if you are doing the job of a non-medical care attendant, you may be entitled to payment as well. Hospitals usually waste no time in releasing patients to go home after their health is secured. They spend most of their recovery time at home, occasionally visiting physical therapy or rehab.

In some states, the law requires the employers or the employer’s insurance agency to provide care that is needed to ensure that the employee recovers fully. The court also set the precedent that the care or services provided by a family member is not excluded from reimbursement, and a spouse can be paid for performing tasks such as helping the injured spouse get dressed or bathed, making meals, or acting as a chauffeur.

The employer can make the case that the spouse would do these things regardless, but the court did not rule in their favor. This precedent is not necessarily common knowledge and even come insurance companies are not aware of it. Because of this, insurance companies do not offer to pay to reimburse the spouse for acting as a service attendant.

One thing that helps the spouse to receive payment is to have a doctor write a letter specifying that the injured employee needs the care of an attendant. People like family members or spouses that are not medical attendants are eligible to be paid in accordance to State Board’s fee schedule. This sets an hourly rate of pay. Often times, the insurance companies try to avoid paying spousal reimbursement. If you plan of filing for spousal reimbursement, then you need to contact a lawyer. Lawyers are skilled in handling situations like these and can work to get you the money that you deserve.

These are a lot of changes that have been made, so if you plan on filing a workman’s compensation claim, it would be best to seek professional help. It is important to have someone on your side that knows the law and knows how to make it work for you. Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law specializes in these types of case. He provides a free consultation, including evenings and weekends by appointment, at their offices in Lenexa, Kansas or Grandview, Missouri offices. Call today at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566 or 816-966-0099.

How to Handle On the Job Injuries

Being injured on the job is a serious matter. Within some states, your employer controls where you go to get medical help as long as it is considered valid.  You will get help from a “posted panel of physicians. “ A posted panel of physicians is a list of doctors ranging in specialties that are approved by your employer as doctors that at you may visit on the company’s dime. Sometimes, these doctors show favor to employers. They give an employee a clean bill of health, yet the employee has to have surgery because of the injury not long after being cleared.

Some states have passed legislation that allows workers to choose to have an independent medical exam. They called it the “claimants IME” and with this, the employee can ask for an exam done by a doctor of his or her choice, which the employer’s insurance has to pay for. If this independent exam is used properly, it can refute an unfair claim, argue against a premature work return, support changing to another doctor, or give a reason to try for a settlement. If an IME is requested, it needs to be used effectively.

For example, if someone has two body parts that are injured, you need to go to the doctor that deals with the most extensive or prominent injury. The law does not require the employer to pay for more than one IME. This is why choosing what injury is more substantial to handle first is so important. If you find yourself in a workman’s compensation suit, there are things that you need to remember.

You only have one shot to claim an exam paid for by the insurance company. This is why knowing when and how to use it is very important. It is also extremely important who does the exam, so a lot of thought should go into this process. Even if you have multiple injuries, you are only entitled to one independent medical exam. You also need to be aware that the insurance agent is not a good resource to consult about IME advice. This type of advice should come from a lawyer that is experienced in handling workman’s compensation cases.

These are a lot of changes that have been made, so if you plan on filing a workman’s compensation claim, it would be best to seek professional help. It is important to have someone on your side that knows the law and knows how to make it work for you. Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law specializes in these types of case. He provides a free consultation, including evenings and weekends by appointment, at their offices in Lenexa, Kansas or Grandview, Missouri offices. Call today at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566 or 816-966-0099.