Workers’ compensation exists to provide relief to employees who suffer injuries on the job, offering medical treatment and possibly weekly benefits until an injured employee recovers enough to return to work. Any injured worker in could potentially encounter serious issues while pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. The Law Offices of John Phebus offer legal representation for injured workers, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Glendale workers compensation lawyers.
Why Choose The Law Offices of John Phebus?
- The Glendale personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of John Phebus have more than 20 years of experience in injury and criminal defense cases.
- Founding attorney John Phebus is the former President of the West Maricopa County Bar Association and regularly speaks at legal seminars about a wide range of topics.
- Our law firm has earned perfect 10 ratings on Avvo in the categories of Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Rated Personal Injury Firm, and Top-Rated Attorney for DUI.
- We offer free initial consultations so potential clients can better understand their options without any financial commitment.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Workers Compensation?
Filing for workers’ compensation in Arizona may appear straightforward at first, but countless possible factors exist that can complicate a claim. Additionally, the claims process is more complex than many people realize, often requiring extensive documentation and meeting specific appointments. Procedural missteps with workers’ compensation claims can interfere with a claimant’s ability to recover, and a Glendale workers compensation attorney can help prevent them. The attorneys at the Law Offices of John Phebus understand both sides of the civil court system and work to maximize every client’s recovery. The claimant may need help dealing with difficult insurance company adjusters, gathering the required medical documentation, or even navigating adverse actions from employers. Compensation lawyers work to ensure their clients secure the benefits available under state laws.
Reporting a Work Injury in Arizona
The state allows a one-year time limit for filing workers’ compensation claims. This window may seem generous, but the length is to ensure that an acquired work injury that develops over time or one that does not immediately manifest noticeable symptoms can still qualify for compensation. However, an injured employee should make every effort to report a workplace injury and start the claims process as soon as possible. Any unnecessary delay could reflect poorly on the claimant and may even lead to a denial of benefits in some circumstances.
Workers’ Compensation Laws for Employers
All employers in Arizona must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have one or more employees. Workers’ compensation coverage does not come at any cost to employees; employers pay premiums to maintain workers’ compensation coverage through an insurance carrier. This insurance will cover injured employees’ damages if they qualify for benefits. In general, an employee will need to demonstrate that his or her injury or illness occurred while performing job-related tasks. An employee will not have to file a lawsuit against the employer or prove negligence to qualify for benefits through workers’ compensation.
Difference Between a Personal Injury and a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault benefits. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, requires the plaintiff to prove fault for financial compensation, with a few exceptions. Unless strict liability laws apply, the injured worker would have to demonstrate that his or her employer (or another defendant) was negligent and this negligence caused the work-related injury. The Law Offices of John Phebus can help with this burden of proof during a civil lawsuit in Glendale. Proving a civil suit may take evidence such as expert testimony, accident reports, pay stubs and medical documentation. Another major difference between a workers’ compensation and an injury claim is the types of damages available. Workers’ compensation will only pay for an employee’s lost wages (up to two-thirds of the average weekly wage), medical bills, disability benefits and death benefits. A civil lawsuit could potentially compensate a victim for 100% lost wages, medical bills, disability benefits, physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, punitive damages, property repairs, legal fees, and more. In Arizona, an employee cannot accept benefits through workers’ compensation and a civil suit against the employer simultaneously. An injured worker could, however, accept a workers’ compensation settlement and bring a third-party lawsuit. A third-party claim naming someone other than the employer (and coworkers, in most cases) as the defendant could lead to additional financial compensation on top of workers’ comp benefits. Speak to our lawyers to find out if you qualify for a civil lawsuit.
What Types of Benefits May I Be Eligible For?
Even if you do not have grounds to bring a negligence-based lawsuit for a workplace accident, you and your family could recover benefits through workers’ compensation with the assistance of our Glendale workers compensation attorneys. Workers’ compensation will cover most injuries and illnesses as long as they occurred on the job. A successful workers’ comp claim could provide coverage for a few of the eligible employee’s losses.
- Medical coverage. Full past and future accident-related medical expenses, including medicines, treatments, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, specialists, rehabilitation, therapies and travel costs. Documents such as x-rays, treatment plans and receipts can help prove medical expenses. You will have to attend a single evaluation with a doctor your employer chooses before going to your own doctor thereafter.
- Disability benefits. Temporary partial, temporary total, permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits depending on the extent of the injury. One of these four categories will apply to reimburse 50% to 75% of your lost wages, up to the state’s maximum. In 2020, the average monthly wage statutory maximum in Arizona is $4,888.56.
- Vocational benefits. If the employee cannot return to his or her usual work after an injury or illness that causes permanent disabilities, that employee may be able to receive vocation rehabilitation funds through the Industrial Commission of Arizona Special Fund Division.
- Death benefits. A workers’ compensation claim could also provide death benefits to surviving family members if someone dies while on the job. Surviving family members who depended upon the decedent financially may qualify for funeral and burial reimbursement, as well as compensation for lost future wages.
Your work-related injury or illness must have forced you to miss at least 14 days of work in Arizona to receive lost wage benefits for the first 7 days missed. The amount of benefits you receive depends on your injury and the specific case. Your workers’ compensation benefits will last as long as is necessary to reimburse you for your medical expenses and pay for lost wages while you recover. If you will never fully recover and cannot return to work, you could continue receiving workers’ comp benefits for life. The Industrial Commission of Arizona will decide on the amount and duration of benefits on a case-by-case basis.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured on the Job?
When an employee suffers a workplace injury, he or she should report it immediately and start the claims process with the help of Glendale workers compensation lawyers. The employer must provide the necessary forms and a list of available doctors for the employee to visit. If a workplace injury results in an emergency, the injured employee may see any available doctor for medical attention. However, once the emergency stabilizes the injured worker must visit one of the doctors on the workers’ compensation insurance carrier’s approved list of providers. The employee must select one of these providers who will treat them and assign a disability rating based on the severity of his or her workplace injuries and the potential for future disability.
Potential Issues With a Work Accident Claim
Employees may encounter retaliation from an employer for filing for workers’ compensation, or an employer’s negligence or intentional action that led to an employee’s injury may open the possibility of legal action beyond a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact Our Glendale Workers Compensation Lawyers
The Law Offices of John Phebus offer representation for injured workers and can help a client navigate the claims process and explore additional avenues for legal recourse after a workplace injury. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Glendale workers’ compensation attorneys.