Workers’ Compensation

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

The purpose of workers compensation is to ensure the payment of certain benefits to injured workers regardless of who’s fault caused those injuries.  Workers compensation is known as a “no-fault” system.  However, the workers compensation laws change from state to state, and that includes the benefits to which you might be entitled, as well as the time you have for bringing and pursuing your claim.  At Caldwell Law Group, PLLC, we handle workers compensation claims in both Idaho and Washington.

OVERVIEW OF IDAHO WORKERS COMPENSATION

In Idaho, the if you are in the course and scope of your employment with your employer, and you sustain an injury, either as a result of an accident or an occupational disease, you may be entitled to certain benefits.  The benefits to which you may be entitled, include the following:

1) Total Temporary Disability benefits, otherwise known as “TTD’s.”  These benefits are payable during the period of your medical recovery.  You are only entitled to TTD’s if you are not working.  Generally, these benefits stop when you reach medical stability.  If you are in your period of medical recovery and able to work fewer hours than you were working before you got hurt, you may be entitled to Partial Temporary Disability benefits, or “PTD’s.”  Below are helpful links with regard to TTD’s and PTD’s in Idaho.

2) Medical Benefits.  Generally, you are entitled to the reasonable medical expenses that you require as you recover from your industrial injury.  This can include treatments with a doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, hospital and even surgery. Below are helpful links with regard to medical benefits in Idaho.

3) Permanent Partial Impairment.  At the point that you become medically stable, you may be entitled to an award of permanent partial impairment.  Permanent partial impairment is a medical determination of the percentage of loss that you have suffered as a result of your industrial injury.  Often, the insurance company will ask for their doctor to determine your permanent partial impairment, however, you have the right to ask your treating doctor for an impairment rating (if he will agree to do provide that information), or ask an independent doctor of your choosing to determine your permanent partial impairment, however, you may be responsible for the cost of such an evaluation.  Below are helpful links with regard to permanent partial impairment benefits in Idaho.

4) Permanent Partial Disability/Total Permanent Disability.  After you have reached medical stability, if you have sustained a permanent partial impairment, you may be entitled to additional income benefits for any decrease in your ability to pursue gainful employment suffered as a result of your industrial injury.  Permanent partial disability is often payable because you cannot return to your old job, you have ongoing limitations and difficulties with physical function, or there is other work that you now cannot do because of your industrial injuries.  You may be entitled to total permanent disability if you cannot do any gainful employment as a result of your industrial injuries, or if you have old injuries that combine with your industrial injuries that leave you unable to work.   Below are helpful links with regard to permanent partial disability and total permanent disability benefits.

5) Retraining benefits.  You may also be entitled to certain retraining benefits if you are unable to return to your old job as a result of your industrial injuries in Idaho.  Below are helpful links with regard to retraining benefits in Idaho.

If you believe you may be entitled to additional benefits as a result of you industrial injury, give Caldwell Law Group, PLLC a call at the number below, or just email us.

RECENT DECISIONS

Click on the links below to see recent decisions obtained by Mr. Caldwell for his clients:

OVERVIEW OF WASHINGTON LABOR & INDUSTRIES

The workers compensation act in Washington was signed into law in 1911.  Since that time, the Law has been modified and molded by the Washington legislature and the Courts.  In Washington, you may be entitled to the following benefits:

1) Medical Benefits.  An injured worker may be eligible to receive certain medical benefits to treat conditions caused by the industrial injury.  This can include hospital care, prescription drugs, physical therapy, massage, imaging studies and psychological care.  Below are helpful links with regard to medical benefits in Washington.

2) Wage Replacement Benefits.  There are two basic types of temporary wage loss benefits in the Washington workers compensation system.  First, An injured worker may be eligible for time loss compensation, called total temporary disability benefits, otherwise known as “TTD’s,” if he or she is totally disabled from work as a result of an industrial injury.  Second, injured workers who can do some work but have a decrease in their loss of earning power may be entitled to loss of earning power benefits.  Below are helpful links with regard to wage replacement benefits.

3) Permanent Partial Disabliity.  At the time your claim is closed, you may be entitled to a permanent partial disability award.  Permanent partial disability means that you have an anatomic or functional abnormality or loss after you have reached maximum medical improvement.    Below are helpful links with regard to permanent partial disability in Washington.

4) Permanent Total Disability.  If you are unable to return to any reasonably continuous gainful employment, you may be found to permanently and totally disabled, otherwise known as  a ”pension.”   Below are helpful links with regard to permanent total disability in Washington.

5) Vocational Assistance and Rehabilitation.  You may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation assistance.  Below are helpful links with regard to vocational assistance in Washington.

6) Mileage Reimbursement and Interpretive Services may also be available.

Helpful Links

The Idaho Industrial Commission
Worker's Compensation
The Idaho State Insurance Fund
Idaho Workers Compensation Statutes