You spend many hours of your life at work, making it very possible that one day you might suffer an injury while you are on the job. You may even develop an illness or disease because of your line of work. In any situation where an injury or illness happens due to your job, you can count on having medical bills because of it.
Paying for medical bills while taking time off work to recover from an injury is a stressful situation. Fortunately, Oregon law has established workers’ compensation benefits to protect employees in these circumstances. However, the process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is challenging.
The Law Office of Michael J. Orlando can help you navigate this difficult process. Attorney Michael J. Orlando spent more than a decade working as an insurance adjuster, auditor, and supervisor. Now, he has dedicated himself to putting that experience to work on the other side of the courtroom. The Law Office of Michael J. Orlando is proud to represent injured workers in Beaverton, Oregon, as well as Eugene, Salem, and Portland.
Workers’ compensation laws were developed to protect the worker if he or she is injured or develops a medical condition due to their job. Workers’ compensation provides financial compensation for various costs, such as payment for medical treatment, physical impairment, and lost wages resulting from a workplace injury.
Generally speaking, there are two types of qualified injuries that will be covered by workers’ compensation benefits in Oregon.
The first type of injury is a sudden injury, such as a slip and fall. A strain from lifting a heavy object or an injury that was the result of an accident on the job (such as losing a finger) will also be covered in most situations.
The other type of injury is an occupational disease. For example, if you or a loved one developed cancer because of exposure to cancer-causing chemicals on the job, then your costs would be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. This also includes any medical condition that arises in major part (51% or greater) from your work activities such as repetitive trauma conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, hearing loss, etc.
It’s also important to note that if you have a pre-existing condition, your doctor must establish that your injury was aggravated by your work. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine whether your situation qualifies.
Some injuries will not be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. An injury will not be considered a qualified injury if the employee was:
Under the influence of illegal substances
Engaging in illegal activities
Roughhousing/engaging in horseplay
Engaging in an act with the intention to cause the injury
An employee who has been laid off or fired cannot file for workers’ compensation benefits. You also cannot file if the injury happened while driving to or from work or if you were violating company policy, procedure, or protocol.
If your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to receive a variety of financial benefits, such as payment for medical treatment, physical impairment, and lost wages resulting from your workplace injury. The first step in receiving benefits is filing a claim. There are several types of benefits you can receive for a work injury.
Many injuries require that the employee take time off to recover. In this situation, you can apply for temporary total disability payments. The amount you will receive is two-thirds of your gross average weekly wages. The state sets a maximum amount for this type of disability payment each year.
In a partial disability situation, the work injury caused the worker to be unable to return to their previous level of work. However, they can return to work at a level that matches the level of their disability. In this situation, you would receive temporary partial disability benefits. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine how much your partial disability benefits might be.
After an on-the-job injury, vocational rehabilitation or vocational assistance provides support to the worker to help them find a more suitable job after the injury. You may be able to receive this type of benefit after filing a claim.
Sometimes an injury leaves a worker permanently disabled but still able to return to work. In this case, the worker will receive a permanent partial disability award.
It’s important to know that the amount of the award depends on two factors: the severity of your injury or impairment as well as the impairment rating assigned by your doctor.
In more serious cases, the injury causes the employee to be unable to return to work. This situation results in a permanent and total disability that prevents you from working in any capacity.
You will be able to receive two-thirds of your average wages for as long as you are unable to work. Know that about every other year, your employer will reexamine you to verify that your situation is the same.
In the worst-case scenario, a worker may pass away due to an on-the-job injury or occupational disease or illness. If the insurer accepts the claim, then under Oregon law, the insurer must make monthly payments to the worker’s spouse, children, or other eligible beneficiaries. It’s also the law that the insurer must pay for funeral expenses.
Recovering from an injury sustained at work takes time and medical attention. Workers’ compensation benefits can help you and your family during this challenging time. Attorney Michael J. Orlando will put his experience and his passion for representing the injured worker to work for you. The Law Office of Michael J. Orlando represents clients in Beaverton, Eugene, Salem, Portland, and other cities throughout the state of Oregon. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.