Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ
If you suffered from an injury at work, you may think that your employer has your back and will help get you through this tough time, but oftentimes, employers and their insurance companies try to avoid paying the full benefits their employees are entitled to. Employees are then forced to fight for the compensation they rightfully deserve. Because workplace injury cases can be very complicated, especially when it comes to filing a claim and dealing with your employer’s insurance carrier, it is essential that injury victims hire a workers’ compensation lawyer with experience, skill, and dedication to represent their best interests.
At Ramos Law, our workers’ comp attorneys are committed to making sure you get the best possible representation. Dr. Joseph Ramos is an attorney and also a board-certified Emergency Department medical doctor. He and his legal team understand your injuries and what you are going through, and we are here for you. We represent clients throughout Phoenix and can help fight for fair compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured at work, call us today at (602) 900-9402 for a complimentary consultation.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Arizona enacted its workers’ compensation law in 1925. Workers’ compensation in Arizona is a no-fault system. This means that, even if the employee was negligent and this negligence caused the workplace injury, the employee will still be entitled to compensation for their medical bills and lost wages at a specific percentage with no tax burden during their injury recovery. However, with the no-fault system, the employee typically relinquishes their right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer in civil court.
Arizona’s workers’ compensation laws provide employees with compensation for expenses related to their workplace injury or illness, which may include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses such as costs associated with emergency room and hospital visits, drug prescriptions, required surgeries, ongoing treatment, travel for treatment, rehabilitation, and retraining
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), and Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
If the employee was killed in a work-related accident, dependents may be entitled to survivor benefits including up to 2/3 of the deceased worker’s average monthly wage and up to $5,000 for the funeral and burial expenses.
What To Do After a Workplace Injury
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is your first priority. With a life-threatening or traumatic injury, the quicker you seek medical attention the better chance you have of preventing further injury or loss. Have someone contact emergency medical personnel and follow the instructions of onsite medical providers or emergency personnel on the telephone. Once at the hospital, tell the doctor that the injury occurred at work. You and the doctor may complete the Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury form and send this to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) within eight days after treatment. Keep a copy for your records. If your injuries do not require EMS, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
Your employer must be made aware of any injuries sustained from the workplace accident as soon as possible. After reporting your injury, your employer:
- May schedule or facilitate the initial visit to the company’s physician or hospital
- May cover the initial bills when the injury is reported on site
- Should send you the necessary information on their insurance provider
- Should file all necessary paperwork with their insurance carrier and the ICA
Gather Information for Your Claim
Having evidence to support your workers’ comp claim is vital. You should write down as much information about the accident as soon as possible while it is fresh in your mind. Include what happened and how. Keep copies of any evidence for your records. Our workers’ compensation attorneys know how to build a strong claim and can assist you with compiling documentation, including:
- A copy of the Workers and Physician’s Report of Injury form
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- Timestamps that show you were on the clock when the accident occurred
- Eye-witness testimonies
- Security camera footage
- Maintenance reports of equipment (if any were involved in the accident)
File a Timely Claim
If you and your doctor did not fill out a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury form together, you must fill out a Worker’s Report of Injury form to file a workers’ compensation claim. It must be filed within one year of your injury or when the injury was discovered, but we recommend filing as soon as possible.
The ICA handles workers’ comp claims. The Claims Division staff can answer any questions you may have about workers’ compensation rules, but they cannot provide legal advice. The Claims Division oversees insurance carriers that process claims filed by injured employees and ensure employees receive proper benefits. When the Claims Division gets a request for a hearing, the case moves to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Division. The ALJ division handles any disputes between claimants, employers, and insurance carriers.
Our workers’ comp lawyers are well-versed in handling claims and insurance paperwork — we can help handle your workers’ comp claim so you can focus on healing.
Document All Injury-Related Expenses
Document all missed days from work, all travel, and all out-of-pocket expenses due to your injury. Workers’ comp covers all medical expenses necessary for diagnosing and treating a workplace injury and you are entitled to reimbursement for any injury-related expenses, including reimbursement for travel related to medical visits and picking up medications or supplies related to the injury.
Resolve Your Claim
Insurance carriers will often require you to have an “independent medical exam” to double-check your doctor’s assessment or to build evidence for the claim. Although most employees are entitled to workers’ comp benefits for a work-related injury or illness, employers and their insurance carriers may try to limit your benefits, close your case, or deny it completely. It is in your best interest to have a skilled workplace injury lawyer help guide you through the process and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
How Our Phoenix Workers Comp Attorneys Can Help
Workers’ compensation laws and the process for filing a claim can be complex, and employees often do not know their rights. After a work injury, you should be focused on your recovery, not fighting with your employer or their insurance company. That’s why you need to hire a lawyer who is highly skilled and experienced in workers’ comp claims to fight on your behalf.
At Ramos Law, we are committed to making sure you get the best possible representation. Dr. Joseph Ramos is an attorney and also a board-certified Emergency Department medical doctor. He and his legal team understand your injuries and what you are going through. You can count on our workers’ compensation attorneys to be in your corner. We know that these issues can be difficult and confusing, and we are here to help.
Our attorneys have represented employees in all types of work injury claims, including:
- Workplace slip-and-fall accidents
- Workplace explosions and fires
- Work-related auto accidents
- Back and neck injuries
- Injuries from falling objects
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries
- Illnesses caused by exposure to chemicals
- Permanent partial or total disability claims
- Fatal workplace injuries
Contact Our Phoenix, AZ Workers’ Comp Lawyers
Unfortunately, workplace accidents happen every day. These accidents can cause serious injuries that are traumatic and long-lasting. With Dr. Joseph Ramos’ experience in the legal field as well as having treated thousands of patients as a former ER doctor, he has the unique ability to understand your claim from two important perspectives. He and the entire team at Ramos Law always put our clients first and we are proud of our reputation for honesty, hard work, integrity, and fairness. We truly believe there is no one better to represent you in your Phoenix, Arizona workers’ compensation claim. Our firm can help fight for the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing and recovering.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a workplace accident and sustained serious injuries or losses, call Ramos Law now at (602) 900-9402 or contact our lawyers for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.
Workers’ Compensation Law FAQs
Understanding the basics of workers’ compensation can help you as you work with your attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Generally, workers’ compensation benefits cover injury-related expenses and may include lost wages, medical expenses, disability, and death benefits for the family if the employee was killed in a work-related accident. The benefits you are eligible to receive depend on your injury and whether you have a permanent condition because of your injury.
Arizona law recognizes two types of permanent injuries and the award for compensation that you may be entitled to depends on your type of injury.
- Scheduled – Permanent work-related injuries that involve a part of the body such as the ankle, arm, elbow, eyes, facial scarring, fingers, foot, hand, hearing, knee, and leg. Each body part has a predetermined value that is quantified by months of compensation. To determine the amount of monthly compensation, the injured employee’s average monthly wage is multiplied by a factor of 50% (if the worker can return to all aspects of their job) or 75% (if there is any part of the job that they can no longer perform because of their injury).
- Unscheduled – Permanent work-related injuries that involve the head, hip, low back, neck, and shoulder, as well as general types of disabilities and occupational diseases, or two “scheduled” injuries. Compensation is based on the reduction in your ability to earn, which means that your employer’s insurance carrier may try to prove that you have no diminished earning ability so they won’t have to pay you. Having a workers’ comp lawyer representing you can be the difference between you receiving a monthly payment or getting nothing. An unscheduled injury has to be reaffirmed every year.
You have up to one year to file a workers’ compensation claim with the ICA but it is best to file as soon as possible.
Your employer can choose the doctor you see first for medical treatment; however, you can choose your own physician after that initial treatment.
Keep copies of all statements, bills, invoices, and records related to your work accident. If possible, take pictures or have someone take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. Keep a detailed journal noting dates and details of your recovery and any conversations or acts related to your workplace accident.
Being injured on the job can be very stressful as you worry about your health and worry about how you will provide for your family if you are not working. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you as you navigate the process to file a workers’ compensation claim and help fight for the compensation you deserve. Even though your employer and its insurance provider must work within workers’ compensation laws, you need an advocate to ensure that your best interest remains the top priority in your workers’ compensation claim.