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Workers’ Compensation Claims

Phoenix Injury Attorneys Helping Injured Employees

Have questions about workers’ compensation in Arizona? We can help.

Here in Arizona, any company that employs one or more people is required to have workers’ compensation coverage. The purpose of workers’ comp is to protect employees when they are injured or develop an illness while performing their job duties. Workers’ comp benefits include coverage for medical expenses, wage compensation while you take time off to recover, and job retraining if necessary.

If you experience an injury during the scope of your employment, there may be 3rd party liability, or it may just be an injury covered by workers’ compensation. At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we work to find the best possible path forward for you. We help you understand your rights after a work-related injury, and then we protect those rights every step along the way. Contact us to learn if we can help.

Common questions about workers’ compensation

What workers’ compensation benefits are available in AZ?

Following is a quick overview of workers’ comp in Arizona and what it covers:

  • Workplace accidents and injuries, including illnesses caused by unhealthy working conditions or toxic substances
  • Partial lost wages, based on your average monthly wages before the injury
  • Medical bills for treatment and care for your injuries
  • Disability benefits, if your accident prevents you from returning to work
  • Funeral costs and death benefits, to the family if the accident caused the worker’s death

You may not collect workers’ compensation if:

  • Your injuries occurred while you were committing a crime or violating company policy
  • Your injuries were self-inflicted or happened in an altercation you initiated

Our Phoenix attorneys can consult with you to determine if you have a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party liability claim, or when your injuries are so severe that you might be better off filing a personal injury claim. Once we know, we can help you make the best decision about how to move forward.

What types of injuries and accidents does workers’ comp cover?

Arizona workers’ compensation covers a wide range of injuries and conditions. Whether you work in an office, on a construction site, or an industrial environment, as a worker you have the right to claim benefits if you suffer injury on the job. Common work-related injuries and conditions include:

  • Being struck by objects
  • Crushing or head injuries from heavy machinery
  • Electrical burns
  • Falls from heights
  • Head, knee, or foot injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents in company cars/trucks in the course or scope of your job
  • Overexertion injuries
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Repetitive motion or stress injuries
  • Violence in the workplace
  • Workplace slips and falls

The Phoenix injury attorneys at Platter Verderame can also help with other conditions and accidents that happen in and around the workplace, including:

  • Bystander and site visitor injuries. If, as a bystander, you are injured at a workplace like a construction site, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation. However, you are still eligible for compensation for your injuries when a worker’s or construction company’s negligence caused your injuries. Our attorneys can explain in more detail.
  • Chemical exposure-related birth defects. Exposure to toxic substances on the job will not just harm you, but also your unborn child. Many manufacturing plants use “clean rooms” to limit pollutants and outside contaminants. However, some companies have failed to protect their clean room workers, leading to birth defects in their children later in life. We can help.
  • Construction vehicle accidents. If you were injured in a collision with a construction vehicle, our attorneys can work with you to determine fault. Liability in these types of accidents can depend on circumstances, like whether you were an employee of the construction company, or if you were driving in a work zone when the crash occurred.
  • OSHA violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets safety guidelines in the workplace. When an employer fails to follow these guidelines or fails to provide training and an employee is injured as a result, the attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. will work to hold them accountable on your behalf.

We can also help with cases involving fatal injuries to government contractors in Arizona. (See here if you are an injured civilian contractor.)

How do I know if my claim is workers’ comp or personal injury?

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine where responsibility lies when you are injured in the workplace. Typically, when an accident occurs on the job, you are compensated through Arizona workers’ comp. However, there are cases where you may be eligible to file a personal injury action instead:

  • A third party’s negligence caused your injury
  • A defective product, machine, or tool caused your injury
  • You are ineligible for benefits because you are a contractor
  • You do not work at the site or office where you were injured
  • You were injured as a result of assault or a crime

The attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. can help determine what type of claim you have, and ensure you are on the right path to your rightful compensation.

What do I do if I’m hurt on the job in Phoenix?

If you experience a serious injury at work, or develop a work-related condition or illness, you must report it to your employee immediately. For a job-related condition, like a respiratory illness or cancer, you should report it as soon as your doctor discovers the condition. Taking the following steps ensures you build the strongest possible workers’ compensation case:

  • Get medical help immediately after your injury. Workers’ compensation pays from the day you begin treatment, so do not wait. If you have a previous condition or illness that your job has exacerbated, ensure you inform your doctor the extent to which it has affected your day to day life.
  • Inform your employer of the injury. The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) states that “It is the injured worker’s responsibility to make sure the injury is reported to the supervisor / employer as soon as an injury occurs or when the injured worker becomes aware of the condition.”
  • Seek medical attention. Make sure to visit a doctor and attend all required follow-up appointments.
  • Consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. Your employer or insurer may doubt or even deny your claim – after all, their job is to protect their bottom line. And as attorneys, our job is to ensure you secure the compensation you need to cover your medical treatment and lost wages when you can’t perform your job due to your injuries.

Here in Arizona, you have a one-year statute of limitations to file a workers’ comp claim, but you should file as soon as possible. Put simply, the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you will receive your payments.

What if my Arizona workers’ comp claim is denied?

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, do not give up. Aside from valid reasons that could make you ineligible for workers’ comp, as we mentioned above, insurance companies and employers may use other tactics to deny, delay, or underpay your claim. Common reasons for denial include alleging that:

  • The injury occurred while you were on unpaid break
  • The injury or condition occurred outside the scope of employment
  • The injury or illness was a pre-existing condition
  • You are faking your injury
  • You did not take a required drug test
  • You were late reporting your injury or filing paperwork

This is why it is crucial to report an injury and file a claim immediately, as well as document everything related to your claim.

Can I appeal a workers’ compensation benefits denial?

Yes, you can, and the attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. can help. If you receive a denial letter regarding your workers’ comp claim, read it carefully. The letter will state a reason why the benefits are being denied, and when and how to file an appeal. Note that you may also appeal if you disagree with the amount of benefits offered; i.e., if they are not enough to cover your expenses.

An appeal hearing takes the decision out of the insurance company’s hands and into those of a judge. You will want a great attorney on your side – the insurance company certainly has lawyers, and so should you. Here in Arizona, you have 90 days to file an appeal and request a hearing with the ICA Claims Division. Missing that deadline likely means missing out on your rightful compensation. Our lawyers can help ensure this does not happen.

Capable help when Arizona workers are injured on the job

Not every workers’ compensation claim is the same. There may be issues of liability, or your injuries may require more than workers’ comp can provide. When you have questions about an injury on the job or on a worksite, the Phoenix injury attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. can help. Please phone us at 602-266-2002 to schedule a consultation. We can also be reached confidentially through our contact form.