Posts Tagged ‘WORKERS' COMPENSATION’

Can Injured Workers Still Pursue A Claim For Psychiatric Injury After 1-1-2013?

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Uncategorized, Workers Compensation

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Insurance company attorneys frequently state: “You don’t have a right to a psychiatric claim after 1-1-2013.” Sometimes it’s said quietly with mock concern. More often, it’s declared with cold finality. Without question, psychiatric injuries can be extremely disabling for workers.

I’m here to tell you what the law says.

If the injured worker has a physical injury and, AS A CONSEQUENCE of the physical injury, they develop a psychological disability, California Labor Code section 4660.1 says they cannot obtain Permanent Disability (PD) benefits. However, there are at least two important considerations:

  1. Just because the injured worker cannot obtain PD benefits, they nevertheless can obtain Medical Treatment for the Psychiatric/Psychological condition—AND, it is highly arguable, that they can also obtain Temporary Disability (TD) benefits in conjunction with that Medical Treatment.
  2. If the physical injury (which led to the psychiatric condition) can be convincingly argued as “catastrophic” OR the physical injury was brought about by a “violent act” (either as the victim or a witness), then the injured worker is entitled to Medical Treatment—including TD and PD benefits.

(NOTE: The question of what a “catastrophic injury” is has yet to be defined by available (as of 7-9-2018) appellate case decisions. The question of what constitutes a “violent act” has been answered in several appellate court decisions, although more clarity would be beneficial.)

Therefore, if the psychiatric injury and/or disability is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of the acts or events which also brought about the physical injury, then the injured worker would be entitled to all the usual benefits for any resulting psychiatric disability. This is so because it would no longer be considered “compensable consequence” of a physical injury (which is what Labor Code section 4660.1 largely focuses on).

The Bottom Line: When it can be successfully argued that the injured worker has Anxiety or Depression, as direct consequence of an event at work, then the denial of ordinary benefits which 4660.1 sought to impose will not apply. This information may seem complex to you. Rest assured, it isn’t to us. If work-based psychiatric injury impacts you or a loved one, contact us for a free case evaluation. We have the necessary skills to protect your interests. Se habla español.

If there are legal status concerns, please review my blog, “Straight Talk About Workers Comp Cases & Undocumented Workers.”

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

American Values

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Veterans Disability, Workers Compensation

As we contemplate the Declaration of Independence issued in 1776 by thirteen of the British North American colonies, fairness and the rule of law coalesce in my attorney consciousness. That all are equal under the law is one of the most American of concepts. Regrettably, this ideal has often been denied to some in the years since the country’s founding.

I happen to take these concepts very seriously. If you’ve been injured on the job—whatever your legal status—or you have had your veterans benefits claim undervalued, fairness may not be what you experienced in how the rule of law was applied to you.

The Bottom Line: My staff and I are passionate defenders of fairness and the rule of law for our clients. We have the specialized expertise to make a difference. Contact us for a case evaluation. There is never a cost to do so.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

When Disability Befalls A Loved One ~ Workers

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Workers Compensation

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Your friend or family member may be suffering. You’re rightly concerned. They may be unable to see a path forward. That you’re reading this is an important first step.

Your loved one may not be able to cope with the implications of his or her job-related injury. Or, he/she may not be fluent enough in English to seek justice. Or, he/she may fear doing so for ‘other’ reasons. See our special blog about this.

Your compassion for someone in this situation brought you here. And, yes, we have the means to help.

The Bottom Line: My staff and I specialize in such cases. Our skills and the unique strategies we’ve evolved enable us to be a powerful advocate for your friend or family member (or for you). Take the next step and contact us for a free case evaluation. Se habla español.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

“How Long Must I Suffer?”

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Veterans Disability, Workers Compensation

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A very worthy question, one that collides with the human tendency to equalize with our surroundings. We accommodate…hoping the problem will somehow resolve itself or just go away. This happens…rarely. When we add the uncertainties of “where do I turn?” and “how do I proceed?” when we’re already hurting or damaged in some way, the inhibitors intensify.

Workers Compensation

Some of you suffer from work-related injuries. Moreover, where immigration status might be in question, another layer of inhibition can further prolong your suffering. (Note: more about this sensitive matter can be found in my Blog Straight Talk About Workers Comp Cases & Undocumented Workers.)

Veterans Disability

Others of you suffer in mind or body from injuries related to your military service. If your case has been under-valued by the VA, you have your own disincentives, based on interminable bureaucratic hoop-jumping you’ve already been put through. (Note: If you’re female, see my Blog Female Veterans Will Face Unique Health Issues, Part I ~ The Facts and Part II ~ The Implications.)

So, back to “How Long Must I Suffer?” The answer is this: it’s up to you.

The Bottom Line: You’ve probably suffered long enough. We at The Law Offices of Maurice L. Abarr specialize in both types of cases. We have the unique skills and proven strategies for redress. We can’t begin applying them on your behalf without you taking the first step. Contact us–or have a loved-one do it–for a case evaluation. Feel free to use our convenient online chat service. There is no cost for case evaluations. Ever.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Your Valentine To…You

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Veterans Disability, Workers Compensation

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Loving one’s self is hardly aberrant. This is particularly true when you’ve been injured in body or spirit as a consequence of your military service or due to your employment. You’re probably hurting and, as a consequence, you may feel marginalized or unworthy in some way. Not so. You matter. You deserve help and that starts with loving yourself enough to reach out for it.

The Bottom Line: We have the specialized skills to get justice for military veterans and injured workers. We understand the needs of victims like you (or your loved one). Contact us for a free case evaluation.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Seasons Greetings

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Veterans Disability, Workers Compensation

Our clients come from diverse backgrounds. What they have in common is injury and a need for fair redress. So, whatever you celebrate and however you do it, my staff and I sincerely wish you a safe and joyous holiday season. If we can help you or a loved one in the new year, let us know. There’s never a charge for case evaluations—whether you’re an injured worker or an injured military veteran. We’re here for you.

Best wishes,
Maurice L. Abarr, Esq.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

2017 Thanksgiving Reflections

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Veterans Disability, Workers Compensation

An Appreciation…

This is the season Americans traditionally reflect on what matters to them. The same is true of my staff and me. We’re deeply grateful for the clients who have placed their trust in us and offer our sincere ‘thanks’ to each of you. We’ve worked tirelessly to provide legal expertise and emotional support to the injured—military veterans and workers alike. That’s our mission. If you or a loved-one have had your military service-related injury rejected or under valued, or suffered a job-related injury, tell us about your case. (Se habla español.) There’s never a cost for case evaluations.

Maurice L. Abarr, Esq.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Straight Talk About Workers Comp Cases & Undocumented Workers

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Workers Compensation

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The California Labor Code states that, as a matter of public policy, the legal status of an injured worker does not stop that worker from making a claim for work-related injuries and disability.

Section 3351 of the California Labor Code states:

” ‘Employee’ means every person in the service of an employer under any appointment or contract of hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, whether lawfully or unlawfully employed, and includes:

(a) Aliens and minors…”

There is very real fear that someone will report injured undocumented workers, raising the risk of deportation, if the workers pursue a claim. As well-versed as I am in this segment of the law, I do not know of this happening to an injured worker who did so.

I do know, however, that persons who are undocumented continue to run the risk of deportation, irrespective of whether they make a WC claim or not. This may also be true of those who have had DACA protections. Either way, I do read case decisions showing that if the injured worker has been deported AFTER making his or her claim, after being released by the doctors, and subsequently is deported for some other reason, their case is NOT ended simply because they no longer reside in California. In fact, a recent case dealt with this by having the injured worker testify via Skype from his residence in Central America.

The Bottom Line: If you or a loved-one have serious work-related injuries and likely significant future disability, assess your priorities. Your health and well-being are certainly as important as your residency. There is little empirical evidence to show that making a Workers Compensation claim itself results in deportation. Contact us for a free case evaluation (se habla español).

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Labor Day Reflections

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Workers Compensation

An Appreciation…

On this day, America honors the contribution made by its working people. The historically fraught relationship between management and labor created conditions ripe for worker exploitation. The legal protections that have since been enacted into state and federal law are there to help keep the scales of justice in balance.

If your labor has resulted in job-related injury, you deserve a fair shake. My staff and I have the specialized skills to help you. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

Maurice L. Abarr, Esq.

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NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Anxiety, Expectations, & You

Written by Maurice Abarr on . Posted in Workers Compensation

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The prospect of seeking legal advice engenders anxiety in most of us—even other lawyers. The need to do so is problem enough. How to proceed adds yet another layer. Then, there’s: “How will I find the right attorney for my case? Will he/she be within my means? Must I pay up front?”

Valid concerns, all.

If you’re in need of a law firm that specializes in Veterans Disability Benefit cases and Workers Compensation law, you’re already hurting. You’re probably frustrated, too. You worry about where to turn. You worry about skill and competency. You worry about cost. It’s all quite human.

While we don’t presume to slay dragons, we are specialists in these areas of the law. Our first responsibility is to evaluate your case as carefully and compassionately as possible. We’ll give you our honest assessment—not a batch of over-promises. If we proceed together, we’ll work tirelessly with you to achieve a fair and equitable outcome.

In the end, perhaps the dragon that gets slain is the one called Anxiety.

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NOTICE:  Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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