CategoryWorkers' Compensation Facts - Philip Garrow LLC

Can a Chiropractor Serve as an Attending Physician?

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Act is a very complex piece of  legislation.  The law restricts which doctors may act as “Attending Physicians.”  In a recent case, the Workers’ Compensation Board held that an injured worker’s aggravation claim was invalid because it was signed by a chiropractor, who was not  authorized to serve as the “attending physician.”  The Board noted that a chiropractor can serve as an “attending physician” for a cumulative total of 60 days from the first visit on the initial claim or for a cumulative total of 18 visits, whichever occurs first. In this case the Board found that since more than 60 days had expired from the injured worker’s first visit to the chiropractor, the chiropractor was not statutorily authorized to serve as an “attending physician.”  As a consequence the chiropractor’s determination that his patient had a worsened condition was not considered valid.  If you have questions about your attending physician or chiropractic care for a work-related injury, contact the law office of Philip H. Garrow

Military Service is Considered Employment.

In a case decided last year, a worker was awarded benefits for his hearing loss that was partially due to diabetes brought on by exposure to Agent Orange while in the military service.  Under Oregon workers’ compensation law, the percentage of hearing loss due to military service may be considered a work-related factor.  This is based on a court case, Wallowa County v. Fordice, 181 Or pp 222, 225 (2002), rev den 334 Or 492 (2003).

In the Fordice case, the court agree with the Workers’ Compensation Board that military service is employment for the purposes of the workers’ compensation law.  If you have questions regarding hearing loss related to your employment, or other on-the-job injuries, contact the law office of Philip H. Garrow

Managed Care Organization (MCO) and Workers’ Compensation

After your injury, if you receive a letter from the insurer/employer telling you that you are enrolled in a managed care organization (MCO), you must seek care from one of the providers in the organization.  There is an exception if you are treating with a doctor not in the MCO and changing doctors would be  detrimental to your health or treatment.  You can appeal this issue if the insurer does not agree. There is also an exception if there are no medical specialists  in the MCO who can treat your specific injury.  Your doctor can also apply to become certified by the MCO.

If you have questions regarding your on-the-job injury claim, contact the law office of Philip H. Garrow

Supplemental Disability Benefits

If you have more than one job at the time you suffer an on-the-job injury,  you may be eligible for supplemental disability benefits.  If you are off work and losing money from both your jobs, you are entitled to be compensated for lost wages from both jobs.   You must let the insurer know at the time you file your claim that you have more than one job/employer.  It is the injured worker’s responsibility to provide the wage information needed in order for the insurer to calculate your benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Board recently said that a worker with a summer job, who was injured before the job started that year, was eligible for supplemental disability benefits because the worker had a continuing relationship with the summer employer  during the summer season.  An experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive all the benefits due on your injury claim.

If you have questions or need help with your on-the-job injury claim, please contact the law office of Philip H. Garrow

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Statement

After an injury on the job, the workers’ compensation insurer or the employer will often  ask to take your statement about what happened.  They will usually ask about your medical history and other injuries.  They will look up your driving record and check for a criminal history.  They will also talk to your employer and coworkers and look for potential reasons to deny the claim.  The statement is usually recorded and is a very important part of your claim and impacts the insurer’s decision on accepting or denying the claim.  The workers’ compensation law requires the injured worker to cooperate with the investigation, including attending an insurance medical exam, if requested.  If you do not cooperate, the insurer can ask to have your wage replacement benefits (temporary disability) suspended until you have cooperated.  Injured workers have a right to have a friend or relative present at the interview or the medical exam.  You can also be represented by an attorney at this stage of the claim, at no charge to you. If you have questions regarding your workers’ compensation claim or if you need help, please contact the law office of Philip H. Garrow

Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claims

Generally, when you are injured on the job, you cannot sue your employer for negligence or for causing your injury.  Workers’ compensation benefits substitute for filing legal action in a court.  However, if your injuries are due to the negligence of someone who does not work for your same employer, or if your injury is due to faulty equipment that does not belong to your employer, you may have a “third-party” personal injury claim against the at-fault party.  It is wise to talk to your lawyer to see if he or she will handle such a case or if you need to talk to a lawyer who handles personal injury claims.  If you have questions regarding your workers’ compensation claim or a possible third-party injury claim, please contact the law office of Philip H. Garrow

Work Disability Calculation Includes Overtime

If you cannot go back to your regular work because of your work injury, you are entitled to a greater award for “work disability.”  The Court of Appeals recently said that your regular work includes the overtime you work.  An injured worker who is unable to work the overtime hours he or she worked before the injury is more disabled–and entitled to more money in disability benefits–than a worker who can go back to the same job and hours after the injury.  If you have questions about your Oregon workers’ compensation claim, please contact Philip H. Garrow at 541-382-3736 or visit our websiteWe work hard to make sure our clients receive the maximum benefits on their injury claims.

Early Social Security Retirement and Workers’ Compensation Disability

If you are disabled worker age 62 or above, you may be able to reduce the SSA disability offset. Ordinarily, injured workers who receive both workers’ compensation disability benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits have their benefits reduced by application of the Social Security offset law.  However, workers who have the option of receiving early retirement, can elect to temporarily switch from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits to early retirement to eliminate the offset and receive full benefits.  Once the workers’ compensation claim has been settled, you can switch back to your regular disability benefit.  For questions and help contact Philip H. Garrow, Attorney,

Are Injuries in Parking Lots Covered?

Be careful when you are walking in your employer’s parking lot!  Generally, if you are injured in your employer’s parking lot, your claim is covered. That’s because parking lots controlled or maintained by your employer have been considered part of the work place.

However, the Court of Appeals recently said that your claim may not be covered if you are on a “personal errand” during a break and are injured in your employer’s parking lot if it is not close to your work area or is not where you parked.  If you have questions regarding your workers’ compensation claim , or whether your injury should be covered by workers’ compensation, please contact our office

The Social Security/Workers’ Compensation Offset

Injured workers who have been (or are expected to be) totally disabled for at least 12 months may also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.  If so, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply an “offset” to most worker’s disability benefit.  SSA applies a formula based on your “average current earnings” (ACE) which is generally your average monthly wages in the 3 years prior to your disability.  SSA then calculates 80% of your ACE, which is the maximum you can receive in combined monthly social security and workers compensation benefits.  This offset can also affect lump sum settlements.  It is important to understand the relationship between Social Security and Workers’ Compensation benefits to make sure you are receiving the maximum amount.  If you have questions check with your local SSA office, or contact Philip H. Garrow