Thursday, September 20, 2007
Other Types of Claims from work injuries
While we only handle work injuries and disability claims if you have a workers comp claim it does not mean that you are limited to just that claim. Sometimes from a work injury there may be other types of claims. One easy and common example is when someone is severely hurt at work and obtains workers compensation benefits. That person may also have a claim for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). If so the workers comp insurance company gets a credit of a portion of your SSDI benefits (this may also apply to some other types of Social Security benefits too so check with a lawyer). Still you may get both benefits if you are totally disabled even if one of the benefits is somewhat reduced. It is always better to get two checks then just one. Of course when and if you should apply for SSDI is a matter to discuss with your lawyer so don't just go for it without checking further. There are many situations where it is a big mistake to apply too soon for Social Security benefits. Now aside from SSDI or even other Social Security programs can there be other claims? Yes. For example if you are delivering for your job and hurt in an auto accident you may also have a personal injury claim. Again do not handle this on your own because it does affect other benefits. Or, let's say the equipment which injured you is defective....again this can lead to another claim on top of the work injury or disability claim. In that this is quite complex you will need a lawyer. Don't do it yourself. An injured worker may even be able to file for unemployment benefits especially if workers comp benefits are delayed or disputed. Also if you are totally destitute there may be other social programs to assist you. Colorado has aid to the needy disabled. If you are fired it may lead to a wrongful termination claim or claim for discrimination. So don't think you can only have one claim when you are hurt at work. Other claims or benefits are possible though each type of claim or benefit may also affect your workers comp benefits. Your attorney may have to concentrate on what his area of expertise is but he can make suggestions in the other areas so discuss this with him. In my practice we maximize the workers comp benefits and then also pursue Social Security disability benefits for those severely disabled. If other claims are discussed or known to us we suggest other attorneys who can help in those areas.