Injured Workers’ Rights in Oregon: Your Rights & How to Protect Them (Pt. 2)
March 23, 2015
Resuming Injured Workers’ Rights in Oregon: Your Rights & How to Protect Them (Pt. 1), here, we will continue this discussion, now with a more focused look at what people can do to safeguard their workers’ rights in the state of Oregon.
Protecting Injured Workers’ Rights: Here’s What You Can Do
When it comes to protecting injured workers’ rights, here’s what the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) recommends:
- Know who you’re dealing with – Specifically, know who the provider of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance is so that you pay attention to all correspondence/calls from them.
Also, be aware that insurers are usually NOT on your (i.e., injured worker’s) side(s) after work accidents occur; instead, these companies, who have been hired by your employer, are typically out to protect their client (i.e., your employer) and themselves. So, don’t rely on these insurers to be helpful or forthcoming in telling you your rights and/or approving your valid work injury claim.
- Read everything and be aware of claim deadlines – As workers’ compensation claims are processed, an insurance company will likely send you various information about the status/progress of the claim and, ultimately, the decision rendered (specifically whether to pay benefits or not).
So, as you get this information, make sure you read everything. Being informed can help you know when to take action when misinformation or other factors may be leading insurers to make bad decisions regarding your claim.
- Keep copies of everything – Consider getting a folder or binder where you can keep every letter and/or printed email insurers send you. Also, to this end, try to keep a log of the phone conversations you have with agents for insurance companies. Note the time, date, length and topic of each conversation.
Being diligent about keeping this correspondence/logged information can help you prove how insurers may have mishandled your claim later.
- Don’t miss medical appointments – Keeping up with your medical care can be as essential to your physical recovery as it may be to your financial recovery, as missing doctors’ appointments may impact whether you receive benefits (or, possibly, how much these benefits are). So, do yourself a favor and just keep all of these appointments; it could prevent you from experiencing unnecessary complications with your workers’ compensation claim down the line.
What the WCD doesn’t mention but what also can be extremely helpful for injured workers is retaining an experienced lawyer who can help them:
- Meet all necessary claim deadlines
- Compile and submit all of the necessary documentation
- Stand up to insurers when they may try to undervalue or wrongfully deny valid claims
- Obtain benefits so they can focus on their recovery.
Portland Work Injury Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been hurt at work? If so, you can rely on the Portland work injury attorneys at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy. Since 1977, our lawyers have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.
We realize how devastating work injuries can be on a physical, psychological and financial level – that’s why we are here to aggressively defend injured people’s rights to compensation. While this means that our Portland work injury lawyers will work diligently to help our clients pursue workers’ compensation benefits, it also means that our attorneys and dedicated staff will vigorously stand up to insurers when they issue unfair denials or early terminations of our clients’ valid claims.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.