How a West Virginia Attorney Can Assist You
Though the world may seem uncertain in a time of chaos over a pandemic, life continues to go on. People continue to work, while others have been laid off or are suffering from an injury that they have obtained while on the job.
I represent a lot of people who have been injured at work. There are many aspects to those cases, but the first and most immediate is worker’s compensation. We are seeing a lot of employers telling their injured workers to go get treatment, but not to mention that the injury is work-related. We often hear about employers telling their employees to tell medical personnel that they were hurt at home and then the company will pay the worker’s medical bills.
I always tell people that if they’re injured at work, when you go get medical treatment, tell the medical provider exactly how you were injured. There’s a form that has to be filled out by the medical provider and submitted to the worker’s comp insurance company from your employer and it’s critical.
There are timetables that you have to watch out for in a worker’s comp case that injured workers often do not know about and rely on the employer to provide. When this happens, a lot tof times, the employer is not honest about it. I recommend that injured workers call me to discuss their questions, especially if they have been denied by the worker’s comp insurance company. Time is of the essence, so you have to call quickly. When you get a letter denying treatment or denying money, denying prescriptions or denying physical therapy, surgery, etc., call immediately because you only have so much time to react.
There’s another area of law that can be related to workers’ comp injuries. If someone else is at fault for your injury, you can sue them, including your employer. You can also sue third parties. In today’s climate, there’s a lot of people who are working for your employer who aren’t actually employed by your employer, they’re employed by independent contractors. If those people do something to cause you to be injured, you can sue them over the injury as well. So it can get complicated, but here at Jacobs Law, we know the answers and we can help you work through it.
I also handle a lot of termination employment cases; people who have been fired due to a violation of West Virginia law. Generally speaking, an employer can fire and hire anyone at any time for any reason because West Virginia is what’s called an “at-will” state, but there are certain restrictions. Those restrictions are you can’t be fired based upon your race, religion, or age, and you cannot be fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim. In fact, after you file a compensation claim, if you are off work, the employer has to put you back to work.
In addition, you can’t be fired if you filed a complaint. If you worked in the food industry and filed a complaint with the health department that your employer was doing something that was unhealthy and a violation of safety standards, or if you worked in the coal industry or some other industry and you filed with MSHA or with OSHA and your employer finds out about it and they fire you for reporting them. That’s called “retaliatory discharge,” and we can help you get justice for that.
Social Security Disability
Social security disability is another area where you can actually do it yourself, but I have found you’re much better off to have a lawyer. if you feel uncomfortable filing, you can come to Jacobs Law Office and my staff will assist you in filing. We can do it from our office, over the computer, and over the phone. That’s an option that’s out there and we’re glad to provide it and help you out. There’s not only laws in place, but there are special rules that apply for winning social security disability, and there are special forms that can be filled out by the treating doctor.
One of the rules that’s very helpful in social security cases is that after the social security doctor looks at your records and says you’re able to work, or exams you for one hour and says, “oh, there’s nothing wrong with you,” the treating doctor who is seeing you once a month or once every two months for six months to two years, that person’s opinions give greater wake than the social security doctor in front of the judge. So remember that, and call me if you are having any issues getting social security disability, especially if it is related to a worker’s compensation claim.
Contact Pat Jacobs
I’ve represented injured West Virginia workers for over 40 years. Though these times are uncertain, life is often unpredictable, so it’s nice to know that there are people here to help you in your time of need. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, especially by phone, by calling 304.926.6676.