Nothing can be as stressful as no longer being able to return to your job because of a work-related injury. Not only do injured workers have to deal with physical pain, but their injury has now put them in a troubling financial and emotional position.
If you have suffered a career-ending injury and don’t know where to turn, Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC can help. Serving all of Oregon, our team of expert personal injury attorneys help those who have suffered serious personal injuries become financially stable and find fulfilment in their lives.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured at Work
Regardless of how serious you believe your injury to be after a traumatic accident, your first step when injured at the workplace is to make a report to your manager or supervisor. Even if your injury is minor and does not require any further medical attention, your report can help your employer improve the safety of the workplace.
In some instances, you may find that your injury does not appear immediately, or that it gradually worsens over time. This is typical for injuries that require repetitive movements, like bending, lifting, and twisting. Your injury should be reported to your employer as soon as it is discovered. Moreover, Oregon law requires your employer to have you fill out a “Form 504,” which is turned into the applicable worker’s compensation carrier. This documents your claimed injury, and puts the insurance carrier on notice that it may need to cover your medical expenses, etc.
After making a report, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If your injury requires immediate attention, go to the nearest emergency room. Otherwise, you can ask your employer if they require you to see a specific doctor for your injury or if you can choose your own doctor.
If an employer chooses your doctor and you are unhappy with their professional opinion, you are allowed to go to a second doctor of your choosing. It may not be covered under workers’ compensation laws, and you may need to pay for it yourself, but it may be worth it depending on the severity of your injuries.
Common Types of Career-Ending Injuries
A career-ending injury is an injury which prevents you from working in the occupation or job role you were in prior to that injury.
Most common types of career-ending injuries:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Soft tissue injuries
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Orthopedic injuries
- Occupational diseases (such as respiratory illnesses like bronchitis or asthma, certain types of cancer, skin diseases, and toxic exposure)
Who Is Most Affected by Workplace Injuries
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfatal occupational injuries accounted for over 95% of private industry employer cases in 2015, with illnesses accounting for just under 5%.
Three industries affected the most by nonfatal workplace injuries:
- Health care and social assistance
What You May Be Entitled to for Suffering a Career-Ending Injury
There are entitlements which may be available to workers who have been injured and who are unable to return to their previous role of employment.
- Vocational counselling and training
- Tuition reimbursement for college or trade school training
- Wage loss benefits
- Permanetn partial disability benefits
If you can return to your place of employment but must work in a capacity where your pay is lower than what you were previously paid, an accomplished attorney will work hard to ensure that you are compensated for the difference between those two different pay grades.
Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Case
Not all personal injury attorneys in Oregon are familiar with career-ending injury cases. Start your search for the best lawyer for your case by choosing one who has experience with your situation. With that experience, your attorney will know the right questions to ask, what you are entitled to, and he or she will have the resources available to prove your case and the extent of your damages.
Once you have found a career-ending injury attorney in Oregon who you feel is qualified for your case, see if they offer free consultations. Dwyer Williams Dretke accident attorneys offer free legal consultations to anyone who has been injured not just so that they can learn about their legal rights and potential entitlements. We provide complimentary consultations so that clients can get a sense of how comfortable they feel with our approach to their case and with us as individuals.
The attorney you choose should be attentive, patient, and responsive. Every question and concern you introduce should be fully addressed to your satisfaction and understanding. You should feel completely at ease when in the presence of your attorney and get a sense that your well-being is their priority.
Get Help with Workers’ Compensation and Your Employer with Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC
Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC has experience working with workers’ compensation insurance companies, employers lacking proper insurance and who are at fault for your accident, and third parties who are responsible for your career-ending injuries.
If you or someone you know has suffered a career-ending injury, we invite you to contact one of our compassionate and accomplished personal injury attorneys today. Arrange for your free consultation at (541) 617-0555.