Railroad Companies Interfere with Injured Workers’ Benefits

Because of the extreme risks involved with working on a railroad, railroad workers are protected under the Federal Employment Liability Act, or FELA. However, it has recently been discovered that injured railroad workers may have difficulties recieving the full benefits they are entitled to under the act.

Under FELA, railroad workers only recieve compensation for injuries if it can be proven that the railroad company is at fault. In some cases, railroad companies have gone so far as to destroy evidence that would prove they are at fault and entitle the worker to benefits.

There have been 13 cases in which railroad companies have tampered with evidence and behaved dishonestly in order to deny employees the right to workers’ compensation.

If you need help with your workers’ compensation benefits or would like to know more about it, please contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600.

Indiana Senate bill would extend workers’ comp benefits

A bill currently passing through the Indiana Senate would extend the workers compensation benefits offered to the spouses of officers who were killed in the line of duty. At the present, these benefits are offered but expire after a period of nine years. The proposed law would extend the benefits to continue until the spouse remarries or passes away.

Supporters of the bill say that it is a small way to thank and support the families of police officers for the sacrifices they are forced to make. However, opponents say the bill would put an unfair burden on local governments, who would be to pay the benefits without state funding.

The Senate labor committee passed the bill with an 8-2 vote on Wednesday, and now the bill faces a vote from the entire house.

If you need help claiming your workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Des Moines workers’ comp lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. by calling 877-327-2600.

Montana house approves bill to ban workers’ comp for illegal immigrants

On Tuesday, the Montana house approved a bill that bans illegal immigrants from receiving workers’ compensation. The bill was approved in an initial 60-40 vote, and will face one more vote on Wednesday before being sent to the Senate.

Proponents of the bill say that it will help the state’s problem with high workers’ comp costs. However, opponents said that workers, whether legal or illegal, will still inenvitably be injured on the job and the costs will be transferred to emergency departments of hospitals. These costs, in turn, are shifted to taxpayesr and insurance companies. Additionally, opponents add that companies that hire illegal workers, even accidentally, may face large lawsuits if insurance companies do not pay for their workers comp claims, and businesses may go under.

If you need help with your workers’ compensation benefits, contact a Des Moines workers’ compensation attorney from LaMarca Law Group, P.C. by calling 877-327-2600.

Illinois House passes changes to workers’ compensation

Despite heavy lobbying by union leaders, doctors, and lawyers, new legislation has passed the Illinois House which makes significant changes to workers’ compensation plans. The new legislation says that:

  • Workers’ comp benefits would be capped either at age 67 or at five years after the injury
  • Injured workers must first visit a doctor chosen by employers, rather than a doctor of their own choice

Supporters say that the changes will reduce medical fee expenses for employers by up to 15 percent, but opponents say that the legislation is far below the minimum needs of workers. Another bill is currently in the works to reduce the number of state employees who are allowed to unionize.

If you need help fighting for the workers compensation benefits you deserve, contact a Des Moines workers’ compensation attorney from LaMarca Law Group, P.C. by calling 877-327-2600.

Woman awarded workers’ comp after injury during smoke break

An Arkansas woman who slipped and broke her arm during a cigarette break at work has been awarded workers’ compensation benefits after taking her case all the way to the state’s Supreme Court.

Originally, the woman was was told that workers’ comp would be awarded for her injures. However, this decision was later appealed when it was challenged that she was taking a personal break and was not performing employment services when she was injured.

The Arkansas Supreme Court later affirmed the original decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commision by ruling that, since at the time of the injury the woman was waiting to pick up her paycheck as required by her employer, she was indeed performing employment services.

If you are facing difficulty receiving the workers’ comp you need for your injuries, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600 today.

Arkansas woman’s worker’s compensation case reaches Supreme Court of AR

The Arkansas Supreme Court this week ruled in favor or a Little Rock nursing assistant who was injured in a fall while on the job, ruling that she is eligible for workers compensation benefits.

According to court documents, in October 2008 the woman was returning to a mandatory work meeting after a cigarette break when she fell and fractured her left arm.

After she filed a workers compensation claim seeking medical and temporary total disability benefits, her employer rejected her claim. She then took them to local court, where an administrative law judge ruled in the woman’s favor.

The case was then appealed by the company, and an appeals court overturned this ruling. The woman then appealed her case to the Supreme Court where the original ruling was upheld.

If you are seeking experienced legal counsel regarding workers’ compensation, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600 today.

Nobles accused of worker's comp fraud

Richard Nobles, who owns several subcontract labor companies including Express Services, Labor Fast, Fast Track Systems and CSI Services Inc., was indicted this week on four counts of workers’ compensation fraud.

Prosecutors allege that Nobles underreported the number of workers he had on his payroll with the ultimate intent of defrauding the insurance companies that he owed workers’ compensation premiums.

The total amount of unpaid premiums amounted to more than $1 million. The fraud took place from January 2006 to 2010.

He faces up to 12 years on each count of fraud.

Don’t turn to fraud to solve your worker’s compensation problems. If you are involved in a worker’s compensation benefits dispute, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600 today.

Workers compensation costs rise as claims frequency declines

NCCI Holdings Inc. released a report last Friday that shows indemnity and medical severity for workers compensation claims continued to rise in 2009 while frequency of such claims continued to drop.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based unit of the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. said on Friday that the frequency of workers comp claims dropped 4% in 2009 following a 3.4% decrease in 2008.

The increased use of robotics, an aging workforce, and improved safety practices have contributed to this frequency decrease.

Complex claims, such as lower-back issues, have declined at a rate greater than the average decline for the last five years.

“It remains to be seen whether changes in average wage and indemnity cost per claim will begin to converge in 2010,” NCCI said in the research brief.

If you are seeking experienced advice when it comes to a workers compensation case, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600 today.

LAPD officer facing workers comp fraud charges

A Los Angeles Police Department veteran of 11 years was arraigned this week on six counts of workers’ compensation fraud.

The 38-year-old officer surrendered himself to investigators on Thursday, according to Officer John Romero of the Los Angeles Police Department.

“The investigation stemmed from a claim filed…in late 2008,” Romero said. “Investigators … established probable cause to believe that Officer Yanez had received benefits to which he was not entitled.”

The officer will be “assigned to home without pay pending the outcome of both the criminal and administrative investigations,” Romero said.

He faces up to seven years of prison time if convicted.

New Jersey woman's $7 million settlement upheld by courts

The $7 million settlement awarded to the wife of a New Jersey worker who developed mesothelioma as a result of laundering her husband’s asbestos-laden clothing has been upheld by a New Jersey Appellate Court this week.

Her husband was an employee for Exxon at one of their refineries in Linden, NJ. While there, he was exposed to asbestos when removing insulation from piping. Although the company equipped the workers with helmets, it did not provide respirators, which would have protected against the asbestos.

This case is reminiscent of the first successful legal action taken against a company for irresponsible exposure to asbestos. In 1981, also in New Jersey, a woman sued the Union Asbestos and Rubber Company for her mesothelioma, which she developed after washing her husband’s clothes.

The court rejected Exxon’s counter-claim that the woman (also an ex-Exxon employee) should have been required to seek benefits under workers’ compensation.

If you or someone you love is seeking workers’ compensation, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600 to learn more about your rights.

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