When should an injured worker get an attorney?

If you’re a medical provider in workers’ compensation, then sometimes your patients might want legal representation.

When your patients ask, “Should I get an attorney?” then we recommend referring them the Disability Evaluation Unit.

To learn why, listen to our podcast on the subject here: “Attorneys in Workers’ Comp: A Historical Perspective” (released September 3rd, 2015).

 

 

The DEU has offices in the following locations:

Anaheim
1065 N. PacifiCenter Drive
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 414-1803
Oxnard
1901 N. Rice Avenue,
Suite 200
Oxnard, CA 93030
(805) 485-4423
San Francisco
455 Golden Gate Avenue,
2nd floor
P.O. Box 420603
San Francisco, CA 94142
(415) 703-5030
Bakersfield
1800 30th Street,
Suite 100
Bakersfield, CA 93301-1929
(661) 395-2723
Pomona
732 Corporate Center Drive
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 629-6288
San Jose
100 Paseo de San Antonio,
Room 223
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 277-2024
Eureka
* Satellite office
Ratings to be sent to
Redding
Redding
250 Hemsted Drive,
Second Floor, Ste. B
Redding, CA 96002
(530) 225-3179
San Luis Obispo
4740 Allene Way,
Suite 100
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 596-4157
Fresno
2550 Mariposa Mall,
Room 2005
Fresno, CA 93721-2280
(559) 445-6427
Riverside
3737 Main Street,
3rd floor
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 782-4345
Santa Ana
605 W Santa Ana Blvd, Bldg 28,
Room 451
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 558-4113 ext. 6749
Long Beach
300 Oceangate Street,
Room 325
Long Beach, CA 90802-4460
(562) 590-5017
Sacramento
160 Promenade Circle,
Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 928-3150
Santa Barbara
* Satellite office
Ratings to be sent to
Oxnard
Los Angeles
320 W. 4th Street,
9th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 576-7426
Salinas
1880 North Main Street,
Suites 100/200
Salinas, CA 93906-2204
(831) 443-3222
Santa Rosa
50 “D” Street,
Suite 420
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 576-2374
Marina del Rey
4720 Lincoln Blvd
2nd floor
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 482-3868
San Bernardino
464 W. Fourth Street,
Suite 260
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 383-4522
Stockton
31 East Channel Street,
Room 417
Stockton, CA 95202-2314
(209) 948-3651
Oakland
1515 Clay Street,
6th floor
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-2859
San Diego
7575 Metropolitan Drive,
Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 767-2081
Van Nuys
6150 Van Nuys Blvd.,
Room 200
Van Nuys, CA 91401-3373
(818) 901-5376 ext. 5

Attorneys in Workers’ Comp: Who they are, what they do, and when to get one

Roles that Defense and Applicant Attorneys play in Workers’ Comp: A historical perspective

Many workers’ compensation claims today involve an attorney at some point. The work comp system, when it came to the United States from Germany, was supposed to be simple, transparent and efficient—a system without attorneys or judges, that focused on three simple steps: 

  1. Medical treatment
  2. Patient recovery
  3. Patient’s return to work

Any permanent impairment would be measured by a doctor with a simple formula, and would tell you how much that injury was worth. 

Permanent disability, on the other hand, was originally used to measure the amount of machines the worker could no longer operate.  The amount of compensation that the injured worker received would then come from that loss.

So, how did work-comp become one of the most complicated areas of law?

Why are defense attorneys involved in today’s workers’ compensation system? There are two primary reasons why attorneys need to get involved: 

This, in turn, results in: 

  • Increased cost of the claim.
  • Increased amount of medical treatment ultimately provided.

And, finally, that an injured worker seeks out an attorney.  This can then further result in additional body parts being added to the claim.  Therefore, providers should always be asking themselves:

“How do I get this case accurately resolved, in the fastest amount of time?” 

When this doesn’t happen, lawyers get involved.

Related Reading

“When should an injured worker get an attorney?”

What is the technical definition of ‘Impairment’?

impair (v.) l, from Old French empeirier, from Latin impeiorare “make worse.” In reference to driving under the influence of alcohol, first recorded 1951 in Canadian English.

Okay…. But what does Impairment mean in the world of Workers’ Compensation?

If you’re a medical professional who examines injured employees, then impairment means “a loss, loss of use, or derangement.” (That’s straight out of the in the AMA Guides 5th Edition, Chapter 1, page 2.)

An injured worker’s impairment is considered permanent when the injury reaches “maximum medical improvement” or “MMI”.

Maximal medical improvement means the patient’s condition is unlikely to change in one year.

The AMA Guides 5th edition refers to impairment as permanent impairment. Permanent impairment requires evaluation of a physician.

Remember, loss, loss of use, or derangement means a change from normal.

So, let’s take this example: imagine a 27-year-old construction worker who has injured her right shoulder. At MMI, you as a doctor, measure the injured shoulder, which flexes to 160°, and then you measure the uninjured shoulder, which comes out to 180°. Does this patient have impairment?

The answer yes, because the employee has lost 20° of use.

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