PORTLAND and PENDLETON, Oregon. As many states reduce worker’s compensation benefits, Oregon remains in the minority. According to Oregon Live, unlike 33 other states, Oregon has not passed any major worker’s compensation reforms since 2002. In many states across the country, workers face reduced payments for injuries, arbitrary time limits placed on how long they can be covered for lost wages, and in 37 states, workers are not even permitted to choose their own doctors when they have been hurt on the job. Oregon remains one of 9 states that have not implemented some of the most damaging reforms to workers.
Yet, workers who have been injured on the job should not let their guards down. While Oregon workers have the right to access many benefits if they have been hurt, this doesn’t stop employers from denying claims or trying to get workers to avoid making claims in the first place. According to personal injury lawyer Joel Baruch, workers may want to seek assistance from a worker’s compensation lawyer if:
- An employer refuses to make a claim or provide an 801 Form.
- An employer denies having worker’s compensation insurance. Very few employers are exempt from holding this insurance.
- You are told you don’t have the right to make a worker’s compensation claim.
- Your worker’s compensation claim was denied.
- You were injured while driving or while on another company or person’s premises.
There are several cases where workers in Oregon may face difficulties making worker’s compensation claims. If you or a loved one is having difficulty making a claim, it is important to understand your rights. The Oregon government lists instances where worker’s rights may be violated. Here are a few instances where workers may wish to seek assistance:
- If your employer is forcing you to work as an independent contractor, partner, or corporate officer in order to avoid letting you make a claim, you may want to seek help.
- If your employer doesn’t file 801 Form to make a claim within 5 days of your injury, you may want to seek assistance.
If you want to seek the assistance of a worker’s compensation lawyer to help you with difficulties regarding your claim, you have the right to seek the representation of a lawyer with no up-front costs. For instance, the worker’s compensation attorneys at Welch, Bruun, & Green, don’t get paid unless you win.
As an injured worker, it is important to keep track of all medical records and notices and to be aware of time limits for appeals. Missing a deadline can result in the denial of your claim and the loss of important benefits. This is why you should always take action sooner rather than later if you are having problems with a claim. Finally, keep records of all letters, and don’t miss any appointments with your doctor. Stay in touch with your employer and make sure to let your manager know when you are cleared to work. Your employer has a responsibility to you regarding worker’s compensation, but it is also important that you follow through on your part.