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Three Necessities of a Workers’ Comp Claim

If you want to win your workers’ comp case, you need to make certain that you meet the three necessities that any valid claim must have. A workers’ comp case isn’t always that difficult, but if you’re lacking in one of these three factors, it can be impossible to win. Here are the three necessities of any workers’ comp claim.

1) You Must Be Covered

While many employers are required by the state or federal government to carry workers’ comp insurance, there are a few that actually don’t have to. Because guidelines vary from state to state, some employers may be exempt from workers’ comp due to how small they are. For example, if you are the sole employee of a business, that business may not have to provide workers’ comp coverage. Some other states may have exemptions for construction and agricultural companies. Others don’t require charities to cover workers’ comp.

In New York, any company with even one employee, volunteer, or subcontractor must carry workers’ comp. If you’ve been injured while employed by a company, it’s very likely that you will be covered. However, it’s always best to consult a legal expert.

However, you also must be a legal employee of the company. This means if you worked as a contractor, consultant, or freelancer, you likely are not eligible for workers’ comp. Volunteers are also usually not eligible.

2) Your Injury/Illness Must Be Related to Your Work

The next necessity is that your injury must have occurred while you were doing something related to work. This doesn’t necessarily mean you had to be in your office or on the job site. If you’re traveling for work, injuries sustained during travel may fall under workers’ comp, as can injuries that occur while you’re on your lunch break. There are a number of rules that help determine when an injury is work-related and when it isn’t.

3) You Must File the Correct Paperwork on Time

Finally, you must be certain you file the correct paperwork on time. If you don’t, even if your case is clearly qualifies you for workers’ comp, you may not be eligible. It’s important you meet every deadline.

Let Us Help

Need help completing your workers’ comp paperwork? Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to talk to one of our workers’ comp experts.

  • Posted on: Oct 30 2019
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How Do Workers’ Comp Leave and FMLA Differ?

There are two different types of leave available to those who need it: workers’ comp and FMLA (the Family and Medical Leave Act). It’s important, however, not to confuse the two. They are not the same, and you are likely going to be eligible for one or the other but not both. If you’re in need of leave, you need to know how these two options differ so you can make the best choice. Here are some of the most fundamental and important differences between worker’s comp and FMLA.

Workers’ Comp Is Only for Your Injuries

If you’re injured on the job, workers’ comp is your go-to option. Work-related injuries are why it was created. However, it’s only available for injuries you have sustained. If you need to take time off work due to the injury or illness of a child, spouse, parent, or other person, workers’ comp is not an option.

However, FMLA is. This leave provides those who meet the eligibility requirements with up to 12 weeks of leave per 12 months (not a calendar year—12 months from the date you receive FMLA). FMLA leave is unpaid, but it does protect your job. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against anyone who is eligible for FMLA.

Leave Time

With FMLA, you can take either 12 weeks at once or ask for intermittent FMLA that you can take as needed, working some days and taking off others. However, your employer can require that you use up all of your paid sick and leave time before taking FMLA.

With workers’ comp, you receive up to six months of paid time off. You are not required to use up any of your personal leave before taking workers’ comp time. However, it’s important to note that each state can implement its own version of workers’ comp, which means your actual compensation or time off can vary. With FMLA, that is not the case—it is a federal law that must be implemented the same way across the country.

Your Employer May Not Offer FMLA

It’s also important to note that only companies with 50 or more employees have to offer FMLA. Small businesses are not required to provide this type of leave. Workers’ comp, on the other hand, is required of every company with employees.

Need Help Filing for Workers’ Comp?

If you need to file for workers’ comp or aren’t sure if it’s the right option, you need a proven workers’ comp doctor on your side. The experts at Maximum Orthopedics have assisted many employees with filing for the compensation they’re due. Contact us today to discuss your specifics.

  • Posted on: Oct 15 2019
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Managing Your Pain Without Drugs

No one wants to live their life with pain, especially if it’s severe or chronic pain. But no one wants to take a ton of medications, either, especially when they’re addictive painkillers or have bad side effects. Fortunately, there are ways of managing your pain without resorting to pills. These pain management techniques will help you live a life that is, if not completely pain-free, at least with as little pain as possible.

Exercise

To many, this sounds backwards—if you hurt, surely you don’t want to exercise and risk hurting yourself even more, right? Actually, the opposite is true. Depending on what’s causing your pain, sometimes strengthening your body or helping the muscles loosen up is the best option, and exercise is great for that. That’s not to say that you need to hit the gym, but sometimes, simply walking or doing some light exercising can truly help reduce your pain. While rest, especially right after an injury, is necessary, if you are inactive for too long, it can make the pain worse.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often a special type of exercise that focuses on working certain muscles or parts of the body. Like exercise, it can help restore mobility and reduce or eliminate pain. Because physical therapy is done under the supervision of a healthcare professional, there’s little or not chance you’ll cause further damage. Often, patients begin with physical therapy before moving on to exercising on their own.

Massage and Chiropractic Care

Massage can help ease the pain in your muscles, and chiropractic care can help realign your spine, neck, and head to reduce inflammation and other issues. While you may need to seek out this type of care regularly, it’s often more effective than taking medication. Sometimes a single spinal realignment is all it takes.

Surgery

In severe cases, orthopedic surgery may be the best option for pain. While no one likes undergoing surgery, it can be the most beneficial option and may be the only way to truly live pain-free. Some procedures are now minimally-invasive, making them much better options.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you want to live your life without pain and medications, the experts here at Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to discuss options.

  • Posted on: Sep 30 2019
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How Much of My Salary Will Temporary Disability Cover?

If you’ve been injured on the job and are unable to work, you may have to file for temporary disability in order to have some form of income while you’re recovering. Unlike permanent disability, temporary disability is only available for a short time, but it is ideal if you’ve broken a limb or are dealing with a medical issue that you are expected to make a full recovery from but will need a number of weeks to recover before you can work again.

How Much Do You Receive?

If you are approved for short term or temporary disability, you will receive 50 percent of your salary or standard amount of hours worked. This is calculated by averaging your pay for the previous eight weeks. However, there is a weekly maximum—you cannot receive more than $170 a week in temporary disability payments.

It’s also important to note that you will not start receiving payments until the eighth day of being unable to work. The first seven days are considered an unpaid waiting period.

Are There Other Limits?

In addition to the maximum weekly payment, there are a few other limits and exclusions you need to know about. First, you can only receive temporary disability for 26 weeks out of every 52-week pay period—note that this is 52 consecutive weeks, not a calendar year. If you start receiving temporary disability in October, the 26-week limit will not reset on January first.

Note that disability insurance only covers 50% of your wages, not any other costs. It will not pay out on any medical costs.

For women who are pregnant, temporary disability will cover the first six weeks starting immediately after giving birth for those who had a normal delivery. For women who had to have a Caesarian, temporary disability covers eight weeks of income. In cases of birth complications or other medical issues, this period can be extended. However, these extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis.

What About the Paperwork?

The paperwork to apply for and receive temporary disability can be a headache. That’s why you always want to work with an expert in disability and workers compensation. Maximum Orthopedics has a number of experts on staff who can assist you in completing this paperwork and submitting the right medical documents. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Posted on: Sep 15 2019
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Why Trying to Manage Your Pain on Your Own Isn’t the Best Idea

No one wants to be in pain all the time, but that’s what happens when you deal with chronic pain. Even short-term pain that you know will eventually end can be horrible. Learning to manage your pain may seem impossible, but in many cases, it can be done. You can live pain-free or at least be in much less pain every day. However, getting to that point involves working with a pain management expert. Trying to manage your own pain is often not effective or, in some situations, can even make your pain worse.

You Need an Expert

Doctors and other medical experts who focus on pain management have spent years learning how bones, nerves, muscles, and the other parts of the body affect each other. They know how the body can be damaged and how to treat that damage. They know the most effective types of treatment and can look at your overall physical health to determine the best ways of managing your pain. Without this type of training, it’s very difficult to treat your pain in the right way.

They Can Teach You the Correct Treatment Methods

You might look online or watch videos of different exercises that can help reduce pain in muscles or build up your body to help protect your joints and bones. However, even the clearest instructions or highest quality videos aren’t a replacement for having an instructor in the room with you. It’s possible you could be doing these exercises incorrectly, making them less effective or even causing additional damage.

They May Know of Alternative Treatment Options

You may not consider treatment options such as acupuncture, or you may not think about applying heat and cold to certain types of injuries. However, a medical expert knows when to think outside the box. They have options that go beyond simply taking a few pain killers or doing a couple of exercises each day. Some of these treatment options may be perfect for you.

If you want professional help in managing your pain, reach out to Maximum Orthopedics today. Our experts will help you reach and maintain the pain-free life you want.

  • Posted on: Aug 28 2019
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Common Injuries from an Auto Accident

Have you been in an auto accident? If you have, you may have found yourself injured in a number of different ways. On the other hand, it’s possible to walk away from an auto accident feeling fine, only to later discover that you were hurt much worse than you thought. Some injuries are more common than others, so it’s important to know how you may have been hurt after you’ve been in an auto accident. Here are some of these common injuries.

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when your head is forced forward and then snapped backwards. It’s incredibly common in car accidents, but unfortunately, the damage also often doesn’t show up for weeks or even months. The damage to your ligaments, tendons, and muscles may be much more severe than it seems, and it can take a good amount of time for you to recover. Because there are often no immediate symptoms, though, it’s important that you see a doctor right away so they can treat whiplash before it becomes worse.

Cuts and Scrapes

It’s not unusual to find that something has cut or scraped across your skin during the accident. In many cases, these cuts and scrapes are minor and only need a bandage. In other cases, however, they may be much worse. This is often the case if a window or your windshield was broken. You may have glass stuck in your skin that needs to be carefully removed. Always allow paramedics to examine you after any accident in which they are called to the scene. You may have injuries on your back or in other areas you can’t clearly see.

Broken Bones

In serious accidents, it’s also not uncommon to suffer broken bones. The ribs and arms are two of the fairly common bones to break, though an accident can result in any bone or multiple bones breaking. If you believe you’ve broken a bone and it’s safe to remain where you are, it’s usually best to do so. Moving may make the injury worse.

If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to seek medical care, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered a major injury. Let the experts at Maximum Orthopedics check you out to make certain there’s not a hidden injury waiting to cause you pain later.

  • Posted on: Aug 15 2019
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Is Chiropractic Care Always Covered by Workers Comp?

If you’ve been injured at work, you may want to see a chiropractor in order to get some relief from the pain. Chiropractic care can help realign your back, decrease or eliminate pain, and improve your range of motion. It’s also a great alternative to medication and surgery, something many people look for. But will your workers comp cover a chiropractor? Many people are hesitant to try chiropractic care because they’re worried workers comp won’t cover the treatment since it’s not traditional medical care.

Chiropractor Care Is Covered

However, chiropractic care is covered by workers’ compensation. If your employer has authorized you to seek medical treatment for your injury, you can visit a chiropractor without worry for a specific number of visits. The number of covered visits does vary from state to state, so it’s important to know what your specific state dictates. After that, you may need to fill out additional paperwork or have your chiropractor submit forms stating the need for continued treatment.

Even if these additional visits aren’t covered by your case, you can continue to see the chiropractor. You will, though, have to cover the costs yourself. Your employer cannot tell you to stop visiting the chiropractor or any other medical professional. Your employer also cannot require you to visit a specific chiropractor. Even with on-the-job injuries, you still retain the right to visit the medical care providers of your choice.

What About Extended Care?

Many people who make use of chiropractic care do need regular readjustments or treatments in order to remain pain-free. Unfortunately, you may find that you cannot have your workers comp claim continue to pay for this care forever. Many states simply don’t allow for that in order to prevent people from abusing the workers comp system. However, most patients do receive significant relief from the treatments that are covered.

Many chiropractors will work with employees who need additional treatments beyond what workers comp will pay for. In many cases, your medical insurance may also cover some or all of your chiropractic care. This, like many other parts of your healthcare coverage, greatly varies between insurance providers, so you’ll need to check if you have coverage or not.

If you do need chiropractic care in New York for your on-the-job injury, Maximum Orthopedics is here to help. Contact us today to make an appointment.

  • Posted on: Jul 29 2019
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Can I Do My Physical Therapy at Home?

If you need to do physical therapy, you may wonder if you can do it at home or if you always have to visit your physical therapist. This is a complicated question because it very often depends on your health, your injury, and what types of exercises you need to do. In some cases, you may be able to do your physical therapy on your own at home, but in other cases, that may not be the best idea.

You Should Work with a Physical Therapist in the Beginning

Your first several physical therapy sessions need to be done with a licensed physical therapist. You likely don’t know what exercises you need to do and may not know how to do them safely. Your physical therapist will teach you which exercises are needed to help regain your mobility and reduce pain. They will also make certain that you’re doing those exercises correctly. Doing the wrong exercises or doing the right exercises incorrectly can make your injuries worse.

Some Physical Therapy Exercises Need Specific Equipment

In some cases, you may not be able to do your physical therapy exercises at home because you don’t have the correct equipment. For example, if you’re working on strengthening your legs, you may need to walk between two sturdy handrails just in case you start to fall. You likely don’t have these handrails at home. There are a number of other types of exercise machines and equipment that you can use during physical therapy that may be too expensive or too large for home use. For example, some orthopedic physical therapy techniques make use of ultrasounds to help heal your injury.

You’ll Likely Have Physical Therapy “Homework” Anyway

Regardless of how often you need to visit your physical therapist, they are likely going to assign you some exercises to work on in between visits. These are often fairly basic exercises, but they’re designed to help you maintain your muscle density and flexibility in between treatments. It’s important that you perform these exercises as instructed. Otherwise, your recovery may take longer than expected.

If you need physical therapy, Maximum Orthopedics is here to assist you. Contact us today to make an appointment.

  • Posted on: Jul 15 2019
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When Should I See a Doctor About Chronic Pain?

No one enjoys feeling pain, especially when that pain seems to have settled in and become a part of your normal day. Chronic pain stays with you for months, years, or even for the rest of your life. It can greatly change how you live, work, and play. While the pain may come and go at times, overall chronic pain is an issue you’re often stuck with. So, when is it time to go to the doctor to discuss chronic pain?

You Have Pain Beyond the Expected Recovery Time

If you’re recovering from an injury, you were likely given a timetable for that recovery. If you’re still having a bit of pain for a few days after your expected recovery time is up, that’s not too unusual. Every person is different, and it’s hard to lock down the exact time your injury will be fully healed and you won’t feel pain any longer. However, if the pain continues for several weeks and doesn’t seem to be letting up, it’s time to talk to a doctor about it. That’s not normal.

It Prevents You from Living Your Life

If you can’t easily climb up steps, walk across the room, or do anything else you’d normally do without experiencing pain, it’s time to speak to a doctor about it. You shouldn’t simply accept the pain and continue going on as you have been. There may be medication or a treatment option that will help you reduce or eliminate the pain completely.

The Pain Gets Worse

If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain for some time and it suddenly gets worse, it can be a sign that you’ve re-injured yourself or that something else is wrong. See a doctor as soon as you can. Otherwise, it’s possible this new damage will become permanent, leaving you experiencing a higher level of pain than usual.

There are a number of different ways of dealing with chronic pain, including medication and surgery. However, those aren’t always the best option. Chiropractic pain management can often reduce or eliminate your pain easily and quickly. Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to discuss how we can help you manage your chronic pain.

  • Posted on: Jun 30 2019
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Should You Apply for Temporary Disability?

If you’ve been injured at work and won’t be able to be back on the job for several weeks or months, others may encourage you to apply for temporary disability. But should you? There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to apply, but there are a few reasons why it may not necessarily be a good idea. Many of the reasons not to apply have to do with the chances of being denied.

Does Your Employer Offer Short-Term Disability?

Only a handful of states require businesses to have short-term disability insurance coverage. This means your state may not have the option for you to apply for short-term disability. If your employer doesn’t have a short-term disability policy or doesn’t fund short-term disability themselves, there’s nothing for you to apply for.

Are You Eligible?

If your employer does offer short-term disability, the next thing to determine is if you are eligible. If you have any type of pre-existing condition, you may not be. You will need to go through all of the documentation related to your employer’s short-term disability to determine if you are eligible. If you are, you may want to apply. If you’re not, you’ll be denied.

Will You Be Off Work Long Enough?

You will need to be off work for the waiting period outline in your employer’s disability paperwork. In some cases, you may need to be off work for a week or more. You will also have to meet the definition of disability, which does change from employer to employer. In most cases, it means you are unable to complete your regular work duties due to the injury you received.

Should You Apply if You Meet these Requirements?

If you do qualify for short-term disability, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t apply. You’re not going to be able to work for a set amount of time, and you will need some form of income to cover your medical bills and monthly financial obligations. Even if you cannot return to work by the time your short-term disability payments end, you will still have had that money to help you every month.

If you need help applying for short-term disability or other workers’ compensation benefits, the team at Maximum Orthopedics is here to help. Contact us today.

  • Posted on: Jun 15 2019
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