Category Archives:Worker's Compensation

Is Your Doctor on Your Team?

Your Worker’s Comp Claim: Whose side is your Doctor on?

Insurance companies are using unfair tactics more than ever to limit or deny worker’s compensation claims. If you or a loved one has recently filed a claim, knowing what some of these tactics are can help you better prepare for them.

Companies are becoming more aggressive in blocking a patient’s right to change physicians. That’s because many insurance carriers have an informal list of preferred doctors that they would like to “steer” claimants to if possible. These doctors are more likely than others to release the patient from care within 90 days after a claim is filed, thereby reducing the liability to the company significantly.

Claims agents are also directly making contact with doctors and requesting that they change a previous diagnosis to one that is less serious. This often happens with back injuries that involve trauma to a disc. Rather than pay for a disc injury, insurance companies are instead deciding that a patient should be treated for only a lumbar strain. They in turn send a letter stating this to the treating physician, and this often results in him or her changing their original diagnosis.

Patients should be sent copies of any correspondence between their insurance company and the treating physician. If anything appears to be out of the ordinary, it can be a good idea to contact Edward M. Bernstein and Associates for assistance. 


Is Your Boss Watching Your Worker's Comp Claim?

Have a Worker’s Comp Claim? Your Boss may be Watching

It’s not uncommon for employers to hire investigators to perform surveillance on an injured worker. These investigators sometimes sit outside an individual’s house or even follow them around town while they are performing errands. Their sole purpose in doing so is to “catch” them doing things that would be inconsistent with their injuries. The problem with this is that many people have had their claims wrongly denied because of surveillance videos.

Investigators sometimes piece together snippets of video into a DVD and then provide them to an insurance company as “proof” that a person is not injured. The problem is that these videos may not accurately represent one’s physical condition. It’s entirely possible for people to be able to perform everyday tasks without difficulty even when they have sustained a debilitating injury.

Other times, the individual represented in the video may not even be the one who is claiming benefits. Since insurance companies do not usually know the claimant personally, they rely on the investigator to conduct accurate surveillance. Many people have discovered their claims have been denied because the wrong individual was videotaped.

If you have a worker’s compensation claim, you should be aware of those around you at all times in order to know whether you are being videotaped.

If you suspect this is the case, it can be helpful to contact an attorney such as Ed Bernstein. 

Injured by a Forklift... Now What?

Forklift Accidents-More Common than you Think

Thousands of people are injured in forklift accidents each year. Although forklift accidents are typically occur in warehouses, they can also happen at home improvement centers, nurseries or wholesale grocery distribution centers that are open to the public. This means that workers who move and handle these goods and members of the general public can be injured in forklift accidents.

A number of environmental factors can contribute to forklift accidents. An area that is too dark or noisy, may be distracting for operators. Whenever possible, aisles should be blocked off to pedestrian traffic with the use of safety cones or warning tape. It can also be helpful if the forklift is equipped with flashing lights to alert shoppers to its presence, as well as a backup alarm that warns people that the truck is moving backwards.

In some cases, drivers are simply operating their equipment too fast for conditions. This is often because employees face pressure from management to unload trucks quickly or deliver goods from one area to another within a certain timeframe. Working under such rigid time constraints is stressful, and can cause forklift drivers to lose their focus, thereby resulting in an accident.

Forklift accidents can result in severe injuries or even death. If you or someone you know has been injured by a forklift, a personal injury attorney can analyze the facts in order to see if there might be a remedy available under the law.

Big Rig Accidents - What Every Trucker Should Know

Although trucking companies may try to ensure driver safety, trucking accidents are nonetheless commonplace in and around Las Vegas. Commercial Driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs often results in collisions with passenger automobiles, thereby causing devastating injuries or even death. The investigations into such accidents are often complex because there are unique rules that govern trucker safety while on the road.

Accidents between truck drivers and other motorists do not always result solely from negligence on the part of the trucker. Automobile operators sometimes follow too closely or pull out in front of a trucker, thereby resulting in an accident. Even though a trucker is not solely at fault, an investigation must nonetheless take place and could result in a temporary suspension of that individual’s commercial driver’s license.

Truck drivers also stand to lose a great deal financially if accident victims are awarded a cash settlement to compensate for their injuries.

Talking with a personal injury attorney is one way to find out what legal rights injured drivers may have against commercial drivers in trucking accident cases in the Las Vegas area.

Is Social Media Going to Affect Your Legal Claim?

If you have a personal injury claim or lawsuit pending, you may want to think about what you are posting on any social networking profiles. Attorneys are turning to outlets such as Facebook and Twitter in ever-increasing numbers when it comes to finding incriminating evidence to use against opposing parties. What seems like an innocent blurb could end up costing you thousands of dollars-or even worse, the dismissal of your lawsuit altogether.

The purpose of any civil action is to make a plaintiff whole again. If you have been injured but post about participating in activities that require a great deal of physical stamina, this could cause a judge to question the severity of your impairments. Simply making a “tweet” about shooting a game of basketball or going waterskiing with friends could affect the value of your claim.

Posting about activities isn’t all that can get you into trouble. Making comments about what you’ll do with the windfall you receive from a settlement can also raise doubt and suspicion. Don’t think you’re safe just because your profile is private. Information posted on social media can be subpoenaed, and may be ruled admissible in a court of law. Your best course of action is to remember that the things you post online could be made public for anyone to see, so be careful what you say.

Remember if you have a personal injury case to call us before settling with or talking to an insurance company.

NFL Named in Negligence Lawsuit Against Former Las Vegas Doorman

Mediator assigned for former doorman:

A former doorman in Las Vegas has been assigned a mediator in his suit against the National Football League. The Nevada Supreme Court assigned a mediator to hear Tommy Urbanski’s appeal against the NFL on charges the league negligently caused him to receive a paralyzing gunshot wound in 2007.

This wound occurred after NFL player Adam “Pacman” Jones began throwing cash at dancers inside Minxx, a strip club where Urbanski was then employed. The cash-throwing incident led to a great deal of confusion in the club, eventually resulting in Arvin Edwards firing shots that injured Urbanski and two others.

In his lawsuit, Urbanski claims that the NFL was negligent in its efforts to control Pacman Jones because the player had previously had several run-ins with the law. A circuit court judge had dismissed the NFL as a defendant in civil proceedings, which prompted the appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. Urbanski has already been awarded $13 million in damages from Jones. This judgment is also being appealed in the Nevada Supreme Court.

Should Urbanski be successful in his endeavors to collect damages from the NFL, it could open the door for other employers to be sued for the behavior of their employees as well.

Avoiding Workplace Injury in the Construction Field

Avoiding Workplace Injury in Construction Trades

Construction trades are labor intensive, and many injuries can happen in the context of job-related activity. It’s important to maintain an awareness of your circumstances at all times on the job. It’s equally important to recognize the need for various types of safety gear. OSHA standards prescribe a variety of equipment for different settings, and following these guidelines is essential in protecting yourself from injury and health consequences.

Know your trade and its hazards. Every trade has different dangers, and a construction site carries a lot of common risks that affect all workers. Heavy traffic, for example, on an active site can lead to unintended injuries. Faulty equipment can lead to falling materials, affecting anyone in the path. Trade specific injuries may range from carbon monoxide poisoning to silica inhalation. Knowing the tools and materials of your trade, you should also know the protective measures and equipment related to your job.

Ultimately, you have legal rights and Edward M Bernstein and Associates can help protect your rights if you have sustained a job injury. Give Edward M Bernstein and Associates a call to discuss your case, the consultation is free!

The Importance of Reporting Your Workplace Injury

Report Your Workplace Injuries in Order to Create a Record of the Incident

A workplace injury can be devastating to a family. Any injury can create problems, but the ramifications of being hurt at work can create difficulties in supporting a family. It’s tempting to avoid reporting an injury that happens on the job. Sometimes it may seem as if the incident is minor, not worthy of bringing to the attention of superiors. In other cases, a negative work environment may create a sense of fear. There may be a sense that reporting a work injury may lead to a loss of employment.

The problem with not reporting your workplace injury is that there is no documentation of the incident. It’s imperative that you complete the needed reports in order to assure that if serious problems result from the injury, your rights to compensation will be protected.

Give Edward M Bernstein and Associates a call if you have a workplace injury, the consultation is free!

Unfortunate Work Accident Causes Death

Work Accident Causes the Death of Mr Thomas Turner of Henderson, NV.

We at the Law Offices of Edward M Bernstein and Associates were sad to hear about a construction accident causing the death of Thomas Turner, age 44, of Henderson, NV.  When Mr Turner was given the job to work with Vegas Tunnel Constructors, there was certainly relief or joy in the family given how hard the Las Vegas area has been hit by the current economic environment.  You can read the full story about the unfortunate event here

The sad news in circumstances like this are there are still family members to feed and bills to pay for those left behind.  We are not aware of the specific circumstances of this case,  but it does give us a sober reminder to protect those we love if they are dependent on our income.

What are some measures you and your family can take so that you can weather a terrible tragedy like this?

  • Have the needed life insurance for your family so they can get the education they need to get a good paying job or pay off substantial debts and be able to make it through the period of grief that is certain to come in this kind of terrible event.
  • Make sure you know the details of what happened and don’t allow your family to be given vague answers to your questions.  Sometimes a construction accident attorney, like Edward M Bernstein and Associates, will be able to help you get the information you need if the employers don’t fully cooperate.
  • Always try and make sure you save 5% to 10% of your income so that over time, you have a family nest-egg for tragedies or sickness that may come up.
  • Don’t be afraid to consult an personal injury attorney in Las Vegas if you feel there is something fishy in your case.  The consultations are free, so you do not have to pursue the case by meeting, you simply discover your legal rights.

During a difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Turner family and we hope our readers and clients take the necessary steps to keep themselves safe in this dangerous world.

Construction Deaths on the Decline in the US

With all of the bad news being reported these days I was pleased to hear some positive news regarding safety and the construction industry. Construction fatalities declined by almost 10 percent between 2009 and 2010 and by almost 40 percent during the past five years. The reduction in serious accidents can be attributed to an industry wide commitment to making safety a priority coupled with improved employee training. According to Associated General Contractors of America director Kevin Cannon employers have began providing workers with information they need to recognize hazards on the job site, and some gather crews at the beginning of each workday to conduct “tool box talks” and deliver information to keep workers safe. While the goal of course is to have zero construction deaths the industry has made great strides towards reaching that goal. If you or someone you love was love was injured on the job (construction or otherwise) give my office a call at (702)240-0000.

-Edward M Bernstein and Associates

Analysis shows construction deaths slowing in U.S.
Las Vegas Review Journal
By Hubble Smith
August 26, 2011

Construction fatalities declined by nearly 10 percent between 2009 and 2010 and by almost 40 percent during the past five years, according to an analysis of new federal data released Thursday by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Read the rest of the article HERE