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Trammell & Mills Blog – Seven Common Workers’ Compensation Claims

You’ve heard lawyer commercials that invite you to call “if you’ve been hurt at work.” But what does that mean? If you suffer certain types of injuries while you’re performing your job, you have a right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim to pay for your medical treatment, work missed due to being hurt, or long-term effects of the injury. Here are some of the most common reasons for Workers’ Comp claims:

Slipping, Tripping & Falling

Workplaces can be loaded with hazards that cause slipping or tripping and falling. There could be a water puddle, or machinery could leak fluids onto the floor. Sometimes, there are objects in a walkway that shouldn’t be there. Any of these could cause an employee to lose balance and fall, resulting in bruising, sprains, or even broken bones. However, as long as you are hurt on the job and provide notice at the time of the injury, you are covered.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Some jobs require employees to perform the same tasks over and over. Using the same set of muscles with great frequency can lead to Repetitive Strain Injuries, or RSIs. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand and wrist that’s common among employees who use a computer or work on assembly lines. Any RSI can lead to pain, swelling, and reduced use of the affected area.

Overexertion

Overworking part of your body can cause a pulled muscle, a torn tendon, or dislocation of a joint. This can come from lifting too much, or from unnatural body movements while doing your job. In hot work conditions, overworking without proper breaks can cause heatstroke or dehydration.

Dog & Animal Attacks

Some jobs require workers to go where there are dogs, cats, and other animals that might have a violent side. Utility work and home delivery have risks, and bites or scratches can happen.

Traffic & Vehicle Injuries

Many of us must drive while performing our jobs, and traffic accidents are a definite threat. There are lots of careless and distracted people on the roads, and if you’re a victim in a wreck, there should be a workers’ comp claim in your future, along with a “third party claim” against the at fault driver. We can help with both claims as they have to be handled with respect to each other.

Burns & Smoke Inhalation

Mechanics, machinists, and even electricians face many job hazards. So do folks who work around fires. Hot temperatures, electrical current and open flames can lead to serious injuries.

Machinery Accidents

Any factory, plant, or construction site with heavy machinery poses a potential risk. It only takes a second for an accident to cause serious harm.

If you suffer any of these workplace injuries, notify your supervisor immediately. In South Carolina, you need to report within 90 days. Employers should file a workers’ comp claim quickly, but that’s not always the case. If you run into red tape with your employer or the insurance company, call 864-485-8585 and let the professionals at the Trammell & Mills Law Firm help you get the money you deserve.

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Insurance Companies Love Your Apathy, Passiveness, & Shallow Pockets

I was talking to a psychiatrist at  a party once that asked what I did. I explained that I was a plaintiff’s lawyer and helped the poor, impoverished David’s of the world fight the big Goliaths, such as insurance companies. He laughed and said, “So the insurance company drags things out hoping that your clients will lose interest, motivation, or just give up?” I was shocked because in one sentence he outlined the crux of the insurance company defense and modus operandi.

If you have a case where an insurance adjuster is involved you need to know some things:

  1. Insurance adjusters do not work for you, they work for the insurance company. As much as you would think that they are on your side, being a good neighbor, or wrapping their good hands around your back instead of your throat, YOU ARE WRONG. They work for the insurance company and are valued based upon the money they make their company, which means minimizing what they pay out to you.
  2. Just because insurance companies make billions in profit a year doesnt mean they will just write you a check. See #1 above. These insurance companies make billions in net profit because they have way more suckers, ie people, paying premiums versus what insurance companies pay out in claims.
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Insurance Adjusters Admit to Being Fined for Saying Yes

Many of us remember the “Just Say No” Campaign in an effort to fight the war on drugs. Green shirts were promoted among children with the popular saying to try and thwart our small minds from saying “Yes” to experimental drugs.  In the name of public policy a governmental agency created a slogan, provided t-shirts to poor children and pushed their agenda through the public education system keeping many from being able to enjoy the high of quality street drugs.

Apparently this “Just Say No” campaign was not just one for the war on drugs but was also accepted by major insurance companies such as ProgressiveGEICO, Liberty MutualSafecoGAINSCO, and Sentry. Just recently, guilt ridden insurance adjusters have come forward admitting that anytime they would say the word “Yes” on the phone with a claimant, they would be fined $500.00. Adversely, the more times they said the word “No” the more opportunities they would have for a professional advancement.

Many of you have probably encountered this type of interaction after being involved in a motor vehicle collision or having an insurance claim against one of these companies when all the adjuster on the other end of the phone would say is “No”.  A recent transcript was released in the article detailing this incident and illustrated how the slogan worked to make billions after taxes for these companies:  (Person Injured- PI) & ( Adjuster Saying Slogan – ASS)

PI: I was just injured by one your insureds when they slammed into the back of us while drunk and driving with a suspended license.

ASS: No, you didn’t. Not possible. No way that could happen.

PI: Hello? I’m sorry what did you say?

ASS: No.

PI: No, what?

ASS: No. No means no. No, no, no.

PI: We seem to have a disconnect here. I have an accident report showing what I just told you and video on my phone showing your insured stumbling out of the car with two cases of beer and trying to make a run for it. He didn’t get far before he fell face first into a ditch and just started drinking again.

ASS: Sir, we do not provide insurance to people that drink and do bad things. If we do, we say they didnt do it, we then deny the claim, delay it, and defend it in court just to prove to you we mean no.

If you have an experienced this kind of interaction with the above companies, please give us a call as we are looking for class members to fight against this injustice. It may be the first day of April, aka April Fools Day, but we are still here to help you and believe this is real.

 

OTHER ARTICLES WRITTEN FOR THIS SPECIAL DAY

Trey Mills Retiring at 36

Allstate Makes Me an Offer I Can’t Refuse

South Carolina Litigation Firms Admit They Only Litigate for Insurance Companies

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Did You Know…Your Insurance Company Will Represent an Uninsured Driver Against You?

In an effort to help you the consumer be more aware of what really happens with your insurance premiums, I want to make sure you understand what happens when the real world collides with the insurance world.

Hypothetical, or Example:

Suppose you are in South Carolina driving your beautiful wife and young child to church one morning when suddenly and without warning a drunk driver passes out at the wheel behind you and plows into your vehicle causing serious personal injuries. The drunk driver stumbles away from the scene but is later found at the convenient store nearby trying to buy beer. The police come do an investigation as you and your family are taken off by EMS to a nearby hospital and you eventually get to talk to the trooper that investigated the collision. The trooper indicates the driver was arrested for drunk driving (the driver’s 4th), driving under suspension and disorderly conduct. He will probably be released from jail soon since no one died and since he doesn’t really have any money, the fines will be a moot point. Drunk driver has no insurance on the vehicle because he could not afford it and lives in a van by the river (so no assets).

Question:

1) Who pays for the medical bills, damaged property, permanent scarring, surgeries, and months on end of an altered lifestyle all because of this idiot?

2) Do you think the EMS transportation, medical services, car dealership, towing company, plastic surgeon, therapist, and rental company all will work for free out of the kindness of their hearts?

 

Answer:

1) In the state of South Carolina the law is that every driver must carry liability insurance and uninsured insurance to drive on the roadways in the state. That is it. Any additional coverage is up to you and what you are savvy enough to get with the right insurance company and agent.

So using the hypothetical above, the family injured would have to file a claim against their own automobile insurance company to try and be reimbursed and brought back to the position they were in before the drunk driver ever struck them.

Do you think that means your own insurance company will bend over backwards to help you OR do you think that means your own insurance company that you pay the premiums on will stand in front of the drunk driver and work against you to minimize what you receive?  Let me answer that for you…the later.

What if you have to file a law suit? Who represents the drunk? Well your insurance company provides an attorney that will look to be representing his interest and would actually sit at the drunk’s table in front of the jury at a trial.

That is why it is important to get a good insurance company focused on its members instead of a poor insurance company focused on their bottom line. In my opinion the top poor insurance companies are AllstateEsurance, Safeco, and Direct General. It doesn’t mean your insurance company is great if I didn’t just list it, these are just the worst.

2) No those services are not free and they will send you to collections if you do not pay them within 90 days regardless of who is at fault. They provide services and they want their money for those services.

 

Stay tuned for more real life scenarios. To better educate yourself on insurance read these posts.

“Full Coverage” Automobile Insurance

 

How Do Insurance Companies Make Money?

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And Now You Do What They Told Ya…

“Why Did You Take That Case? It’s Not Worth Your Time!”

A question recently posed to me by an insurance defense attorney that thinks certain cases should be beneath legal assistance because there is no real margin for a positive financial return. It reminded me of the real reason I became a lawyer and constantly reminds me of the every day people that need lawyers not solely focused on the bottom line. I realize this is a hard task because we are still running a business that has to pay overhead expenses, support ourselves and our families, and pay those law school loans! On top of that in South Carolina you are “assigned” cases that you are going to be spending time and money on for free anyway, which could easily fill that small philanthropic,or charitable void, in your cynical, cold heart.

Rise up, my cynical counterparts and cohorts in the business of assisting those in need when the tyrannical insurance company rears its ugly head. We must unite and bring forth our swords swiftly to sever its head before it begins to breathe fire and destroy all that is pure and just in a world bombarded with:

  • low balling adjusters reading from a computer screen;
  • experienced insurance adjusters being pushed to retire for college graduates that can read;
  • denials based purely on money saving tactics;
  • Allstate Insurance Company practices focused on trying to squeeze out the desire for attorneys to help;
  • property damage claims (See: South Carolina Property Arbitration:Your Weapon Against Insurance Adjusters) ;
  • minor property damage claims; and
  • anything quasi legal that comes out of the mouth of an adjuster.

How about grab that bravado that made you a plaintiff’s attorney and start saying, “F&*^ You, I want do what you tell me!” You can make the time for half a dozen of those cases a year. I know you “Million Dollar Advocates” can spare some time to feel reinvigorated and you young associates that do research all day can feel like real trial lawyers by taking on a Magistrate Court case or Property Arbitration. By pushing back on what the dragon is trying to force feed us we can eventually slay the large reptile and save the townspeople.

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