Idaho Workers’ Compensation: How To Get Help In Nampa
Updated August 2020
Every state in the U.S. has a different set of workers’ compensation laws. These laws give work injury victims a way to recover medical costs and lost wages. Sometimes, however, getting access to the compensation you are owed after work-related injuries is frustrating and discouraging when all you want is assistance.
Barriers such as complicated laws, disagreements with your employer, and confusing documentation may make it harder to get the money you are owed without bringing on some extra help.
Among practicing Idaho law firms, Skaug Law won the largest amount of money for a worker’ compensation injury recovery in state history.
To get results, you should work with an experienced Nampa workers’ compensation attorney who knows Idaho work comp laws. Call our injury lawyers today to learn how we can help in your case.
What To Do When Injured At Work
If you have been injured at work or an injury has become apparent over time as you continue to do your job, it is important to take the appropriate steps as soon as possible. Not only is your future health on the line, but your ability to file for a workers’ compensation claim may be affected if you wait too long.
Get Medical Treatment
Even if you were treated and released at an emergency room, you should have a thorough exam by your doctor soon after the incident.
Injuries can be hidden at first. Rotator cuff tears in the shoulders, spine injuries, and concussions are frequently missed in the emergency room.
If injuries are not noted by a physician, it may be hard to recover compensation for them.
Do Not Miss Your Work Injury Deadlines
In Idaho, there are time limits for reporting and filing work injury claims. You must report your injury to your employer within 60 days.
Your employer must file a First Report of Injury with the Idaho Industrial Commission. This is the “court” system for workers’ compensation cases in Idaho.
If you miss this reporting deadline, it will be very difficult (if not impossible) to file a workers’ comp claim. There may be some exceptions to this deadline if the injury remains hidden but can be linked to the job; however, those types of claims are harder to prove and are instead handled on a case-by-case basis.
What Can You Get In Compensation After A Workplace Accident?
The Idaho legislature has set laws for the financial benefits an injured worker can recover. These benefits include:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical care
- Part of your wage loss during your medical recovery
- Part of your mileage costs for trips to and from medical care
- Money benefits for permanent injuries
- Disability benefits and sometimes lifetime monthly checks
- If you are unable to return to your old job, retraining costs, and a paycheck while you train
- Sometimes you can win an attorney fee payment if the employer or insurance company is unreasonable
Getting Help From Workers’ Compensation Lawyers In Idaho
Idaho workers can use the court and claims system under the Idaho Industrial Commission to handle their workers’ comp issues, but they might not want to enter the arena alone. If your claim is denied or you do not feel you got the benefits that you deserved, it might be time to escalate your claim.
Worker’s compensation can become complicated very easily, and it won’t always be easy to see if you’re getting all you deserve. There are a few reasons why bringing an experienced personal injury lawyer on board for your case might be a great idea.
Sneaky Adjusters And Insurance Company Tricks
Insurance companies and adjusters use many tactics to limit what they have to pay in workplace injury cases.
Some use their doctors to return injured people to full work duty too early, so the insurance company does not have to pay for more treatment.
Whether you are dealing with a difficult employer, a tricky insurance company, or an at-fault third party, you can win maximum money for your injury.
Do not give ANY recorded statements to an insurance representative or anyone else until you have had a free consultation with a Nampa workers’ compensation attorney.
You are taking great risks if you move forward without professional help.
Let a Skaug Law work comp attorney guide you through each step and find the available insurance sources to pay for your damages.
Entering Into Mediation
If you don’t believe you were given the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, you may want to enter into an informal mediation session to settle. During these sessions, both parties can discuss the difference of opinion and attempt to come to an agreement.
While the meeting is run by a mediator, they will not have the power to compel either party to make a specific decision. For that reason, it can be highly beneficial to have a lawyer on your side to make an argument for an agreeable settlement. If an agreement is reached, it will be written up and signed.
Mediation is not a required step when dealing with a complicated workers’ comp claim, but it is a preferable option. 90% of mediation cases are settled favorably for both parties through the process, so it is often worth the try.
Workers’ Compensation Hearings In Nampa
An injury case may lead to a trial, but in the workers’ compensation system, it is called a hearing.
There is no jury but there is an administrative law judge who is called a “referee.” Unlike other trials, the hearing often does not lead to a decision right away. Instead, the referee may order additional sworn testimony by doctors and others.
So, after your hearing, there may be other testimonies still to be gathered before the referee makes a decision.
This means that based on how the hearing goes, it may be important to gather and submit additional documentation. Navigating this alone is difficult; having an experienced Nampa workers’ compensation lawyer on your side will smooth out the process.
FAQs: Idaho Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Should I Get A Lawyer For Workers’ Compensation?
The process of getting a workers’ compensation claim properly filed can be difficult, time-consuming, and exhausting depending on the exact issues that arise. An experienced lawyer who has worked on workers’ compensation cases before can make that process less stressful and more efficient.
Additionally, all documents and settlements exchanged through the Idaho Industrial Commissions court are legal and binding documents. It is always advisable to have a lawyer look over this type of documentation before agreeing.
If you are rightfully owed money, one of our lawyers in Nampa can help you to identify what needs to be done to make your claim a success.
How Much Does A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost?
The amount charged by a specific attorney will vary between law firms. At Skaug Law, our attorney fees usually run at around 25% of the recovered funds when dealing with workers’ compensation cases. No charges are settled before your case is complete, and you only pay these fees if you win your case.
What Is Usually Included In A Workers’ Comp Settlement?
If you or your lawyer decide to negotiation a lump sum settlement when there is a dispute, the terms of the settlement should include the following:
- Expected future medical costs
- Unpaid impairment balance
- Money towards future wage earnings being decreased
- Retraining costs, if applicable
- Clear delineation of what, if any, workers’ comp benefits will continue after settlement
Essentially, the settlement should cover all potential future costs the worker believes may arise from their injury and situation.
How Long Do Workers’ Comp Settlements Take?
Settlements for workers’ compensation will take varying amounts of time depending on when mediation or hearing dates are available with the Idaho Industrial Commission. Filing for either mediation or a hearing that will lead to a settlement can happen anytime after the Notice of Injury and Claim for Benefits Form is filed with the IIC.
If an agreement is reached in a mediation, it can be settled at the earliest available mediation date. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement and they decide to file for a hearing instead, it may take weeks or months to receive a decision.
Is A Lump Sum Workers’ Comp Settlement Taxable?
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable. However, tax law is complicated and differs from person to person depending on their overall tax situation. The best way to find out if your settlement is taxable is to work with an accountant or an IRS representative.
Will Workers’ Comp Pay For Retraining?
Yes; there are ways you can receive compensation for retraining after being injured on the job. The Idaho Department of Vocational Rehabilitation has money available for retraining costs, and the Idaho Workers’ Compensation law also has some provisions that may allow for you to retrain for up to six months if you are no longer able to do work in your former position.
Take Care When Choosing A Nampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In Nampa, Idaho, there is a variety of personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyers who may be willing to take on your case. Not all law firms are created equal. Some cherry-pick injury cases and settle them as quickly as possible. They recover less money but make money for themselves by turning over a high volume of cases.
This high-volume/quick-settlement scheme does not give their clients the best results.
You should also avoid ambulance chasers — the lawyers who show up in your hospital room or at your door, eager for you to hire them.
Reputable lawyers do not show up uninvited. Established work comp lawyers in Nampa receive most of their clients from community reputation and word of mouth—friends telling friends.
Quality attorneys are too busy winning cases for those seriously affected by personal injury to spend time cold-calling injury victims.
Call our 24/7 legal intake specialist or click on the chat window to speak with a member of our team today.