Insurance carriers are salivating at the prospect of settling out numerous claims with unrepresented injured workers, per a new statute that eliminates meaningful review by the Industrial Commission of Arizona to make sure the "full and final" settlements are fair and reasonable to the claimant.
Senate Bill 1407, which would have allowed the state, its counties and cities to decide which doctor injured public servants had to see for medical care, ran into a dead end this legislative session. The bill's primary sponsor Sen. Karen Fann withdrew SB 1407 when it became apparent that the problematic legislation lacked support.
The seriously flawed Senate Bill 1407 ("SB 1407") advancing through the state Legislature would give the state and its political subdivisions ("government") the power to direct and control over which doctors treat public servants for their work-related injuries.
In most cases, the injured worker can choose her treating doctor for the industrial injury, so long as that happens before the second visit. An exception is if your employer is self-insured and directs medical care.
We often see that when an injured worker's case begins to get complicated the insurance carrier typically contracts with a third-party company to assign a nurse case manager ("NCM") to the claim. The NCM says he or she is there to "help" you with the medical aspects of your claim, to schedule medical appointments, and to meet with your doctors. In reality, you should assume that the NCM is working for the insurance carrier.
Arizona lawmakers returned to Phoenix January 9 for the first day of the new Legislative session. Our state legislators have the power to make changes to Arizona Workers' Compensation system. It's important to know who your state Senator and two state Representatives are. When bill that reduces workers' comp benefits or makes the system less fair for injured workers is proposed, directly contacting your legislators can effectively stop bad legislation. Let your state Senator and state Representative know that you are a voter and a constituent who lives in their legislative district, and that any bill that limits workers' comp benefits only serves big insurance companies, while further harming injured workers like yourself.
The Industrial Commission of Arizona, pursuant to statute, set the 2017 maximum Average Monthly Wage at $4,521.92 for work-related injuries that occur during the 2017 calendar year.
No matter how small an injury, a worker must "forthwith report" the accident and the resulting injury to the employer, according to Arizona Workers' Compensation laws. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §23-908 (E)). The injured worker must report the injury when it occurs or as soon as she becomes aware of her condition. Failing to timely report a work-related injury could jeopardize the claim for workers' compensation benefits and can lead to a difficult battle over whether the injury happened on the job.