How To Ensure Your IME is Compliant with Section 137

In order for an Independent Medical Examination (IME) report to be compliant with Section 137 of the Workers’ Compensation Law, a copy of each report must be submitted by the practitioner on the same day and to the Board, the insurance carrier, the claimant’s attending physician or practitioner, the claimant’s representatives, and the claimant themselves in the same manner (WCL Section 137(1)(a)). “If a practitioner who has performed or will be performing
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The Importance of Safety in the Food & Beverage Industry

Restaurants and bars are susceptible to a variety of workers’ compensation claims based on their fast-paced nature. As attorneys, identifying areas of concern when walking into a restaurant or bar becomes second nature. We consider: how do you address an accident before it becomes one? How do you prevent injuries when working in an environment and an industry that is so susceptible to them? The clear and concise answer is
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Timing Negotiations Where Claimant Has a Third Party Action

Clients frequently seek advice on how to resolve workers’ compensation claims. Often, as attorneys, we are in the best position to negotiate a settlement when we have some leverage on issues impacting a claimant’s entitlement to benefits, such as cases where labor market attachment has been raised or a client’s consultant is of the impression that a claimant has no further causally related disability. In short, timing is everything in
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Missing Check: The Status of the Law

Oftentimes, when parties in a workers’ compensation matter agree to settle or when the claimant is entitled to certain indemnity benefits, the carrier sends payment to the claimant by mailing a check to an address provided by the claimant. There are situations, though, when the check goes missing or is stolen, perhaps in transit or at the address provided by the claimant. This begs the question – what are the
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Due Process in the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation System

In an ideal workers’ compensation system, all parties would keep to the letter of the law. However, courts’ rules are oftentimes relaxed within our system and often not followed. In handling any New Jersey workers’ compensation claim petition, employers, employers’ attorneys and claims professionals must be diligent in making sure that employers’ fundamental rights are not violated by this relaxed approach. All parties, petitioners, and respondents have the right to
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Caring for Construction Worker Employees Could Lead to a Reduction in Workplace Accidents

At a recent OSHA training course, multiple construction workers expressed that their biggest concern regarding safety was associated with how their employer respected their own safety at a job site. If their employer respected safety over rushing a project and cutting corners, the construction workers expressed that they noticed fewer worker-related injuries. While the construction employer may believe they are saving costs by completing a project quickly, this could cost more
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Causal Relationship for Preauthorized Surgeries: Questioning Causality

It is easy to accept preauthorized surgeries as a foregone conclusion where the site of surgery is established and the procedure is approved by the Medical Treatment Guidelines. However, it shouldn’t be. Earlier in 2019, Goldberg Segalla’s workers’ compensation team won an appeal on this very issue. The claimant underwent preauthorized left shoulder surgery on a file established to the left shoulder for an injury that occurred in 2016. However,
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Get It Right the First Time: Why You Should Not Skimp on an IME Cover Letter

We have all been there. The workers’ compensation law judge has directed the carrier to produce an Independent Medical Examination (IME) within a specified number of days. Somehow, we managed to get the report completed timely, even after many scheduling attempts, cancellations, or claimant no-shows. Then, your IME consultant failed to address the key questions. We can try our best to have the law judge grant the carrier an opportunity
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Maryland Statutes of Limitation are Not Liberally Construed in Favor of the Claimant

Bonnie Miller v. Jacobs Technology, Inc.[1] , an unreported case handed down from the Court of Special Appeals earlier this year is unequivocal in its holding that the all statutes of limitation in the Workers’ Compensation Act will not be liberally construed in favor of the claimant. In Bonnie Miller v. Jacobs Technology, Inc., the claimant sustained an accidental injury on September 29, 2011 and filed a claim with the commission
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One Missing IME, Too Many

I recently attended a hearing that was scheduled pursuant to claimant’s RFA-1, requesting reinstatement of awards. You’re probably wondering, why were awards suspended in the first place? Because claimant had missed three scheduled independent medical examinations (IMEs)! She also did not have current medical evidence of a further causally related disability at the last hearing. The prior notice of decision read wonderfully, “suspension is effective until such time that the
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