Showing posts with label Compensability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compensability. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Time Frames in Arizona Workers Comp Cases

Shortly after 9/11, I read a book by New York mayor Rudolph Guliani about his leadership style.  One of the most important things I learned from the book was the concept of “under-promise and over-deliver”.  I have tried, to some varying degrees of success, to incorporate that into how we practice at Snow, Carpio, & Weekley.  To that end, I want to write a brief post about time frames in Arizona Workers Compensation Claims. 

I often tell my clients that the word “days” does not exist in the vocabulary of most claim reps, judges, and Industrial Commission employees who are working on their claims.  As workers comp attorneys, we measure time in weeks and months!  For example, while the statute says that a carrier has 21 days to accept or deny a claim, the reality is that an injured worker will wait 4-8 WEEKS to see any compensation for time lost.  In the event of a dispute, a hearing is usually scheduled to take place 3 MONTHS after it is requested.  While the statute says that a decision should be rendered within 30 days of the final hearing, my experience is that a decision can usually be expected 2-3 MONTHS later.  In short, the best advice I can sometimes give my clients is “hurry up and wait”…

For a free Legal Consultation about your Workers' Compensation claim, Chad Snow, Partner at Snow, Carpio & Weekley can be reached at 602-532-0700. You can also visit our website at:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What is the #1 thing you should do when you are injured?

I cannot tell you how many calls we get on a daily basis from potential new clients who say that they did not report their claim. Sometimes they didn't report it for several days and sometimes they even go a couple weeks before saying anything to their supervisor. You jeopardize your chances of being covered under Workers' Compensation by not reporting your injury.

The reasons vary. Sometimes it's because they didn't want to get in trouble, sometimes it was because they didn't know who to report it to and sometimes because it happened outside normal business hours when the office staff was not available. But the number one reason why people say they didn't report their claim was because they didn't think it was a big deal and they believed that whatever they were feeling would go away in a couple days with some ice or rest.

No matter how small you believe something is, you should always report it immediately to your supervisor. Even if they do not fill out an injury report, you have told somebody in charge what is going on. If that pain in your back that you think is from lifting something wrong doesn't go away in a few days and it turns out to be a herniated disk; you reported it. If that knee that felt stiff from going up and down the ladder to many times today turns out to need therapy or possibly surgery; you reported it.

An injury isn't always a slip and fall, a laceration or something that is immediately apparent and requires emergency medical attention. An injury can be from repetitive motion, lifting incorrectly, bending over wrong or stepping out of a vehicle to quickly.

So whatever you feel, report your claim.

Blog posted by April Snow, Business Manager for the firm at Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC. 
For a free consultation, please call 602-532-0700 or 1-855-325-4781. Visit us on the web at

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hernia Injury On the Job In Arizona

Very few Arizona workers compensation attorneys will take hernia cases.  The reasons are that they are one of the only types of traumatic injuries with special rules in the statutes limiting how much compensation can be recovered by the injured worker. 

There are two types of hernias classified in the Arizona Workers Compensation Act:  (1) real traumatic hernias; and (2) all other hernias.  Real traumatic hernias are defined as "an injury to the abdominal wall of sufficient severity to puncture or tear the wall such that the abdominal viscera protrudes.  Obviously, all other hernias, are those that don't fall into the first category.  Generally speaking, to prove a traumatic hernia, the injured worker needs to prove that the hernia was sustained in the course and scope of employment, that the descent of the hernia occurred immediately following the cause, and was followed by severe pain and immediately reported to another person. 

In cases of nontraumatic hernias, compensation is limited to two months.  If a worker can prove that a real traumatic hernia has resulted, then temporary and permanent compensation can be paid if the worker can prove that a loss of earning capacity has resulted from the hernia. 

More specific information can be found at A.R.S. § 23-1043. 

Snow and Carpio also has a packet of information for hernia cases.  If you would like a free packet, please call our office at (602) 532-0700 or in Tucson at (520) 647-9000 or visit our website at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.

Friday, August 5, 2011

To Settle or Not to Settle in AZ Work Comp Claim

One of the most important things we do as Arizona workers compensation attorneys is helping clients decide whether and when to settle their case.  Arizona work injury claims can be settled by a process called a Compromise and Settlement Agreement.  Usually, there is a requirement that a bona fide dispute exists between the parties to settle a case. 

Sometimes cases are settled at the compensability level, before the claim has been accepted by the insurance carrier.  If there is a decent chance that you will lose your claim, this may be a good option - as the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

Other issues that settle include an injured workers' entitlement to permanent benefits.  This is essentially negotiating a lump sum payment from the insurance carrier in lieu of permanent monthly payments.  I call this the quick nickel over the slow dime.  Many times the insurance carrier wants to settle the injured workers' entitlement to supportive medical care at the same time. 

Some issues in a work comp claim can be handled without an attorney.  Settling a case is DEFINITELY NOT one of them.  You should consult with an Arizona Workers Compensation Attorney prior to talking to the insurance company about settlement.  Many factors go into determining how much your case is worth and what rights you are bargaining away. 

Chad T. Snow is an attorney in Tucson and Phoenix Arizona who handles workers compensation and Social Security disability cases.  He can be reached through his website at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley or by calling (602) 532-0700 OR (520) 647-9000. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Positional Risk in Arizona Workers Compensation Claims

This is a very complex part of the workers compensation law in Arizona.  It stands for the proposition that a worker's job may place him or her at increased risk of injury just because of the inherently dangerous nature of the job.  It's really too complicated to explain in a simple blog post, but let me give two examples: 

1.  A recent case we had where a worker was on top of a pile of trash on the back of a truck and fell to the ground, sustaining a severe injury.  The employer tried to argue that he was diabetic and had probably fainted due to his diabetes which caused him to fall.  We argued that, even if that were the cause of the fall, the fact that his work placed him in a dangerous position was the real cause of the injuries, not necessarily the fall.  If he were at home sitting on the couch, he wouldn't have been injured. 

2.  A case I handled a few years ago where a truck driver had a heart attack and ran his truck into a mountain and died.  Again, the heart attack itself had nothing to do with his work, but the fact that he's driving 80,000 pounds of cargo 70 miles an hour places him at a greater "positional risk", making the effects of the injury compensable.  Again, if he were sitting on his couch at home when the heart attack occurred, he would probably still be with us today.

Just a little interesting part of Arizona Workers Compensation Law from us at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Injuries that Occur as a Result of Fights at Work

Some of our most interesting cases have been those where the injuries were the results of fights or assaults at work.  The general rule of whether or not these injuries are compensable is whether or not the subject matter of the fight was related to the work or was personal.  This rule applies equally to both the aggressor and the victim of the assault. 

For example, I recently litigated a case where my client had been arguing all day with a co-worker about the co-worker's sloppy work that was keeping them from finishing a job on time.  The co-worker started cursing at my client, who shoved the co-worker, who then punched my client, knocking him over and fracturing his ankle as he tried to maintain his balance.  Because the subject nature of the argument was related to the work, the claim was found compensable.  On the other hand, if the two had been fighting over a personal matter, such as a girlfriend, the injury would not be considered as arising out of the employment. 

These cases are usually very awkward to litigate because many times the people who have fought are in the courtroom together and sometimes they describe the altercation in very colorful language.  Hearing Kathy Hansen interpret the words "te voy a reventar el osico" and "revamientemelo pues, vieja puta" is one of the highlights of my career! 

Chad T. Snow is an attorney who handles exclusively workers compensation matters before the Industrial Commission of Arizona.  he can be reached at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley in Phoenix at (602) 532-0700 and in Tucson at (520) 647-9000.