Showing posts with label Free Consultation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free Consultation. Show all posts

Monday, September 29, 2014

Use of the “Affidavit” in Arizona Work Comp Litigation

Generally speaking, the Administrative Law Judges who decide cases at the Industrial Commission of Arizona are very good.  They get the decision right more often than not.  Their decisions are usually well thought out.  And, for what the job pays, the Commission has been able to attract some very well-qualified lawyers to become judges.  One of the tools that a lawyer representing injured workers before the Industrial Commission has, is that of the “affidavit of bias and prejudice”.  This is a Rule of Procedure of the Industrial Commission that allows an attorney to ask that a case be reassigned to another judge “upon a showing of bias and prejudice” of the judge to whom it has been assigned.  In practice, no actual showing of real bias or prejudice has to be proven – the mere allegation is sufficient – and the case is reassigned with no questions asked.  This tactic is used quite often by a lot of workers compensation attorneys to avoid judges who they feel too frequently rule on one side or the other. 

In my practice, I very rarely use the Affidavit to change judges.  Very rarely I will think that a particular judge will not like my particular client or will remember a former ruling of a judge that was either very sympathetic or very antagonistic on a specific issue or with a specific expert witness.  But I think it should be the exception and not the rule.  Affidavits of Bias and Prejudice must be filed within 30 days of the issuance of the Notice of Hearing.  Make sure you file it timely or you’ll be stuck with the judge that you just called “biased and prejudiced”!

Attorney Chad Snow has handled thousands of Workers' Compensation claims in the State of Arizona. For a free consultation by Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC, please call 602-532-0700 for a consultation in our Phoenix office or 520-647-9000 for a consultation in our Tucson office. Consultations are also available over the phone with an attorney if you reside outside Maricopa County. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Carbon Monoxide - The Injury You Cannot See

What if your Supervisor doesn't listen when you tell him/her you are sick or injured? That was exactly the case with a group of potential clients I spoke with this morning. The Supervisor couldn't see the injury so he didn't believe there was one.

The employees reported that they were all feeling dizzy, short of breath and that something "wasn't right". The Supervisor basically shrugged it off and told them to keep working because as far as he could see, they were fine.  It was one of the employees that finally called 911 after another co-worker passed out! When the ambulance and emergency personnel arrived; it was determined that all of the employees had Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from work, and as a result, they have all spent multiple days in the hospital! They are lucky to be alive.

Carbon Monoxide claims countless lives every year because people cannot detect there is a problem. describes Carbon Monoxide as the following:

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an illness caused by exposure to too much carbon monoxide — a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Too much carbon monoxide in the air you breathe can greatly diminish your ability to absorb oxygen, leading to serious tissue damage. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death.Carbon monoxide is produced by appliances and other devices that generate combustion fumes, such as those that burn gas or other petroleum products, wood and other fuels. The danger occurs when too much carbon monoxide accumulates in a contained, poorly ventilated space.Although the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle, the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. Get immediate care for anyone who may have carbon monoxide poisoning.

So what should you look for? See the image below about symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. 

If you feel any of these symptoms, report it to your Supervisor immediately. If the Supervisor fails to act because he/she cannot see an injury; seek medical attention on your own immediately. It could save your life and the lives of your co-workers.

Blog posted by April Snow, Business Manager for the firm of Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC. Information in this blog should not be viewed as legal advise. For a free consultation and to speak with an Attorney, please call 602-532-0700 or 855-325-4781. You may 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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Most Common Safety Violations

I was trolling around the Industrial Commission Site and I cam across the 20 most common citations for safety. It's pretty interesting if you look at some of them because it is very easy to be in compliance and yet so expensive to have an accident.

Most cases that we see here in our office could have been prevented. Whether it's lack of fall protection that prevented the roofer from falling off a roof  or a simple Lock-Out/Tag-Out procedure that takes a few moments but can save somebody from being electrocuted or losing a finger.

Safety is so important. Both as an employer and an employee.

Here's the list for you to check out.
The 20 standards most frequently cited by ADOSH

Note: 1926 indicates a violation of a construction standard, 1910 a general industry standard.

Standard Description Citations

1910.1200 Hazard Communication 338

1910.305 Wiring methods, components 209

1910.157 Portable fire extinguishers 179

1910.134 Respiratory protection 138

1910.178 Powered industrial trucks 131

1910.303 Electrical, general requirements 131

1910.212 Machine guarding, general requirements 93

1910.215 Abrasive wheel machinery 86

1926.501 Duty to have fall protection 73

1910.179 Overhead and gantry cranes 72

1910.132 PPE, general requirements 63

1910.213 Woodworking machine guarding 62

1910.1030 Bloodborne pathogens 59

1904.01 Recordkeeping 52

1910.22 Housekeeping 49

1910.219 Power transmission guarding 47

1904.32 Annual summary, 300 log 46

1926.451 Scaffolding, general requirements 46

1910.23 Floor/wall opening guarding 44

1910.37 Exit route maintenance 39

Now, as a previous business owner and employer, I can tell you that there are a few items on this list that require little/no effort. For example; PPE (general requirements), that means Personal Protection Equipment and is referring to safety devices for your employees such as safety glasses to protect eyes, ear plugs to preserve hearing, gloves to protect hands from materials and/or equipment and also the red vests that should be worn if your employees are in an area where there is forklift activity so they will stand out and the forklift driver can easily identify and see them. These very inexpensive items all flow into the PPE area and there is no reason why an employee should not be providing these safety tools for their employees. The citation fine is probably 5x the amount they would have spent in the first place.

Another example would be the Annual Summary. There is no fee associated with this unless you employ a full time Safety Director, in which case this should be a simple task that he/she should be completing as part of their job. But on the norm, for small-mid size companies, the owners are probable handling this task and it doesn't cost you a penny to complete your OSHA 300 log. Yes, it takes a little bit of time but, if you are recording everything as it happens through the year, it's a very easy and simple task to complete.

Employers need to get out of the mindset that ADOSH and other safety entities are here to make their lives more difficult and instead understand they are around to ensure the safety of the employees. I remember having a sinking feeling every time they would walk through the door because I knew it would mean some sort of fine or write-up; but in retrospect, they weren't that difficult to deal with and most of the things we needed to bring up to par were very simple things that because we did not stay on task, it cost us in both time and money.

For employees; I know that the biggest complaint I used to get from my manufacturing employees was that it was too hot to wear the safety glasses in the summer and that the gloves made it hard to grip sometimes. But in the end, these Personal Protection Equipment and devices are put in place to ensure your safety.

I can tell you from my experience working here at the Snow and Carpio Law Firm over the last 2 years that most of our clients would love to go back to when their injury happened and rewind for just 2 second so they could have a do-over and not get injured. Whether it's a minor injury that does not result in loss of time at work or a major incident that leaves a person unable to return to their job and even their career; not one of them would give up the chance to go back and have that accident and injury go away.

So take a look around you and see if there are safety issues. whether you are an employer or an employee, point things out, make sure to talk about safety.

If you are injured or know of somebody who has been injured; the attorneys at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley PLC are glad to sit down and speak to you at no cost about your case. For more information regarding this topic or general questions regarding a Workers' Compensation Claim, you may reach Chad Snow and the firm of Snow and Carpio, PLC at 602-532-0700 or 520-647-9000.

In the absence of Attorney Chad Snow, blog posted today by: April Lang-Snow, Business Manager @ Snow and Carpio, PLC.


Monday, September 26, 2011


Yes, you can file a claim for Workman's comp and social security disability benefits simultaneously. The two benefit systems are completely separate and distinct (ssd is a standardized federal program while workers compensation laws may differ state to state).

However, an individual seeking both types of benefits may gain advantage from the input of a workers compensation attorney since "timing issues" (as regards an ssd claim) can, in some cases, affect a workman's comp claim.
Snow, Carpio, and Weekley can handle both your Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability claims. For a FREE consultation, pleae contact our offices at either 602-532-0700 Phoenix or 520-647-9000 Tucson.
In the absence of Chad Snow, blog posted by: April Lang, Business Manager @ Snow and Carpio, PLC

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. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

General Worker's Comp Information

Arizona Workers Compensation Information

The attorneys at Snow and Carpio, PLC are an experienced advocate for the rights of Arizona workers. Arizona law requires almost all employers to carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance pays for medical treatment, rehabilitation therapy, lost wages, and some other expenses in the event a worker is injured on the job. While this coverage is for the purpose of helping workers who suffer injuries, it is not always easy to obtain the compensation to which an employee is entitled. To get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to and you deserve, contact Snow and Carpio, PLC for a free case evaluation.

No Fault System

One of the most important aspects of the workers compensation system is that it is a no fault system. Benefits are neither increased nor decreased by whose fault caused the injury. If the injury arises out of and in the course of employment it should be covered. The elimination of any fault issues is one of the ways the system has been designed to insure the delivery of prompt benefits without dispute.


Worker’s compensation pays limited benefits. Generally, any medical expense related to the injury must be covered. You are also entitled to a percentage of your lost wages for time off work. In some cases, there is also a permanent disability benefit. In exchange for giving up full compensation for your injuries and losses the system has been designed to provide you speedy benefits. However, sometimes insurance carriers abuse the system with frivolous delays and denials. The hearing process instead of being used for resolutions of good faith disputes gets used as a built in delay mechanism to coerce settlement or claim abandonment. This can be worker’s compensation bad faith.

Reporting a Workplace Injury

Once an on-the–job injury has occurred, the employer has the right to be notified so that it may investigate the circumstances of the injury, and provide treatment to minimize the injury. This legal requirement operates in the interests of both parties. A prejudicial failure to report an injury may act to bar the entire workers compensation claim, therefore it’s important to report an injury to an employer as soon as you reasonably believe you have suffered an injury that will involve medical care or time off work.

Filing an Arizona Workers Compensation Claim

It is also important to file an Arizona workers compensation claim as soon as possible, because it generally takes about 30 days to receive an initial determination of the insurance carrier’s acceptance or denial of a claim. The workers compensation claim may be filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona in one of two ways. The injured worker may file the claim directly with the Arizona Industrial Commission or the physician or hospital attending an injured worker will do so, as they are required to report any industrial accidents to the Industrial Commission.

Claim Acceptance or Denial

Once the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) receives the filed claim, it will notify the employer’s insurance carrier of the claim. There is no limit for the ICA to perform the notification, but it generally takes 7-10 days. Once the insurance carrier is notified of the claim, it has 21 days to formally accept or deny the claim. If the carrier does not respond to the claim within those 21 days, the carrier is responsible to provide benefits from the date of notice as if it had accepted the claim until such time it issues a formal denial.

Workers’ Compensation Hearing Process

If a claim is denied, a hearing request must be filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The claim will then be set for hearing before an Arizona Administrative Law Judge. Both sides have a right to present evidence, including witnesses, medical records, and physician testimony. Once an issue becomes contested and the hearing process has begun, it generally takes a minimum six months and frequently up to one year for resolution by a judicial award. Having an experienced workers compensation lawyer at the hearing is often critical, as there are numerous issues that can be disputed and be presented at hearings in a workers’ compensation claim.

Medical & Disability Stages

Generally, there are three stages to an accepted workers’ compensation claim; temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD), and permanent partial disability (PPD). Each of these stages is based upon medical decisions. Stage changes will be based on the opinions of your treating physician or from the carrier’s “independent” medical examination physician. While not all medical examiners are biased, carriers will sometimes schedule so-called “independent” medical examinations, with physicians who are reputed to provide biased opinions in favor of insurance companies, in order to avoid medical and disability benefits to its insured workers. This is one of the ways in which disputes arise which need to be resolved through the hearing process, or in some circumstances, through a bad faith action.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

TTD means that you are temporarily, totally disabled or unable to work because of your injury. A physician has documented that the injured worker is unable to work, either because time is needed to diagnose the injury and the physician does not want to risk further injury, the injury needs time to heal, or any other reasoning in the physician’s opinion. During this stage, the industrial carrier should pay the totality of medical expenses related to the industrial injury that are provided by the approved physician.

In addition, it should pay 2/3 of lost wages, with checks coming in two-week intervals. The highest wage recognized by the Workers Compensation Act depends on the year you were injured. For 2009 injuries, the highest wage recognized by law is $3,600.00 per month, and therefore the maximum disability benefit payable is $2,400.00 per month. An insurance carrier may dispute a TTD status with the opinion from its own physician that the worker is capable of working. In that event a hearing may be necessary.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

TPD means that you still need medical care, but a physician feels that you are able to return to the duties of your regular work, or perhaps modified or light duty. During this stage, the carrier continues to pay the totality of medical expenses from the approved physician, but now pays 2/3 of the difference between your established average monthly wage (AMW) and the wages you are “able to earn” within your medical restrictions. This is an issue that is litigated with increasing frequency. The worker will often contend that his employer does not have light duty available, and that he has looked for other light duty jobs without success, and therefore, is entitled to continuing full disability benefits. Carriers may respond that the worker could have found other light duty jobs, and the carrier will then reduce disability benefits, taking credit for wages it claims the worker was able to earn, even if no wages were earned. Denial of disability benefits is a tactic sometimes used to force desperate workers to settle for less than what is owed. Disability checks during this stage must be paid at least every 30 days.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

PPD means that the case has closed from further active medical care, but that the worker has suffered a permanent disability as a result of the injury. Either the worker’s physician, or the carrier’s physician, has stated an opinion that the patient has received maximum benefit from medical treatment, and that further treatment will not provide any additional permanent improvement to the injury. Serious injuries may then be awarded a permanent disability through a permanent impairment rating.

Permanent impairments may or may not pay permanent disability benefits. There are two types of permanent disabilities, scheduled and unscheduled. A scheduled disability will pay a “scheduled” amount of money for the disability, without regard to the impact of that disability on your life or ability to work. An unscheduled disability will pay lifetime benefits, on a monthly basis, based on a loss of earning capacity (LEC). Generally, if a worker can return to date-of-injury wages, there is no LEC, and no disability benefit is paid. If the worker can only return to lesser wages, because of the injury, then a disability benefit based on 55% of the recognized loss is paid monthly. These are frequently disputed issues in Arizona workers’ compensation cases.

Change of Address

All clients must notify our office of a change in address or phone number immediately so that as required by law, it can be reported to the Industrial Commission of Arizona and the Insurance Carrier and any/all interested parties to the claim. It is also very important because as your attorney, we must have current information on file for you so that we may contact you regarding Depositions, Hearings, Medical Appointments and any information relating to your case.


Clients must be aware that Insurance Carriers can and will conduct surveillance on clients to confirm that the injuries and restrictions they are claiming are true. Clients must be aware that all of their actions may be videotaped and used as part of the court process.

Supportive Care

Serious injuries in Arizona may be awarded supportive care. This is generally a right to return to the physician several times a year to receive medications, or other minor treatments for flare-ups or exacerbations of the residual injury. Under supportive care, the claim remains closed, but treatment is authorized to the injured worker. In addition, once the claim has been accepted, if that medical condition is ever found to present something new, additional, or previously undiscovered from the time the claim was closed, the claim may be reopened for additional medical care to treat that condition. Reopening begins the process for payment of medical and disability ben

To speak with either myself or another attorney at the firm, please call and schedule your free consultation. You can reach us at 602-532-0700 or contact us through our website at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are You Confused About Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim in Arizona?

You should never be reluctant to report an injury that you suffered while on the job. In fact, Arizona's Workers' Compensation Law requires that workers who sustain an on-the-job injury "forthwith report" their injury to their employer. "Forthwith" means that as soon as you realize you have an injury that may be related to your work, you must report it to a supervisor or manager immediately.

Arizona's "no fault" system means that it does not matter how or why you were seriously injured. No one can be blamed for your accident. Even if you placed yourself in harm's way during a work day and were hurt because of it, this aspect of your case is irrelevant under state law.

Still, you should report your work injury to your employer as soon as possible. Failure to "forthwith report" an on-the-job injury can result in the insurance company denying liability for your injuries.

Inform Your Employer of Your Serious Injury — Then Inform Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.

Another reason it is important to report your injury and file an Arizona workers' compensation claim as soon as possible: It generally takes about 30 days to receive an initial determination of the insurance carrier's acceptance or denial of a claim. Your claim may be filed directly with the Industrial Commission of Arizona, or your attending physician or hospital will do so. They are required to report any industrial accidents to our state's Industrial Commission.Once your serious injury has been reported, we can start the hard work of investigating the details of your accident and strive for the results you need.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What to Expect at My "Free Consultation"

Many attorneys offer what we call a "Free Consultation".  It sounds a little suspect but is really one of the great bargains in the law business.  Can you imagine a doctor meeting with you for 1/2 an hour, listening to your complaints, giving you a diagnosis, and telling you what treatment you need - FOR NOTHING?  It sounds ridiculous.  Even plumbers and mechanics charge a "diagnosis fee".  But us lawyers are better people! 

A free consultation is just that - a consultation with an attorney to get a brief review of your case at no charge.  In our office, it usually means a brief meeting with our intake paralegal Martha, to get basic information about the claim, followed by a 15-20 minute chat with one of the attorneys.  Martha has over 30 years experience in the Arizona workers comp field so she's a good person to talk to.  If we feel like you have a matter that requires an attorney, and if you want to hire us, you can retain us at that time.  Oftentimes, in cases that don't require attorney representation, we simply give you free legal advice about red flags to look out for in your case and other useful information.  These would be things like how much temporary compensation you're entitled to, if you will get a "settlement" of your claim, your right to choose your own treating doctor, and other benefits you may be entitled to. 

So don't be afraid - whether your legal problem is in the area of Arizona workers (workmans) compensation or another area, take advantage of the free consultation.  Heck, get two or three of them if you want!  They're free!!!

Chad T. Snow is a lawyer in Arizona practicing exclusively workers compensation.  He has offices in Phoenix and Tucson where he and his associates at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley can be reached.