Maybe. This is often referred to as subrogation. It will depend on the language of the plan and the intent of the payments. Regardless, there are almost always steps that can be taken to reduce and often convince your short or long term disability carrier to reduce or waive their subrogation interest. We have saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise be taken out of their settlement by negotiating down subrogation interests.
In Nebraska, a "First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness" form ("First Report" for short) is used for many things. If you are hurt at work and require medical treatment other than first aid, are restricted from your normal work duties, and/or miss work, you employer will likely fill out a First Report for you or have you fill out a First Report. The First Report provides information about the Employer, Insurance Carrier, Employee, and the Accident/Injury. Once completed, the First Report is filed with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court. Per the Court rules, the First Report shall be filed with the Court within 10 days after the employer or the insurance company have been given notice of or have knowledge of the injury. If your employer or the insurance company fail to file a First Report, the statute of limitations (timeline to file a law suit) does not begin to run until the First Report has been filed. Thus, the timeline to file your law suit may be extended if the First Report was not filed. While it is rare, if your employer fails to file a First Report despite your reporting, you can contact the Court to obtain a First Report to file on your own. If you would like to request a copy of any First Reports filed relating to you, you may do so via the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court's website. If you have questions about whether a First Report was filed or dispute the details contained in the First Report, the lawyers at Atwood, Holsten, Brown, Deaver & Spier can talk you through the nuances and impact of the same.
Possibly. In Nebraska workers' compensation claims, benefits may be denied to an injured worker if they were willfully negligent at the time of the injury. Neb. Rev. Stats. 48-102, 48-107, and 48-151(7). Willful negligence consists of (a) a deliberate act, (b) such conduct as evidences reckless indifference to safety, or (c) intoxication at the time of the injury, such intoxication being without the consent, knowledge, or acquiescence of the employer or the employer's agent. Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-151(7). Generally, the deliberate defiance of a reasonable safety rule in place to prevent serious bodily injury to an employee will constitute willful misconduct in the absence of certain excuses. The factors that the Court looks at in determining whether a violation of an employer's safety rule should disqualify a worker from receiving workers' compensation benefits include:
Our client suffers from severe asthma caused by a work-related exposure to mold. As a result, client requires a lifetime of treatment consisting of medications, home filtrations systems and inhalers. Some of client's symptoms include heavy coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain.