• Workers' Compensation
  • Social Security Disability
  • Personal Injury

Workers' Compensation

How do I file a claim for an on-the-job injury?

You or your doctor can file the claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Note that your employer cannot file a formal workers’ compensation claim for you. Your doctor may have forms for this purpose or we can help you find and complete the right form for filing.

When do I need to file my claim?

A workers’ compensation claim must be filed within one year of the date of injury or one year from the date you know that a disabling physical condition is related to your work activities. HOWEVER, you should notify your employer immediately when you realize that you have suffered an injury at work or a condition caused by your work activities.

What do I do if my claim is denied by the insurance company?

Any time you disagree with any action of your employer’s Insurance Company, you can protest that action by filing a Request for Hearing with the Industrial Commission. This will begin the process of getting a judge involved in your claim. You will need competent representation for the hearing process. The attorneys at Taylor and Associates can steer you through the maze of the hearing process.

How do I get medical treatment for my injury?

Go to the doctor as soon as possible after your injury and tell the doctor that you were injured at work. In nearly all cases, you can choose the doctor that will provide treatment. We can help you find a doctor that will treat your work-related injury if you are unsure.

Can the insurance company deny medical treatment for my injury?

Once your claim is accepted, treatment and care recommended by your doctor should be timely reviewed and approved by the insurance company. If not, contact us immediately to assist you and your doctor.

When will I get money for time I miss from work because of my injury?

If your claim is accepted and your doctor takes you off work, you are usually entitled to benefits after you have missed fourteen days of work. Even if your doctor returns you to work on modified or light duty, you still may be eligible for benefits based on any decrease in earnings. You should receive a check from the insurance company either every two weeks or monthly, depending on your doctor’s orders. If you are not clear on your entitlement to benefits or if you are not paid timely, give us a call. We can help you.

How much money should I get when I miss time from work because of an injury?

In Arizona, you are entitled to benefits equaling 66 ⅔ % (or two-thirds) of your average monthly wages you were earning prior to your injury. You may be entitled to additional benefits if the doctor determines that your injury or condition is permanent or will permanently limit your ability to work. The attorneys at Taylor and Associates can help to assure that your benefits are calculated correctly to make sure you maximize your benefits, both during and after your injury is stationary and/or permanent.

Do I have to attend an examination with the insurance company’s doctor?

Arizona law allows the insurance company to periodically send you to a doctor of their choosing for an evaluation, otherwise known as an Independent Medical Examination, (IME). This doctor will not provide treatment or become your doctor. Your benefits can be suspended or cut off if you do not attend the IME. A Taylor and Associates attorney can advise you regarding the IME and the possible outcomes and effects of that process.

What if my doctor disagrees with the insurance company’s doctor?

Any time you or your doctor disagree with any action of your employer’s Insurance Company, you can protest that action by filing a Request for Hearing with the Industrial Commission. This will begin the process of getting a judge involved in your claim. You will need competent representation for the hearing process. The attorneys at Taylor and Associates can steer you through the maze of the hearing process.

How long can I get medical treatment for my injury?

You will continue to receive medical care until your condition is determined to be stationary. Then, in many instances, the workers’ compensation insurance company will cover long-term “supportive” or “maintenance” care after your injury is stable. If your condition changes later, you may also be able to reopen your claim for additional medical treatment. We can assist you and your doctor to fight for all the medical care you deserve.

When should I get back to work after my injury?

You should follow your doctor’s orders when the doctor allows you to get back to work. In most cases, you should accept restricted or modified work if it is made available by your employer. Note that Arizona law allows your employer to terminate your employment, even when you are out due to an on-the-job injury. Contact us to discuss your work status and situation to try to minimize the consequences of being off work or out of work.

What happens if I can’t return to the type of work I was doing before?

Depending on the circumstances and nature of your injury, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits and, in many cases, vocational retraining.  The attorneys at Taylor and Associates can explain all the benefits you might be entitled to if your injury prevents you from doing the same type of work.

How is Taylor and Associates paid for their work?

If it appears that you will receive monetary benefits, Taylor and Associates’ fees are paid on a contingency basis as a percentage of your benefits. There is usually no up-front retainer or out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us to discuss the details of the fees and costs that may be applicable to your particular case.

Can I sue my employer for their negligence?

In Arizona, you cannot sue your employer, even if you think they did something wrong that caused your injury. In almost all cases, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for injured workers. This is why you cannot get damages for pain and suffering or other losses traditionally paid as damages in court. However, if your injury results from the negligence of a third party, not associated with your employer, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim, giving rise to these types of damages.  The attorneys at Taylor and Associates can assist you with all the legal remedies you should consider investigating.

Social Security Disability

When should I apply for Social Security Disability (SSD)?

SSD is for people with health problems that prevent them from working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires the health problem keep you off work for at least 12 months or if death is expected. The process for qualifying for disability can be very slow. Applicants should not wait to be off work for 12 months. Applicant should apply after off for 6 months or sooner if you learn your health problem is going to keep you off work for a longer time.

How do I apply for Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration allows you to apply for SSD ,not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) online at www.ssa.gov . The application allows you to stop and return where you left off so if you cannot sit at a computer for long enough to complete in one sitting, you can come and go. When completing the application answer the questions with simple basic information. The Social Security Administration will review medical records for the more in depth details needed to determine if you are disability. After you are done with the online application, Social Security Administration will mail you a document that you must reply to and this will complete your application. If applying for Supplemental Security Income, you must complete the application in person. You may call your local Social Security Administration office to schedule an appointment to complete your application.

What is the difference between SSD (Social Security Disability) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income)?

While you are working, SSA is reaching into the paychecks and taking out money. This is purchasing long term disability insurance from the government. Just like you pay for car insurance in January and your coverage is good through June, with continued work and paying in, you buy insurance coverage for SSD into the future. This coverage expires at your Date Last Insured (DLI). If you are found disable before the DLI, you qualify for SSD benefits. These benefits, your PIA, is based on the money paid in if you qualify for disability after the DLI, you may be eligible for SSI. SSI is financially based, so your assets must be very limited.

Do I need an attorney?

You do not have to have an attorney. Social Security has lots of forms and very strict deadlines. However an attorney from Taylor and Associates can guide you through the process. An attorney can also help you get the information from your health care providers needed by Social Security. Many people have to go to a hearing before a Social Security Judge to get disability and an attorney can prepare your file and you for testimony at a hearing.

How far back can Social Security Administration pay me for disability?

The Social Security Administration will pay for one year prior to the date that you completed your application. This is another reason to apply before being off work for 12 months so that you do not lose out on benefits.

Should I apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD)?

To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD), you must have worked and paid into Social Security for 5 years in the last ten years before becoming disabled. Social Security also has a program for people who have not paid enough into the system- this is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both types of disability benefits need proof you are disabled. SSI also has very strict financial limits to qualify. You should apply for both so you get the maximum benefits. A Taylor and Associates Attorney can help you determine which benefit you qualify for.

Does age make a difference when applying for Social Security Disability?

SSA rules are different for people under 50 years old. If you are less than 50, SSA rules say if there is any work you can do you are not disabled. For those over 50, SSA rules will take into account your past work and work skills, your age, and your education under rules called the "grids."

Can I take college classes and get disability?

College or technical courses is not work as long as it does not mimic work, ie: attend classes and do homework 5 days a week for 8 hours a day (equivalent to a 40-hour workweek). Social Security Administration will evaluate your school related activities not only for the total of hours you spend but also when considering if mental limitations like concentration, memory, persistence, or pace are limiting to you. If you are asking Social Security Administration to find you disabled because your symptoms of depression are preventing you from concentrating but you pass your college classes, Social Security Administration may find your school activities negate your claim for disability. A Taylor and Associates Attorney can help you navigate this aspect of your claim.

Can I get disability and retirement?

If you are of full retirement age you may not apply for disability. Disability is for people who cannot work because of health conditions and if you are retirement age, Social Security does not consider you a worker. On the contrary, taking Early Retirement at age 62 does not stop you from applying for disability. If Social Security Administration does find you disabled, Social Security Administration will pay you the difference between disability benefits and early retirement benefits, disability is often a little more than early retirement.

Personal Injury

What should I do if I am hurt in an accident?

Following an accident, it is easy to become disoriented, shaken and confused. First and foremost, you should seek medical attention. If you are contacted by someone from the insurance company for the other party, you should not speak to them in detail or allow a recorded statement to be taken without first consulting with an attorney. The attorneys at Taylor and Associates can deal with the insurance company so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

What if the person that caused the accident does not have insurance?

Unfortunately, there are many drivers on the road who carry no insurance or only minimal amounts of insurance coverage. If you have the misfortune of being involved in an accident with someone who is not insured, you may still be able to make a claim for your damages under other insurance or from other sources. In such cases, and with only certain exceptions, you may be able to recover the damages you suffered just as though the party causing the accident had insurance. Call an attorney to discuss the various possible options.

Are there time limits for bringing a claim for injuries?

Time limitations on bringing a claim for injuries vary depending on the type of claim and the party responsible for causing the injury. For example, auto accidents, dog bites, claims against government entities and work related injuries will each have different time limits depending on all the circumstances surrounding the injury. Some time limits can be as little as 180 days. It is extremely important to speak with an attorney to protect your rights as soon as possible after you are injured in an accident.

If I am injured by someone while working, can I make a claim for personal injuries?

If you are injured while working and your injury is caused by a party other than a co-worker, you may be able to bring a negligence claim for damages in addition to filing a workers compensation claim. If you are receive workers’ compensation benefits, including medical care and disability payments, you will be responsible for reimbursing the workers’ compensation insurance for payments they made on your claim. But you can certainly pursue both avenues of recovery. It is extremely important you have attorneys experienced in handling both types of cases when there is a negligence claim in addition to the workers’ compensation claim. We can help you with both to maximize your benefits and recovery.

If I am hurt in an accident, what damages am I entitled to?

The amount of damages you may be entitled to receive will vary from case to case but may include compensatory damages, which cover your actual economic losses such as medical expenses, future medical care and present and future loss of income. Compensatory damages may also include compensation for pain and suffering and other types of damages. In some cases you may be entitled to punitive damages, which are meant to punish the party and deter similar conduct in the future. We can explain all the various types of claims and damages to you relating to your specific case.

What will I have to pay to be represented by an attorney?

Our attorneys' fees are based on a percentage of the recovery in your case, otherwise known as a “contingent” fee because it is contingent on yoru recovery. You are not required to pay our attorneys by the hour for meetings, phone calls, or other tasks performed in pursuing your case for you. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.

Are there any charges or costs to me if we lose the case?

Some costs are paid by us up front when we represent you. These costs are usually reimbursed to us from the eventual recovery you get. Some examples of these costs are charges for accident reports, medical records, filling fees and court reporter fees. Unlike most injury law firms, Taylor and Associates does not charge for routine in-house costs such as postage, copies and long distance telephone calls.

What is negligence?

The law requires every person to act with reasonable care considering all the circumstances of any situation. When someone fails to act with reasonable care and their actions or inactions result in an injury or damages, this may be considered negligence. In most cases, to recover damages for an injury caused by another party you must first prove that the other person was negligent. We can help you make the best case possible to prove all the aspects of your claim necessary to maximize the recovery for your injury.