Other Speaker: Welcome back! If you've been hurt on the job, you've been introduced to the confusing workers' compensation claims.
Other Speaker: Indeed Karl Truman is here to explain some of the unfamiliar terms you may hear. Karl good to see you again, as always.
Karl Truman: Yes, thank you..
Speaker 2: Yes and a lot of these acronyms are things that the average person like me has no clue what they mean or what they stand for, but a lot of people will be given list of jargon and have to figure all of this out.
Karl Truman: Yeah, in the Army I thought we had a lot of acronyms to, uh, remember, but the legal world, we have just as many.
Speaker 1: Okay, so the first one here is temporary total disability, TTD. That's the first benefit that you would, that you try to receive. Right?
Karl Truman: Under workers' compensation if the doctor takes you off work, so you're hurt on the job, and the doctor says you, you can't work to be, to be treated, then the first thing you have to worry about is TTD. That's called temporary total disability which is 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage that you're paid while you can't work to be treated. And that's a temporary benefit.
Other Speaker: All right and so obviously you can move along to, if necessary a permanent thing, PTD?
Karl Truman: All right once, well once you get to the point where, another term you'll hear is MMI, maximum medical improvement, where the doctor says this is as good as you're going to get, then we have to look at, well what kind of disability, or do you have a permanent injury, can you go back to work, what kind of work can you do. If you can't do any type of gainful employment, you, you're totally disabled, then PTD, permanent total disability.
Other Speaker: First off, if there are time limitation on, let's say you're injured at work and, and then you have to file something within a week, a month, a year, what, what is the legal limitation?
Karl Truman: Well the, the rule of thumb that I tell everybody is you want to notify your employer immediately, uh, because the longer you wait then the bigger question comes up, well did you really get hurt at work. You know, get, it opens questions where they could say, well did you get hurt at home or somewhere else. Well you’ve got, you got to notify your employer, uh, as soon as possible.
Speaker 1: And what about a doctor? Obviously you're gonna have to have some sort of medical proof that you are seriously hurt, that you can't work.
Karl Truman: Well absolutely, and that's where we come into the medical documentation and getting to a doctor right to, uh, be able to document what happened.
Speaker 1: Okay now, something you say that’s the most common, PTD, permanent partial disability.
Karl Truman: Right. Oftentimes, as I said, sometimes, you, you know, once you're done with your treatment, sometimes people can't go back to work at all. But most people can go back to work doing something. They may still have a permanent injury where they still have some permanent limitation, but they can still work. So that's PPD, permanent partial disability, and then that gets into a complicated formula about your wages, uh, the, you're, uh, how badly you're hurt, what permanent injury you have, can you go back to your old job. So it's kind of complicated, uh, but that is the permanent partial disability benefit.
Other Speaker: It's important to have legal guidance to wade through all this alphabet soup that, that can be thrown at you. It's confusing and overwhelming and if you're hurting, your brain is not working right anyway.
Karl Truman: Well that's right. You know some people just think, well, I mean they're be fair with me, I can do it myself, but as you can tell from just, from the, this lingo that we have to banter about, you know, unless you're really familiar with it, you really do need an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can help you through the process.
Speaker 1: And it's serious because if you're losing that income, maybe you're supporting not just yourself but a family, and they have children, I mean this can really impact an entire household.
Karl Truman: That's right. There's a, a lot of complicated statutes and rules that have to be following and if they are aren't followed correctly, it can jeopardize benefits.
Other Speaker: Even if something happened to you six months ago, and you've hurt your back, whatever, and you've dealt with it, and you thought I can't deal with this anymore, is it too late to throw up a red flag?
Karl Truman: Well, it's, it's never too late to call and ask for help, because you know, and so we're always willing to, to try to see. Because sometimes we can, even if it's been a while, you know, we can see where are, maybe you've been getting benefits, but you don't know what do I do now. The doctor says I'm ready to go back to work.
Speaker 1: Right. Karl thank you so much. If you do need legal help with your workers' compensation claim you can reach Carl Truman at 502 222 2222.
Other Speaker: Go online at trumanlaw.com. We'll come right back.
Getting Your Medial Bills Paid & Your Property Damage Claims Handled
Video Transcript for the Hearing Impaired:
Speaker 1: Welcome back. Welcome back. If you've been in a car accident, you may have lots of questions about how to proceed with getting your medical bills paid, your property damage claim handled and more.
Other Speaker: Attorney Karl Truman works with several auto accident victims. He has details on that process and, Karl, good to see you again. We were just talking about bad backs and so forth a few minutes ago. Clearly that can be something that happens to somebody in an accident. It's important to contact an attorney then, too, isn't it?
Karl Truman: Yes, absolutely. There's a lot of types of back injuries that we deal with. Of course, a lot of variety of injuries, but probably one of the most common we deal with is back and neck injuries, and so as attorneys we not only have to know how the law applies, we have to understand some of the medicine involved so No. 1, we can make sure that the client gets the right treatment that they need and get to see the doctors that they need to see.
Other Speaker: And also, there, there can be a delayed reaction if you're in some sort of an accident. You may not find symptoms for, not that day. It may take a little bit of time.
Karl Truman: Oh, that's true. Uh, you know, certain, very different types of injuries, uh, what we call, you know, acceleration and deceleration injuries, the, the common term you hear is whiplash, uh, and even though some doctors use that word, that's not really a medical diagnosis. That just describes the nature of the injury when you, when you get hit and then how your spine moves forward and backwards and tear the ligaments and tendons in the spine.
Speaker 1: And some people are concerned about fees, too, when they're in a wreck and they want to hire an attorney to help them with some of that, and you say you do not charge a retainer fee up front.
Karl Truman: That's right. Uh, you know, even though there's a lot of attorneys that advertise and so you would think that it's fairly common knowledge that, you know, attorneys that do this type of work typically do a, uh, fee based on a percentage of the recovery, but I still do have occasionally someone will call me up and say well how much is it gonna cost me to hire you, and so I always explain to them, no, it doesn't cost any money up front. Our fee, we only get paid when we recover money for our client.
Other Speaker: Meaning an insurance company pays, or pays on behalf of. Now there also, there could be investigators involved and there can be fees associated with people that have to go out and do legwork for your case.
Karl Truman: Well, that's right. That's something that a lot of people may not understand and insurance companies have investigators that, you know, go out and photograph and document and, uh, look at the scene. Well, if you don't have that on your side too, you're kind of at a disadvantage, thinking well, they're just gonna be fair with me. I hear that a lot. Well, I thought they would just be fair with me and take care and do the right thing. Well, uh, so when we get involved in a case, there's been cases where, you know, a client has called me right away and that's actually been able to save the case because I was able to get out there with investigators and document skid marks, document, like, for example, I've got cases where, uh, the, the roadway edge drops off too much, so we've gotta get out there and document that before someone changes it, or even a premises cases, a premises situation where there may be a, a defect in the sidewalk. So we've gotta get out there to document that before they come along and change it or fix it behind you.
Speaker 1: Sure. And then also your car, when you're in an accident, you either total your car or you could hurt it to the point that you can't drive it for a while, and you can help somebody get your car fixed because, uh, that's, that's terrible not being able to, to have a car to drive, to get to work and everywhere else you gotta go.
Karl Truman: Well, that's true, and that's something that we provide as a service for no fee if we're representing someone in their injury claim and they need help getting their car fixed, getting the property damage paid for, we provide that service at no charge on the property damage claim itself.
Other Speaker: All right.
Speaker 1: That's a big help.
Other Speaker: Good to see you again, Karl.
Karl Truman: Thanks.
Other Speaker: Appreciate it. And if you have questions, you can call the Karl Truman Law Office, 222 2222.
Speaker 1: And also, you can go to trumanlaw.com for more information online as well. Thank you so much.
Speaker: Truman talks live on Great Day Live. Is sponsored by the Karl Truman Law Office.
Next Speaker: It’s never in anyone’s plans to be in a car accident but they happen.
Next Speaker: And when you do, the insurance adjuster, he or she, will have questions for you.
Next Speaker: And you should have some questions and requests for them as well. Attorney Karl Truman is here with what those should be picking up where we left off –
Next Speaker: Morning.
Next Speaker: – last week, good morning.
Next Speaker: Hey, Karl.
Next Speaker: How are you?
Next Speaker: Good call on the red & blue tie, brother.
Next Speaker: Well, I’m an alumni from both UK and UL so...
Next Speaker: So, you really have this solomonic thing with this.
Next Speaker: Yeah, and so we have some questions that you wanna keep in mind when an insurance adjuster calls you after you are in that car accident and, um, the first one here, you say that the company’s actually may do some wheeling and dealing that you don’t even know about, is that how that –
Next Speaker: Well, sure, and what we’re talking about is a brochure that I put together, uh, on you, you want to know the insurance adjuster is on your, your side.
Next Speaker: Mm hmm.
Next Speaker: And so what this does, it talks about a lot of these different points and, you know, because we talked about some of ‘em last night and kind of a continuation of some points we talked about, ‘cause, you know, a lot of the things that the insurance companies do and even your own insurance company does kinda behind the scenes that you may not know about and may not be in your best interest.
Next Speaker: All right, and you should ask the insurance adjuster if he or she is aware of, um, secondary insurance coverage, that’s part of this too, right?
Next Speaker: Well, that’s one of the things too, and they’re not calling you to automatically volunteer. There may be opportunities for stacking coverage or the person that hit you has multiple policies or even umbrella policies. Yeah, unless you’re pretty savvy in this and you know what you’re doing, then you may be stuck, settling your case for much more than you could recover.
Next Speaker: Now what about asking about any medical information that they might already have?
Next Speaker: Well, this is something that, uh, I really try to warn people about is because, you know, you try to handle the case on your own. One of the first things that the other driver’s insurance company is gonna want you to do is sign a medical authorization and some people will think, well, that’s just for my doctors that I saw from this wreck, but that’s not true. Once you sign that, you’re giving them permission to dig into any past medical records, whether it has anything to do with this case or not.
Next Speaker: Okay, and something else, this is interesting, that insurance company may even come to your neighborhood and they may ask your neighbors things about you and –
Next Speaker: Yeah, they, they actually hire people to, to hide in bushes with video cameras trying to catch you doing something, you know, and contrary to your restrictions, so if they, they really do go out and try to, uh, you know, find, catch people or talk to neighbors or look on Facebook, that’s one of the big things too that I’m having to warn clients about is that they are actually trying to dig into your Facebook account.
Next Speaker: Then say to them, that picture’s old.
Next Speaker: I better not look on your Facebook account Terry.
Next Speaker: exactly.
Next Speaker: All right, and then also ask your insurance company for a copy of any, uh, written statements, that’s all important too, uh, a transcript, any recorded statement they have obtained from like witnesses. You have a right to know all that, don’t you?
Next Speaker: Well, sure. One of the things that, that, well, first of all, obviously they’re gonna wanna take your statement which, uh, normally I don’t allow my own clients to provide a written statement, but they’re gonna wanna take your statement and they’re gonna take statements from other people so, again, they’re out investigating this, they’re out trying to build up their case against you, you know, while you’re thinking, oh, they’re gonna be fair with me, you know, it’s pretty clear cut, you know, it, uh, it’s obviously the other person’s fault. So the insurance company’s gonna take care of me, you know, it’s famous last words.
Next Speaker: Indeed, all right, well, if, uh, you need more information, you can check with, uh, a complete list of questions actually to get to ask an insurance adjuster. Call the Karl Truman Law Office. They’re happy to send you one.
Next Speaker: Yeah, that number’s 222-2222, you can get this list that we’ve been going through. Or, you can also go to Trumanlaw.com.
Speaker 1: ssa.gov says a 20-year-old worker has a 3 in 10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.
Other Speaker: If it could happen to anybody, so what do you do if you become disabled and are unable to work? Among many federal programs, the largest is, of course, Social Security disability and attorney Karl Truman is here with us today to –
Other Speaker: – talk more about that. Hello.
Karl Truman: Good morning. Yes, Social Security is one of those things, you know, you can get your paycheck stub and there's a deduction for Social Security; a lot of people just, all, all they think about is Social Security retirement. Well, when I turn 65 or 67 or whatever, but, uh, that also includes a disability benefit if you are unable to work.
Speaker 1: Unable under, under what window are we talking about, uh, physically only, emotionally? What are we talking about?
Karl Truman: Well, it could be a combination of things, you know. If you're physically, you become injured and we, we see a lot of people who come to us for workers' compensation, get hurt on the job, and then they become totally disabled and then we help them apply for, dis, uh, Social Security disability benefits. So it can be physical, could be, uh, psychological, uh, different type of psychological injuries. So, uh, you know, if you're medically unable to work – and it has to be unable to work because sometimes clients will come and say, well, I can't do my old job and I can't find a job so I wanna be, you know, on disability and it just doesn't, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. You have to be able to show you can't do any type of gainful employment.
Other Speaker: Yeah, there are certain stipulations to it –
Karl Truman: Right.
Other Speaker: – and you help people apply for it so do you care to walk us through the steps, the process –
Karl Truman: Sure.
Other Speaker: – to apply for Social Security –
Karl Truman: Well, the first –
Other Speaker: – disability.
Karl Truman: – the first thing is, you have to apply and a lot of people can apply on line. We do help, like, people with initial applications also and, you know, they're gonna, Social Security's gonna wanna know your past 15 years of work history and all of your medical providers, all of your doctors and hospitals, all the medicine you take. So the more you can get that information together before you apply, the easier the process is gonna be to actually fill out the forms because that, you know, they want all that information.
Speaker 1: And on your paychecks you can also have withdrawal for, um, long-term disability, short-term disability. Is that insurance and that's not government? Is that – those are payments in case –
Karl Truman: Right, the, for short-term disability, long, those are typically private plans or company-sponsored plans; that's not through the government.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Karl Truman: Uh, the Social Security doesn't have a distinction between short-term and long-term. Actually, to be eligible you have to show that you cannot work for at least 12 months. So, if you're off work for six months and then can go back to some type of job, then you're not eligible.
Other Speaker: It's interesting because with Social Security disability you say 80 percent of people that apply for it are denied.
Karl Truman: Yes.
Other Speaker: 8 out of 10 people, that's a lot.
Karl Truman: That is a lot.
Other Speaker: What do, where do you go from there? What do you do if you're denied?
Karl Truman: After the initial application, then we file for what's called a request for reconsideration. And most of those get denied too, I mean, because you're going back and asking the same person to –
Other Speaker: Same info again…
Karl Truman: – change their mind and so sometimes, you know, sometimes they do get approved at that level but still, most of them do get a, uh, denied on the request for reconsideration level and then after that, if it's denied again, then we request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge and that's where we actually go before a judge in a hearing room and the client testifies and then, you know, all along, of course, you know, one of our jobs is to make sure that we present the best medical evidence and medical proof to support the claim.
Speaker 1: And you also have to illustrate again that you can't have worked for 12 months.
Karl Truman: It's a minimum. You have to show that you cannot do any type of uh, it's called, the, the term they use is 'substantial gainful activity'. So basically you can't work any type of job even if it's a sit-down, sedentary job.
Speaker 1: All right, Karl, I appreciate your time again. As –
Karl Truman: Great.
Speaker 1: always, great to see you.
Karl Truman: All right, thank you.
Speaker 1: Karl Truman talks law every Wednesday here on Great Day Live.
Other Speaker: You can reach attorney Karl Truman at 232 2222 or online at trumanlaw.com.
Disclaimer Info: The legal information provided is general and should not be relied on as legal advice, and legal advice cannot be given without full consideration of all relevant information relating to your individual situation.