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  1. #1

    Default Workers' Compensation Hearing for a Mechanic Injured at Work

    My question involves workers compensation law for the state of: Oregon.

    My brother was recently injured at work, and I'm trying to do some background research, to prepare for how his employer might handle things. Best course would be to retain a lawyer, but for all i know *now* it may not be necessary. He works for a large multi-branch heavy diesel truck sales and repair corp. (in Oregon).

    His injuries are two fractures in his face certain to need surgery, and possibly reconstruction near one eye and the nose. He will miss at least 3-6 weeks of work. *if things go well*.

    We were told Human Resources dept. refused to call his wife of only a few months, because she wasn't on the official emergency contact form.. (a friend called her anyway after HR called his parents) - this could be either strict legalism, or fear and incompetence, and it does not reassure me that things will go smoothly, hence my research :/

    He does heavy metalwork on truck frames but has an AS degree as a diesel mechanic and 20 years of exp. in that. I'm not sure he was ever properly, officially trained for this current duties however, since he's been outperforming the previous guy -who was fired not too long after he was added to that section. He came to the job with a lot of metalwork experience, but not official qualifications in that.

    He's a mechanical wizard, and is highly qualified for several other departments in the company, but if they didn't give *specific* training with all the heavy equipment in the new department, aren't they at fault and liable for his safety even if he's managed to do it safely all this time?

    The equipment in his current department is older, but works. He's said it could be better but would cost a lot to update. He has worked overtime for months due to high demand, but i dont believe they've forced him to do so under fear for his job.

    Additionally,the company has recently fired several middle, and one general manager, enough that it sounds like a poorly managed branch of the large corporation.

    In the case that management might handle this situation badly, what should he do Now, to protect himself? (Take pictures of equipment/shop setup?, get statements?, request official job descriptions in writing? (+? etc...). any/all advice helps, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    Much of what you say is completely irrelevant. The question here is was he injured while at work. That's it. If he was then the employer is the responsible party and workman's comp will take care of it. It's really that simple...well, mostly.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    Once this is turned over to the employer's workers' compensation insurance company it is out of the location management's hands.

    Lawyers are generally not needed unless there is a problem or there is some long term disability.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    workers compensation is "no fault" coverage. training and fault by either party is not a factor. benefits are fixed and statutorily defined.
    http://wcd.oregon.gov/worker/Pages/r...sibilites.aspx

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    I agree with the other responses.

    What is the "hearing" all about?

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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post

    What is the "hearing" all about?
    Exactly, it wasn't mentioned in the body of the post at all.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    -its possible this question ended up in the wrong forum? i've no idea, i came here looking for advice -for things like that -_-. -

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    Much of what you say is completely irrelevant. The question here is was he injured while at work. That's it. If he was then the employer is the responsible party and workman's comp will take care of it. It's really that simple...well, mostly.
    "Much of what you say is completely irrelevant."
    of COURSE it is... its called background, character and setting of the parties involved -please tell me you're not a legal professional... O_O. It speaks to how the company will treat him AFTER his injury is resolved. If he returns on light duty only, because his eye socket is now so fragile that a stiff breeze could cause fractures, they're required to make reasonable accomodation, etc etc, but we both know theres a million ways to cheat a man out of what he's due. After all, an accident can and probably will cause their insurance costs to increase and they may decide he's a liability -wherever situate- in their company, and want him gone. Bad for him. They may be self-insured because they're large enough that regulations allow it, and try to cheap out on his repairs using crooked examiners for the IME and lawyers for underhanded letter-of-the-law abusing tricks. (like giving him a hundered dollar bill and saying here, dont worry about things for now, take this and meet your expenses and heal up, come back when you can" etc like some car insurance nightmare stories you hear about- which could later be ruled as an out of court settlement. There are many things I don't know here, but human nature isnt one of them. If you cant think any more defensively than that i question your ability to adequately prepare/advise anyone for anything o-0

    Thats the reason for all the irrelevant background info, setting up a "what would you do if it was your loved one in that position, savvy? Im here for Him, not to argue, but your response shocked me a bit. My response to it should set the tone for others, and more clearly define what I'm looking for.
    i'll get to the other replies as i have time, in much more civil tones, i thank you all for responding so quickly-

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    Once this is turned over to the employer's workers' compensation insurance company it is out of the location management's hands.

    Lawyers are generally not needed unless there is a problem or there is some long term disability.
    you are right that it is mostly taken care of by L&I and all that, for this injury and workers comp for that, I'm wondering how, or what might be smart for him to do to guard against other treatment by management, after this injury/claim is resolved.

    Down the road a few months, I can imagine a need for the examination of the original accident/injury conditions, as evidence or background/history on how the employee acts, compared to how the company is run and maintained, if he has to defend himself later on. the managers they hire to fill their vacant positions wont know anything about it other than: "I was told employee #1 there, he was a legal liability, we should watch him or remove him if possible" thats why i said 'prepare for the worst case' in my OP :S -the trouble im looking out for here is that they've lost most of the infrastructure between him and top management level, that normally watch out for their employees, train them, document and evaluate their performance and all of that. His performance at work may have been flawless, but a newly hired middle manager wont know a thing about him beyond: "he had an accident and cost the company x amt of money" So. if they treat him unfairly later on due to this event, i want him to be able to cover his bases now, so they don't have any legal 'wiggle room' if it becomes a problem later.

    Quote Quoting greentree
    View Post
    workers compensation is "no fault" coverage. training and fault by either party is not a factor. benefits are fixed and statutorily defined.
    http://wcd.oregon.gov/worker/Pages/r...sibilites.aspx
    -thankyou for the link, i will read up on it. it is good to know that most of this will be on train tracks so to speak, and shouldnt require much fighting for rights, etc. I suppose one other question is if there is a checklist we should look at to make sure nobody fails catastrophically during the process? i'll look through that link for this as well, thanks.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    My tone was civil, as opposed to your reply. If you wanted to know what the employers options are then you should've asked as such. Your description of background is not entirely helpful and is still irrelevant. They may be obligated to offer him a reasonable accommodation but if he cannot actually perform the duties that are a pert of his job they can let him go.

    After an injury has been dealt with, through WC the employer is insulated from suit unless you can prove gross negligence and the bar for that is pretty high.

    This is also an issue that your brother will have to deal with, not you. The story that you have is incomplete, even if you and/or your brother believe that it's complete.

    What is your ultimate goal?

    Finally, I'll reply to any post I damn well please and no, I'm an electrician/contractor. I do deal with WC, L&I etc.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    Is he paid as an employee or as an independent contractor working for the company?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Oregon State, Truck Mechanic Injured at Work, Advice/Preparing for Worst Case

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    Is he paid as an employee or as an independent contractor working for the company?
    thankyou for responding he's paid as an employee, full time.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    My tone was civil, as opposed to your reply. If you wanted to know what the employers options are then you should've asked as such. Your description of background is not entirely helpful and is still irrelevant. They may be obligated to offer him a reasonable accommodation but if he cannot actually perform the duties that are a pert of his job they can let him go.

    After an injury has been dealt with, through WC the employer is insulated from suit unless you can prove gross negligence and the bar for that is pretty high.

    This is also an issue that your brother will have to deal with, not you. The story that you have is incomplete, even if you and/or your brother believe that it's complete.

    What is your ultimate goal?

    Finally, I'll reply to any post I damn well please and no, I'm an electrician/contractor. I do deal with WC, L&I etc.
    sigh. I'll try to be less aggro, but looking at his face beaten beyond recognition (due to the accident) is a deep deep well of rage, understand? I am just trying to get a handle on what i don't know about the legalities of his situation, so that i can prepare a bit for the most evil, callous, shameless actions possible on his employers part, so whatever they do, we are more ready to handle it, more prepared and less damaged. I dont know if you have family but in ours, the troubles one has, we all have. If he needs food?, he gets mine, needs a place to live? i make room in what i've got and if he needs an eye to do his job and protect his own family then by god he can have one of mine. there is no 'he'll have to deal with it not me"

    <long calming breath>

    So. pretend i know nothing about the laws and regulations, and pretend we're both trying to defend against a hypothetical evil employer. Is there anything i can do to prepare, or evidence i should gather now, that will better equip me to deal with worst case scenarios down the road? you've already reminded me that i need to control my temper and stay calm and collected in order to get further with this, i would appreciate any other thoughts you might have. thanks Mark

    as for the goal, i guess i can add to that, that i personally think they failed to train him in safety procedures adequately, failed at administering their managers/heirarchy, and may not even know how to correctly process a claim like this. as for proving they did those things/how they failed, is there anything i should advise him to do?

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