What happens to my case if I move out of Texas?

DivorceSince you have lifetime medical benefits for the injuries that have been deemed accepted by the insurance carrier, you can pick up treatment wherever you move. You would need to locate a doctor that is willing to treat you for your workers’ compensation claim. Once you find a doctor, you would simply provide them with the insurance carrier’s information: Adjuster’s name, phone, fax, and claim number, so that they can submit their bills accordingly.

Of course, this is easier said than done, since it’s already hard enough to find doctor’s in Texas that will handle a workers’ compensation claim. It significantly helps if there are no disputes on your claim, which might make out-of-state doctors more apprehensive in becoming your treating physician. It’s also very important to make sure that all the injuries have been documented and accepted prior to moving if at all possible.

If there are disputes pending, or you are in the process of fighting to get your case accepted and for reasons out of your control you must move in order to be closer to your support group, you would be able to attend any hearings by phone. You would not be expected to return to Texas for your hearings. It would definitely be in your best interest to have an attorney be involved to assist you in these matters, especially when your money benefits or medical treatment can easily be disrupted by the insurance carrier during your move. Please call us today so you can understand your rights, and what to expect in this very trying time of your life.

Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.

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Supplemental Income Benefits: You received an Impairment rating 15% or Higher

Workers’ Compensation - Woman injured in hospital bedWhen you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement and receive an impairment rating that is 15% or higher, you may be entitled to received Supplemental Income Benefits. SIBS are paid out monthly, which is calculated by using your Average Weekly Wage (AWW).You apply quarterly, so every 3 months you apply in order to receive monthly benefits for that Quarter.

There are a few ways to qualify, so please call us to discuss your case, to see which would be the best route for your to apply. Please refer to DWC form 52 for your SIBS application. The insurance carrier and/or Division of WC should have mailed this to you ahead of time.

If you are claiming a total inability to work, this one by far can be the most difficult since if any doctor states that you are able to perform some type of work, even if it’s sedentary, you must look for work. Please refer to form DWC 52. It is very important that you fill in each space regarding your job search. In addition please keep these objectives in mind: (a) Search for jobs that are within your work restrictions. For example, do not apply for a heavy labor position, if your restrictions state, “no lifting, bending, or kneeling.” (b) Be sure that the contact person is someone with hiring capabilities, meaning do not put a clerk or an employee that basically has no say-so regarding matters of hiring; (c) Be sure you have a number to the contact person, because the carrier will want to verify with that person that you did apply for a position with that particular company (please refer to form DWC 52); (d) Even if the company is not hiring at that time, leave a job application with them anyways. Be sure to check “not hiring” in the results column; (e) You MUST have the correct number of work searches each week. We can assist you in locating this information, please call us.

If in fact there are no doctors that indicate that you are able to work, your doctor must provide a narrative report that indicates the reasons that you have a total inability to work. If this letter is not sufficient, it may lead to a denial of your request.

Important: Please contact the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services regarding any programs that you may be qualified for. If you refuse to cooperate with services offered by the DARS, you will lose entitlement to SIBs. Their number is 800-628-5115, please give them a call today, it costs nothing, and you can at least enroll and get your information in their system.

Although you may be eligible to apply, it is not an automatic right to receive SIBs. Often times you must fight for these benefits. Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or desire additional information.

Call Bailey & Galyen today at 844-402-2992 for a free initial phone consultation!

What happens to my case if I move out of Texas?

DivorceSince you have lifetime medical benefits for the injuries that have been deemed accepted by the insurance carrier, you can pick up treatment wherever you move. You would need to locate a doctor that is willing to treat you for your workers’ compensation claim. Once you find a doctor, you would simply provide them with the insurance carrier’s information: Adjuster’s name, phone, fax, and claim number, so that they can submit their bills accordingly.

Of course, this is easier said than done, since it’s already hard enough to find doctor’s in Texas that will handle a workers’ compensation claim. It significantly helps if there are no disputes on your claim, which might make out-of-state doctors more apprehensive in becoming your treating physician. It’s also very important to make sure that all the injuries have been documented and accepted prior to moving if at all possible.

If there are disputes pending, or you are in the process of fighting to get your case accepted and for reasons out of your control you must move in order to be closer to your support group, you would be able to attend any hearings by phone. You would not be expected to return to Texas for your hearings. It would definitely be in your best interest to have an attorney be involved to assist you in these matters, especially when your money benefits or medical treatment can easily be disrupted by the insurance carrier during your move. Please call us today so you can understand your rights, and what to expect in this very trying time of your life.

Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.

CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE CONDUCT OF ANOTHER

CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE CONDUCT OF ANOTHER Section 7.02 Penal Code:

Criminal ResponsibilitiesThere are situations where a person may be held criminally responsible for the conduct of someone else. This is called the “Law of Parties.” This is truly a way where a person’s friends can get him in trouble with the law. A person can be held criminally responsible for the conduct of another if the person intentionally does an act which solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another in the commission of an offense. Furthermore, if the offense is a felony, and during the commission of this felony a new felony offense occurs, everyone involved the criminal activity is responsible for both felony offenses. This is true even if only one person intended to commit the new (second) felony offense.

EXAMPLE

Joe Public and his friend Ron decide to do some shopping at the local mall. Ron has had his eye on a particular shirt for the past two months. Unfortunately, Ron has not been able to save up the $65 to buy the shirt. Ron decides to use the “five finger discount” method to purchase the shirt. Ron hides the shirt in the coat he wore into the store. Ron tells Joe to look out for any security personal. Joe says O.K. Just as they start to leave the store, both Joe and Ron are stopped by mall security. Both guys are arrested for Theft. Joe is arrested for Theft even though it was not his idea to steal the shirt nor was he going to get the shirt. Joe did not benefit from the theft of the shirt in any way. Joe is arrested for Theft because he aided Ron (by being a lookout) in the theft of the shirt.

A person can also be held criminally responsible for the action of another even if the person did not know the person was going to commit the crime.

EXAMPLE

Joe Public and his friend Kevin, decided they are going to break into a local trading card shop to steal merchandise. Once they are inside the store, they start filling a pillow case they brought with them with sports memorabilia. But to their surprise, the owner of the store is driving by and sees the guys inside the closed store. Joe and Kevin are caught red handed. Joe takes one of the autographed bats he intended to steal and hits the owner over the head. The guys did not know they were caught on the store security video camera. Both guys are arrested for Burglary of a Building and both are arrested for Aggravated Assault. Even though Joe is the one who hit the owner in the head with the bat, the assault offense was committed in the commission of a felony burglary. Both offenses are felonies. Regardless of the fact that Kevin did not know Joe was going to use the bat as a weapon, he will be charged with the offense of Aggravated Assault. Kevin should have anticipated an assault could occur during the burglary.

Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you.

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Somebody is Watching Me!

Insurance Company Private InvestigatorBe very wary of the lone vehicle parked nearby that shows up out of nowhere. The insurance carrier will stop at no means to “catch” you in the act of daily living. Anything to show that you aren’t really THAT hurt. They hire private investigators to talk to your neighbors about your activities, they will troll through social media to see if Injured Johnny is really a Good Time Charlie. You have to live and carry on in your daily life. Things such as going to the grocery store, getting fuel, dropping kids off at school – all acts of daily living. You have to do these things regardless! The problem with the videos, is they don’t lie. It IS what it IS. There is no arguing what’s caught on tape, and trust me, they are looking to catch you on tape! Also, they are trying to test your credibility: if you are supposed to be using crutches, they are going to try and catch you walking normal and not using crutches.

If you feel that the investigator is encroaching on your personal space, then stay indoors, or call the police and notify them that there is a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood. Give us a call today if you have any concerns with the workers’ comp insurance carrier and how your claim is being handled.

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Supplemental Income Benefits : You received an Impairment rating 15% or Higher

Workers CompensationWhen you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement and receive an impairment rating that is 15% or higher, you may be entitled to received Supplemental Income Benefits. SIBS are paid out monthly, which is calculated by using your Average Weekly Wage (AWW).You apply quarterly, so every 3 months you apply in order to receive monthly benefits for that Quarter.

There are a few ways to qualify, so please call us to discuss your case, to see which would be the best route for your to apply. Please refer to DWC form 52 for your SIBS application. The insurance carrier and/or Division of WC should have mailed this to you ahead of time.

If you are claiming a total inability to work, this one by far can be the most difficult since if any doctor states that you are able to perform some type of work, even if it’s sedentary, you must look for work. Please refer to form DWC 52. It is very important that you fill in each space regarding your job search. In addition please keep these objectives in mind: (a) Search for jobs that are within your work restrictions. For example, do not apply for a heavy labor position, if your restrictions state, “no lifting, bending, or kneeling.” (b) Be sure that the contact person is someone with hiring capabilities, meaning do not put a clerk or an employee that basically has no say-so regarding matters of hiring; (c) Be sure you have a number to the contact person, because the carrier will want to verify with that person that you did apply for a position with that particular company (please refer to form DWC 52); (d) Even if the company is not hiring at that time, leave a job application with them anyways. Be sure to check “not hiring” in the results column; (e) You MUST have the correct number of work searches each week. We can assist you in locating this information, please call us.

If in fact there are no doctors that indicate that you are able to work, your doctor must provide a narrative report that indicates the reasons that you have a total inability to work. If this letter is not sufficient, it may lead to a denial of your request.

Important: Please contact the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services regarding any programs that you may be qualified for. If you refuse to cooperate with services offered by the DARS, you will lose entitlement to SIBs. Their number is 800-628-5115, please give them a call today, it costs nothing, and you can at least enroll and get your information in their system.

Although you may be eligible to apply, it is not an automatic right to receive SIBs. Often times you must fight for these benefits. Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or desire additional information.

Call Bailey & Galyen today at 844-402-2992 for a free initial phone consultation!

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Can I lose my job while I am out on Workers’ Comp?

Worker’s CompensationIn most circumstances, yes. Your employer may lay you off, terminate your employment, or place you on FMLA while you are off on workers’ compensation. Texas is an at-will state, therefore an employer may release you from their employment at will… basically for any reason, in most cases.

FMILA – If you received a letter indicating that they are placing you on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), your employer is guaranteeing you your job back but only if you are able to return to work full duty by the date indicated on the letter (usually a 12 week period). If you are unable to return to work by that date, your position will be terminated.

Lay Off – If you are laid off while you are completely off work, you cannot collect unemployment benefits unless and until you are released to work. You cannot collect unemployment and WC benefits at the same time.

Termination – If you are unable to return to work, your employer may terminate your employment at any time in most cases.

Please note, that an employer may not terminate you for filing a work comp claim, as this may be a case for wrongful termination.

Call Bailey & Galyen today at 844-402-2992 for a free initial phone consultation!

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IS MY INJURY SEVERE ENOUGH TO REPORT?

Always always always report your injury! No matter how minor. A lot of people think, “Let me see if it will get better.” This is the wrong idea. I have had clients get a scratch, and think nothing of it, until they are in the hospital weeks later due to an uncontrollable infection requiring amputation of the affected body part!

By law, you have THIRTY (30) days to report your injury to your employer from the date that you realized you sustained a work related injury. So the sooner the better, since one of the first issues that will arise is “What took you so long to report it?” If you do not report your injury to your employer within 30 days of knowing about it, you will be barred from filing a work comp case. There would be nothing an attorney could do to help you at this point.

What and how should you go about reporting your injury? You must report it to someone that is higher-up than you. Not a co-worker. It must be a foreman, boss, supervisor and even HR. Keep proof of when and to whom you reported the injury to. If it’s verbally, you can always have the employer that comes back and says “Nope, you never told me about it, ” and then it becomes a spitting contest as to who said what to whom, and there is no proof!

Here are some ways to report your injury (no matter how minor):

  1. Notify your employer in writing in a way that you have proof that they were notified (via fax, email, hand delivery…anything with confirmation)
  2. Notify your employer in person but make sure that there are other people present to “witness” it.
  3. Of course, if necessary, go to the doctor and bring the doctor’s note to your employer if applicable.

When you do notify them, you must clearly indicate that you suffered an injury from work. Merely stating “my back hurt this morning, I am going to see the doctor” or calling in sick the next day, does not work! You must be specific and notify them of when, how and what happened. Never assume that they “knew” what you meant.

These are just a few ways to be sure you effectively notified your employer. If you have questions, please always keep us in mind, as we are always here to help!

Contact Us

As you can see, a year worth of driving to your doctor’s appointments can certainly add up! To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you

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Are you eligible for mileage reimbursement for attending doctor’s appointments?

Going back and forth to your doctors’ visit can take time and money for fuel. Especially when you have therapy, that meets 3, 4 sometimes 5 times a week! In some cases, Workers’ Comp. will reimburse you for mileage for doctors visits that are further than 30 miles one way.

Having said that, there is a catch. If the Insurance carrier can locate a facility that could have provided you the same treatment within that 30 miles, they do not have to pay you for the mileage. What this means is, people that live in rural areas would have a better chance of claiming mileage because there are not many doctors available to you so you have to drive pretty far in order to get to a doctor. If you live in big cities like Dallas or Fort Worth it’s a little bit more difficult since most certainly there are doctors within 30 miles of your residence that “could have” provided you medical treatment. I say “could have,” since “would they” is not the standard.

You would need to file your request for mileage reimbursement on a DWC form 48, and you would need to submit it in a way that allows for a confirmation that it was received by the adjuster. The adjuster has 45 days to pay or dispute the request. If you get neither response and it’s after 45 days then they must pay the reimbursement requested. Do know, you have one year from the date of the visit to submit mileage reimbursement requests. The current rate I believe is .54 cents per mile.

Contact Us

As you can see, a year worth of driving to your doctor’s appointments can certainly add up! To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you

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What is Compensable vs Non-compensable Injuries in a Workers’ Compensation Case

If you have an accepted workers’ compensation claim, ‘compensable injury’ is something you need to know. If the insurance carrier acknowledges and accepts that you sustained a work-related injury, compensable injury is the actual injury that they have accepted and will cover medical treatment for…the rest of your life.

Non-compensable injury, are injuries they do not accept as being caused by the work-related incident. They will not cover nor pay for any medical treatment or diagnosis they have not accepted.

How do you know what injuries are covered? The carrier must file a ‘Plain Language Notice’ (PLN) form that disputes the injuries that they feel are not part of the compensable injury. You and your doctor should receive this in the event there is a dispute over what injuries are compensable(accepted) or non-compensable (disputed).

The carrier will often accept a strain/sprain but deny that a tear or a herniated disc is not related and deem it “pre-existing.” You will be appalled at the numerous reasons/times that they deny the more serious injuries! You will probably say, “Pre-existing?! I’ve NEVER had any problems with my [insert body part] in my life! How is it pre-existing!!!?”

Anytime you feel that the insurance carrier is not covering all your injuries, you need to seek assistance at once. Lifetime medical benefits are at stake and all injuries suffered from your work related accident should be made compensable.

Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you

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Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney

One of my favorite things on social media is the pictures of the special cake, cupcake or project that shows a perfect example and then the not so perfect attempt to copy it. The children’s animated or puppet character cake looks amazing when the professional has produced it, but the amateur attempt barely resembles it. You may have had that experience with following a recipe. You think you have all the information you need to recreate a dish or bakery item you liked, but “epic fail” best describes the result. What happens is that we may not have had all the ingredients or in the right proportions or in the right order or mixed correctly. There may be timing issues and temperature settings that are difficult to produce. It may be that the person who produces a consistently excellent product knows some things that we don’t know.

I counsel with people who have experienced that same “epic fail” on a daily basis. I can sure relate to what they’re going through. Many times I’ve thought I could produce a product or follow a recipe only to be disappointed. It has very little to do with intelligence or character. The fact is that experienced professionals can do things I am unable to. Going online and botching a recipe costs me a little time and a little money. Going online and attempting to practice law can cost a whole lot more. Here’s to making mistakes in the kitchen we can laugh about and possibly put down the disposal, and seeking wise counsel for professional services.

Every adult needs at least some basic estate planning. Contact us for experienced professional help with your Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney.

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Are you behind on your mortgage? Are you scared of losing your home to foreclosure?

Let’s talk about your options; call us!! Bankruptcy is a sure fire solution!!

Life happens. Right in the middle of living the “American Dream”, and in your wonderful home, suddenly you suffer an illness, job loss, or major unexpected expense. You fall financially behind. You become late on your mortgage and begin to receive escalation letters, or even a notice of foreclosure! It’s frightening to think you will lose your home!

The most important thing you must do at such a time is act fast! Contact us at 844-402-2992 and let us help you save your home. You can enter into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which will allow you to pay back your mortgage arrears over time. It can be a life saver.

Foreclosure begins after a homeowner falls behind on the mortgage payments and the lender begins the process of selling your home at auction. You may still be living in the home – but if sold, you would no longer be the owner. You would have to relocate. You may also owe the difference between your original note balance and some low sales price from auction. If this has happened already, then you can still file a bankruptcy to help eradicate that debt.

If you have been noticed of foreclosure, there are many steps you can take to work out your loan to avoid the foreclosure, perhaps a loan modification, or a forbearance of payments, or a simple payment plan. Often though, these alternatives are not available. If not, then you need to consult with bankruptcy counsel and prepare yourself for a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

When you file your chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court immediately issues an injunction order that includes the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay forces your mortgage lender and other creditors to immediately HALT any collection activities whatsoever, including a foreclosure. If your home is scheduled for auction, it will be immediately halted once your bankruptcy is filed.

While you are in your chapter 13, you will have to pay a portion of your income each month to the chapter 13 trustee AND you will have to stay current on your monthly mortgage payment as it comes due. If you fall behind in your post-petition obligations, it may become more challenging to keep your home. You must be able to afford to maintain your payments as you go forward. You must be committed. We are more than happy to help you legally navigate this commitment!

Again, please know that there is HELP for you if you are in foreclosure; please do not wait to contact us so that we can help you save your home!

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Are you receiving the $895.00 Maximum Weekly Income Benefit Rate?

Very often the insurance carrier will pay based on a 40 hour work week, based on what they think your hourly rate is. Within 30 days of reporting your injury, your employer shall provide to the insurance carrier a form DWC -3 that indicates what your gross wages were for 13 weeks before your injury. You should always ask for a copy of this form from the adjuster so that you can review it for accuracy. Even if you worked only one day on the job, the Employer must provide this form to the adjuster. In those circumstances (where you didn’t work a full 13 weeks prior to the injury), you definitely want to contact us so that we can review for your maximum entitlement is.

Each year, the DWC provides for what the maximum income benefit rates are according to your date of injury. Again, a very careful review of the form DWC 3 often times reveals mistakes in the calculation of your weekly benefit amounts. This is something that you would want an attorney to assist you with to ensure you are being paid the correct amount. Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $895.08. Call Bailey & Galyen today at 844-402-2992 if you have any concerns about the amount you are being paid weekly.

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Affidavits of Support – Income

Affidavits of Support can be very tricky to deal with and I would suggest getting an immigration attorney if there is any confusion at all.

Affidavits of Support come up most often when a family member would like to petition another family member for permanent residency in the United States. Under the rules, the sponsor must make the equivalent of 125% of the poverty guidelines. The number will vary depending on how many dependants are in the household.

One of the most common questions is what income can be used for an Affidavit of Support.

Normally you take the income that you take from working, however other income can be used as well. If you have income from any of the following sources, you can include this income: alimony, child support, dividend or interest income, welfare, retirement income, and unemployment through the current year. Income from the person who you are petitioning for will not count unless they are working legally.

A joint sponsor or assets that you own can also be used to qualify you if your income does not meet the 125% of the poverty guidelines as required. Assets can make up the difference of what income is needed. It is best to contact an immigration attorney if assets need to be used. You have to use a mathematical formula depending on the relationship.

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