Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

COA rejects woman’s claim that accident occurred outside chemical test period

A woman who drove drunk into a mobile home causing significant damage lost her appeal Wednesday after arguing the state’s blood draw occurred outside the three-hour window under statute and thus did not prove her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident. Elberta N. Jackson was convicted of Class A misdemeanors operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration…

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Justices to weigh limits on worker rights to sue employers

The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether employers can require workers to sign arbitration agreements that prevent them from pursuing group claims in court. The justices agreed to consider an issue affecting millions of workers who have signed forms waiving rights to bring class-action lawsuits over unpaid overtime, wage disputes and other workplace clashes. Businesses have increasingly…

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Study: Opioid prescriptions greatly extend workers’ comp duration

A study on painkillers and how they affect a workers’ compensation claim found that an injured worker who’s prescribed opioids often stays that on disability much longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical providers wrote nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions in 2013, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of…

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Cost-shifting between workers comp and Social Security disability disputed

The idea that the costs for caring for injured workers have shifted to Social Security Disability Insurance is being disputed by a recent study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. The study, released March 26, is focused on the interaction between SSDI and workers compensation benefits and explores cost-shifting that may occur between the two programs. “There…

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Board Unveils New Case Manager Guidelines, 3.1 Reporting Standards

The Workers' Compensation Board of Indiana has released new guidelines for nurse case managers and will soon unveil new protocols for disputed claim settlement documents. With fewer hearings and more settlements, "the legal environment surrounding Indiana workers' compensation cases is changing," the board announced this week. Documents submitted for approval in disputed claims, also known as "C" claims, will need to go the…

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As OSHA Rules Change, Employers Must Plan Ahead

When it comes to workplace injury claims filed, “overall it’s gotten better,” but preventable illnesses and injuries are still costing employers billions of dollars, and employees their lives. So said Lisa Weis, compliance assistance specialist with the Cleveland office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Weis addressed 230 members of the Mahoning Valley Safety Council at its…

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Illinois Senate Again Passes Workers’ Comp Reform Measure

The Illinois Senate has approved restrictions on insurance companies writing workers’ compensation policies. The plan that passed 34-21 on April 17 is identical to one Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed last year. The Republican has complained for years that workers’ compensation costs prevent economic growth. Democrats point out they restricted payouts and rules on worker injuries in 2011 but insurance companies…

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Menards sues Georgia firm over injury claims related to Indiana stores’ moving walkways

Eau Claire, Wis.-based Menards is suing a Georgia company for personal injury claims tied to moving walkways installed in some of the home improvement chain’s stores. Menards filed the lawsuit last week in Eau Claire County Court, alleging that ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. didn’t live up to its warranty and other parts of a contract to install the walkways intended to…

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