PA Workers’ Compensation RSD And Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Attorney, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

If you have a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case involving Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, feel free to call or email Attorney Michael Cardamone of The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC for a Free Consult 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 ormyphillyworkerscomp@gmail.com  Hehas significant experience with these insidious conditions, how to handle the litigation, what testimony to elicit, and what doctors are best suited to treat them. Having CRPS or RSD is no picnic, and the added stress of trying to navigate the complicated Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation process alone will only serve to exacerbate your symptoms and stress levels. Employers and insurance companies do NOT like to admit that an injured worker has CRPS or RSD, let alone pay for it. Attorney Cardamone has several current cases involving these diagnoses and they are quite contentious as the medical experts often disagree about 1) how to diagnose it and 2) whether it’s causally related to the work injury.

Do not let your employer or insurer intimidate you into thinking that you don’t have CRPS or RSD or that it isn’t work-related. Let an experienced and Certified PA Work Comp Attorney review your case, including your medical records, to make this determination along with your treating physician.

Below is a link to information about CRPS and RSD to help you learn about the symptoms, the causes, and treatment options.

 

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

100% Work Comp, 100% For Injured Workers

 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/RSD Info

Summer 2013 Update For Pennsylvania Workplace Accident Attorney Michael W. Cardamone Of The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

The summer of 2013 is off to a great start. Here are some highlights of my practice:

-Became Certified as a Specialist In Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law after passing the very first of its kind Certification Exam. Approximately 100 attorneys across the entire state who represent injured workers like myself are now Certified Specialists. (another 75 or so attorneys who represent employers/insurers are now certified as well) While the pass rate was high, just to sit for the exam, you had to establish many credentials which indicated that a large percentage of your practice is devoted to PA Workers’ Compensation, that you have practiced in PA Work Comp for 5 plus years, had to submit copies of briefs, etc.  The exam was really challenging- in fact, virtually everyone who took the exam protested in some way because the questions were so difficult. I was one of only two attorneys in my firm to even sit for the exam. The Certification process is fantastic as it allows injured workers to see who really knows PA Work Comp Law versus the attorneys who merely dabble in it along with other types of law such as personal injury, social security disability, etc. Our niche has become complex and this Certification gives the public knowledge as to who can best maximize a PA Work Comp claim. 100% of my practice is Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation!

-I’m working on a book that I expect to be published in the Winter of 2014!

-My radio ad was aired 26 times on the area’s most reliable and listened to station- KYW News Radio 1060 over two different weekends in July 2013! I remember listening to KYW even as a kid, waiting for my grade school’s number to be called on a snowy day! It’s very cool to be part of the KYW News Radio 1060 advertising family.

-I was interviewed on the World Soccer Radio Show “Vuvuzela” by fellow work comp lawyer Eric Nash before a Union game at PPL Park!

-A charity and Philadelphia Union Supporter’s group that I’m involved with called the Sons of Ben is the centerpiece of a movie being made called the Sons of Ben- The Movie and I may appear in some of the photos and perhaps even a live scene or two from some of the games! The movie is slated to come out in January 2014. Please help spread the word- the trailers are just great! The movie isn’t just about Philadelphia Soccer- but how this great group of guys support the local community and each other. I helped fund the making of the movie and cannot wait to see it.

-Presenting a seminar for Lawline.com on July 25, 2013 on how to build a successful Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case! This is a great course for other attorneys, or injured workers, who are not well versed in PA Workers’ Comp Law but who want to learn how to build a strong case.

-Won several cases after hard fought litigation including a large case against Lowes where tens of thousands of back due wage loss, plus ongoing wage loss, was awarded for my client! The case was hotly contested from one of Pennsylvania’s top defense firms.

-Settled many cases for my clients, allowing them to move on from the stress of the PA Work Comp System. It’s a fair system and it works very well- but it’s never a picnic for injured workers who have to battle with insurers and employers who have different interests.

-Appeared in Philadelphia Magazine June 2013 Issue in the Super Lawyers- Rising Stars Section- thank you to my colleagues for voting me in for the 5th consecutive year! Next year I will turn 40 years old so I won’t qualify for the “Rising Stars” award- I’ll just have to be a regular Super Lawyer I guess. (if I get selected that is!)

Thank you for reading my blog- even if the topics may bore you at times! I try to make it practical so that injured workers and anyone in general can learn about how Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation works.

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

The Firm For Injured Workers In Pennsylvania

Should A Fatal Claim Petition Be Denied When Decedent’s Death Did Not Occur Within 300 Weeks Of The Original Work Injury?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is yes, pursuant to a Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania Opinion in Whitesell v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Staples, Inc.), No. 205 C.D. 2013 dated July 10, 2013. Decedent suffered a low back injury on October 15, 2003 while working for Staples. After two spinal surgeries, he filed a Petition to Review to challenge the originally accepted “lumbar sprain/strain” diagnoses on the Notice of Compensation Payable. The Employer agreed to amend the diagnoses to include lumbar disc disruption L4-L5 resulting in total disc arthroplasty at L4-L5. Decedent died June 13, 2010 as a result of mixed drug toxicity from medication prescribed by the treating physician. A Fatal Claim Petition was filed on June 8, 2011 and the Employer denied the allegations claiming the death did not occur within 300 weeks of the original injury as required by Section 301(c)(1) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.

The Workers’ Compensation Judge and the Appeal Board denied the Claim Petition, holding that the Fatal Claim is barred by 301(c)(1) of the Act. Decedent contended that the term “injury” for purposes of the 300 week limitation should mean the original injury in addition to any other injuries which occurred as a result of the original injury. As such, the 300 week limitation to file a death claim starts from the date that the additional injuries occurred.

The Commonwealth Court discussed Shoemaker v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board (Jenmar Corporation), 604 A.2d 1145 (Pa. Cmwlth.), appeal denied, 533 Pa. 614, 615, 618 A.2d 403, 404 (1992), and found that it cannot be meaningfully distinguished from the circumstances in the instant case. In Shoemaker, a claimant was injured in a tractor-trailer accident in February 1980, had surgeries and received blood transfusions resulting in AIDS and death in July 1987. The Fatal Claim Petition was likewise barred there, as it was here, and for the same reasons. The Court concluded that it was irrelevant that the Decedent’s work injury was legally expanded by the Work Comp Judge in 2006, and that the additional injury, even if “insidious” and not “standard”, doesn’t carve out an exception to 300 week limit.

Is this Decision fair? NO!! It was clear that Decedent’s death was causally related to the original injury.  Why does the original injury date rule the day? The drugs which caused the death were directly related to the work injury/surgery. The 300 weeks should begin to run from the most recent work-related diagnosis or injury so long as it is connected to the original injury.

If you have any questions about Pennsylvania Work Comp Law, call or email me 7 days a week.

Certified Specialist in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation

I Am On Workers’ Compensation In Pennsylvania But The Insurance Company Isn’t Paying For All My Medical Bills- What Can I Do?

First, you should call a Certified Pennsylvania Work Comp Specialist for a free consult. I am happy to provide that to you promptly, and at no charge.

There can be many reasons why the insurer in a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case may not be paying for medical bills. First, what is the controlling document? Usually, it is a Notice of Compensation Payable which describes the accepted injury. This controls until it is amended by Stipulation or Court Order. Many injured workers in Pennsylvania get lulled into a false sense of security thinking that the insurer knows their injury is a low back disc herniation, for example- when in reality, the Notice of Compensation Payable almost always says “low back strain” or “low back contusion”. This can be a technicality on which the insurer hangs it hat in taking the position that it is not obligated to pay for medical bills for treatment relating to a disc herniation. How is this remedied? Your PA Work Comp Attorney can file a Petition to Review to challenge and expand the accepted work-related diagnoses. The Petition gets assigned to a Work Comp Judge and litigation follows.

Another reason a medical bill in a Pennsylvania Work Comp case may be unpaid is because the provider may not have billed the treatment on the proper billing form. They must also send the corresponding treatment note along with the form and it must be within 30 days of the treatment. If any of these elements are not met, the insurer has no obligation to pay. Note that if an insurer pays part of a work-related treatment, the provider may not “balance bill” the injured worker- in other words, it cannot send the balance of the unpaid portion to the injured worker for payment. Its remedy here is called Fee Review.

In addition to a possible Petition to Review, the attorney may consider filing a Penalty Petition if it feels the nonpayment of the medical bill was in violation of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. However, if this issue is one of “causation”-meaning the insurer is claiming the diagnoses on the bills don’t match the accepted injury, then a Review Petition is the proper mechanism to challenge this.

Unpaid medical bills cause major stress and financial damage in many Pennsylvania Work Comp cases. The litigation process is slow but the collection efforts are fast. If you have unpaid medical bills, contact your PA Work Comp Lawyer immediately so he or she can investigate the reason why and take the appropriate steps to ameliorate the situation. If you do not have a PA Work Comp Attorney helping you, it is strongly recommended as 1) You pay nothing out of pocket, 2) Your case will be better positioned for a lump sum settlement, 3) Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation has become highly complex, and 4) Litigation can be expensive and the attorney will cover the costs.

Michael W. Cardamone- Certified Specialist in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation.

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

The Firm For Injured Workers In Pennsylvania

215-206-9068

MyPhillyWorkersComp@Gmail.com