Pitfalls to Avoid When Navigating a Workers Compensation Claim

Most workers compensation cases reach a settlement before the need for a trial before a Workers Compensation Administrative Judge if you have the right lawyer. In most cases, all parties are interested in reaching an agreement before going to the Workers Compensation Appeals Board. Generally a work injury attorney with a highly respected reputation in the workers compensation field can get you the best settlement without the need for expensive trials and appeals.

An effective workers compensation attorney can help you navigate the maze of the system and bring you to a timely resolution. Workers compensation trials are much more time intensive than negotiated settlements; it can take years until a final Award is granted by the court after exhausting appeals. Therefore, settlement negotiations between the injured worker and the defendant are encouraged by the court. There are several pitfalls that need to be avoided when negotiating closure to a work injury case by your workers compensation attorney.

Unless you are a work injury attorney, insurance adjuster, or you are absolutely sure you are knowledgeable in the field of workers compensation representing yourself is a bad idea. Without the years of experience provided by your lawyer, you will not be able to maximize your recovery. In order to maximize your recovery and ensure that you do not waive any of your legal rights, it is advisable get a free consultation with a workers’ injury attorney.

Choosing the wrong work injury lawyer can be disastrous to your case. Most people hire a lawyer with the biggest advertising billboard or the most awesome television commercial however it is extremely unlikely that lawyer will actually be the one representing you. It is best to hire a local respected work injury attorney, from a well-established work injury law firm, who specializes in on the job injuries.

When you are injured at work, request medical attention and report the incident. If it’s other than first aid, document your injury or will be used against you later in your work injury case. When those who have suffered work injuries fail to get timely medical treatment, the compensation claims adjuster or the defense work comp lawyer will use this against you and argue that your work related injury was minimal.

Communicating with the insurance company is also a bad idea. They are not your friends. They are there to save money and pay you as little. The adjuster and defense attorney will be experienced in often times be injured worker will say things to the insurance adjuster that are used against them. Work injury victims should allow their lawyer to handle all communications and be present at all times to represent you when negotiating with the defense. Oftentimes the insurance claims adjuster may seem friendly and concerned about your on-the-job injuries, remember that you are dealing with a trained professional whose sole purpose is to protect the employer and the insurance company.

The Development of International Labour Standards and Their Increasing Influence

Until the 1990s, policy makers, legislators, industrial relations practitioners and commentators did not give any attention to the role of international standards in the development of labor law. However, there is increasing acceptance around the world that the principles expressed in the International Labour Organisation’s fundamental documents can be used as a reference point for the development of legislation and policy frameworks for labour law in different countries including the United States. Labour standards adopted under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation have had a number of influences on the development of the labor law systems of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States as well as a number of other common law countries. Most notably, there increasing influence of the international labor organisation’s standards in Indian labor law.

The United Nations has promoted the adoption of a number of instruments dealing with discrimination in employment in particular which have received international attention from a number of countries. These standards focused on the elements of race, gender and age. Some of the agreements ratified by a number of countries include the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in some limited circumstances the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The International Labor organisation was founded as part of the Versailles Treaty at the end of World War I. It originally functioned as part of the league of nations system but survived the demise of this organisation and has since operated as an agency of the United Nations. There are the ‘conference’ of the ILO, the governing body and the International Labour Office. The conference is colloquially known as the ‘parliament’ of the ILO. It makes the ILO unique because its decision making processes are not the exclusive right of the member states of the United Nations. It also debates matters which are of general interest to the international community as represented by non-governmental organisations. There is then the governing body of the organisation which is a bit like the cabinet or the executive of the organisation and finally there is the Labour office which is based in Geneva and operates in a similar manner to the bureaucracy of a government. In many cases, the development of international labour standards is performed through the Labour office in consultation with representatives from a number of the member of states. Through this process, the development of international labour standards is achieved.

Freedom of Association Law and Employment Contracts

One of the most important international labor standards is the freedom of association. This is expressed in Article 41 of the original constitution of the International Labour Organisation and it is considered, in that document and its successors to be at the level of a fundamental human right which in the context of labour law is associated with the right of the workers to assemble and form labor organisations. It also appears to be universal that there must be a level of respect and observance of the right to freedom of association by employers for workers in order for economies to function effectively in developed and developing countries.

Interestedly, also at the international level there is the operation of the international labour organisation’s special procedures for inquiring into an alleged failure to respect these principles. The first of these procedures is the Fact Finding and Conciliation Commission on Freedom of Association. This first procedure appears to have suffered from under utilisation and now appears to have been relegated to the role of dealing with complaints against countries that are members of the United Nations but not of the International Labour Organisation. The second major procedure in operation is the Committee on Freedom of Association. This committee has remained active and engaged in the purpose that it was originally envisaged for. It has 9 sitting member states and has examined nearly 3000 complaints since its establishment in 1951. The committee has heard a number of complaints relating to the breach of the principle of freedom of association. The committee will hear the complaints from a variety of sources including employers and employee organisations. However, there is a need to notice that a state is only bound by the terms of the committee’s decision if the State has ratified conventions number 87 and 98. However, the United States has not ratified these conventions and is therefore only subject only to the jurisdiction of the committee rather than the conciliation commission.

The United States has always had an active interest in the International Labor organisation from the time of its formation to the present time. However, there are a number of issues which prevent the deep implementation of the principles of the International Labor Organsiation in the United States. The bulk of the jurisdictional requirements for labor laws in America are dealt with at state level with only a handful of employment matters, most notably in the area of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and age at federal level. There is therefore only limited application of the principles of freedom of association as a human right in the labor laws of the United States.