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The Accidental Lawyer

The Accidental Lawyer

By Kate Kirsch
Welcome to The Accidental Lawyer. I'm Kate Kirsch, I've been an Attorney for over 25 years in the State of New York. Join me every week as I share Workman's Compensation cases that may be similar to something that happened to you and could help you decide if you need to seek legal advice.
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Welcome to The Accidental Lawyer Podcast

The Accidental Lawyer

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Joe-"Breaking Down Voluntary Removal from the Labor Market"
Voluntary Removal from the Labor Market. What is it? Why is it so important? Why is it so tricky to navigate? This week’s episode of The Accidental Lawyer, Attorney Kate Kirsch takes us through Joe’s look for work and what is “required” by him presently. There are 3 elements he must do in order to continue receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits. Kate takes us through these 3 steps. They all take place simultaneously, and they all MUST be done exactly as stated or risk losing your benefits. It will be aggravating and be an inconvenient for sure, but all of them must be done. If you have recently been injured, or an injured worker going through the Workers Compensation system right now… download this episode for some very important and helpful information. Don’t risk losing your benefits! Host: Kate Kirsch Links: NY State Workers Compensation Board – Labor Market Attachment Career One Stop Center New York State-VESID All About VESID
16:07
June 26, 2020
George Floyd and Bias
With so much happening in the world right now Attorney Kate Kirsch, The Accidental Lawyer, takes a break from our story of Joe. You can’t turn on the TV, social media, or the internet without seeing the frustration with people over what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis. Bias exists, whether or not we want to see it…or admit it. This week Kate exams such biases that exist in the New York Workers Compensation system. If we are finally going to address biases as an intelligent society, then let’s leave no stone unturned…including the New York Workers’ Compensation system. The system is flawed, it does have biases, and now is the time to act. This is an important episode whether you are somehow involved with the Workers Compensation system, or just someone going through the process yourself. It’s time to fix things. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: George Floyd NY State Workers’ Compensation Board
08:28
June 12, 2020
Joe-"Voluntary Removal From The Labor Market"
In this episode of The Accidental Lawyer, Joe attends another hearing. The judge quickly orders and sets another date for both sides to supply deposition transcripts from both Doctors to help the Judge determine the degree of disability, and to rule on Joe’s injured shoulder. Finally, Joe will get some answers in his case. Will this bode well for Joe though? Tune in and find out. Also, this week the carrier raises the issue of “Voluntary Removal from the Labor Market” to Joe. What does that mean? In short, Joe needs to get a job. What does that entail though? Attorney Kate Kirsch walks us through this and what your responsibilities are in seeking a job to maintain receiving Workers Compensation benefits. If you are going through this process right now, please download this week’s episode, listen, and learn. Pulled from The Accidental Lawyer’s email inbox this week, is a question from listener Nicki. Her mailman at her apartment complex keeps putting her mail in the wrong box, so she keeps missing her checks from the insurance company. Nicki wants to know if direct deposit is an option. Kate walks us though some options that “may” be available to Nicki or anyone currently receiving checks. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: NY State Workers Compensation Board – Labor Market Attachment Career One Stop Center
11:39
May 29, 2020
Joe-"Virtual Hearing, Surgery, and another IME"
This week’s episode of The Accidental Lawyer takes us inside Joe’s second hearing, a “virtual hearing” at that. Especially with COVID-19 still hanging over us, these virtual hearings are becoming more of a presence in the legal process. Attorney Kate Kirsch walks us through the steps of Joe’s virtual hearing. We also learn about “why” each claimant must make an affirmation at every hearing. Important information to know! Not too long after, Joe finally receives the surgery he so desperately needs. Afterwards his Doctor found that he would be totally disabled for a minimum of three months. A letter arrives in the mail just a bit after from the insurance carrier requesting yet another Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) by their Doctor. Learning from his last IME, Joe takes greater caution not to make the mistakes he made at his last one. The report arrives not too long after the IME…does it contain more bad news for Joe? Download this week’s episode and find out. Mari emails The Accidental Lawyer this week with a question. Can she travel outside the country for an extended period of time to take care of her sick mother? Kate gives Mari important advice that anyone should heed if you are going through the Workers Compensation system. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: NY State Workers Compensation Board – Definitions NY State Workers Compensation Board – Virtual Hearings Overview
15:51
May 22, 2020
Joe-"The IME Report Arrives"
On this week’s episode of The Accidental Lawyer, The IME report arrives from Joe’s visit to the carrier’s Doctor. Was this report good news for Joe, or bad news? Was his surgery approved? Why was his degree of disability completely different with this Doctor? What will happen with his shoulder injury? Attorney Kate Kirsch explains the report Joe receives and what are his options are now. But first, we learn about when payments are due after a notice of decision is issued. When you are owed money, you want to know “when” that money will arrive”. Kate explains the process and “when” the clock starts for those payments to be issued. Download this week’s episode and find out what happens to Joe. Can I go golfing?  Yes, that’s this week question from The Accidental Lawyer’s email. Listener John has been stuck inside due to COVID-19. As you may have heard, some States are opening up golf courses, including his, and he is itching to go. Find out Kate’s answer to John’s question, and a good rule of thumb you should ask yourself if you have questions about doing activities like this. Stay safe! Host: Kate Kirsch Links: NY State Workers Compensation Board – Understanding the Claims Process NY State Workers Compensation Board - FAQ NY Times Article “Exams of Injured Workers Fuel Mutual Mistrust”
14:07
May 15, 2020
Joe-"Stipulations and the IME Visit"
It seems like so much time has passed since Joe’s accident at work. Debt has been piling up, Marie has been forced to take a job to make ends meet, and the wheels of justice barely seem to be moving. Finally, in this week’s episode of the Accidental Lawyer, some good news appears on the horizon for Joe. Download and listen this episode as Attorney Kate Kirsch educates us on what a “stipulation” is and takes us through Joe’s IME (Independent Medical Evaluation). How does the IME go? Does the carrier’s Doctor address Joe’s injuries? What is the whole process like? If you are just starting a Worker’s Compensation claim or going through the process right now. Listen and learn, from this week’s episode of The Accidental Lawyer. Another email question arrives from listener Kathy. She has been cleared for “light duty work” from her Doctors, but her old company won’t take her back. What can she do? If you listened to Episode 8 of the Accidental Lawyer, you may remember how Kate talked to us about “Ready, Willing, and Able”. This comes into play again. Kathy has options! Download this episode for the answer to this question, as well as what is happening in Joe’s case. Stay safe! Host: Kate Kirsch Links: Stipulation Agreement Worker’s Compensation Terms - IME: Independent medical examination #8 – Returning to Work/Unemployment Insurance: Ready, Willing, and Able
12:04
May 8, 2020
Joe-"What are C8.1's and an IME?"
On this episode of the Accidental Lawyer, Attorney Kate Kirsch takes us through “Joe’s” notices he receives in the mail. Arriving in his mailbox this week, was a C8.1 and an IME request. Both of these are extremely common and almost expected these days when you file a Workers Compensation claim. A C8.1 is basically an objection form for treatment by the carrier. An IME, which has briefly been touched on in previous episodes, is an Independent Medical Evaluation performed by the insurance carriers Doctor. They very rarely work in your favor, but you MUST attend them or risk losing your benefits. What do you do when these arrive, can you dispute the findings from your IME? Kate gives us the answers. Attorney Kate Kirsch answers another question from her email box as well. Listener Dave’s back was hurt at work a couple months ago. He doesn’t have a primary care doctor, so he has not seen anyone about the injury. The pain has been so bad, he finally had to stop working. Can he still receive Worker’s Compensation benefits? Download this episode for the answer to this question, as well as what is happening in Joe’s case. Stay safe! Host: Kate Kirsch Links: New York State C8.1 Form Worker’s Compensation Terms - IME: Independent medical examination
15:60
May 1, 2020
Joe-"Ready, Willing, AND Able"
Ready, willing, and able. Three important words in this episode of The Accidental Lawyer. A formal letter arrives from Joe’s employer, and it is NOT good news. Joe’s employer informs him that he has been let go from his position. Attorney Kate Kirsch walks us through COBRA, as well as if you can receive unemployment benefits if you’ve been let go after a work-related illness or injury This is an eye-opening episode for anyone going through the Worker’s Compensation process right now. The illusion that being on Worker’s Compensation is like a paid vacation, is far from the reality. Listen, and learn. Also, The Accidental Lawyer listener Dale writes in with a question for Attorney Kate Kirsch. He recently lost his “light duty” position due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. He wants to know if he can qualify for unemployment benefits as well as his “comp benefits”. Download this episode for the answer to this, as well as what is happening with Joe’s case. Stay safe! Host: Kate Kirsch Links: COBRA Unemployment Help Worker’s Compensation Terms - IME: Independent medical examination
11:26
April 24, 2020
Joe-"The First Workers Compensation Board Hearing Part 2"
Today on The Accidental Lawyer, we are with Joe and his wife again at the Worker’s Compensation hearing.  The attorney for Joe argues with the Judge on his behalf trying to get the treatment Joe so desperately needs. After hearing his attorney speak, he thought for sure the Judge would side with them. However, the attorney for the carrier kept saying something about “medical treatment guidelines”. What does that mean? Also, the carrier’s attorney said that the treatment was “experimental”. But this treatment helped Joe?  What does the Judge decide, and did they get the variance requested in the MG-2 form? Download this week’s Episode of The Accidental Lawyer and find out what happens, as well as other situations Joe is now placed in. Kate also picks another question this week to answer from email. Charles is currently collecting Worker’s Compensation benefits, but the Judge has directed him to look for another job. He has found one, but it pays significantly less. Does Charles need to take this job? Hint…it’s a good news/bad news situation. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: New York State Medical Treatment Guideline Form Types NY Worker’s Compensation Board Glossary-Tentative Rate (TR)
11:45
April 17, 2020
Joe-"The First Workers Compensation Board Hearing"
In this episode of The Accidental Lawyer, it’s the day “Joe” has been waiting for…his first Worker’s Compensation Board hearing. Will everything get resolved, like Joe’s much needed treatment’s and benefits. Attorney Kate Kirsch walks us through a typical first hearing, using “Joe” as an example. There are lots of terms and acronyms that both the Judge and Attorneys use, it all seems confusing and overwhelming. Kate puts us at ease and explains what is going on during this hearing. Will Joe finally get resolution? Kate also answers an email question from listener Sue. Not all Worker’s Compensation claims are from accidents at work. Some are by injuries caused by repetitive motions while performing a job over time. Are repetitive stress injuries like what happened Sue covered by Worker’s Compensation? Click the play button on this episode and find out about this, and what happens at “Joe’s” hearing. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: 15 Common Worker’s Compensation Abbreviations NY Worker’s Compensation Board Glossary All About Independent Medical Examination All About Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
13:43
April 10, 2020
Joe-"Average Weekly Wage/COVID-19 Update"
This week Attorney Kate Kirsch goes into how “Average Weekly Wage” is calculated in a Worker’s Compensation Claim. She uses the story of “Joe” as an example. Joe FINALLY receives his first check. Was it the amount he thought it would be? Download this episode and find out. Kate also gives us an update on how Worker’s Compensation Claims are being processed in New York State during the COVID 19/Coronavirus pandemic. The status of virtual hearings, temporary changes to policy, and other items of interest that could affect your Worker’s Compensation Claim are discussed. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: New York Worker’s Compensation/Average Weekly Wage CDC/COVID-19 Updates
11:06
April 3, 2020
Navigating Your Worker's Compensation Claim Through Coronavirus/Covid 19
The Accidental Lawyer - Episode 4 With the Coronavirus / COVID-19 dominating the headlines, Attorney Kate Kirsch talks  us through how this pandemic is affecting both new and ongoing Worker’s Compensation claims. If you are an injured worker starting the process, or currently in the middle of a claim…this is a must listen! Everything from hearings, individual medical evaluations, receipt of benefits, Doctor’s appointments, and more are being affected by this outbreak. Much like the “normalcy” in our daily lives coming to a grinding halt, the Worker’s Compensation system is slowing down as well. Currently, there are still things that can be done, and Kate walks us through it all. Download or play this episode of The Accidental Lawyer to get some answers. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources Individual Medical Evaluation/IME Telemedicine
09:08
March 27, 2020
Joe-Part 2 "Getting Treatment Approved"
The Accidental Lawyer - Episode 3 Attorney Kate Kirsch continues the hypothetical Worker’s Compensation situation of Joe. Joe has been placed into the overwhelming world that is the Worker’s Compensation System. In today’s episode we find out if he can continue his treatment, as well as if it gets approved and covered. Kate also answers a question from her email box. Listener Mark wants to know if an injury he received at work a couple weeks ago qualifies for a Worker’s Compensation claim. Some time has passed, so the question is…has too much time elapsed since the injury? Download this week’s episode and find out what happens. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: Worker’s Compensation-US Dept of Labor What To Do If You Are Injured At Work
11:40
March 20, 2020
Worker's Compensation for Coronavirus, Covid-19, and other Pandemics
Ripped from the headlines…what happens if you contract the Coronavirus, COVID-19, or any other pandemics (H1N1, SARS, Ebola, etc) while at work? Will it qualify for Worker’s Compensation? Face it, certain jobs put you at the front lines of pandemics like COVID 19: Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, even traveling reps. No one wants to stop working, but some jobs put you in harm’s way of pathogens more than others. Attorney Kate Kirsch helps us navigate this complex issue. Do you have any recourse if something happens? Listen to this episode and find out. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: CDC Pandemics COVID-19 47 Jobs That Put Your Overall Health at Risk
08:15
March 20, 2020
Joe-Part 1 "The Nurse Case Manager"
In this week’s episode, Attorney Kate Kirsch explores the hypothetical situation of Joe, who was injured at work. Can Joe sue his employer? Who pays for his pain and suffering? How can he navigate the complex Worker’s Compensation System, F/K/A Worker’s Comp? Finally, how will Joe deal with the aggressive Nurse Case Manager? What are his rights? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this installment of The Accidental Lawyer. Host: Kate Kirsch Links: Pain and Suffering Worker’s Compensation FKA Worker’s Comp Nurse Case Manager
12:35
March 20, 2020
Welcome to The Accidental Lawyer Podcast
Welcome to The Accidental Lawyer Podcast. Have you been injured at work, or not quite sure if you qualify for Workman's Compensation? I'm Attorney Kate Kirsch. I've practiced for over 25 years in the State of New York. Join me every week, as I share Workman's Compensation cases that may be similar to something that happened to you at work. Some of these are common, some are not. These stories may help you decide if you need to seek legal advice. Don't forget to hit the subscribe button!  
02:40
February 19, 2020