Month: June 2010

Oregon Supreme Court Allows Injured Workers to file Civil Actions Against their Employers

Injured workers who found themselves without a remedy when their work injury claims were denied were given another option when the Oregon Supreme Court issued its opinion in Smothers v. Gresham Transfer, Inc.(1) in May 2001. Terry Smothers filed an “occupational disease” claim for a lung disorder developed after exposure to fumes and mist containing … Read more

General Legal Concepts of Wrongful Death

The law concerning the death of a human being at the hands of or as a result of some negligent action or inaction by another person has historically been divided into two distinct legal categories, criminal and civil. Each state and the federal legal system has its own version of these concepts. In the criminal … Read more

Recognizing And Reporting Sexual Abuse Of Children

News media reports of sex abuse are on the rise. As the public’s interest in the subject peaks, health care professionals should be aware of their legal obligation to investigate and report suspected child sex abuse to law enforcement authorities. This office recently settled a case for a girl who was injured by sexual abuse, … Read more

The Treating Doc’s Opinion Is Key To Social Security Disability

As the treating physician, your opinion is vital to your patient’s Social Security disability claim. In fact, it may have “controlling weight” in determining the outcome of the claim. Under a 1996 policy ruling (SSR [Social Security Ruling] 96-2p), a treating physician’s medical opinion which is well-supported and not inconsistent with other substantial evidence in … Read more

Is your patient disabled due to major Joint Dysfunction?

Comprehensive Reporting for Social Security Disability Evaluation Purposes “Major joint dysfunction” is disabling under the Social Security regulations, if certain criteria are met. (20 CFR Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1, 1.02) Major joint dysfunction must be characterized by gross anatomical deformity (such as subluxation, contracture, bony or fibrous ankylosis, instability, etc.) and chronic joint … Read more

Spinal Conditions Added To Social Security listings

“Medical equivalence” and the effects of treatment and obesity may also result in Social Security disability. Two added spinal disorders were among the changes to the Social Security musculoskeletal disability “Listings” which became effective February 2002. Arachnoiditis and pseudoclaudication, as defined and discussed in the Listings at 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 404, … Read more

Disability Not Correlated To Severity Of Liver Disease In Hepatitis C Patients

Fatigue and pain can be disabling. Many Hepatitis C patients seek Social Security disability benefits claiming fatigue and pain of disabling severity. Since fatigue and pain are largely subjective and generally not measurable by objective medical tests, this presents a challenge for those evaluating these claims – and for us as their legal representatives. Not … Read more

Is Your Diabetic Patient Disabled?

Persons who have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus are considered disabled and entitled to Social Security disability benefits if they meet or equal. certain criteria in the “Listings.” A diabetic may be “disabled” as a matter of law, if he/she has any one of four conditions resulting from diabetes: Neuropathy which is demonstrated by significant … Read more

Soft Tissue Injuries To Extremities Calling For Multiple Surgeries May Be Disabling

“Soft tissue injuries of an upper or lower extremity requiring a series of staged surgical procedures within 12 months after onset” are included among the disorders of the musculoskeletal system which are “disabling” as a matter of law under the Social Security Administration “Listings.” A patient with a soft tissue injury which interferes with the … Read more