It Was My Fault That I Got Hurt At Work. Can I Still Get Workers’ Compensation?
Many clients ask for my guidance to determine whether or not they qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if it was their own fault that they were injured on the job.
The answer is Yes! But it is a common misunderstanding to think the opposite. North Carolina is a “no-fault” system, meaning it does not matter if it was your fault that you got hurt at work you are still eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
There are, however, a couple exceptions of which you should be aware:
- You are not entitled to compensation if the injury was caused by your intoxication or illegal drug use (note: this exception does not apply if the employer provides the alcohol). The burden is on the employer to show that the employee was considerably impaired and that the impairment is what actually caused the injury.
- You are not entitled to compensation if your injury was the result of your intentional act to injure or kill yourself or someone else.
What if the reason for your injury was that you were not following safety rules? Good news. Even in that instance, you are still due workman’s comp. But keep this in mind: Even though an employee’s failure to follow safety rules does not keep them from getting workers’ comp benefits, it may allow the insurance company to reduce the benefits they receive by 10% due to the employee’s willful failure to comply with safety rules.
Would you like to know more about your rights in a worker’s comp case? Or do you need someone to help you navigate the process, put your mind at ease and make sure your rights are protected? At Oxner + Permar, that’s exactly why we’re here and why we love to do what we do.
North Carolina’s Ruling on The Map Act
Unless you were directly affected by it, you may not have heard of the “Map Act,” but it’s at the center of the biggest eminent domain law case in the world right now. The Map Act was originally passed in the late 80s to allow cities to put development restrictions on land that they were intending to use for future roadways—basically the government could call “dibs” on land that they wanted to use without having to put any money towards that reservation.
This may have seemed like a good idea at the time, as it would prevent new construction in areas where new roadways were planned. This meant that the city would be able to spend less money purchasing the land, and new developments wouldn’t have to be torn down in order to make way for the new road.
However, the big problem here was that it might take years or even decades for the city to be ready to actually purchase the land. Which meant it was very difficult for landowners to sell or develop their land. Land in protected areas became less valuable and, in some cases, unsalable.
Many people felt that the loss of property value was a bigger problem than the eventual cost to the cities for the price of land, so earlier this year the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the Map Act was in fact a case of the government taking private property, and the U.S. requires compensation. The state, unhappy with this outcome, appealed the Court of Appeals ruling to the North Carolina Supreme Court. The North Carolina Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals: the Map Act was in violation of the landowners’ rights.
The North Carolina Supreme Court also ordered that the landowners affected by the law receive the difference in the value of their land before and after the law was passed. It is estimated that the government will have to pay around $200 million in compensation.
When it comes to your rights, Oxner + Permar is dedicated to making sure that you are being protected. If you have any questions or concerns about your rights, be sure to contact an attorney for a free, 30-minute consultation.
NC Partial Disability Benefits: Could You Be Leaving Money On The Table?
Without an excellent attorney by your side, you could be leaving valuable benefits on the table when it comes to your partial disability claim. It happens more than you may realize.
An employee is injured at work. A claim is accepted. Medical treatment is provided—and work restrictions are honored. Eventually, he or she reaches maximum medical improvement and heads back to work.
What most people don’t realize is that they may be eligible for scheduled benefits under N.C. Gen. Stat §97-31—a partial impairment rating that determines employees who are not fully healed may receive additional benefits. Weeding through all of the particulars to determine if you are eligible for partial disability benefits can be very tricky. Consult an experienced attorney who can direct you. Oxner & Permar knows exactly how to help you and will ensure that you receive all of the benefits you are due.
If you are cleared for work, but not yet fully recovered, you may be eligible for partial disability payments. Contact Oxner + Permar for expert consultation to determine if you are due more benefits than you’ve received.
On-The-Job Injuries Are Prevalent for Healthcare Professionals. Workers’ Comp Can Help.
If you work in the healthcare industry, then you know the amount of physical labor involved is much higher than the average person might think. Especially when it comes to working with patients. In order to provide the greatest amount of care, you know it’s often necessary to be hands-on. Lifting or supporting patients can take a toll on your body, putting you at risk for injury. One of the most common injuries associated with this kind of strain is back injury.
Often times, healthcare professionals can be very focused on helping other people, and forget to look after themselves. Whether you’re a nurse, technician, or assistant, if you’ve been hurt on the job, don’t forget to file for workman’s compensation. It’s important that you’re seeking proper medical treatment and taking time to recover so that you can get back to work as quickly as possible.
We’ve worked with many clients who were injured while working in healthcare, so we have the experience to answer questions about filing for worker’s compensation as an employee of a hospital or medical facility. We know what your rights are, and we’re passionate about making sure that those who devote themselves to caring for others are being taken care of themselves.
Back injuries sustained while working as a healthcare professional are often covered under workers’ comp. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney.
Workers’ Comp Tip of the Day: Being Placed on Light Work Duty After an Injury at Work
You’ve been injured on the job, you’re out of work, and now you’re beginning to worry about your next paycheck. Did you know that when an employee becomes injured on the job, the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) encourages employers to offer a light-duty position?
Has your employer offered a light-duty position to help accommodate the fact that you’ve been hurt at work? As with every step of the workers’ comp process, make sure you handle this offer appropriately. As the injured worker, know that you are usually required to accept the light-duty position. If you don’t, you could put your workman’s comp benefits at risk.
It’s not always a cut and dry situation, though. What if your employer is unable to accommodate the restrictions placed on you because of your injury?
If you find yourself out of work—without the option of light duty employment—here is what you need to know:
- If your workers’ comp claim is accepted and benefits are being paid, chances are strong that you will continue to receive your benefits with light-duty employment.
- If you claim is d
enied or benefits are not being paid, you may be faced with finding other employment—even though you are still technically employed by your current employer.
- To help bolster your disability claim, conduct a reasonable job search for positions that fall within your restrictions.
- Contact a workers’ comp attorney to help navigate you through this process and to ensure your future right to compensation is not hindered.
As always, the knowledgeable team at Oxner + Permar are here to support you through any and all phases of the workers’ compensation process. Don’t hesitate to call for guidance. We will place you with a workers’ comp expert who knows exactly how to fight for you and make wrongs, right.