What to Do in an Immigration Emergency
In our current political climate, it’s a particularly scary time in the United States for immigrants. With tightening laws and crackdowns on immigration, many people are concerned about their status and residency.
While we do not handle immigration law, we’ve reached out to an immigration attorney for advice on what to do if you’re confronted about your immigration status as well as ways to protect yourself and your loved ones should your residency status ever be questioned.
- Remain Calm and Do Not Lie
Being confronted by an official can be very stressful; however, it’s important that you remain calm and answer questions honestly. Lying can make your situation much worse.
- Carry a Photo ID with You at All Times
If you do not have a North Carolina driver’s license or ID card, you should be able to use your unexpired passport.
- Do Not Carry Any False Documents
False documents are worse than no documents. It’s not worth the risk.
- Carry Proof of Residency
If you entered the U.S. lawfully, keep your I-94 form and any other evidence you might have on you at all times. If you entered without inspection (EWI), keep evidence of at least two years of continuous physical presence either with you or in your vehicle.
- Carry Your Attorney’s Business Card and Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
This will allow you to call your lawyer at any time, should you need to. And remember, you have the right to remain silent. You do not need to answer where you were born or how you arrived in the United States.
- Do Not Sign Anything You Don’t Fully Understand
ICE may present you with a paper waiving your right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge. If you’re unsure what you’re signing or why you’re signing it, do not sign.
- Create a Folder with Proof of Residence for You and Your Family Members
This folder should contain documents that show you have citizen or resident relatives as well as your own continuous physical residence in the United States, property ties, employment, documentation of any disability or medical condition, and prior immigration documents. You should keep this folder with a trusted family member or friend who has lawful status in the United States.
- If You Have Ever Been Charged with a Crime, Keep the Records
If you’ve been charged with a crime, obtain the records. Get certified copies of the charging document and disposition document, including a copy of any deferred prosecution agreement. If the record has been destroyed, you will need to get a letter from the Clerk of Court with a raised seal stating that the record has been destroyed. Keep these records with a trusted family member or friend who has lawful residence in the United States.
- Make Sure Your Name is on Your Child’s Birth Certificate
If your child is a United States citizen and your name is not on their birth certificate, you need to get the birth certificate changed to show your name.
- Make Arrangements for Your Children In Case You Are Detained
If your children are under the age of 18, you should have a plan of where they will stay if you are suddenly detained. It might be a good idea to sign legal documents such as power of attorney; however, you should not sign these documents without speaking to a lawyer first.
If you need advice on immigration issues or questions about residency, we can recommend an immigration lawyer. If you’ve been injured at work, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Workers can qualify for workers’ compensation regardless of residency status.
What If I Have No Memory of My Injury?
One of the most important pieces of advice we give to anyone involved in a workers’ compensation case is to make sure you file a report of the accident. It’s important to be as detailed as possible in order to support your workers’ compensation claim. However, what happens if you are unable to recall your injury? Is your workman’s comp case doomed for failure?
Of course, this is something that does happen, so it’s been addressed in court. If a worker falls and experiences a head injury, they might not be able to remember the exact circumstances of where, when or how they fell. This can make it difficult to prove whether or not their fall is can be compensated by workers’ compensation.
However, the courts in North Carolina have ruled that if an injured worker has an unexplained fall, then this is can be compensated by workers’ comp injury. If a worker does not remember the circumstances of their fall, they must be examined by a doctor. If the physician cannot find an explanation as to why they fell, then the employee’s injury would fall under the Unexplained Fall Law of Philbeck v. University of Michigan.
If you’ve experienced a fall at work, you deserve to have someone on your side who knows the law and can protect your rights. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you.
When Returning to Work, Make Sure to Check with Your Physician!
Returning to work after sustaining a work injury isn’t necessarily a cut-and-dry process. Every person heals at their own pace, and depending on the extent of your injury, you may need more time than someone else. However, in many cases, in order to continue receiving benefits you will need to return to work. This can be troublesome for some people, especially since workers’ comp law does not require that you’re pain-free or symptom-free prior to returning to work.
But keep this mind: While you might have to return to work, you may not have to return to the exact job you were working before your injury. If you’re still suffering from pain or other symptoms, there’s a good chance your physician has placed workplace restrictions on you. This means you will need to be given work that does not aggravate your injuries.
If your employer is willing to accommodate your restrictions, it’s important to discuss the details of your new job description with your physician. That way they can determine whether or not you are fit for that kind of work.
In many situations, your employer will be required to provide a formal job description for your doctor to approve before you can return to work. This will help ensure that you will continue to recover and not make your injuries worse after returning to your job. Working with your doctor and employer will help your transition back into the workplace go as smoothly as possible.
Don’t unnecessarily aggravate your injuries! Check with your doctor to make sure you are fit to return to work. If you have questions about your workers’ comp claim, be sure to contact the experienced attorneys at Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.
What Happens If My Employer Refuses to Acknowledge My Workers’ Comp Claim?
This is a totally reasonable concern. Not all employers are thrilled at the thought of having to be responsible (even in part) for your workplace injury. They might resist and even try to say that your claim is ridiculous and holds no water. They might refuse to follow the proper procedures that go along with your workers’ compensation claim.
Fortunately, your employer is required to acknowledge your claim. When they do so, if they wish to make the case that they are not liable for your claim, they must present that case to the Industrial Commission. They will do this by filing Form 61, which will detail the exact reason for their denial of liability.
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, you may request a hearing before the Industrial Commission. You can do this by submitting a Form 33. This is a request for a hearing. During your hearing, your case will be reevaluated and a final verdict will be reached.
This may seem like a long process, and often times it can be. But don’t worry; you will not be billed by medical providers during this time. Medical providers can only bill you after it has finally been determined that you are not compensable by workers’ compensation.
If you have any questions about filing Form 33 to request a hearing, or about your employer’s refusal to acknowledge your claim, don’t hesitate to contact one of our attorneys. With more than $275 million and awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to get you the benefits you deserve.
Help! The Insurance Carrier Isn’t Paying Me the Correct Amount!
When you’ve been injured at work, workers’ compensation is a vital part of your recovery process. You’re reliant on that money to pay for everything from food to bills to medical expenses. It’s important that the amount in your check is correct. Your weekly checks should be for 66.66% of your pay the year before your injury.
There are several reasons the amount might be incorrect. For instance, it’s possible that the insurance carrier just didn’t calculate your income correctly. In some cases we have seen, the insurance carrier has not accounted for overtime pay, bonuses, or other pay that falls outside of your normal work hours.
It should be fairly easy to clear up any mistakes by reviewing your pay records. Here are some things you should make sure you include in the calculation of your income:
- Overtime pay
- Additional allowances such as a company vehicle or travel stipends
- Any pay that falls outside of your normal work hours
If the carrier still refuses to agree to raise your pay to meet your income after reviewing your records, an attorney can help you ask for a hearing or file a motion to clear up the underpayment. Every little bit counts when you’re out of work due to an injury. Make sure you’re receiving the compensation that’s owed to you.
Hiring an attorney can help clear up any discrepancies in pay. If you’ve been injured at work, be sure to contact an attorney at Oxner + Permar. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, we have the experience to get you the benefits you deserve.