Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Me When It Comes to Natural Disasters?
Living on the coast of North Carolina has so many benefits. There’s the wonderful weather, diverse wildlife, and proximity to the beach. Even with all these positives, things aren’t always bright and sunny. Hurricanes can pose a huge threat to infrastructure and safety. While we always do our best to be prepared for such disasters and recommend that people don’t work when conditions are bad, sometimes injuries are inevitable. So what happens if you’re injured at work due to a natural disaster? Are you covered by workers’ compensation?
The good news is, yes! Workers’ compensation will cover you in the event of a natural disaster at work — and also in cases of workplace violence and terrorist attacks. Workers’ compensation is intended to protect you from just about any kind of work-related injury, and while injury from these scenarios might not be part of your everyday job, you are exposed to them because you are at work.
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury due to a natural disaster while at work, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Our goal is to partner with you every step of the way to make sure that your rights are being protected and that you’re receiving the benefits that you deserve.
If you’ve been injured at work, be sure to contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.
Why is it a Good Idea to Hire a Board Certified Specialist?
I recently had a client ask me, “What’s so special about Board Certified attorneys? Aren’t all attorneys board certified?” Interestingly enough, not all attorneys are Board Certified. Board Certification has nothing to do with certification to become an attorney. It is, in fact, an additional achievement that an attorney can strive for.
In order to become Board Certified, an attorney has to have a certain amount of experience. They have to have been practicing for at least five years in the area that they’re practicing. For instance, you wouldn’t be considered if you’d spent four years practicing family law and only one year practicing workers’ compensation. After they meet their experience requirements, they can apply to become board certified.
Their work will be reviewed extensively, and finally, they will have to take a day-long written examination. The idea behind Board Certification is continued education. The attorney must be committed to proving that they’re willing to continue learning and studying their field.
Attorneys who obtain Board Certification have to renew their certification every 5 years. This ensures that even once becoming Board Certified, an attorney’s education will continue.
So when you hire a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation specialist, you know you’re hiring someone who has been thoroughly vetted and is well educated in their field. You can bet that attorney is willing to work hard and tirelessly to make sure that your case is given the proper attention, and that a fair outcome is obtained. At Oxner + Permar, we’re proud to say that we have seven Board Certified attorneys on our team.
If you have any questions about what it means to be Board Certified or about your workers’ compensation claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation.
A New Addition Means New Jobs and More Claims
You may have heard that the Huntersville hospital is looking to expand its capacity. Novant Health is seeking a $45.6 million grant to add a 3-story addition to the Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center. The hospital is currently functioning at or close to capacity, and hospital officials worry that if need continues at this rate, they won’t be able to accommodate all of the patients who come through the doors.
An expansion of the facility would also mean an increase in the number of jobs the center offers as well as those jobs needed to carry out such a project. The Huntersville Medical Center will need to recruit more nurses, and in order to complete the addition in the first place, construction jobs will be need to be filled. While it’s exciting to have added jobs, it’s also important to be mindful of the possibility of injuries. Medical professionals and construction workers are both fields that see an awful lot of workers’ compensation claims.
If you work in either of these fields, make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect yourself at work. Are you following proper safety guidelines and regulations? Are you properly equipped and trained to handle the machinery? Are you seeking assistance when trying to lift people or objects that are too heavy for you to handle alone?
Even if you’re following best practices and safety guidelines, accidents still happen. If you’re injured at work, you should report your injury and take the necessary steps to file for workers’ compensation. Your employer takes out workers’ comp insurance in order to cover you in these situations. Make sure you’re protecting your rights, and claiming the benefits that you deserve.
Hospital workers and construction workers are professions with a high number of workers’ comp claims. If you’re injured at work, be sure to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney who will fight for you.
What is an Occupational Disease?
When working certain jobs, you’re going to be exposed to certain dangers that you might not be exposed in everyday life. For instance, if you’re an electrician, chances are your probability of experiencing an electric shock is higher than that of someone who isn’t an electrician. The same is true of occupational diseases. You might have heard the term “occupational disease” and know that they’re covered by workers’ compensation. But what exactly are occupational diseases? Is it just a sickness you get while at work?
Well, not quite. You may catch the flu from a coworker and miss a week of work, but this does not mean that you are eligible for workers’ compensation. An occupational disease is a condition that disables you due to exposure to a hazard to which the general public is not equally exposed. It’s that last bit that rules out the flu. You could just as easily catch the flu by being out in public.
So what kinds of things do qualify? One famous example is a coal miner who developed black lung from working in a mine. More common examples would be something such as repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or rotator cuff tears.
It is even possible to win a back injury as an occupational disease, but it’s very tough to do so. The problem is that there are special rules for back claims. The law gets very specific, very fast. Succeeding with these claims is pretty difficult unless you are very experienced in the law.
If you’ve developed an occupational disease as a result of your work, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. We can guide you through the process, and help you make your case.
An occupational disease is a condition caused directly by the work that you do. If you develop an occupational disease, be sure to contact an experienced attorney. You may qualify for benefits.
Protect Yourself from Wintry Weather Conditions at Work
Building snowmen, going sledding, snowball fights, and days off from school might make some look forward to winter weather. But those who have to work in a winter wonderland might not embrace snow in the forecast with such joy. If this pertains to you, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your work station from the hazards of winter weather.
- Avoid icy conditions. If you don’t have to go into work when there’s ice or snow on the roads, don’t! If it’s unavoidable, drive carefully and slowly. If you have snow tires, be sure to use them. Work on scaffolding should be suspended if at all possible. Watch out for black ice and places that might freeze before the ground does.
- Be mindful of frozen pipes. We know it’s not always possible to protect exposed pipes from the elements. If your pipes freeze, make sure they are thawed by a trained employee using approved methods (such as space heaters or a heat gun).
- Maintain machinery. Always check to make sure that heavy machinery has not been affected by the cold — especially equipment such as cranes that might require climbing. If ice accumulates on the ladder, it could cause you to slip and fall.
- Dress appropriately. If you work outside, be sure to dress warmly: coat, hat, gloves, boots.
- Take breaks to warm up. If you find yourself unable to feel your hands or feet, are having difficulty moving them, or are unable to stop shivering, take a break to go warm up! Hypothermia and frostbite are serious conditions, and you should take precautions against them. If you develop hypothermia or frostbite while on the job, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation.
When it comes to winter weather, don’t take chances. The best thing is to use precaution and your best judgment. If something seems unsafe, don’t do it. Your health and safety is more important than any job. If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.
Winter weather increases the risk of an on-the-job injury. Be sure to stay safe, and don’t take unnecessary risks.