Yearly Archives: 2017

How Do I Know if I Need a Lawyer?

Workers' Compensation

How Do I Know if I Need a Lawyer?

Dealing with workers’ compensation should be a fairly straightforward process. However, things don’t always go according to plan. Is it worth trying to sort your case out yourself, or do you need some legal help? How do you know when it’s time to call an attorney?

 

Our first piece of advice is contact an attorney and see what they think. Having an initial evaluation will help us assess whether or not your case needs legal intervention, or if there are steps you can take by yourself to help your situation. Keep in mind, this isn’t like a sales call. Our attorneys won’t try to sell you on legal counsel you don’t need. Many law firms won’t charge you for a consultation to evaluate your case — and we certainly don’t either!

iStock 535854639

Here’s a general guideline for when you’re going to need a lawyer:

 

  1. Your claim is denied.
  2. The adjuster is not paying you the correct amount of weekly benefits on a timely basis.
  3. The adjuster is not authorizing your medical treatment on a timely basis.
  4. You will likely have a surgery or a permanent disability.
  5. You have questions as to whether or not you can return to your old job for the long term.
  6. The adjuster is trying to get you to settle your case but is not offering enough money.

 

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons you might need an attorney, but they are the most common situations we encounter. We understand that every case is different, so we believe the best course of action is to speak with an attorney regarding your individual situation. It’s the best way to find out if an attorney is necessary for your case.

 

If you’ve been injured at work, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Oxner + Permar. We offer free consultations to discuss exactly how we can help you settle your case.

 

If I Get Hurt at Work, What Do I Need to Do?

Workers' Compensation

If I Get Hurt at Work, What Do I Need to Do?

 

If you get injured at work, it’s important to know exactly what steps you need to take to ensure that you will get the most out of your workers’ comp benefits. In an emergency situation, make sure you dial 911 and seek immediate medical treatment. Your health is the priority; don’t jeopardize your health by waiting to seek treatment. What other steps do you need to remember? iStock 516782509

 

  1. Report your injury to your supervisor.

Regardless of how you injured yourself, it is critical to report your injury to your supervisor. The good thing about workers’ comp in North Carolina is that you are covered regardless of whether or not you were at fault. So don’t be afraid to be honest about your injury.

  1. Be detailed in your report.

            It’s important to be as thorough as possible in your report. Make sure to list every body

part that has been injured, and describe in the detail how the injury occurred. The more specific you can be the better.  Be sure to get a copy of your report.

  1. Have witnesses record what they saw happen.

If anyone saw your injury occur, ensure that they write down their own account of the

accident. Having eyewitnesses will help with the validity of your case.

  1. Get pictures of the scene and your injuries.

            It may not be possible to get pictures of the scene, but you should if you can. And

definitely get pictures of your injuries. It’s good to have a record of them when they were fresh, especially because they’ll heal over the course of your case.

  1. Get to a doctor immediately.

Regardless of the severity of your injury, you must visit a doctor to document the extent

of your injury. Explain to the doctor how you were injured and tell them every body part that was injured.

 

From here, the next step is to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you evaluate your claim and direct you on how to proceed.

 

With more than $275 million in awards and settlements the attorneys at Oxner + Permar have the experience to help guide you through a workers’ comp case and ensure you’re getting the benefits you deserve.

If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied, Is My Case Closed?

Workers' Compensation

If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied, Is My Case Closed?

If you file for workman’s compensation, one of the most disheartening things is to have your claim denied — especially if you were counting on your benefits to help make ends meet while waiting to be able to return to work. It can feel like having a door slammed on your only viable option after a work injury. Keep in mind that just because the insurance company has denied your claim, your case is not necessarily closed.

Top view of a rubber stamp with a giant word "Work injury claim - denied " isolated on white background

The fact is, insurance companies deny compensable cases all the time. You’re not out of options. At Oxner + Permar, we work with our clients to evaluate their claims and explain their options. For instance, your insurance company may only be willing to offer a settlement. We’re more than happy to evaluate an insurance company’s offer to determine if it is fair. We want to make sure that our clients are receiving the compensation that they deserve.

As an injured employee, you have the right to be heard in a court of law and to have a judge determine the compensability of your claim. We don’t just offer guidance, we’ll fight to have your claim deemed compensable and for the insurance company to be ordered to provide adequate compensation. Don’t let an insurance company call the shots for you. Have someone on your side who knows the law and is willing to fight for you.

If your claim is denied, your case doesn’t have to end there. Call Oxner + Permar for a free consultation and talk with an experienced attorney about your options.  

If My Condition Changes, Can My Permanent Partial Disability Claim Award Change As Well?

Workers' Compensation

If My Condition Changes, Can My Permanent Partial Disability Claim Award Change As Well?

If you’ve received an award for a permanent partial disability claim (a lump-sum paid following a Form 26A), that decision can feel set in stone. You’ve gone through the legal steps and had an official decision made about your health and your benefits. However, that’s not entirely the case. Did you know that you have one year to make a claim for a change of condition? This can apply to any change in your physical condition whether it improves or worsens.Pain in a man's body. Isolated on white background. Collage of several photos

For instance, let’s say you’ve been injured at work and you find yourself with limited mobility in your arm. Then as you return to work, instead of your condition improving or staying the same, you notice your injury is becoming worse and, as a result, your job is becoming more difficult to do. In this case, you should contact an attorney.

It’s possible that you may be entitled to additional compensation. When you received your initial award, that amount was based on your condition at the time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when your condition is being reevaluated, you will be asked whether or not you’ve done anything to aggravate your condition. If it’s determined that your injury was worsened by something preventable, you may not be granted additional compensation.

If you believe that your condition has changed for the worse, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options. An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help guide you through the process of adjusting your claim.

Did you know that you have one year to make a claim for a change of condition? Your claim is not set in stone — if your condition changes you could be eligible to revise your reward.

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover All of My Jobs?

Workers' Compensation

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover All of My Jobs?

With the holiday season comes a higher demand for seasonal workers — which works out well with the increase in spending that happens around the holidays. Between gift giving, holiday travel, and big holiday meals, many of us see extra strain on our budgets, which makes this the perfect time to pick up a second job.

Even without the holiday season, an estimated 7.8 million Americans have multiple jobs. However, have you ever thought about how a second job might affect your workers’ compensation?Part-time and full-time job working businessman business man concept

Unfortunately, North Carolina workman’s comp law doesn’t really reward anyone for having a second job. Let’s say that you work 30 hours a week at a bookstore where you make $12 an hour. Then for the holiday season you pick up an additional job at a shopping mall where you work 20 hours a week and make $8 an hour. So in total you’re making $520 a week.

If you injured yourself while working your job at the mall, workers’ compensation would cover you for two-thirds of your weekly salary at that job. Assuming you weren’t earning any additional salary (bonuses, tips, etc.), your workers’ comp benefits would be $96 a week.

Okay, so you only get $96 a week for your second job. But would you get any benefits if your injury caused you to be unable to work the first job as well? Unfortunately not. In North Carolina, you’re only covered for the job you were working when you got injured.

This is definitely something to take into consideration if you take on a second job — particularly if it’s going to be a high-risk, low-paying job. Of course there are other things to take into consideration, such as personal finances. At Oxner + Permar, we care about our clients and our community, and we want to make sure that everyone is making employment decisions with as much knowledge as possible. Call us so we can help.

In North Carolina, workers’ compensation will cover only the job you were doing when you were injured. If you have any questions contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.