Taking the First Steps in a Workers’ Comp Claim: Taking Legal Action
This is it. You’re at the breaking point. Your workers’ compensation benefits have been unfairly denied and your employer and their insurance adjuster are refusing to negotiate with you. You’re ready to get the benefits you deserve. You’re ready to take legal action.
At this point, I find the first questions many clients have are “Am I suing my employer? The insurance company? Both?” When it comes to a workman’s compensation case, you are technically suing both your employer and the insurance company.
However, the insurance company is the “paying” party. This is because your employer’s responsibility lies in paying the workers’ comp premiums to cover their employees in the first place. When you are injured at work, your employer’s workman’s compensation insurance covers your medical expenses and time missed from work. They also make the call on whether or not they can compensate you.
That’s why Oxner + Permar deals directly with the insurance company — not your employer. We work with you to make sure that you are getting the benefits and the settlement that you deserve. You are entitled to a settlement at the end of your treatment, and that treatment will be paid for by the insurance company with the consent of your employer.
When you take legal action in a workers’ comp case, your insurance company will be the paying party. Make sure you understand what you’re up against: Have an experienced attorney on your side who will ensure that your rights are being protected.
How Long Does It Take for Disability Checks to Start Coming In?
If you’ve suffered a work injury and you’re out of work, receiving temporary total disability checks may be all that’s keeping food on your table and the electricity running. Knowing you’ll be receiving weekly checks is a huge relief. But the first day goes by, and you haven’t received your workers’ comp check yet. “That’s okay,” you think to yourself. “It’s only the first day. It’s not unusual to wait a couple of business days to receive a check.”
But then after two or three days you begin to worry. And after six days, you’re beginning to wonder if your check will ever come. But don’t panic yet. Your check is coming. In fact, this is completely normal: There is a seven-day waiting period before you receive your workers’ comp check from your employer.
However, just because it takes a week for the insurance carrier to start paying your workman’s compensation benefits, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get paid for that time. If your work injury results in a disability or inability to work for more than 14 days, then the insurance company is supposed to pay you for the original seven-day waiting period.
If the insurance company refuses to pay you for that time, you should contact an experienced attorney to find out what action you should take next. It may just be that they haven’t sent your check yet. Unfortunately this can happen, and as long as they get the check to you within the proper window, they won’t be held accountable for your late check.
Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you. If you’re waiting on weekly disability checks, and you’re not sure whether you’ve been waiting too long or not long enough, one of the attorneys at Oxner + Permar would be more than happy to evaluate your case.
Do I Have to Rely on My First Impairment Rating?
One of the most important things that I tell my clients when discussing their workers’ comp cases is, “You are entitled to a second opinion on your impairment rating.” I want to make sure that my clients know that they are not stuck with their initial impairment rating. If you feel that your impairment rating is unfair then you are entitled to a second one.
Not only are you entitled to a second opinion, you are entitled to a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing. Some insurance companies may try to suggest another doctor for you to visit, but you don’t have to listen. You can find a doctor you trust and with whom you are comfortable.
In order to receive a second opinion, you will first have to get written permission from your employer. You should include the name and address of the physician you wish to see. If your employer denies your request, there is another option. In this case, you will have to appeal to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If they feel it is fair, they will order the insurance company to grant your second opinion request.
Your workers’ compensation benefits are dependent on your impairment rating. Therefore it is important to make sure that it is accurate. Your benefits need to cover your medical expenses, and if you are injured more severely than you were initially rated, you could end up paying for your treatment out of pocket. Don’t let the insurance companies give you less than you deserve.
If you are dissatisfied with your initial impairment rating, you are entitled to a second opinion. At Oxner + Permar, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and making sure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company. Feel free to contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.
What Qualifies as “Public Use” in North Carolina?
The U.S. Constitution is generally very careful about what the government can and can’t do. The Founding Fathers outlined a government that would not have the same tyrannical power as a monarchy like the U.K. So when the government is given power by the Constitution, it’s usually for something that would benefit the greater good. One such instance is that of “public use.”
The Constitution states that property may be taken away from individuals by the government for public use provided that the government pays a fair compensation. Traditionally this has been used to create public goods such as parks, highways, or schools. The general consensus is that this is a fair use of government power.
However, in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court went a very different direction with what is considered public use. They ruled that a decision that encourages economic development is protected under public use. Therefore, if the city could gain a higher tax value by taking a woman’s home and allowing Wal-Mart to build on the property, they could do so under public use.
As you might imagine, this was a very divisive decision, and many people felt that it was an abuse of government power. As a result, many states decided to enact legislation that would strengthen their laws regarding eminent domain to combat this decision. Many states, such as South Carolina, have elected to exclude economic development as a basis for taking property. North Carolina on the other hand, has not enacted laws to strengthen property right protections.
Woman Awarded $70 Million in a Case Against Johnson & Johnson
It’s always scary to hear about companies failing to warn consumers about the dangers of their products. Ideally, you hope that companies will have the best interests of their consumers in mind. However — when something does slip through the cracks, and a product that’s unsafe or has potential dangerous side effects goes to market, it’s always good to hear about the court system standing by the consumers.
A court recently found Johnson & Johnson guilty of not informing their consumers of the connection between the use of their talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Deborah Giannecchini had been using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product for more than 40 years. Three years ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
According to Giannecchini’s lawyer, Johnson & Johnson had been presented with 30 years worth of studies linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer. It was clear to the jury, who ruled in favor of the plaintiff, that Johnson & Johnson should have been warning their customers about this risk. Giannecchini was awarded more than $70 million.
Giannecchini was not alone in her claim. Around 1,700 others have filed similar claims against Johnson & Johnson. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a result of talcum powder use, be sure to contact an attorney to find out if you are eligible for compensation.
When big businesses fail to protect us, it’s always good to turn to an experienced lawyer, someone who has your back and will fight for you. At Oxner + Permar, we’re passionate about protecting our client’s rights.