Yearly Archives: 2017

Connie C

Family Law + Divorce

I can’t thank you enough for everything you did for me.  It is amazing what you got done.  And its more than the agreement.  Your words and advice stay with me and have continued to help me.  The words “thank you” aren’t enough.  There is no way to thank you enough for helping me find such a good solution for the most precious thing in my life – time with my one and only child.

It is difficult when you are in the middle of a life changing event of your own life to make good, rational decisions.  You made sure that I did.  You set up an agreement that continues to work ongoing and that makes sense.  Having that huge challenge behind me, I have been able to “move on” and enjoy my life.

When Time is Not on Your Side: Timeliness of Reporting an Injury at Work

Workers' Compensation

When Time is Not on Your Side: Timeliness of Reporting an Injury at Work

It’s summer time! And with the hot weather sometimes comes physically demanding jobs. Of course, a rise in the amount of work brings a rise in the number of accidents and injuries. Many times, we think we can “walk it off,” we tell ourselves that we’ll feel better eventually, or that it’s just part of the job. Sometimes the smaller aches and pains go away, but other times they might be part of a larger issue that only gets worse with time. That’s why no matter how small the injury, it’s important to report it — and to do it within 30 days.

This is no small matter. If you don’t report your claim to your employer in a timely manner, it could have negative consequences on your case. You must tell not only your employer, but also file a written report. That way there is physical evidence of your claim.

 

However, your claim doesn’t stop there. After you report your injury to your employer, you’ll have to file a workers’ compensation claim. In North Carolina, you have two years to file a workman’s comp claim. This is different from the initial report you give to your employer within 30 days.

 

Because you have two years to file for workers’ comp, you have a little more time to decide if your injury is serious before applying for benefits. That’s why it always pays to file a written injury report with your employer — because you never know what could turn out to be serious, and it’s always better to have written proof than nothing at all.

 

Always file an injury report within 30 days of your accident. Accident reports are a vital part of your workers’ comp claim. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation!

If I Develop Additional Conditions, Are They Covered?

Workers' Compensation

If I Develop Additional Conditions, Are They Covered?

This summer, the North Carolina Supreme Court came to a decision on a case that is having a huge impact on the world of workers’ compensation. In fact, this ruling is one of the biggest things to happen to workers’ comp in several years. The outcome of Wilkes v. the City of Greenville changed the way we look at the coverage of symptoms and conditions caused by the initial injury.

 

In this case, a man was injured in a car accident while on the job. Not only did he sustain physical injuries, but he also suffered a concussion and tinnitus (or ringing of the ears). As a result of his accident, he filed for workers’ compensation. While initially he made his claim to cover the physical injuries, he eventually wanted to extend the claim to also cover his depression and anxiety that had resulted from the accident.

His employer claimed that because symptoms such as the anxiety and depression were not directly caused by the accident itself nor were they mentioned in his first claim, they were not responsible for them. The court agreed.

 

Knowing this was unfair, the man took his case to a higher court. The North Carolina Supreme Court decided that the defendant has a right to ask for additional symptoms and injuries to be considered, even if they are not the precise injury that was initially claimed, and that his additional conditions should be covered.

 

Cases like this show the court’s dedication to upholding what is right and protecting the rights of individual workers. Because this is such a new ruling, it will be interesting to see how it goes on to affect future cases. Chances are, it’ll mean more people are getting the benefits that they need.

 

If you’ve developed additional conditions after being injured at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your case.

Can My Third Party Personal Injury Case Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

Can My Third Party Personal Injury Case Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

You may think that a personal injury case and a workers’ comp claim wouldn’t affect each other. After all, they are completely different areas of the law, right? Well, that’s not always the case. While you may believe the cases are unrelated, they may have more effect on one another than you might think. For instance, in the Easter-Rozzelle case in Charlotte, NC, one man’s personal injury claim totally changed the outcome of his workman’s comp case.

Initially, the worker filed for workers’ compensation after injuring his shoulder while removing a manhole cover for work. He was put on work restrictions for about a week until he recovered. However, by the time his work restrictions were up, he had still not recovered. His employer instructed him to visit his doctor and have his restrictions reevaluated.

It is not uncommon for injuries to not improve by the time you are supposed to return to work. However, on the way to the doctor, the worker got into a car accident. During the accident, he sustained a traumatic injury. In order to deal with this case, the man hired a new attorney to deal with his personal injury case regarding the car accident. This case was settled and he dispersed his settlements without taking into account his workers’ comp lien or informing the Industrial Commission.

When it came time to settle his workers’ comp claim, he tried to have workers’ compensation take into account his injuries from his car accident. Under normal circumstances, this would be a possibility; however, once it came out that he had already settled the claim without letting the insurers or his employer be involved in the process, he lost his claim to the workers’ compensation benefits.

Regardless of whether the cases seem related or not, it’s important to tell your attorney about any and all of the cases that you’re involved in. Your attorney will know which cases might affect the other and which cases might benefit from involving one case with the other.

If you’re dealing with more than one case, be sure your attorney or attorneys know about them. If you’re unsure about how your case might affect your workers’ comp claim, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.

Undocumented Workers: Your Rights Have Not Changed

Workers' Compensation

Undocumented Workers: Your Rights Have Not Changed

Being injured at work is an incredibly stressful time for any worker. Between focusing on your recovery and uncertainty about medical bills and compensation, there’s plenty to worry about. This stress is even greater for an undocumented worker, especially given the current political climate. Many undocumented workers have expressed concern about changes in federal policy affecting their right to earn workers’ compensation here in North Carolina.

Be aware: The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is a State Law and is not affected by the recent changes in Washington. The Court of Appeals in North Carolina has said that undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Their reasoning is that because undocumented workers are just as capable of earning a salary as documented workers are, they should be included in the Workers’ Compensation Act. Therefore, undocumented immigrants are treated the same as U.S. citizens when it comes to North Carolina’s workers’ compensation benefits.

If you are an undocumented worker, we recommend that you speak with an attorney before making any claims. Ideally, you should be treated no differently than a documented worker under the law. However, as the law can be complicated, the best way to determine what your next steps should be is to work with an attorney. Plus — be sure to work with an attorney who has experience dealing with a variety of cases.

With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you and protect your rights. You are entitled to workers’ compensation — work with an attorney who will fight for you.