What if My Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
As an employee, you’re reliant on your employer to cover workers’ compensation benefits. It’s a reasonable expectation: they’re asking you to do work in which you could be injured so it makes sense that they would be responsible for ensuring that you are taken care of in the event of an injury.
However, in North Carolina, not all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Very small companies are not required to carry workers’ comp insurance because of the number of employees, and some businesses simply do not have insurance. This is particularly common in the contractor business.
So what should you do if you work for one of these businesses and you get injured at work?
There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration before you give up on the possibility of workman’s comp benefits. First of all, if you work for a contractor who is the subcontractor of a main contractor who does carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may be entitled to those benefits. Even though your employer does not carry the benefits, you still could be entitled to recovery under North Carolina law.
Also, if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not there are any alternative options and what your next steps should be.
Just because your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation doesn’t mean you’re not covered. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to protect you and your rights.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Mental Illnesses Caused by Workplace Injuries?
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s easy to focus on the physical injury. Workplace injuries can be traumatic experiences, and they often come with a lot of stress and change to your routine. It’s not surprising that many patients develop “mental injuries” alongside their physical ones. If you’ve developed a mental condition as a result of your workplace injury, you might be asking if that is also covered by workers’ compensation.
Many patients develop conditions such as anxiety or depression after an injury at work. While these conditions are a result of the injury, they often don’t manifest immediately after the injury. Instead they’ll develop over time as a result of the trauma and stress of your injury, as the result of chronic pain, or as a result of your inability to work.
North Carolina courts have said that workman’s compensation carriers are responsible for providing medical treatment for not only your initial injury or disease, but also for any condition that develops as a “direct and natural consequence” of your compensable condition.
Because of this, it’s important that you speak with your doctor about any mental issues or symptoms that you think may have been caused by your injury. That way your doctor will be able to give their opinion as to whether the conditions are actually related. You’ll want to make sure that any relationship between your initial injury and developed conditions is recorded so that you can present it as evidence.
If you’ve been injured at work, be sure to work with an experienced attorney who understands the law and what you need to know to protect your rights. Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation.
Can I Earn Social Security Benefits and Veterans’ Disability Benefits?
I frequently speak with veterans who express concern about their ability to earn both Social Security disability benefits and veterans’ disability benefits. The good news is that you can earn both at the same time. In fact, in some cases VA disability benefits can help you earn Social Security benefits.
If you’re receiving veterans’ disability, then Social Security is going to strongly take that into consideration. In their eyes, another government agency has already declared your injury legitimate and decided that you are in need of benefits. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really work the other way. If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, the VA isn’t necessarily going to take that into consideration because there’s no way of knowing if your Social Security benefits are service-related.
There are a few differences between Social Security and VA disability. For instance, in order to receive Social Security benefits, you must be completely disabled — whereas with VA disability, you can have a low disability rating (sometimes as low as 10%).
Another big difference is the amount of weight your physician’s word has. With Social Security disability, your designated treating physician’s word is the final say. Your case can rely entirely on what your doctor says. However, with veterans’ disability, the VA considers all factors. Their policy says that your doctor could be biased, so they must look at any and all contributing factors.
It’s important that you’re receiving all of the benefits that you need. Working with an experienced attorney is an excellent way to make sure that you’re getting everything you deserve. Be sure to give us a call for a free consultation.
What Exactly is Med Pay?
When it comes to insurance med pay is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but I’ve found that a lot of people aren’t really sure what it is. Med pay refers to medical payments coverage, and it’s generally bought alongside car insurance. It’s a very catch-all kind of insurance that covers a wide range of injuries that you could get if you were to be involved in a car accident.
When you purchase med pay, the insurance company agrees to pay reasonable expenses for the necessary medical treatment you receive as the result of your accident. This basically means that they’re going to cover your accident-related injuries as long as you don’t send them an unreasonably high bill. They’ll look at the cost of similar procedures in the area where you received treatment to determine whether or not the cost of your procedures is unusually high.
As with many other kinds of insurance, there is a limit to how late you can make your claim. In the case of med pay, you have three years from the date of your accident to make your claim. Med pay can also cover more than one family member, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re driving, a passenger, or a pedestrian who’s been struck by a vehicle.
If you’re wondering how much med pay insurance costs, the answer varies on how much coverage you want. Some plans can be as cheap as $500 while others could be a $1 million, if you wanted to spend that money.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t go it alone. Work with an experienced attorney who has the experience to protect your rights. Give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.