Amends to Legislation to Clarify What Injuries Are Accepted
The North Carolina General Assembly passed a new law that will impact those who are seeking medical treatment after being injured on the job. This was done to strike down the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling in Wilkes v. City of Greenville. In Wilkes, the Court cited the previous version of this legislation and held “an admission of compensability…entitles an employee to a presumption that additional medical treatment is causally related to his compensable injury.” In other words, this meant that once the claim was accepted on a Form 60 or 63 section 1, the burden of proof shifted to the employer to disprove that the requested medical treatment was not related to the injury.
The new legislation now says that an accepted claim on a Form 60 or 63 section 1 “shall not create a presumption that medical treatment for an injury or condition NOT IDENTIFIED in the form prescribed” by the Commission on a Form 60 and 63 section 1 “is causally related to the compensable injury.” Therefore, if the body part that the injured worker is requesting treatment for is not listed on the Form 60 or 63 section 1, then they bear the burden of proof. This is the case even if the Defendants have been paying for the medical treatment for weeks, months, or years.
If the injured worker has been receiving medical treatment for a body part, directed by Defendants, and it is not listed on the Form 60 or 63 section 1 for an extended period of time and the Defendants deny ongoing care, the injured worker must go through the formal hearing process and prove that the body part is related to the claim. This is not only a reversal of our North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling in Wilkes, but also causes harm to the injured worker if Defendants one day stop providing care—months or years down the road.
If you have been injured on the job and have questions about how this new legislation will impact your workers’ comp claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to handle all kinds of workers’ comp cases.
I Was Injured During My Lunch Break, Am I Still Covered?
One common misconception people have about experiencing a work injury is that they have to be physically doing their job when injured in order to be covered under workers’ comp.
Although most cases involving workers’ compensation injuries do happen when you are clocked in, at the job site, and doing your work, that isn’t always the case. No one can control when and where an accident will take place. The Workers’ Compensation Act understands that and offers some additional protections.
These cases can be very fact-specific, but some of the most common times you can be covered are prior to clocking in, during breaks at work, and at lunch. There are many other circumstances when you may be covered but a lot depends on the location of the accident, the timing of the accident, as well as who owned and maintained the property where your accident happened.
It is best to contact an attorney if you got hurt before clocking in, during a break, while at lunch, or after clocking out—but while you were still at work. Your injury may fit into one of the fact patterns where you are still protected by the Workers’ Compensation Act.
If you experienced an injury and you’re not sure if you’re covered, give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation. We will go over the details to help you determine if you are covered.
…su estatus migratorio, no afecta la capacidad de recibir beneficios de compensación laboral?
No importa cuál sea su estatus migratorio, en el estado de Carolina del Norte si usted se lesionó o accidentó en el trabajo, usted tiene el derecho de comenzar una demanda de compensación laboral, lo que le proporcionará tratamiento médico, y cheques semanales por su tiempo fuera del trabajo.
Además, ni la compañía de seguro de su empleador, ni el abogado que representa a la compañía de seguro, pueden divulgar su información personal, como por ejemplo: al Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés). Tampoco, existe el riesgo de que su empleador lo amenace con reportarlo a oficiales de inmigración, por el simple hecho de haberse lesionado o accidentado en el trabajo. Muchas veces, esto ocurre para evitar que usted presente una demanda en contra de ellos, porque saben que usted tiene ese derecho bajo la ley.
Si usted se ha lesionado o accidentado en el trabajo, es recomendable que se contacte con un abogado con experiencia, y así asegurarse de obtener los recursos necesarios para proteger sus derechos. Nuestra firma, Oxner + Permar, cuenta con un gran equipo de abogados y asistentes que lo pueden ayudar en su idioma, nos enorgullece decir que le conseguiremos el resultado que usted se merece. Tenemos oficinas a lo largo del estado de Carolina del Norte, tales como en Raleigh, Charlotte, y Greensboro, entre otras. ¡Llámenos!
What Should I Say to the Insurance Adjuster After My Accident?
I speak with clients all the time who have received calls from the insurance adjuster after their accident. They have already given a recorded statement about their accident and injuries before they have called us. These recorded statements are hazardous because the adjuster, who has done these interviews hundreds of times knows just what questions to ask, is always looking for a reason to deny coverage or get you to agree to something that may not be true, or to something that is even damaging to your case.
What you say in an unguarded moment may literally turn a good case into a denial. My message to anyone who has been injured by the negligence of another is to consult a lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster. We know what questions are going to be asked and can prepare you for these conversations and help you avoid saying anything that could potentially undermine your claim.
Regardless of what kind of injury you have sustained, I recommend declining to speak with the adjuster until you have spoken with an attorney who has helped you go over the questions that will be asked.
Don’t risk your claim being denied because of what you said in a vulnerable moment. If you have been injured in an accident give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation before you speak with an adjuster.
How Do Transferable Skills Affect My Social Security Disability Claim?
A question clients often ask is how to prove their skills are non-transferable. A skill is defined as the knowledge of a task that requires judgment and is attained through job performance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies the different skill levels of jobs as unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled. These classifications are generally determined by how long it takes to learn the work and what that particular job requires.
Once the Social Security Administration determines the skill level of your past work they will use that to provide you with other jobs you might be able to do that meet the same (or lower) level of skill. This is what they mean by transferable.
Some examples of transferable skills are supervising or managing others, teaching, filing, clerical work, researching, technical work, and training. When determining whether a person has transferable skills, it will depend on if their impairments or disabilities affect the ability to perform those skills. If it does, then their skills will not be transferable. However, if it does not affect an individual’s ability to perform, then the skills can be considered transferable.
Proving at your hearing that your skills are non-transferable may be essential, especially if you need to challenge the vocational expert’s opinion. An attorney who understands transferability of skills under the Social Security Administration rulings and regulations can help with the cross-examination process during the hearing.
Don’t risk having your claim rejected. Work with an experienced attorney who will make sure it’s done right. Give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.