What Is Considered Contributory Negligence?
North Carolina is one of the few states in the US that still uses contributory negligence as a way of deciding whether or not an injured party can earn a settlement. The court will look at whether or not your negligence caused your accident. If your negligence contributed to your accident in any way, you could lose your settlement.
Let’s say you’ve been injured in a car accident. Any observer of this accident would agree that it was the other person’s fault. However, what was less easy to observe was the fact that you were speeding. When this case goes to court, they will look at whether or not your speeding caused your accident in any way.
The court determines that if you hadn’t been speeding, there’s a possibility the crash wouldn’t have occurred. Because of this, the court will be unable to award you any money in your settlement. This is because your speeding is considered contributory negligence.
However, if the court had determined that the crash would have happened regardless of whether or not you were speeding, then it would not be considered contributory negligence. In this case, the court would be able to grant you a settlement if they saw fit.
Usually a defense attorney will do everything in their power to show your contributory negligence, which is why it’s always a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side when dealing with a personal injury case.
If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar. We can help you stand up for your rights and get you the benefits you deserve.
Can the Insurance Company Use My Social Media Accounts as Evidence?
After you’re injured at work, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not a photo you post on social media is going to damage your case. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. Defense attorneys know that most of us share every aspect of our lives online, so they will absolutely dig through any social media account they can find to gather evidence on why they shouldn’t pay you.
It can be hard to believe that the insurance companies would stoop this low, but one of our clients experienced it first hand. She had a 10-second video, shot by her child, of her hugging her spouse after returning from seeing her mother who was terminally ill.
The defense attorneys took that video and tore it apart for evidence. Soon they were asking questions such as “You seem to be moving okay, are you sure you’re hurt?” and “You seem to be carrying a bag, how much did it weigh?” These questions have the potential to save their client tons of money — which is why it’s important not to give them anything to work with in the first place.
This may feel like a huge invasion of privacy, but the truth is they don’t see it that way because you are volunteering this information. Regardless of whether or not your profile is public, there’s still a good chance an attorney will find it. That’s why the best course of action is to simply temporary disable your social media accounts while your case is ongoing.
Be cautious with your social media, and don’t volunteer information that could be construed as incriminating. If you have any questions about your case, contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.
Be Careful! Don’t Let Your Workers’ Comp Case Be Discredited
Unfortunately it’s become very common for insurance companies to attack your credibility in order to get out of paying for your workers’ comp benefits. They will try to persuade the court that you are lying about your injury so that they don’t have to pay.
There are many ways that an insurer might attack your credibility, but one of the most common is to look at the beginning of your case. Quite often they will do their best to point out any inconsistencies with the story of how your injury occurred.
They’ll compare your accident report with your doctor’s record and the recorded statement that the insurance company took from you. This is why it’s important to be consistent as possible when reporting your injury.
It’s impossible to know which details will be the ones that affect your case. So while it’s important to be thorough, it’s also important to be consistent. If you can get a copy of your reports, that will help you remember what you said in each. That way details won’t slip through the cracks.
One way to help you avoid pitfalls such as inconsistency is to work with an experienced attorney. If we get involved early, we can help you foresee any problems that might arise before they become major issues.
With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to help defend your rights. Don’t let an insurance company wrongly attack your credibility.
Don’t Let Holiday Stress Make Your Injuries Worse!
The holiday season is upon us. The stores are bustling and full of decorations, many people are planning holiday dinners, and everything seems to be a bit busier than usual. While the holidays can be a fun and exciting time of year, they can also be exhausting and bring with them a lot of negative emotions.
If you’ve suffered a work injury, then your holiday season might be a bit different than it has been in years past. But it’s important to remember that experiencing stress and depression around the holidays is completely normal. It’s okay to feel sad or frustrated.
Many people experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. If this happens to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to your community. Whether you volunteer somewhere or attend a religious or social event, do something that helps connect you with other people.
It can be difficult, but remember, it’s okay to say no to things. If you’re not feeling up for visiting with people or cooking food for the family, it’s okay to opt out. What’s most important is focusing on your recovery.
Overexerting yourself can make your injuries worse. It’s a good idea to set aside time to yourself and take lots of breaks. Being realistic about what you’ll be capable of doing can also help reduce stress. Come up with a game plan and be ready to adjust it in order to accommodate how you’re feeling.
Of course, if you find yourself struggling or feeling very depressed, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a professional.
At Oxner + Permar, we want our everyone in our community to have a wonderful holiday season. Be sure to take care of yourselves and be safe!
What is the North Carolina Industrial Commission and How Does It Affect My Case?
When it comes to workman’s comp cases, it’s important to know who all of the players are. If you’ve been injured at work, then there’s no doubt that you’ve probably heard of the North Carolina Industrial Commission (often abbreviated to NCIC or sometimes just IC). The NCIC is the government agency that’s in charge of handling all workers’ comp claims — and they’ll be playing a big role in your case.
A lot of people don’t realize this, but workers’ comp claims do not go to court. If you’re dealing with a workman’s comp case you will never see a judge or jury. So what happens if there is a dispute about your claim?
In this instance, your case will be heard by a Deputy Commissioner employed by the NCIC. The Deputy Commissioner is like a judge. They will listen to both sides of the story, consider all of the evidence such as doctors’ testimonies, and will ultimately file a final decision. This decision is called an Opinion and Award.
Whoever doesn’t win the Opinion and Award has the option to file an appeal to the Full Commission. The Full Commission is made up of a panel of three Commissioners. They will reconsider all of the evidence which will be presented to them by the Deputy Commissioner who originally heard your case.
During this time the attorney for each side gets 20 minutes to tell the Full Commission what they should be looking at. The Full Commission also has the opportunity to ask questions. Once they come to a clear decision, they can determine the outcome of the case.
If you’re injured at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to help you navigate your workers’ comp claim.