Be Prepared to Face the Summer Heat
South Carolina summers bring with them extreme heat and extreme humidity. If you’re one of the many people in South Carolina who work outdoors, you know exactly how demanding the South Carolina summer can be.
As you might imagine, if you work outdoors you’re at higher risk for heat-related health problems, but what you might not know is that heat-related illnesses are in fact covered by workers’ compensation. If you’re involved in heavy physical labor, then you’re most prone to occupational diseases caused by working in high temperatures.
Heat related illnesses to watch out for are:
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat cramps
- Heat rash
If you feel the symptoms of any of these conditions coming on while at work, take a break immediately. Find a cool, shady area to rest and rehydrate. If the symptoms are severe (such as seizures), call 911 immediately.
Even if you don’t think you’re experiencing these symptoms, if you work outdoors in high temperatures, be sure that you’re taking frequent breaks either indoors or in the shade—give yourself time away from the sun. Drink plenty of water to ensure that you’re staying hydrated and cool. Both of these measures can help prevent dehydration and heat related illnesses such as heatstroke. If you develop a heat-related illness, seek immediate medical treatment.
Heat-related illnesses can be very serious, and are often covered by workers’ comp if you’ve been affected by a heat-related illness be sure to contact an attorney to find out if you qualify for workers’ compensation.
Could Your Social Media Be Harming Your Workman’s Compensation Case?
If you’ve sustained a work injury, then you know there is so much to keep up with: from filing injury reports to keeping up with medical records. What you might not have considered is how your latest tweet or selfie could be damaging your workers’ compensation case.
Insurance companies are always looking for anything that might cast doubt on the validity of a claim. For instance, if there was no witness, if there are conflicting reports of how the injury occurred, or if there was a delay in reporting the claim, then an insurer will want to look for other means to verify the claim. One such method is using social media.
Insurers will often use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites, to investigate your activities to look for contradictions to your claims. For example, if you were to post a selfie of yourself on vacation, when you’re supposedly taking time for recovery, the insurance company may see that as grounds to cancel your benefits. Other things they look for would be any evidence that you’re doing physical activity not related to your recovery, like posting pictures of yourself playing sports or working out at the gym. They also might look to see if you mention working at a second job. Basically they’re looking for anything that would show that your injury is not as debilitating as you claim it is or that you’re not taking your recovery seriously.
Of course that’s not to say you shouldn’t use social media! Just be aware of what you’re posting, and use common sense. Think about how the insurer is going to view your post. What might feel well within your work restrictions to you, might not to an insurance company. When in doubt, don’t post it!
Insurance companies will use social media to check up on workers’ compensation claims. Always be aware of what you’re posting to social media, and if you have any questions, be sure to contact an attorney.
Understanding Your Rights When You Have a Nurse Case Manager
Under NC Workers Compensation law, employers and their insurance carriers are allowed to hire nurse case managers to assist in coordinating medical treatment. Although the nurse case manager is paid by your employer, take comfort in knowing that they are expected to be impartial and exercise independent judgment. In fact, nurse case managers are required to adhere to the NC Industrial Commission Rules for Utilization of Rehabilitation Professionals in Workers Compensation Claims.
When working with a nurse case manager, make sure you know your rights. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- A nurse case manager is allowed to attend an injured worker’s doctor appointments; however, the worker has the right to a private exam. Usually the nurse case manager will join the injured worker and doctor after the examination to discuss treatment options.
- A nurse case manager is also required to prepare regular written reports on the injured worker’s treatment. These notes must be provided at the same time to all parties. You have a right to insist on this.
- Know that your communications with the nurse case manager are not protected and that they will likely will be reported back to the insurance carrier. Remember this every time you communicate with him or her.
- A nurse case manager is responsible for helping coordinate your medical treatment—but he or she should not attempt to direct medical treatment or influence your treatment in any way. Furthermore, a nurse case manager is not to be used as an investigator for your claim and may not give legal advice.
In most cases, nurse case managers are very helpful, and can help ensure a smooth road to recovery. Just be sure that you know how to protect your rights in every scenario, including when you are assigned a nurse case manager. We’re here for you throughout the workers’ compensation process because we believe in making wrongs, right.