Posts By: Kathleen Burgess

Is My Employer Required to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Is My Employer Required to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

No matter what kind of job you’re working, accidents happen. There’s always a possibility for injury. That’s why it’s vital that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, did you know that not all employers are required to carry workman’s comp insurance? In fact, if an employer has less than three employees, they don’t legally have to carry workers’ comp.

This law applies to both full-time and part-time employees; so if your company has less than 3 employees (not including contractors), it’s possible that they may not have workers’ comp insurance.

 

While it is a law, there are still many companies with more than three employees who do not have workers’ compensation. While this is illegal, if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, you won’t be protected if you’re hurt at work. So what can you do to protect yourself against an uninsured employer?

 

Be sure to ask your employer whether or not they carry workman’s comp insurance. Even if this feels like an awkward question to ask, it’s better to ask and know than run the risk of working for an employer with no insurance.

 

It’s also important to note that contractors do not count towards the three employees count. If you’re a contract worker, or the number of employees not including contractors is less than three, it’s possible that your employer doesn’t have insurance.

 

We recommend being cautious about an employer who doesn’t carry workers’ compensation. You don’t want to find yourself injured on the job without any compensation. It may be worth finding a different job rather than taking the risk.

 

If you’ve been injured at work, you deserve coverage. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to protect your rights and help you stand up to your employer.

 

Does Workers’ Comp Cover My Weather-related Injury?

Does Workers’ Comp Cover My Weather-related Injury?

Everytime I get asked this, I wish there were a more straightforward answer. But the truth of the matter is that it really depends. In some situations, North Carolina courts tend to rule in favor of weather-related cases; in others, not so much. The outcomes of these workers’ comp claims tend to rely heavily on how directly related to your work the injury was.

In other words, the courts are looking for whether or not you would have been exposed to the same danger no matter whether you were at work or not.

 

In one case, the courts denied a claim in which an employee was injured at work when a tornado collapsed part of the building they were in. Basically, the court said that even though they were at work, their injury could have just as easily happened if they had been home. Their being at work did not cause the injury.

 

However, in another case, one worker died from heat exhaustion after working on a 104 degree day. The employee’s job required him to work near melted lead, which of course increased the temperature of the room he was in. Because of this, the court ruled that this situation was compensable.

 

When considering whether or not your weather-related injury is covered by workman’s compensation, it’s important to consider the causes of the injury. Was it caused directly by the nature of your job? Or was the injury just circumstantial? An experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not your case qualifies.

 

With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to handle all kinds of workers’ comp cases. If you suffered a weather-related injury at work, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Summer Heat and Workers’ Comp

Summer Heat and Workers’ Comp

It’s that time of year again, and boy, have we had some hot days this summer. As with every year when the weather gets hot, it’s a good idea to remember safety tips for working in the heat: particularly for those who work outside doing physical labor. It’s easy to forget that working in very hot conditions can be just as dangerous as working in the snow and ice.

According to OSHA, on average there are 36 work-related deaths caused by the heat every year. They also see about 2,380 heat-related illnesses and injuries, which can be incredibly serious.

 

If you’ve experienced heat stroke, heat exhaustion or any other condition from spending time working in the heat, you can file for workers’ compensation benefits. As with any workplace injury or illness, make sure you file for workman’s comp as soon as possible.

 

During the summer it’s best to limit intense physical labor in the heat. If you must work outside, make sure to take frequent breaks to seek shade and cool off. It’s also important that you stay hydrated. Drink water frequently or beverages that replenish salt loss through sweating, such as sports drinks or coconut water. If you or a coworker are showing symptoms of heat stroke, be sure to call 911.

 

If you or someone you know has experienced a heat-related illness, be sure to file for workers’ compensation and contact an attorney to help guide you through the process. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you.

A Shift in the World of Workers’ Compensation

A Shift in the World of Workers’ Compensation

You may have heard about a recent workers’ comp case in North Carolina: Wilkes v. The City of Greenville. This case had a huge impact on state workers’ comp policies due to the fact that it established that employers were responsible for injuries or conditions that occurred as a result of a workplace injury, even if the additional conditions or injuries developed after the initial accident.

Because of this ruling, it became the responsibility of the employer to prove that the additional conditions were not a result of the initial injury. However, in response to this decision, employers are calling for the law to change. They want to shift the burden to the employee, and have them prove that their additional injury is related in order to receive compensation.

 

Employers were concerned that the initial ruling in favor of Wilkes would lead to an increase in the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. However, many attorneys believe that this is not true, and that this ruling harms employees more than anything else.

 

It seems that going forward it’s going to be even more vital that an injured worker has an experienced attorney on their side to help them get the most out of their workers’ comp claim. Working with an attorney early on in your workers’ comp will give you the advantage of their insight and experience, so you can know what to expect every step of the way.

 

If you’ve been injured at work, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar. With more than $275 in awards and settlements, we have the experience to stand up for your rights.

 

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