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.
What If I Have No Memory of My Injury?
One of the most important pieces of advice we give to anyone involved in a workers’ compensation case is to make sure you file a report of the accident. It’s important to be as detailed as possible in order to support your workers’ compensation claim. However, what happens if you are unable to recall your injury? Is your workman’s comp case doomed for failure?
Of course, this is something that does happen, so it’s been addressed in court. If a worker falls and experiences a head injury, they might not be able to remember the exact circumstances of where, when or how they fell. This can make it difficult to prove whether or not their fall is can be compensated by workers’ compensation.
However, the courts in North Carolina have ruled that if an injured worker has an unexplained fall, then this is can be compensated by workers’ comp injury. If a worker does not remember the circumstances of their fall, they must be examined by a doctor. If the physician cannot find an explanation as to why they fell, then the employee’s injury would fall under the Unexplained Fall Law of Philbeck v. University of Michigan.
If you’ve experienced a fall at work, you deserve to have someone on your side who knows the law and can protect your rights. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Coming and Going to Work?
What happens if you sustain an injury coming from or going to work? Workman’s comp doesn’t cover any incidents that happen off your employer’s property—but it CAN cover injuries that occur when you are on the premises as you are going to or leaving work. This is called the “coming and going rule.” Walking into work from the parking lot or walking out of work to your car, for instance, are examples of typically acceptable cases for workers’ compensation benefits.
There is one thing to keep in mind, however. If your employer has a duty to transport employees or furnish transportation to employment, it is very possible that any injuries sustained during transportation can be covered—even if they occurred while going to and from work, outside of the typical coming and going rule.
Would you like to know more about your rights regarding workplace injuries? Contact Oxner + Permar, and we’ll put you in touch with a team who is knowledgeable and who cares deeply about helping you understand—and fight for—your rights. Whether or not you pursue a legal case, we will make sure you have the information you need to feel confident and move forward in a positive direction.
If you’re injured while going to or from work, are you eligible for workers’ compensation? Find out what benefits may be available to you.