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Email : [email protected] Todd Oxner is a founder and managing partner of Oxner + Permar , a North Carolina workers’ compensation firm. Since 1994 Todd has been known statewide for his success in handling workers’ compensation claims.

Inclusive Health

Workers' Compensation

If you do not have a health plan with an employer and if you are looking at higher premiums because of a pre-existing medical condition, you may qualify for the North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool (NCHIRP), commonly called Inclusive Health. This individual health plan also helps people whose jobs have been lost due to overseas competition and people who have used all of their COBRA benefits.

Established by the State Legislature which underwrites the plan that began offering coverage in January, Inclusive Health participants may pay premiums that average $300 to $500 a month. This plan is only available to residents of NC who have no access to group coverage and who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. This is not a family plan. Each family member who qualifies will receive his/her own separate rate which applies to his/her own circumstances.

Learn more about the program and to access enrollment details and forms by clicking on their website here. You will also see a list of medical conditions that automatically qualify a person for Inclusive Health Coverage.

Obtaining some type of medical treatment is crucial for those individuals applying for Social Security Disability. The Judges who hear your case want to know what the doctors are saying about your condition. No treatment often leads to a denial. Claimants applying for Social Security Disability need to be resourceful and determined to get treatment. Programs like this offer people who cannot otherwise afford private health insurance another option.

This article was written by Chip Permar

Why Are Injury Victims Expected To Wait So Long For Recovery?

Workers' Compensation

It has become customary for liability insurance companies to “delay and pay” claims of injury victims in North Carolina. Normally, when a person is injured in an automobile or other accident he or she must wait until the very end of the case to receive compensation from the negligent party’s insurance company. When legitimate questions of liability occur, it’s understandable that the insurance company will not pay a claim without more information or proof of negligence. However, what about the clear liability cases?Even these cases can go on for more than a year. In the meantime, the injured party is expected to carry on the payment of everyday bills and expenses.

How can an injury victim who is unable to work make ends meet? And what if the injured party does not have personal health insurance or medical disability coverage and so their doctor and hospital bills fall behind for payment, or, what’s worse, the injured person simply doesn’t go to the doctor and get the needed treatment because there’s no money to pay upfront. Many doctors refuse to treat patients without insurance, hoping for payment later when and if a settlement occurs. Who in the legislative system can right this wrong? It is not a law that the insurance company must wait until the end of the case to start payment. In clear liability cases, the insurance company normally settles the property damage portion of the case very quickly so they are accepting liability and fault on behalf of their insured. But the injury proceeds rarely come forth so quickly.

The insurance company wants to make one payment, in exchange for a complete release, to settle the case. And because of that position, injury victims must wait until they are sure they are finished with treatment before considering a settlement. It is merely the insurance company’s decision to wait and wait and wait to pay for lost wages and medical expenses until one global settlement is reached or until they are legally required by a court to do so. Unfortunately, this can set up the injured person for a catastrophic situation where he or she gets so desperate that the injured party actually considers the often ridiculous low ball settlement offers from the insurance adjuster just to get some money — any money — to survive. And for these injury victims, the “delay and pay” system doesn’t work.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Should Be Extended

Personal Injury

Setting the scene: Let’s say you’re driving down the road and another vehicle crosses over the yellow line,swerves into your lane and is about to hit you. As you try to avoid getting hit by the other car, you turn your wheel hard to the right and go off the road and into a tree. Your car is totaled and you have injuries. The other car never hit you and sped away. The at-fault driver’s identity is never discovered. Fortunately, a witness traveling behind you saw the whole thing happen and stops to give you assistance.

How do you recover? The at-fault driver’s insurance is unavailable because it’s unknown. If you have uninsured coverage, the insurance company won’t pay the claim because North Carolina law requires, in a “hit and run,” that there be some physical contact from the at-fault vehicle in order for you to recover. The current law is protecting insurance companies from paying claims for single car accidents caused by the driver. But in the case of having a witness to verify the events, the proposed law would allow the described accident to be treated as a “hit and run.” We at Oxner + Permar feel that Uninsured Motorist Coverage should include coverage for the injured person and his or her vehicle any time the victim can prove that another person caused the accident (with a witness, video coverage from a nearby business, etc.)

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner

Todd Oxner on Board of Directors at WILG

Community

Todd Oxner recently joined the Board of Directors of the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) based in Washington, DC. This non-profit organization promotes the rights of injured workers by joining together plaintiff attorneys across the country. The group shares knowledge and offers support, all in the interest of helping injured workers and their families.

State DDS Jobs Should Be Secure

Because of action by Vice President Biden, job positions for state disability determination services (DDS) should be stable and free of hiring restrictions and unpaid mandatory leaves of absence. Biden asked Governor Ed Rendell, Chairman of the National Governor’s Association, to urge all US governors not to furlough or downsize their DDS departments. If all DDS personnel are able to continue with their jobs, then social security benefits for the disabled will not be disrupted or delayed. Commission Astrue noted that state-wide reductions would save no money from state budgets because salaries and overhead are self-funded from within the department. With this plea from Vice President Biden, the heavy workload that our country’s DDS program manages for more than 12 million citizens, and the predicted increase in the number of claims, should continue to be handled without concern of DDS employees losing their jobs. And that should keep the system moving along.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner