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Email : info@oxnerpermarlaw.com 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.

What Should I Say to the Insurance Adjuster After My Accident?

Personal Injury

I speak with clients all the time who have received calls from the insurance adjuster after their accident. They have already given a recorded statement about their accident and injuries before they have called us. These recorded statements are hazardous because the adjuster, who has done these interviews hundreds of times knows just what questions to ask, is always looking for a reason to deny coverage or get you to agree to something that may not be true, or to something that is even damaging to your case.

 

 

What you say in an unguarded moment may literally turn a good case into a denial. My message to anyone who has been injured by the negligence of another is to consult a lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster. We know what questions are going to be asked and can prepare you for these conversations and help you avoid saying anything that could potentially undermine your claim.

 

Regardless of what kind of injury you have sustained, I recommend declining to speak with the adjuster until you have spoken with an attorney who has helped you go over the questions that will be asked.

 

Don’t risk your claim being denied because of what you said in a vulnerable moment. If you have been injured in an accident give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation before you speak with an adjuster.

How Do Transferable Skills Affect My Social Security Disability Claim?

A question clients often ask is how to prove their skills are non-transferable. A skill is defined as the knowledge of a task that requires judgment and is attained through job performance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies the different skill levels of jobs as unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled. These classifications are generally determined by how long it takes to learn the work and what that particular job requires.

 

Once the Social Security Administration determines the skill level of your past work they will use that to provide you with other jobs you might be able to do that meet the same (or lower) level of skill. This is what they mean by transferable.

 

Some examples of transferable skills are supervising or managing others, teaching, filing, clerical work, researching, technical work, and training.  When determining whether a person has transferable skills, it will depend on if their impairments or disabilities affect the ability to perform those skills. If it does, then their skills will not be transferable. However, if it does not affect an individual’s ability to perform, then the skills can be considered transferable.

 

Proving at your hearing that your skills are non-transferable may be essential, especially if you need to challenge the vocational expert’s opinion. An attorney who understands transferability of skills under the Social Security Administration rulings and regulations can help with the cross-examination process during the hearing.

 

Don’t risk having your claim rejected. Work with an experienced attorney who will make sure it’s done right. Give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.

Am I Required to do a Drug Test for Workers’ Comp?

Workers' Compensation

If you’ve been injured at work and have filed for workers’ compensation, then you’ve probably been asked to take a drug test. If this feels like a pointless invasion of privacy, don’t worry — we agree. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to avoid this: it’s the law.

 

Of course, we don’t condone the use of illegal drugs or drugs that were not prescribed to you; however, that doesn’t mean we think the insurance company should be allowed to drug test you. In reality, there’s not much of a relationship between what you possibly took at a party two weeks ago, and how a coworker drove a forklift into you yesterday.

 

The scenario that we see more often than illegal drug use is people taking prescription drugs that aren’t prescribed to them. For example, if while waiting to see the doctor, you take some of your wife’s prescription painkillers, you could test positive for drug use. In that case, you could lose your right to benefits.

 

Taking someone else’s painkillers might not seem like a big deal, especially when you’re in a great amount of pain, but the reality is that it is illegal. Don’t put your case in jeopardy by taking medication that’s not prescribed to you.

 

If you’re concerned that a drug test may prevent you from receiving workers’ comp benefits, be sure to contact an experienced attorney. We can help you determine whether or not your case will be affected.

 

If you’ve been injured at work, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation. We can help guide you through your case and ensure that you get the benefits that you deserve. 

If I’m an Independent Contractor, Can I Still Get Workmans’ Comp?

Workers' Compensation

Just because your boss says you’re an independent contractor, doesn’t mean you are. In a workers’ compensation case, the court doesn’t really care what your boss has to say on the matter. They’re going to look at a few other factors.

 

Long story short, whether or not you’re an independent contractor really comes down to how much control your boss has over you. For instance, does your boss set how, when, and where you work? The more control your employer has over these factors, the less likely you’re an independent contractor — even if you’re called an independent contractor in your contract.

 

Employers in certain industries are notorious for calling employees “independent contractors,” and because it prevents them having their taxes withheld, many employees are happy to go along with it.

 

We often see sales representatives, construction workers, and truck drivers who believe they are independent contractors but actually don’t fall into that category when it comes to workers’ compensation.

 

The best thing to do is to speak with an experienced attorney. We can help you determine exactly how the Industrial Commission will view your position. Our experienced attorneys can also help you apply for workers’ compensation benefits and navigate all of the complicated aspects of workers’ comp law.

 

If you’ve been injured at work and you’re unsure whether or not you really are an independent contractor, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Oxner + Permar offers free consultations, and we can help you decide how to proceed with your workers’ comp case.

Do I Really Have to Give My Adjuster My Medical Records for the Last Ten Years?

Workers' Compensation

We know. We get it — and we agree with you. It’s absolutely ridiculous that the adjuster would demand this of you. Not only is it a huge pain, but it’s a huge invasion of your privacy. Nevertheless, the Industrial Commission routinely allows for this to happen.

 

The problem is, on paper, this sounds like a way for the adjuster to check for fraud. However, what the Industrial Commission fails to take into consideration is the human side of things. There’s no rule to prevent your adjuster from sharing your records with your coworkers. If this happened, it would be a huge invasion of privacy.

 

If you sustained a knee injury at work, why would the adjuster need to know if you’re taking birth control, or if you broke your arm five years ago, or if you have asthma? We do understand that they might need to know if you’d had a previous knee surgery before you were injured at work, but anything not related to your injury is unnecessary.

 

That’s why it’s important to us that we fight for our clients’ right to privacy. We make every effort to limit this horrible intrusion. Dealing with a workplace injury is difficult enough; you shouldn’t have to add worrying about your privacy.

 

If you’re concerned about your privacy, don’t hesitate to call us. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience, knowledge and commitment to protect your rights.