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Category: Personal Injury

What Is Considered Contributory Negligence?

Personal Injury

North Carolina is one of the few states in the US that still uses contributory negligence as a way of deciding whether or not an injured party can earn a settlement. The court will look at whether or not your negligence caused your accident. If your negligence contributed to your accident in any way, you could lose your settlement.


Let’s say you’ve been injured in a car accident. Any observer of this accident would agree that it was the other person’s fault. However, what was less easy to observe was the fact that you were speeding. When this case goes to court, they will look at whether or not your speeding caused your accident in any way.


The court determines that if you hadn’t been speeding, there’s a possibility the crash wouldn’t have occurred. Because of this, the court will be unable to award you any money in your settlement. This is because your speeding is considered contributory negligence.


However, if the court had determined that the crash would have happened regardless of whether or not you were speeding, then it would not be considered contributory negligence. In this case, the court would be able to grant you a settlement if they saw fit.


Usually a defense attorney will do everything in their power to show your contributory negligence, which is why it’s always a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side when dealing with a personal injury case.


If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar. We can help you stand up for your rights and get you the benefits you deserve.

Can My Employer or the Adjuster Talk to My Doctor Behind My Back?

Personal Injury

When it comes to our health, we want to be able to trust our doctors. Especially when dealing with a workers’ compensation case. You want to make sure your doctor truly has your best interests at heart. So is it legal for your employer talk to your doctor behind your back? Doesn’t that seem like a breach of trust?


It’s an unfortunate truth, but yes, it is legal. And they do — all the time. It wasn’t always allowed, but very often it happened anyway. However, successful lobbying with Governor McCrory lead to a huge change in the law. Thanks to these new laws, employers can talk to your doctor, and are not required to tell you that the conversation occurred or what they talked about.


Under the old laws, the adjuster or employer had to not only submit their inquiries in writing, but also had to share a copy with you before they sent it to your doctor. This would give you a chance to look it over and ask any questions you might have. You could even ask for something to be added — which seems like a very fair arrangement. They could communicate with your doctor, and you still knew what was going on.


So why did insurance adjusters and employers want this changed? Well, based on the fact that they lobbied the government to change the law, it doesn’t seem like a huge leap to infer that they had a motive. And that motive seems to be their desire to communicate with your doctor without you knowing.


The system isn’t always fair to you, so make sure that you have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. If you’ve been injured at work, contact an attorney who will fight for you and defend your benefits.

What’s the Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury

When you’re focusing on recovering from an injury, the last thing you want to think about is having to deal with a legal battle to get the settlement you deserve. However, waiting can put you at risk of not receiving anything for your case. That’s why it’s always best to act as quickly as possible.

The actual statute of limitations on a personal injury case is 3 years. This means that from the date of your injury, you have 3 years to file a personal injury claim — but it’s always a good idea to get started as soon as you can.


For one thing, you don’t want to let time slip away from you. If you keep putting off filing your claim, you could miss your window, in which case the at-fault party would not be held responsible, and you would get nothing from them.


Another reason to make your claim early is that your case is still fresh in the minds of doctors, physicians, and other experts you will need to support your case. For instance, if your doctor is asked to testify, they’re much more likely to remember the details of your case if it happened a few months ago rather than if it happened a few years ago. Your doctor’s testimony is going to be more credible if it is more recent.


We understand that it can be incredibly overwhelming to deal with both recovery and your personal injury case. That’s why we recommend working with an attorney from day one. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure that everything is taken care of.


The statute of limitations on a personal injury case is only 3 years. Make sure that you speak with an experienced attorney about getting what you deserve before time runs out.

Can My Third Party Personal Injury Case Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

You may think that a personal injury case and a workers’ comp claim wouldn’t affect each other. After all, they are completely different areas of the law, right? Well, that’s not always the case. While you may believe the cases are unrelated, they may have more effect on one another than you might think. For instance, in the Easter-Rozzelle case in Charlotte, NC, one man’s personal injury claim totally changed the outcome of his workman’s comp case.

Initially, the worker filed for workers’ compensation after injuring his shoulder while removing a manhole cover for work. He was put on work restrictions for about a week until he recovered. However, by the time his work restrictions were up, he had still not recovered. His employer instructed him to visit his doctor and have his restrictions reevaluated.

It is not uncommon for injuries to not improve by the time you are supposed to return to work. However, on the way to the doctor, the worker got into a car accident. During the accident, he sustained a traumatic injury. In order to deal with this case, the man hired a new attorney to deal with his personal injury case regarding the car accident. This case was settled and he dispersed his settlements without taking into account his workers’ comp lien or informing the Industrial Commission.

When it came time to settle his workers’ comp claim, he tried to have workers’ compensation take into account his injuries from his car accident. Under normal circumstances, this would be a possibility; however, once it came out that he had already settled the claim without letting the insurers or his employer be involved in the process, he lost his claim to the workers’ compensation benefits.

Regardless of whether the cases seem related or not, it’s important to tell your attorney about any and all of the cases that you’re involved in. Your attorney will know which cases might affect the other and which cases might benefit from involving one case with the other.

If you’re dealing with more than one case, be sure your attorney or attorneys know about them. If you’re unsure about how your case might affect your workers’ comp claim, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.

¿Sabias que…

…su caso de lesiones personales, puede tener un efecto con  relación a su caso de compensación al trabajador?

Esta situación surge, cuando usted fue lesionado por una tercera parte en el transcurso de su empleo y tiene un caso de compensación al trabajador en contra de su empleador. Según el caso Easter-Rozelle vs. City of Charlotte (2015) si usted empieza una querella en contra de la tercera parte que le lastimó, y también empieza una querella en contra de su empleador, usted tiene la obligación de avisar a su empleador, si entra en un acuerdo legal con la tercera parte.

Si usted no avisa a su empleador cuando llega a un acuerdo legal con la tercera parte, usted no podrá seguir adelante con su caso contra su empleador.  Esta regla aplica hasta en situaciones en que la cantidad de dinero que consiguió en su acuerdo con la tercera parte, no es suficiente para cubrir los gastos asociados con su lesión laboral.


Es por esto que usted debe de contactar abogados con experiencia cuando se lesiona en el trabajo.  Aquí en Oxner + Permar, tenemos abogados con años de experiencia en casos de compensación al  trabajador que pueden asistirle en español. ¡Llámenos!