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.
When it comes to insurance med pay is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but I’ve found that a lot of people aren’t really sure what it is. Med pay refers to medical payments coverage, and it’s generally bought alongside car insurance. It’s a very catch-all kind of insurance that covers a wide range of injuries that you could get if you were to be involved in a car accident.
When you purchase med pay, the insurance company agrees to pay reasonable expenses for the necessary medical treatment you receive as the result of your accident. This basically means that they’re going to cover your accident-related injuries as long as you don’t send them an unreasonably high bill. They’ll look at the cost of similar procedures in the area where you received treatment to determine whether or not the cost of your procedures is unusually high.
As with many other kinds of insurance, there is a limit to how late you can make your claim. In the case of med pay, you have three years from the date of your accident to make your claim. Med pay can also cover more than one family member, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re driving, a passenger, or a pedestrian who’s been struck by a vehicle.
If you’re wondering how much med pay insurance costs, the answer varies on how much coverage you want. Some plans can be as cheap as $500 while others could be a $1 million, if you wanted to spend that money.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t go it alone. Work with an experienced attorney who has the experience to protect your rights. Give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.
Generally, landlords are responsible for making sure that their tenants’ homes are well maintained and up to safety regulations. So if your landlord failed to meet these standards, and you were injured as a result, he or she may be accountable. The problem is, with something like carbon monoxide poisoning, there can be some grey area about who’s responsible.
If your exposure was caused by something like a broken furnace, pipe, or anything else a landlord is responsible for fixing or maintaining, the landlord is likely to be held accountable — especially if you notified them that there was a problem. If they refuse to fix a problem that you pointed out to them, and you end up getting hurt as a result, they will almost certainly be held accountable.
Things can start getting tricky when the carbon monoxide exposure happens because of an appliance or device that was not broken when you moved in. For example, let’s say you have a gas stove that was properly inspected right before you moved in. Everything was fine with the stove, but a few months later you accidentally damage the stove which causes it to begin leaking carbon monoxide. In this case, your landlord probably won’t be considered responsible.
The same is true if your stove was leaking due to a manufacturing problem. In this instance, you might have a case against the manufacturer instead.
North Carolina law requires that homes have carbon monoxide detectors. If your landlord did not install a carbon monoxide detector and you suffered carbon monoxide exposure, your landlord could be liable.
If you’ve suffered from carbon monoxide exposure, be sure to contact an experienced attorney to help handle your case. At Oxner + Permar, we offer a free consultation. We’ll help evaluate your case and decide your next steps.
I find that many clients assume the best way to win their case is to take it to court and make sure that it is heard by a judge and jury. The truth of the matter is that a trial isn’t always the best (or fastest) way to go about it.
For instance, I recently worked with a client who was injured by an uninsured driver and made a claim for underinsured motorist coverage. Our first step was to submit a demand to the insurance companies. They made an offer of $20,000. That might seem like a fair amount of money, but the reality of the situation was that it only covered the medical bills.
Rather than taking the matter to court, we demanded arbitration with the insurance carriers. They agreed to meet for voluntary mediation. During the mediation, the insurance carriers upped their offer to $30,000. However, they refused to negotiate any further.
I knew that my client deserved more than this, so we went to binding arbitration. Binding arbitration is like a very informal, mini trial in which the rules of evidence don’t apply. Instead, an impartial third party is brought in to hear both sides and decide on a ruling. In this case, the arbitrators came back with an award of $50,000 — $20,000 more than the insurance companies had offered us!
It just goes to show that sometimes the best course of action is to utilize binding arbitration when it is allowed. This kind of hearing can be efficient for settling claims and can result in rewards that are substantially higher than the original offers.
If you or someone you know has been wrongfully injured, be sure to contact an experienced lawyer at Oxner + Permar. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, we know how to make wrongs, right.