The Future of Workers’ Compensation under Trump
It’s 2017. New year, new president. And with the inauguration of the president last month, it’s worth taking the time to take a look at what Trump’s policies mean for workers’ compensation. Whenever there’s a change of power, there’s bound to be a change in policies. So far, Trump’s policies seem like they’re going to impact workers’ comp in a much different way than Obama’s did.
Of course, it’s really too early to tell exactly how Trump’s policies will affect workman’s comp. There’s always a disconnect between what a candidate promises on the campaign trail and the reality of what they can achieve while in office. But based on what Trump has said, there are a few concerns regarding the future of workers’ compensation.
One of the main concerns is Trump’s desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act (more commonly referred to as “Obamacare”). The ACA goes a long way to ensure that workers’ comp costs are kept low and affordable. Thanks to the ACA, people are able to visit the doctor for less serious injuries knowing they will be covered by their health insurance. In that way workman’s comp money is saved for those who truly need it.
Moreover, Trump’s desire to cut back on funds for national health insurance programs such as medicare and medicaid will also put a strain on workers’ comp. Premiums are likely to go up as medical costs increase.
Only time will tell exactly how the Trump presidency will affect workers’ compensation. Regardless of how things might change, it’s always best to follow work safety guidelines. If you are injured at work, file for workers’ compensation and contact an attorney to help you through the process. If you sustain a work related injury, you are entitled to compensation. Make sure you have someone on your side to defend your rights.
At Oxner + Permar we are passionate about protecting our clients and their rights. No one should go it alone. Make sure you have someone fighting for you.
Former NFL Players Are Suing the NFL Over Workers’ Compensation
If you’re a nurse who got injured while lifting a patient, chances are your injury would be covered by workers’ comp. If you’re a construction worker and you broke your arm while working at a construction site, you’d expect this to be covered by workers’ comp as well. But what if you were a professional football player who sustained brain injury from multiple concussions? Should that also be covered under workers’ compensation?
When you think of “injured on the job” and “workers’ compensation,” football isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Fair enough: Playing a sport doesn’t exactly seem like work, does it?
But let’s look at the law. In North Carolina, you are generally eligible for workers’ compensation if you are injured while “performing the duties of employment.” Technically, for a professional football player, taking the brunt of a head-on collision from a defensive lineman is what they’re hired to do — they’re performing a duty of employment.
This is the argument that’s being made by several former NFL players. Tony Gaiter (formerly of the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers) and 141 other former NFL players are suing the NFL for damages from brain injuries. Currently, NFL players affected by brain injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation despite the fact that these injuries occurred as a result of their profession. The hope is that this case will bring about reform to the way the NFL handles brain injuries and the treatment of the players.
Regardless of your profession, you deserve to be covered by workers’ compensation. If you are injured on the job, contact an experienced lawyer at Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.
Can My Employer or the Adjuster Talk to My Doctor Behind My Back?
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 former 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 your 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.
Employees Who Work Dangerous Jobs Deserve Access to Fair Workers’ Compensation
If you take on a dangerous job, you understand that there’s a certain amount of risk that goes along with it. Even so, everyone has the right to workers’ comp insurance. You should have confidence that if something were to happen to you while at work, you would be taken care of. Unfortunately this is not the case for two workers at Raleigh’s Central Prison.
There’s an expectation that working at a prison is a dangerous job, and employees go through a lot of preparation to ensure that they are ready for that environment. However, things sometimes slip through the cracks, and unpredictable behavior can end in injury. This is what happened to Rosie Andersen and Laura Harmon. Andersen was directly attacked by an inmate, and Harmon was injured when a fight broke out in her office. Both women filed for workers’ comp after sustaining serious injuries.
However, both have run into several difficulties with their claims. The state has been incredibly slow in paying for treatment. Both women have reported medical bills piling up that their insurance should be covering. They also say that the insurance companies have been pressuring them to return to work despite the fact that neither feel ready.
You should never be made to feel forced to return to work or to pay for medical expenses that are covered by your workers’ comp insurance. The state needs to step up its game and take responsibility for its employees. If you have been injured at work and the insurance company is behind on payments or pressuring you to return to work, you should contact an attorney immediately.
When it comes to your rights, make sure that you have someone who’s willing to stand up for you. With more than $275m in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to make sure your rights are being protected.
What is a Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation?
Hiring an attorney is a big decision. Your attorney is largely responsible for how your case will play out. You don’t want to pick just anyone. However, if you’ve never hired an attorney before, it may be difficult to know what to look for in a lawyer. You’re going to want someone who’s experienced, and has a history of winning awards and settlements. But how do you know if an attorney is really as experienced as they say?
One way to tell is by looking for a Board Certified Specialist in workers’ compensation. Not just any attorney can become Board Certified. The North Carolina State Bar is the government agency which licenses and monitor attorneys. They only distinguish a very, very small number of attorneys as Board Certified Specialists.
The first requirement is that an attorney must have at least five years experience practicing primarily workers’ compensation law. Once they have that experience under their belt, they can submit an extensive application detailing various cases that they’ve handled.
They must also undergo many hours of continuing education and have their work evaluated by a committee of other attorneys. Finally, once they’ve accomplished all of that, they must take a day-long, written examination, which has been failed by many seasoned attorneys.
At Oxner + Permar we are proud to have a large team of Board Certified Specialists. We understand that a workers’ compensation claim is important to you and your future. We want to make sure that we are as prepared as possible to take on your case.
Having Board Certification proves a level of competency and dedication above that of your average attorney. Looking for board certification is an excellent way to find an attorney who is qualified to handle your case.