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Category: Workers’ Compensation

What Can I Do after a Workplace Injury?

Workers' Compensation

A workplace injury can leave you with a lot of uncertainty — especially if you have a disability that can make it difficult to return to work. It’s comforting to know that even if you can no longer work your old job, it’s possible that your employer could be required to provide reasonable accommodations for you, as long as it does not cause them undue hardship. This means, that whether you’re returning to your old workplace or starting work somewhere new, your employer should find a reasonably relevant and accommodating position for you, as long as you can do the essential functions of your job.

 

For instance, your employer may need to adjust your work schedule, acquire modified equipment, or place you in a different position entirely depending on what your work restrictions are. In some cases this may even include adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, policies, or providing qualified readers or interpreters.

 

Don’t let employers use your disability as an excuse not to accommodate you. If you’re having trouble with an employer who refuses to take your disability into consideration, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. It’s important to find out what your rights are when it comes to employment. Your injury shouldn’t prevent you from working.

 

If you developed a disability after a workplace accident and are having difficulty finding an employer who will accommodate your disability,  don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

If I’m Hurt at Work, What Does My Employer Need to Do?

Workers' Compensation

When it comes to workplace injuries, both the employer and the employee are responsible for different parts of the workers’ compensation process. If you’ve been injured at work, it’s your job to make sure you report your workplace injury as soon as possible. So what exactly is your employer required to do?

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  1. Your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance.

    This may seem like a simple step, but it’s vital that your employer carry workman’s comp insurance. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, if your employer has 3 or more employees, they are required by law to have workers’ comp insurance.

  2. Your employer must file the claim for your injury.

    As soon as your employer finds out about your injury, they are responsible for filing for workers’ compensation on your behalf. First they will file Form 19. This form is also known as the First Report of Injury, and should be filed with the NC Industrial Commission within 5 days of when you first reported your injury to your employer.
    Once your employer has filed Form 19, they must give you a copy of Form 19 as well as a copy of Form 18. Form 18 is a Notice of the Incident. You will be required to fill out Form 18.

  3. Your Employer must ensure that compensation is promptly paid.

    Finally it is your employers’ responsibility to make sure that you are being paid on time. They cannot withhold checks or delay their arrival.

If for some reason your employer is not fulfilling their responsibilities, you should reach out to a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. It’s always a good idea to work with an experienced attorney — we can help you from day one and make sure you know which roles you’re responsible to fulfill and which roles are required of your employer.

If you’ve been injured at work, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, we have the experience to ensure that your rights are being protected.

Is My Employer Required to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Workers' Compensation

No matter what kind of job you’re working, accidents happen. There’s always a possibility for injury. That’s why it’s vital that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, did you know that not all employers are required to carry workman’s comp insurance? In fact, if an employer has less than three employees, they don’t legally have to carry workers’ comp.

 

This law applies to both full-time and part-time employees; so if your company has less than 3 employees (not including contractors), it’s possible that they may not have workers’ comp insurance.

 

While it is a law, there are still many companies with more than three employees who do not have workers’ compensation. While this is illegal, if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, you won’t be protected if you’re hurt at work. So what can you do to protect yourself against an uninsured employer?

 

Be sure to ask your employer whether or not they carry workman’s comp insurance. Even if this feels like an awkward question to ask, it’s better to ask and know than run the risk of working for an employer with no insurance.

 

It’s also important to note that contractors do not count towards the three employees count. If you’re a contract worker, or the number of employees not including contractors is less than three, it’s possible that your employer doesn’t have insurance.

 

We recommend being cautious about an employer who doesn’t carry workers’ compensation. You don’t want to find yourself injured on the job without any compensation. It may be worth finding a different job rather than taking the risk.

 

If you’ve been injured at work, you deserve coverage. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to protect your rights and help you stand up to your employer.

 

Does Workers’ Comp Cover My Weather-related Injury?

Workers' Compensation

Everytime I get asked this, I wish there were a more straightforward answer. But the truth of the matter is that it really depends. In some situations, North Carolina courts tend to rule in favor of weather-related cases; in others, not so much. The outcomes of these workers’ comp claims tend to rely heavily on how directly related to your work the injury was.

 

In other words, the courts are looking for whether or not you would have been exposed to the same danger no matter whether you were at work or not.

 

In one case, the courts denied a claim in which an employee was injured at work when a tornado collapsed part of the building they were in. Basically, the court said that even though they were at work, their injury could have just as easily happened if they had been home. Their being at work did not cause the injury.

 

However, in another case, one worker died from heat exhaustion after working on a 104 degree day. The employee’s job required him to work near melted lead, which of course increased the temperature of the room he was in. Because of this, the court ruled that this situation was compensable.

 

When considering whether or not your weather-related injury is covered by workman’s compensation, it’s important to consider the causes of the injury. Was it caused directly by the nature of your job? Or was the injury just circumstantial? An experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not your case qualifies.

 

With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to handle all kinds of workers’ comp cases. If you suffered a weather-related injury at work, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Summer Heat and Workers’ Comp

Workers' Compensation

It’s that time of year again, and boy, have we had some hot days this summer. As with every year when the weather gets hot, it’s a good idea to remember safety tips for working in the heat: particularly for those who work outside doing physical labor. It’s easy to forget that working in very hot conditions can be just as dangerous as working in the snow and ice.

 

According to OSHA, on average there are 36 work-related deaths caused by the heat every year. They also see about 2,380 heat-related illnesses and injuries, which can be incredibly serious.

 

If you’ve experienced heat stroke, heat exhaustion or any other condition from spending time working in the heat, you can file for workers’ compensation benefits. As with any workplace injury or illness, make sure you file for workman’s comp as soon as possible.

 

During the summer it’s best to limit intense physical labor in the heat. If you must work outside, make sure to take frequent breaks to seek shade and cool off. It’s also important that you stay hydrated. Drink water frequently or beverages that replenish salt loss through sweating, such as sports drinks or coconut water. If you or a coworker are showing symptoms of heat stroke, be sure to call 911.

 

If you or someone you know has experienced a heat-related illness, be sure to file for workers’ compensation and contact an attorney to help guide you through the process. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you.