Can Your Health Insurance Benefits Be Terminated Following a Workers’ Comp Claim?

Can Your Health Insurance Benefits Be Terminated Following a Workers’ Comp Claim?

A Medical/health insurance ID card.When your employer terminates your health insurance after you’ve been hurt on the job, it’s a case of adding insult to injury—literally. First you’ve been injured while at work and can’t continue at your current position. The next thing you know, you receive a notice that your employer has terminated your health insurance benefits.

 

Many people want to know, is it legal for an employer to drop your health insurance when you cannot return to work due to an injury? The answer is yes. While workman’s comp will pay for medical treatment for any injuries sustained on the job, it does not require an employer to continue an injured worker’s health insurance benefits.

 

What should you do if you find yourself in this situation? If you are an injured worker who cannot return to the job, it is important to learn about the different options before you. The attorneys at Oxner + Permar can help you determine next steps. We’ve won more than $275m in awards and settlements for our clients. We care about your wellbeing and your ability to come back from a work injury healthy, confident and prepared for the next phase of your work life. Be sure you know your rights and the many resources available to you.

Personal Injury: Going Up Against Big Corporations

Personal Injury: Going Up Against Big Corporations

Going Up Against Big Corporations

 

It’s rare that you would meet someone who hasn’t heard of the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case. It’s a story that’s transcended the field of law and taken up residence as a permanent fixture of American pop-culture—a testimonial of America’s sue-happy nature. A woman burnt herself on a cup of hot coffee and was awarded $3 million in damages. And as a result, every disposable coffee cup bares a warning along the lines of “caution: contents are extremely hot”. This warning has been endlessly mocked and parodied. How many times have we all heard, “Of course the contents are hot! It’s hot coffee!” repeated since 1992? For the amount people seem to know about this case, it’s amazing how little people understand the facts.

 

For one, it wasn’t just a woman who sued McDonald’s. Stella Liebeck was 79 years old. While sitting in the passenger’s seat of a parked car, she took the lid off her coffee to add milk and sugar. It was then that the cup tipped and spilled its contents into her lap.  She sustained severe third degree burns to her groin and thighs. She initially offered to settle for $20,000 to cover her medical expenses; however, when McDonald’s refused to offer her more than $800 she took them to court.

 

The jury members found that the facts of the case obviously put McDonald’s at fault. The fast food chain keeps its coffee heated to 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit—a temperature that will cause third degree burns in less than 10 seconds. Moreover, McDonald’s failed to inform customers of this risk.McCafe

 

Given McDonald’s obvious fault, you would think more steps would be taken to ensure cases such as Ms. Liebeck’s never happen
ed again. However, just last year, a similar case was settled in Raleigh, North Carolina. Police Lt. Matthew Kohr received third degree burns after the lid of Starbucks coffee came off and the cup folded in on itself, causing the coffee to spill into his lap. Kohr requested $50,000 in compensation to cover his medical expenses including a surgery he had to have as a result of the accident.

 

However, unlike Liebeck, Kohr did not win his case. Starbucks won the case on account of the fact that the coffee Kohrs had spilled had been free and because he had waited two and a half hours to receive treatment for his burns.

 

The fact of the matter is, large corporations are not on your side when it comes to personal injury. Despite what their representatives might say, when it comes to dollars and cents, companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks are more concerned about their earnings than your well being. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re up against one of the big guys, make sure you’re being represented by someone with your best interests at heart. At Oxner + Permar, we’re dedicated to going to bat for our clients, and with $275m in settlements and awards we have the experience to really back them up. No matter the size of your opponent, be sure your rights are being protected.

Dangerous Drugs & Devices: What Are Your Rights?

Dangerous Drugs & Devices: What Are Your Rights?

What Are Your Rights When Medical and Drug Treatments Go Wrong?

Carlino v. Ethicon

It’s frightening when the treatment that you thought was going to solve a medical issue and help turn your health around ends up doing the exact opposite. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a patient to go into a procedure hopeful and come out in a even worse position.

healthcare and medical concept , Close-up of surgeons hands hold

This was exactly the case for Ms. Sharon Carlino, who experienced a number of serious threats to her health after she was implanted with Gynecare transvaginal tape for incontinence. After this initial procedure, Carlino had to have multiple corrective surgeries to revise or remove the mesh, part of which had eroded. When the doctor couldn’t remove all of the mesh, Carlino suffered from mesh erosion, mesh exposure, mesh contraction, infection, inflammation, scar tissue, organ perforation, dyspareunia, blood loss, pelvic flood damage, pelvic pain and recurrent urinary incontinence.

 

The experience was harrowing for Carlino. But, luckily, she had the confidence to seek justice. Carlino filed her case, alleging a defective manufacture and design of the transvaginal tape, a failure to warn of the dangerous nature of the product, among other claims. After she had her day in court, Carlino was awarded $13.5 million—$3.5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.

 

If you’re currently dealing with a situation like Carlino’s, in which a product you were administered was harmful or a physician did not provide the proper care, don’t shy away from seeking legal assistance. When the case is handled by an experienced law firm like Oxner + Permar, chances are excellent that you’ll get the awards and settlement you deserve.

Eminent Domain: How does it affect your private property?

Eminent Domain:  How does it affect your private property?

How Does Eminent Domain Affect Your Private Property?

It may be hard to believe, but North Carolina law still allows the government to take private property from homeowners, farmers and small businesses and hand it over to large corporations. As long as corporations promise to develop the property and increase the tax base, land that you own could be taken away from you. In fact, it looks like that’s what is currently happening in our own Four Oaks area. Take a look at some of the recent news coverage of this important and contentious issue.

Small country house, garden, blooming plum tree

While several efforts have recently been made to change this law, so far none have been successful. I believe that an amended law could be right around the corner, but even so, it is important for private property owners be ever mindful of their rights in issues of eminent domain, like that of the Forest Oaks community.

 

It can be terribly unsettling when  your home or business is being put at risk through no fault of your own, but there is help. Oxner + Permar has seen—and won—scores of cases in which citizens who feared they had no one on their side. With our team, they found the support and expertise they needed to go up against someone seemingly bigger and better resourced. Make sure you know your rights if you are facing a threat to the place you call “home.” Get the legal assistance you need to protect your property or to be awarded a settlement when you suspect the law is not being carried out justly.

Family Law: Child Custody- What to Know

Family Law: Child Custody- What to Know

Child Custody – What to Know When Filing a Lawsuit

When spouses separate and children are involved, emotions can run high and issues can get hotly contested. As a couple dissolves their relationship, they may have irreconcilable differences regarding how to raise their children. Or, they may not agree on where the children should reside moving forward.

 

If you are in a similar situation, there are two aspects of custody to consider:

Child custody

(1) Legal Custody—the rights and responsibilities to make decisions concerning the welfare of a child, such as education, religion and health care.

 

(2) Physical Custody—the physical care and supervision of a child and where the child physically resides.

 

If a parent decides to file a lawsuit in Guilford County for custody, what happens next?

First, after a claim for custody is filed, both parties are required to attend a custody

mediation orientation in the Greensboro court. This is a group class that prepares you for mediation. You cannot have a custody hearing until you attend mediation through the court  (unless there is an exemption that allows you to waive mediation).

Next, both parties will sign up for a scheduled mediation. At this mediation, only        parties to the lawsuit and the court mediator are present.  If you have an attorney, he or she is not permitted to attend this mediation with you. Furthermore, the discussions held in this session are private. If the parties come to an agreement, the mediator will draft a Parenting Agreement and will send it to the attorneys to review with you to make sure you understand the agreement. Finally, if both parties choose to sign the Parenting Agreement, the judge reviews and signs it, and it is incorporated into a court order. Parents will also be ordered to attend (at separate times) “Parenting Under Two Roofs,” a program that helps parents realize the impact of their actions on their children and how to keep children out of parental conflict.

 

Keep in mind that if the parties do not come to an agreement during mediation, the case moves forward to trial. The Oxner + Permar team has years of experience in helping parents get through the trying process of a divorcing from their spouses. The end goal is to establish an arrangement that keeps the children’s best interest in mind and gives you a sense of peace about the future.