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Monday, November 9, 2015

Early Advice From an Attorney is Key


 Early Communication with An Attorney is Essential To Protecting Your Rights

Many workers’ compensation attorneys offer a consultation at no charge if you’ve been injured on the job and are unsure of what to do.  Shortly after you’re injured, typically, you’ll be asked to provide a statement to your employer and the insurance company as to how you were injured.  The statement is usually recorded and may be used later against you during the claims or litigation process.  Some insurance adjusters may ask questions that are misleading or confusing which can affect your claim.  Adjusters are professionals trained to minimize the costs to the insurance company, and are not always going to treat you fairly.  It is important to seek advice early in your case to make sure that you are protected, and taking the appropriate steps to ensure you are properly compensated.  It can be much more difficult for an attorney to assist you after a statement has been recorded.  It can also be more difficult for your attorney if you have represented yourself a long period of time and if there were missteps along the way.   It is best to obtain advice early and understand any potential issues in your particular case.

Also see:  Recorded Statements 


If you've been injured on the job, contact an experienced attorney to help.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Reforms to Workers’ Compensation Laws Limit Benefits



In the past several years, many states, including North Carolina, have passed new laws changing and cutting back benefits employees can received under the workers’ compensation laws.   Since 2003, new laws have been passed in 33 states that reduce benefits or make it more difficult for those with certain injuries to qualify for benefits.   Cuts have been so deep in some states that judges and even defense attorneys have found them inhumane.   In North Carolina, significant laws went into effect in 2011 that made significant changes to North Carolina workers’ compensation laws; most of which were bad for injured workers.  The first major change was to place an arbitrary time limit on the number of weeks an injured worker can be paid for being out of work for total disability.  There are some minor exceptions to the law, but the exceptions are fairly restrictive and going forward it is unclear how the laws will be applied.  There are also major changes which affect the control of medical treatment, medical opinions and communication with physicians that favor the insurance companies.

See the following link for more information about injured workers suffering from workers’ compensation reforms in this and other states:

Benefit Reforms

If you have been injured on the job, you should contact an experienced attorney to help.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Should You Hire An Attorney?

Whether You Should Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you’ve been injured on the job, you’re probably wondering whether you need to hire an attorney, or handle the claim yourself.  If you’ve been injured and have made a workers’ compensation claim, some employers will accept the claim as compensable and begin paying benefits.  If you have a minor injury, the employer typically pays all your bills until you’re able to return to work.   This scenario is sometimes referred to as a “medical only” claim and you may not need an attorney.  However, for more complex claims, and even with small claims where it appears the employer is not disputing the claim, the proper forms are not always completed or filed by the employee or employer.   An experienced attorney can make sure the proper legal forms are filed in order to protect your interest and ensure you avoid missing filing deadlines. There are certain time limits in which to must take certain action in a workers’ compensation claim.  Further, the type and extent of benefits available can often be hard to understand.  If you decide to settle your case, you will be asked to sign complicated legal documents.  An experienced attorney can ensure you are receiving a fair settlement and that your rights are protected.  Further, most attorneys will provide a consultation at no charge to discuss your case and will let you know whether the attorney can assist with your claim.

For tips on choosing a workers’ compensation attorney please see the following link:

Tips

If you have been injured on the job, you should contact an experienced attorney to help.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Why You Cannot Received Pain and Suffering in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Pain and Suffering in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Before workers’ compensation laws were in effect in the United States, injured workers were required to sue their employer for damages and prove the employer was negligent in order to receive any compensation for in injury on the job.  It was a costly and slow process and many injured workers did not have the money to litigate against an employer who often had deep pockets.  Further, there was little incentive to employers to ensure a safe workplace.  Many workers’ during the Industrial Revolution were harmed in unsafe work environments.  In 1911, the first workers’ compensation laws were enacted in the United States.  The system that evolved is a compromise and no fault system.  The law provides for benefits regardless of who is at fault, but also limits the amount of compensation that a worker can receive.  So a worker injured on the job no longer has to prove fault, but is limited to the benefits under the statute which typically only includes medical treatment, a portion of lost wages and payment for disability.  You cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering.  Workers’ compensation benefits are set by statute and there are limits to the benefits provided.

For articles on the evolution of the workers’ compensation laws, See links here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1888620/

http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/workers-compensation/b/workers-compensation-centennial/archive/2011/03/14/workers-compensation-in-the-united-states-the-first-100-years.aspx

If you have been injured on the job, you should contact an experienced attorney to help.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Teachers

Teachers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for school related injuries.  Teachers can be injured  at work just like other workers, and public school teachers in North Carolina are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when injured on the job.  As a public employee, the teacher also may be a part of the Teachers’ and State Employee’s retirement system depending on certain service and age requirements are met. see http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/district-humanresources/key-information/information/policymanual.pdf

If you are vested in the state retirement system, but cannot return to work due to a work injury you should consult an experienced attorney to advise you of your rights.