Sustaining a Personal Injury at Work - Workers' Comp

While work is often hectic and crazy enough for most of us, it is certainly worse when you get hurt. Sustaining a personal injury at work is always a confusing and stressful time. There is always concern about where the money for treatment will come from and how you will continue to support yourself and your family while you are out of work. Thankfully, there have been laws put in place over the past century around the world which help to solve these exact problems. How lucky for you that Collier Law Firm specializes in these exact laws.

If you have been recently injured at work, you may have asked questions about what payment you can get through your employer. The chances are that you have been told that the only compensation that you will be able to receive is that from your company’s workers compensation insurance plan. While this is true in most cases, there are some situations in which you may be able to seek additional payments from a third party. While this doesn’t apply to every injury, it can certainly help you to gain more compensation in the event of a lengthy injury.

Some of these situations do involve injuries sustained while using a product. The chances are that if you were not harmed while operating something or working with a substance, you will not be able to collect from a third party. However, read on to see if you have a claim which you can file for additional compensation.

If you were harmed while using a product or device that was produced by a third party due to something going wrong with it, you may be able to seek payment from the manufacturer of that product. This is only accurate if the product was somehow defective or if the warnings were not accurately conveyed to you or your employer. Similar situations may occur if you were injured due to a toxic chemical. Whether the injury is acute (immediate) or latent (delayed), you may be able to seek payment if an injury or illness occurs.

In many states, any money that is won on a third party case must go to your employer’s insurance carrier as repayment for what they have sent to you. Sometimes, however, you get to keep what you have won. Call Collier today and see what we can do for you.

What Is My Workers' Comp Claim Worth?

Once you are hurt on the job, there are many things that go through your head. While your thoughts normally should be on getting back to your old self, this often doesn’t work. Being injured is stressful and scary and seeing any medical bills that result from the injury can just add to these negative emotions. All of those dollar signs can keep you up at night and may even become an obstacle to your renewed health. While most doctors will tell you not to worry about that, it seems almost impossible not to especially if you are out of work for an extended period of time.

One of the first questions we normally get here at Collier is “How much am I going to get?” While we would love to be able to answer that question with an exact figure, the truthful answer is we just don’t know. There are many mitigating factors which go into a workers compensation case and it is almost impossible to predict just how much a client will come out with. You can rest assured, however, that we will work to get you as much compensation as possible under the laws which we have at our service.

One good thing is that some of these laws make it easier to calculate a base amount of money which you can receive. For example, once lost wage compensation is paid out, you will find that the average weekly rate is sixty six percent of your pre-injury pay. This is equivalent to two thirds, and as of 2017 the weekly amount is not meant to exceed $978.00. This maximum rate does change every year, however, and so if your claim lasts longer this amount will need to be adjusted. In the state of North Carolina, you are able to claim this weekly payout until you are able to return to work.

We know this information may not be what you were looking for under this title, but there are too many differences from case to case for us to give a confident and accurate number in an article. This is why we make ourselves available to schedule your free consultation with us. We want to do all we can to help you, and this is one of the best ways we know how. Call today and see just what we can do to protect you financially.

Workers Compensation Claims for Farm Laborers

Farm laborers are vastly underappreciated and underrepresented in many states of our country. This was proven to be true prior to a ruling in New Mexico in June of 2015. The New Mexico Court of Appeals heard a case dealing with workers compensation for those who cultivated crops from farm land versus those who processed the crops for distribution. Those who processed the crops were covered under the New Mexico workers compensation laws while those who were actually cultivating and harvesting the crops were not. This was the case despite the fact that often these workers are standing side by side on the same farms or ranches.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals found that this situation was unconstitutional. Their statement was that the distinction came down to nothing but their job title and was “seemingly without purpose or reason”. This is especially true when one considers how much physical labor goes into each of these jobs and the chances for one getting hurt in one way or another on a farm or ranch. The Court found that there was little to no difference between the two job categories when it came to whether or not they should be covered by workers compensation laws and so the different treatments were eliminated. We are glad that New Mexico saw that those working on a farm, despite what their specific job titles may be, should be eligible for compensation in the event of being hurt while on the job.

In North Carolina, most businesses with three or more permanent employees, regardless of full or part time, need to provide workers compensation to those who work for them. Agricultural operations, however, are held under slightly different laws than the rest of the employers. This means that those who work on farms are not held under the same requirements and do not always receive compensation in the same way as others. In North Carolina, agricultural employers need to have ten or more full time non-seasonal workers in order to be held to workers compensation laws in the state.

Here at Collier, we always want to help you get what you deserve. Much like this recent ruling in New Mexico, we are always happy to hear about any victory for workers in regards to their compensation being fair and equal.

Disability Benefits for Worker’s Compensation - Part 2

In a previous article, we explained to you how your compensation may be taken care of in regards to a temporary disability. While we all naturally hope that you will be able to return to work at some point, this isn’t always a possibility depending upon the severity and location of the injury. Permanent disabilities are, of course, the worst kind that we see, but we believe that these are also the most important to take care of. Here is a brief overview of permanent disability laws for the state of North Carolina.

Permanent partial disability is paid out when the injured person reaches the end of their healing period but still continues to have some form of impairment in the affected body part or parts. If a body part has been injured and is covered under a schedule, it is given a certain amount of time in which to heal under worker’s compensation laws. For example, a hand is given 200 weeks to return to full mobility before permanent partial disability is considered. Once this time is up, a medical professional will evaluate the area and determine the percentage of disability. Under these laws, the injured is allowed a second opinion by someone of their choice at the employer’s expense. Any additional payout that is received from permanent partial disability is calculated by use of a formula which takes into account the body part, disability rating, and temporary disability payments. This can cover not only limb injuries, but hearing and vision loss as well.

Permanent total disability is, understandably, the most severe claim that can be put forth. This occurs when an employee suffers the loss of both hands, both feet, both arms, both legs, both eyes, or a combination of these. It can also be claimed in the case of spinal injury which leaves severe paralysis of both legs, arms, or back or if there were second to third degree burns over 33 percent or more of the body. It may also be claimed with certain brain or closed head injuries. These payments will continue for life.

Under any case, but especially one regarding permanent disability, an attorney should always be contacted. Agreeing to certain claims can mean you receive less than you are eligible for. Call Trey Collier today to receive your free consultation regarding your worker’s compensation case.

Disability Benefits for Worker’s Compensation - Part 1

Getting hurt at work means a great many things. Sometimes you are able to quickly get the issue resolved and be back within a few hours. Other times, you are not quite so lucky. Being hurt on the job can have severe, life altering effects. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that you will have some form of disability, either temporary or permanent. When disabilities occur due to a work related injury, the law has specific guidelines regarding what you are entitled to. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect if you have been disabled due to an injury you have sustained at work.

Temporary total disability is what is paid out to you if you cannot return to work for an extended period of time. Before you are able to receive temporary total disability, there is a seven day waiting period that must be observed in which you cannot work. While these days do not have to be consecutive, it should be noted that any amount of a day that is missed counts towards this seven day time frame. You will not receive compensation for these first seven days unless your disability lasts for at least twenty one days. If this occurs, then you will be paid for the first week as well.

The compensation for this disability in the state of North Carolina is two thirds of the employee’s average weekly salary. Unless stated otherwise, this will be paid out in weekly increments and will continue until the injured person is able to return to work without restrictions or until the employer is able to prove that the employee is no longer disabled. This can continue for up to 500 weeks with the possibility of extension under certain circumstances.

Temporary partial disability is also a possibility in a worker’s compensation case. This occurs when someone returns to work, but at reduced pay. There is also a seven day waiting period for this, and it may continue for up to 500 weeks. Any payment made will be two thirds of the difference between the current weekly salary and the salary earned prior to the incident.

These are not the only possible categories your worker’s compensation claim may fall under. Soon, we will cover total disability for your benefit. Call Collier today with any questions regarding your worker’s compensation claim.