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Workers' Compensation Blogs

What Benefits Should I Get? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

The world of workers compensation is often confusing and strange, even to those of us who work with it every day. It is very common for people to only pay attention to things as they happen to impact them. Workers compensation doesn't normally seem to fall under this umbrella. As a result of this, however, you may not know exactly what workers compensation benefits you should be getting if you have been hurt on the job. This is one of the reasons why we suggest you hire an attorney, but you can always get a small preview of some of these benefits right here. We would like you to remember that this is not an exhaustive list, and speaking with a licensed attorney is always going to be your best option.

One of the most common questions that we hear is “Why don’t I have money yet?” While there may be multiple reasons for this depending on your specific situation, one thing that should be mentioned is that wage replacement does not occur for the first seven days that you miss work due to your injury. If you miss more than twenty one days, you will be compensated for those first seven as well. However your wage replacement will not immediately begin, either. It also may come on a different schedule than you are used to, depending on your normal pay periods. Normally these payments are made weekly, but it is always best to check with an attorney to be sure.

Your lost wage compensation will equal 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay. As of 2021, that number is set at a maximum of $1,102 regardless of how much you make. This is adjusted annually and may change in the future, so always be sure to double check your numbers with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The weekly long-term benefits will continue until you are allowed to return to your normal work or until an agreement or settlement is reached between all parties involved, including yourself.

Workers compensation benefits are difficult to navigate, but we are here to help you. No one should be left alone to figure their way across the confusing landscape of workers compensation alone. If you have been hurt and want to file a claim, call Collier Law Firm today for your free consultation and see just what benefits you may be awarded. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you get!

Romance and Workers Compensation - Workers' Compensation Attorney

February always brings up the idea and thought of love. While most work places won't see Valentine's Day celebrated beyond a few decorations, there are always exceptions. Most employment offices have a rule against relationships in the workplace, or at least illicit ones. Many companies require you to officially disclose the fact that you are dating a coworker, and they may decide to put you on different shifts or some other method of making sure that you aren't around each other on the clock. Regardless of the rules in a company, relationships still happen. Unfortunately, they don’t always have a happy ending. Such a case was seen a little over six years ago in England.

On December 8, 2014, the employees of the London Zoo were having their annual Christmas party when two women got into an altercation over a man they worked with. The argument began after Ms. Kate Sanders made a remark about Ms. Caroline Westlake’s appearance to some friends while she was in the bathroom. They ran into one another in the coatroom, and it was at that time that Ms. Sanders attempted to apologize. This, by all appearances, was a simple drunken spat. That is, at least, until it came out that Sanders was dating the llama keeper Adam Davies, who happened to be Ms. Westlake's ex. Sanders, the monkey handler, received three stitches on her face after Westlake, who was in charge of the meerkats, cut her face with a broken wine glass.

While Ms. Westlake was eventually acquitted, she had initially been found guilty of assault. She was also fired as a direct result of the incident. Due to the fact that this occurred at a work party, there was some question about whether or not it could have been considered a workers compensation claim. The question comes down to whether or not the party was mandatory, which would mean neither women had a choice in attending a location that included the both of them.

Regardless of the reason for the injury, if you have suffered from one while on the job or at a mandatory work function, call Collier Law Firm today for your free consultation. We will do all we can to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve, regardless of any romantic entanglements that are included in the case. Make sure to keep your Valentine's Day at work, work-related!

Occupational Illness - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the most serious yet lesser known problems that face workers today is occupational illnesses. This is a relatively new concept to hear about, but with the technology we have today the information is far more accessible than it ever has been before. While there are well known occupational illnesses, such as mesothelioma, there are a large number of other illnesses and cancers that have been seen over the past few years that are gaining attention in this way. The main thing that we can use to combat occupational illness issues after the fact is the fight for proper compensation. While we obviously wish the illness never occurred in the first place, you deserve to have someone on your side who can help you get what you deserve once you are diagnosed.

Back in 2013, the National Council on Occupational Health and Safety published a report that gives an overview of some of the deaths that occurred at work sites in North Carolina from the year before. Although this publication is nearly a decade old at this point, it is still worth mentioning because it states that the official numbers are often considerably lower than the real numbers for multiple reasons, one of which is the lack of information available on occupational disease deaths. The report states that “no database collects their names”, referring to the ones that pass from occupational illness. They explain that the vast majority of people who die from this are never recognized, but they estimate that for every worker who dies from an acute injury on the job, around ten more pass from an occupational disease. While the number may not be completely accurate, every single person who dies due to their work situation deserves to be remembered and given the correct compensation for what they and their families have gone through.

Here at Collier Law Firms, we believe every workers compensation claim should be honored, including those that involve an occupational illness. These go overlooked far too often and get pushed aside, but we don’t think this is right. We fully believe that your claim is just as valid as anyone else’s and want you to call us for your free consultation. We will fight for you every step of the way so that you can focus on fighting whatever illness you have been diagnosed with. Call us today and see how we can help!

Am I Going to Get Fired? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the questions that we hear the most when someone gives us a call is in regards their future employment. So many people call us concerned that if they file a workers’ compensation claim, they are going to be fired. This is completely illegal in the state of North Carolina. An employer is not allowed to fire you from your position purely because you were hurt on the job and/or you reported an injury. There are specific laws put in place to protect you from this occurring, and even though you may have heard some horror stories, we promise that we will fight tirelessly for you if your employer tries to take your job away due to a work related injury.

Now, unfortunately there are techniques that some employers try to use to “get rid” of an employee who has been hurt and can no longer work. These are often clever and sneaky, and they can happen without you even realizing what is happening until it is too late. One popular method is to make the workplace so unpleasant that you no longer want to work there. This can be achieved by being rude to you, excluding you from activities that your coworkers are allowed to, and even by pressuring your coworkers to be rude to you as well. If you believe that this is happening, we suggest keeping a journal of the times and dates of offenses so that you can use it as evidence during the case for workers’ compensation.

Although it may be hard, it is important that you do not quit while this is happening. While you don’t want to stay in a suddenly toxic work environment, quitting can seriously harm your chances of getting full compensation for your injury. It is times like these where speaking with an attorney as soon as possible is important. You should always get in contact with a lawyer when the injury occurs, but you need to give us a call before you make a large decision like quitting.

If you have been hurt on the job and were fired or are being pressured to quit, call Collier Law Firm today for your free consultation. We are experienced with cases like these and will do everything we can to fight for you. We are dedicated to getting you the compensation that you deserve so give us a call today and let us help you!

Taking Care of Yourself - Workers' Compensation Attorney

Getting hurt at work will definitely throw a proverbial wrench into your normal routine. These injuries are often severe, and may even be life changing. While your employer and their attorneys may make pressure you to get back to work quickly, this is not the most important thing to be focused on. While getting back to your job is something that is important and should be worked towards, the most important thing is for you to be healthy and try to get back to your pre-injury self again.

The biggest thing that you need to focus on after you have been hurt at work is taking care of yourself. This means that despite what anyone at work says or implies, you need to follow your doctor’s orders no matter what your employer wants. Dot every I and cross every T before you do anything at your workplace. Make sure that your boss knows about any and all work restrictions that have placed on you and get confirmation that they will be taken care of. If your doctor ordered accommodations are not met, keep a list of things that violate these orders for your attorney to call attention to. If you push yourself to go back to your job as your employer demands against your doctor’s suggestions, it may harm your case for workers compensation down the road. More importantly than that, however, is that it may cause you lasting or even permanent damage to the spot that was injured.

Regardless of whether or not you feel up to doing something after a certain period of time, be sure to get your doctor’s approval before attempting anything for the first time since the accident. Sometimes it is difficult for us to tell on our own how much we have improved. Your doctor will know what is best for you in regards to getting you back to 100%. Make sure that your employer knows that you are not allowed to do anything that has not already been cleared with your doctor. Again, you could injure yourself further or harm your chances of collecting full compensation, and that is the last thing any of us want.

Although it is often infuriating, patience is important when trying to heal. Always take things at an easy pace and don’t push yourself too hard, no matter how much you may want to. Call Collier today and let us know how we can help you with your workers compensation claim!