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Workers' Compensation Blogs

Coming and Going - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the most confusing laws when it comes to workers’ compensation is the coming and going rule. The coming and going rule is an umbrella term for when you are traveling to and from your place of employment and any injuries that may occur along the way. Every situation is different regarding whether or not you are allowed to file a workers’ compensation claim. The decision is fully dependent on the circumstance of your travel and whether or not it is defined as within the scope of your employment. Let’s look at a few examples. If you drive yourself to and from work and you are injured in a car accident, then you generally are not covered under workers’ compensation. Although you obviously need to get to work, the argument that is often made is that you could have left at a different time or taken a different road and therefore avoided the accident. Driving from your home is not considered to be within the scope of your employment and so most travel is not eligible for compensation. However, there are always some exceptions. If you are asked to drop something for your company off at the post office at the end of the day, that’s normally a good thing. You will probably get out a little early so that you can make it to the post office before closing, which is always a plus. However, if you are in an accident on the way to the bank you may find yourself wondering what your best path forward will be. According to the coming and going rule, you may be covered by workers’ compensation. This is because you were completing a task for your job that your boss asked of you. Even if you planned on mailing some things for yourself while there, you are still covered. However, if you asked to leave early so you could go to the post office for yourself, you would not be eligible to file a claim in North Carolina. With the laws surrounding the coming and going rule being as specific as they are, you will want to contact an attorney as soon possible after you are hurt. Give Collier Law Firm a call today and get a free consultation to see if you are eligible for workers’ compensation even if you were traveling for work. You never know until you call, so let us help you out today!

How to File a Claim - Workers' Compensation Attorney

When you get hurt on the job, there are going to be a lot of questions. These questions will likely come at you from all angles, including from yourself. Your employer will want to know what happened, your doctor will want to know what hurts the most, your coworkers will want to know if you're okay, and you will probably start asking yourself if there was anything you could have done to prevent the injury. These questions can really get to you if you aren't expecting the intensity, but they do all need to be answered, likely multiple times. One of the first questions you should ask, however, is how to file an injury claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) was created in 1929 to administer the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. Since then, it has branched out into other things as well, but the main goal for the agency remains that it was specifically designed to help streamline the process of workers compensation within the state. This makes the NCIC one stop shopping if you have been hurt while on the job. If you are trying to file a claim, you can easily do so by visiting ic.nc.gov. This page will not only answer the majority of your questions, but will also give you access to the forms you need to complete. The most common form that you will need to complete is Form 18, however if you are filing due to lung disease you will need Form 18B instead. This must be done within two years from the date of the accident, but you should always report the injury to the employer immediately. The NCIC will send you a letter acknowledging your form has been processed, so always be sure to follow up if you haven't received this correspondence. If you are unsure how to file a claim, or would simply like help doing so, give us a call. Here at Collier, we know how stressful and intimidating a situation like this can be. We will do everything within our power to make sure that you are given the right tools to get back on your feet and working again in no time. You deserve to get the compensation that you are entitled to, so give us a call and let us know what part of the process you need help with today!

Am I Getting the Benefits I Deserve? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the most difficult questions when it comes to workers compensation is whether or not someone is getting the right benefits. This is also often one of the first questions that we hear in regards to a claim that has been filed through the North Carolina Industrial Commission. People want to know what benefits they should be getting, and understandably so. It can be confusing to try to navigate through the laws and regulations of workers compensation for anyone, so being certain that you are getting what you are owed isn’t an easy task. This is one of the main reasons why you should contact an attorney immediately after you get injured while on the job. Every case is different, so every set of benefits from workers compensation claims are different as well. Your benefits depend on where you are in your claim, how long you have been out of work, whether you can still work part time, your type of injury, the location of your injury, the severity of your injury, and so many other things. While the basics can be boiled down into a slightly shorter version, the fact still remains that no two cases are the same and so no two people will get the exact same set of benefits from workers compensation. As much as it would make everyone’s lives easier, this just isn’t the way the laws in North Carolina work. It can be confusing even for someone who has been doing this for years depending on the case, so for someone who is already stressed and hurt it can seem impossible. This is why you need someone to help you navigate the strange field of workers compensation. If you have been hurt on the job, call Collier Law Firm today for your free consultation. We can’t promise immediate answers, but we can promise that we will do everything in our power to make sure that you are getting the compensation and benefits that you deserve while you focus on healing and getting back to work. We also want to remind you that if you don’t win, you don’t pay. This means that you won’t be saddled with attorney fees on top of everything else if things don’t go your way during your claim. Let us know how we can help you, and let us do the rest!

The Origins of Workers Compensation - Workers' Compensation Attorney

Did you know that pirates have a special place in the world of workers compensation? It's true! This is due to the fact that pirates happen to be the first known group of people to have a set and well documented form of workers’ compensation. When people think of pirates, normally the image that immediately comes to mind is the bloodthirsty and ruthless (yet often still romanticized) swashbucklers that Hollywood has given us to watch. Rarely do you think of any laws they may have had a hand in creating other than those that have to deal with theft. However, it has been shown through historical sources that pirates may be who you need to thank for your pay when you get hurt on the job. The golden age of piracy, generally agreed to be between 1650 and 1720, saw people of all kinds on the high seas. While the image of bloodshed is not wholly incorrect, there was also an interestingly democratic and almost playful side to many pirates that we are still slowly uncovering. One of these topics that is starting to become better known is that of their workers’ compensation program. If a pirate lost their right arm and survived, they were paid 600 pieces of eight, which is another term for silver. The left arm and right leg were both worth 500 pieces of eight while the left leg was worth 100 pieces less. An eye and a finger were both worth only 100 pieces of eight, but unfortunately fingers could be lost quickly in that line of work. Some ships even offered compensation if a fake limb, such as a peg leg, was lost due to the rarity of a well carved and correctly fitted replacement. Another fun fact was that if the pirate survived the injury that made them eligible for compensation, they were guaranteed lifetime employment on the ship. They were also offered lighter duty and their disabilities were accommodated. This makes piracy one of the first known professions to have both compensation and a return-to-work policy. Thankfully, nowadays we have workers compensation lawyers and pay in money instead of pieces of eight. Here at Collier, we will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve and do everything in our power to make sure that you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to support your family if you're hurt on the job. Give us a call so we can help today!

Independent Contractor vs. Employee - Workers' Compensation Attorney

When we get a call about someone getting hurt at work, one of the first questions we have to ask is what the person's specific employment status is. As odd as this may sound, many people are unsure about their specific title when it comes to employment. While a person may be employed by a company to produce either items or a service and get paid for it, they may not qualify as an employee by the definition of the law. They may, in all actuality, be marked down by the company they work through as an independent contractor instead. This is a very important distinction when we are talking about workers compensation. An employee is, by definition, someone who only does work for one company at a time. While they may have multiple jobs through different employers, they generally have to travel to each one and receive W-2 tax forms from each as well. An employee will also work the hours that are set by the employer as opposed to setting their own flexible schedule. Many employees are welcomed and even encouraged, to join a union. They are also generally able to apply for benefits that are available through work such as healthcare or retirement plans, and are eligible for unemployment if they are released for certain reasons. An employee is also covered by federal and state laws which set a minimum wage as well as overtime laws. On the other hand, an independent contractor can work for multiple companies at the same time doing specialized work. They often work from a remote location and can work any hours they choose as long as deadlines are met. There are no unions for independent contractors and you cannot receive unemployment if let go. There are also no employment benefits for an independent contractor. There is no legal protection that assures they receive minimum wage, and there is no overtime pay. They also get a different tax document, known as a 1099-MISC. The difference that we are most concerned about is that independent contractors are not eligible for worker’s compensation. While an employee can apply for worker’s compensation benefits if hurt on the job, an independent contractor does not have this option. If they are hurt, the treatment costs fall completely on them and no compensation is to be provided. If you are unsure whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, call Collier and see if we can help you look at the possibility of workers compensation.