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Workers' Compensation Blogs

What If I Am Hurt Out of State? - Workers' Comp

Many of us are required to travel for our work. This may mean your daily commute, or it could mean trips that you need to take for business. Perhaps your job is driving, such as over-the-road trucking. Perhaps you are a specialist and travel to different places depending upon where you are currently needed. The possibilities are endless as to why you travel for work, but what happens if you are out of state when you get hurt? Are you still able to apply for workers compensation even if you are that far from your job?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to these questions. The best place to start is in your company’s workers compensation insurance policy. There are two clauses on the information page which should allow you to find out if you are covered in the state you were hurt in. These are 3.A and 3.C. 3.A will list the states in which your employer operates when the policy begins and 3.C is a list of states that your employer believes their employees may be working in or traveling to/through. These are placed in the policy to hopefully protect you if you are hurt on the job while away from the office, so to speak.

The main obstacle to being able to easily answer this question is that each state has their own workers compensation laws. For example, if you are hurt in Ohio, North Dakota, Washington, or Wyoming, your worker’s compensation policy will not apply. This is also true if you are injured in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. This is because these areas are “monopolistic” which means that coverage can only be purchased from the state. While larger employers may privately insure in a couple of these areas, these carriers cannot write out compensation for an employer in regards to workers compensation.

This is a situation in which you absolutely need an attorney. Seeing as how every state has different laws, it can get confusing for anyone to try and make sure you get what you deserve. Collier Law, however, has experience with cases like these and will do all we can to get you the proper compensation. Call Trey Collier today to schedule your free consultation and see what we can do for you.

Workers Compensation and Infectious Diseases

Although the fear of diseases such as Ebola and HIV/AIDS has been taken out of the news as of late, they are still truly concerning in many different parts of the world. While these exact diseases may not be such a worry here in North Carolina, the point of infectious diseases may be one to consider in regards to workers compensation claims if you have contracted one. Such diseases as HIV, hepatitis, MRSA, and others may actually be covered through the state workers compensation laws. At least under very specific circumstances you may find compensation a possibility.

When we use the term “infectious disease”, you need to understand that we are talking about severe and possibly life threatening disorders. “Ordinary diseases of life” such as the common cold or the flu are not in any way covered under workers compensation as they could be transmitted anywhere, at any time, and through any medium. The term infectious disease means those that are heavily impactful and clearly due to work. In order to apply for workers compensation in the event of contracting such a disease, you need to be able to prove that the disease was contracted while on the job as a direct result of your duties.

Occupational diseases may be covered if the work clearly contributed to the contraction of the disease or the worker was at an increased risk of coming down with the illness due to their job. While we normally think of occupational diseases as things like cancers due to exposure to certain chemicals, it is becoming increasingly apparent that some workers are at higher risks for certain diseases. This is especially true of those who work in health care.

Although health care workers take every precaution possible to limit the spread of infectious diseases, sometimes accidents do unfortunately happen. This may be through a needle poke, exposure to certain liquids, or contact with infected bodily fluids. Even those not in health care are at risk for infectious diseases, such as MRSA depending on scrapes and infections that can settle in them.

If you have been diagnosed with an infectious disease and believe it to be a direct result of your work, call Trey Collier today for a free consultation. These situations are always serious and we will do our best to get you the compensation you deserve.

Workers' Comp - Do I Really Need an Attorney?

With so many laws in place to protect workers who are hurt on the job, it may seem silly to hire an attorney. After all, you’re able to tell people what happened and you know that you were hurt while fully within your working parameters. Why should you have to shell out more money when everything is simple to explain and rather cut and dry? Well unfortunately despite many attempts, the law is never quite cut that straight and it is never fully dry. Let us explain why you really do need an attorney to help you.

Getting hurt is always a strain on someone. Whether you are still able to physically move or not, it can leave you feeling paralyzed when you see those medical bills start to pile up. It is a terrifying and uncertain time, especially if the speed at which things were being taken care of begins to slow down. Sometimes it can seem almost impossible to get everything moving again, and I don’t just mean anything that had been injured. Getting the system to work for you can take years and by then it is fully possible that any money you could have gotten in compensation has already been paid out of pocket.

Unfortunately, not everyone has it in their best interest to compensate you appropriately for your injury. Although we have made leaps and bounds in worker’s compensation laws over the past 100 years, there is still a long way to go. There are many ways for people and insurance companies to withhold appropriate funds, and it happens all too often. In order to prevent this happening to you, you need someone who knows how to fight to get you everything you need.

Having an attorney that will work for you is an invaluable thing when it comes to worker’s compensation claims. Here at Collier, we are dedicated to getting you everything you deserve. We know how scary and stressful this time can be and want to make sure that you know there is someone in your corner. We work for you, and this means that we don’t get paid until you do. You deserve to have people on your side, especially after going through an injury or sickness. Call today for your free consultation from Collier Law Firm!

Workers' Comp - Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

With almost all cases which go to litigation, there is someone who is found to be at fault and someone who is identified as the victim. When you’re hurt on the job, this can be a scary thought. While obviously you are the one who has been injured, you may be worried about your company showing that you caused the injury in the first place. This is a common concern for people who come into our office. Thankfully, we have been working this type of case for many years and know exactly how to handle the issue of blame when it comes to workers compensation.

One thing that makes it a little bit easier for us is that workers compensation is a “no fault” insurance. This means that in most cases there is no blame put on either party. Although it may have been a result of negligence on either group, this normally won’t affect your claim to reimbursement in whichever form is decided upon. Your reimbursement is typically paid out in one of two ways. This is either in wage reimbursement for the time you are out of work (which is typically two thirds of your normal salary), or in a lump sum. The lump sum is normally seen as compensation for either medical bills which may accrue or as payment for any partial permanent disability which may have resulted from your injury. Often in cases of workers compensation, both forms of payment are received by the victim.

Although the law states that an industrial accident is more or less a fact of life and therefore the fault of no one, many employers do take it upon themselves to go above and beyond what it required of them in regards to compensation. While they are required to pay for medical and rehabilitation services for anyone who is hurt under their care, many will also pay for work-hardening services which make it easier for the victim to return after a doctor has cleared them. This is because it has been shown to have a good investment turnover in the long run.

Although worker’s compensation does not find any specific person at fault, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire an attorney to help you get everything you deserve. If you have been injured, call Collier and schedule your free consultation today.

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.