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When Should I File My Claim? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

When it comes to any type of injury or illness, time is of the essence. You always want to catch a cold early so that you don't develop full blown symptoms just like you want to treat a cut before it can get infected. You don't want to have to walk around on a broken foot for a week or so before getting it looked at just like you want to go to the doctor immediately if you dislocate your shoulder. If all of these things are something you want to do quickly, then it only makes sense that you want to be on top of any extra work that it may include. When you're hurt on the job, this includes paperwork regarding the injury. We often hear people ask when we think they should file their workers compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Our answer is always the same: immediately! Not only is it important for you to get the ball rolling quickly in case there are any issues, but you only have two years from the date of the injury to file. While this seems like a long time, you can't get any workers compensation benefits without filing, which means you really should do it within 30 days. Any longer and you may have other issues occur that can impact how much compensation you receive. While there may be certain reasons that you cannot file right away after an injury, it is important that you do so as quickly as possible once you are able. If there is one thing that we never want to hear, it's that your compensation was impacted because of when you filed. There are always so many things that you need to get done when you are injured, and all of them seem like the number one priority. Although it is definitely exhausting to recover from an injury that keeps you out of work, it is important that you do everything you can to get any paperwork in quickly and set things in motion so you can sit back and relax a little instead of having to try and cram something in before a deadline. If you were injured at work, give Collier a call and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you deserve. Just make sure you do it quickly so that you don't have to worry about it later!

Which Injuries Need a Claim? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

Injures and accidents happen at work all the time. The issue is often that they can cover a wide spectrum of severity. Depending on your job, you may be at risk of everything from a bad paper cut to loss of limb or even death. Not every injury that you sustain at work will need to have a claim filed through the North Carolina Industrial Commission, but it can be difficult and confusing to figure out what issues do warrant the paperwork. While we always say that you should err on the side of caution, there are a few parameters that you should use to decide whether or not you want to report the injury to your superiors. With any injury, no matter what size or type, it is important to make sure it is properly treated. Whether that means some peroxide and a simple bandage or a splint and a trip to the hospital. However, one of these doesn't necessarily need to be reported. If your injury is from something like a paper cut or accidentally poking yourself with a staple, you can simply treat it and forget it. However, if your injury requires more medical attention than a quick grab from a first aid kit, you should probably say something. Severe cuts, especially ones that may require stitches, should always be brought to the attention of your supervisor. Any time you sprain or break a bone on the job, you should definitely let your higher-ups know. If you damage a tendon or ligament, you're going to want to tell your boss. Anything that can impact how you work, even if only for a day or two, should always be brought to their attention. If it is something that requires outside medical assistance, a claim should be filed. Again, it is generally better to report instead of let the injury get worse without having the paperwork already in motion. If you aren't sure whether or not you should file a claim for your injury, or if you're having trouble with your claim, give Collier Law Firm a call. We can help you every step of the way and will make sure that we do everything within our power to get you the compensation that you deserve. Give us a call and let us fight for your compensation while you focus on recovering from whatever your injury may be!

All You Need to Know About Workers' Compensation Benefits - Workers' Compensation Attorney

The rules and laws of workers compensation can quickly get confusing, even to those of us who work with them each and every day. It isn't always common that you pay that much attention to laws in general unless it directly impacts you, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are so many things that we have to worry about from day to day, it often seems almost silly to put effort into learning the intricacies of something that may never be needed. Due to this, however, you may not know exactly what workers compensation benefits you should be getting if you were hurt. While we do suggest you hire an attorney, you can get a small overview of some of the benefits you may be entitled to right here. Just remember that this is not a comprehensive list and speaking with a licensed attorney is always going to be your best option. One of the most common questions that we are asked is “Why don’t I have my money yet”. While there are any number of reasons for this depending on your claim and injury, it should be noted that wage replacement does not occur for the first seven days of missing work as a result of your injury. If you miss more than twenty one days, then you will be compensated for those first seven that were missed as well. It may also come on a different schedule than you were expecting depending on your normal pay periods. Normally they are made weekly, but it is always best to talk to your attorney to be sure. Your lost wage compensation will come at 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay. As of 2017, that number is capped at $978 regardless of how much you make. This is meant to be adjusted annually and may change soon in the future, so always be sure to double check just in case you hit that pay bracket. 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 figure out, but we are here to help. If you have been hurt and want to file a claim, call Collier Law Firm today for your free consultation and see what benefits we can help you get!

What Is the Coming and Going Rule? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the laws in workers’ compensation that comes up time and again is what is known as the coming and going rule. The coming and going rule covers the period of time that it takes for you to travel to and from your place of employment. This includes any injuries that may occur along the way. It is important to remember that every case and situation is different. Whether or not you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim is based entirely off of how you are traveling and whether or not it was for your job. If you commute to and from work on your own and are injured in an accident along the way, you generally cannot file a workers’ compensation claim. Although you need to get into work somehow, until you have “clocked in” you are not, by law, at work. This means that your trip in is not considered to be within the scope of your employment, and so most injuries sustained during travel you take on a daily basis is not eligible for compensation. However, as with any rule, there are some exceptions. Here's an example. If you are asked to go to the store and grab bagels for the morning meeting, you may feel lucky. You get out of the office for a little and might even get to pick up something for yourself since you forgot your lunch at home this morning. However, if you are in an accident on your way to the store, are you still considered to be at work? According to the coming and going rule, you may be covered by workers’ compensation because you were doing something you had been asked to do by your superior. Even if you planned on doing some personal shopping while there, you didn't request time off to do it. However, if you were just stopping by the store for yourself, you wouldn't be eligible for compensation because it was just a personal errand. With the laws regarding the coming and going rule being as specific as they are, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can if you are injured. Give Collier Law Firm a call today and get a free consultation to see if you have a claim for workers’ compensation, even if the injury happened while you weren't in the office. We can help you figure it out, so give us a call today!

Uninsured Employers in North Carolina - Workers' Compensation Attorney

    Recently, an audit has been completed in regards to employers that are under or uninsured in regards to workers compensation. The North Carolina Industrial Commission conducted the audit to find out just how large the gap of uninsured employers is and had frightening findings. Although according to North Carolina law any employer who has three or more full or part time employees needs to purchase workers compensation insurance, unfortunately not every employer is willing to put forth the money to help protect anyone who may be hurt while on the job.
    According to the auditors, there are at least 156,000 workers that are employed by those based in North Carolina that are not covered by workers compensation insurance. This is naturally a very concerning fact and needs to be remedied as quickly as possible. This is why the North Carolina Industrial Commission has five full time employees dedicated to finding out where these lapses in coverage are. Despite the fact that these employees have not been increased, they have begun to collect more and more in fines over the past couple of years. In fact, since April of 2014, the Commission has collected more than $2.4 Million in fines. In the same span of time from 2012, they had only collected around $500,000. Due to this heavy increase in uninsured employers, the North Carolina Industrial Commission has asked for a larger staff to help crack down on those employers who are attempting to avoid insuring their workers.
    There are many concerns when it comes to not correctly insuring employees with workers compensation insurance. Not only does it harm those who are hurt on the job without the proper coverage, but it also causes problems for every tax payer in the state of North Carolina. This is because the money needs to come from somewhere and often is paid for through Medicare and Medicaid. One of the main issues found with the audit is the fact that many companies incorrectly claim that their employees are independent contractors. This means that they do not need to insure them. Identifying this employee misidentification is a large step in ensuring that everyone has the proper coverage. Always be sure that you check to make sure that your employer has the proper insurance for you.