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I’ve Been Offered to Settle My Workers' Compensation Case – Should I?

In almost every worker’s compensation case, the injured party will be asked if they want to settle, sometimes also called a “clincher”. While it may be extremely tempting to agree to a settlement, there are many different factors which should be brought into consideration while this offer is on the table. Here at Collier, we want to make sure that you receive everything you deserve out of your worker’s compensation case. Here are some things to think about if you are offered to clincher your case.

One of the first considerations that should be made in regards to accepting a settlement on your worker’s compensation claim is where in the claim you are. For example, if you have just been injured it is almost never advisable to agree to settle. Injuries may take much longer to heal than expected and some never heal correctly at all. By accepting a settlement, you may very well give up any right to receive further payments if another symptom appears, as the case has already been legally closed. As worker’s compensation attorneys, we always suggest waiting until the end of your temporary disability payments to see where the injury is and if there is any permanent damage.

Another consideration to make is whether or not a settlement will disrupt other payments you are already receiving. This can mean Medicare payments, social security payments, or other private disability payments through another medical plan. In the state of North Carolina, a settlement on a worker’s compensation claim may very well affect these things and should always be taken into consideration.

Remember that almost every settlement for a compensation claim will be proposed by either an insurance company or an attorney for your employer. It is within their best interests to pay you as little money as possible, regardless of where in your healing you are or what you deserve. Unfortunately, not everyone will have your health and recovery in mind, especially when it comes to money. We always suggest that you take your time regarding disability payouts and seeing how well your injury heals. Sometimes things like this will start to look up before getting worse again. Always contact your own attorney, especially if a settlement has been proposed. Call Collier today for your free consultation and see what you should do with your payouts.

Things That May Be Affecting Your Workers' Comp Claim

Any time you get hurt while on the job, there are a thousand questions which will spring to mind. Naturally, many of these will be similar to questions like “How long will it take to get back to work” and “Will I ever fully recover”. However, there are a few other questions you should be asking yourself and those around you in regards to your workers compensation claim. These are a few of the questions you should ask that pertain to what may be affecting your claim.

The first thing you need to ask is if the incident was an accident. While we are certain that no one meant to get you hurt, not every injury that occurs on the job is covered by workers compensation. An accident is generally covered under these laws, however not every incident that takes place while you were going about your normal work day is considered an accident. Back injuries are an exception to this law and as such are more complicated to argue.

Another thing that can affect your claim is a previous injury or history of damage to the same body part. Although a previous claim or medical history of treatment to the same area does not automatically disqualify you from workers compensation, it may negatively impact your treatment and the provided payment for any medical expenses. Insurance companies do not want to pay out more money than they absolutely have to and have become experts in arguing that the severity of your injury is due to a previous injury or illness. While having hurt the area before is not your fault, it can cause issues with getting you the full compensation for your claim.

Another thing that can impact your workers compensation claim is whether or not your employer can accommodate your injury at work. The entire point of paying workers compensation is to get you back to work, even with restrictions. If your employer is able to help you to work around your injury and return you to work, this will impact your claim.

If you have any questions about your workers compensation claim in North Carolina, don’t hesitate to call Trey Collier for your free consultation. We want to help you get back to where you were pre-injury, so let us know what we can do for you!

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!