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My Employer Doesn't Have Workers Comp Insurance?

A common, although horrible, tactic that we hear from employers who don’t want their workers to file for workers compensation is to tell the injured person that they don’t have or need workers compensation. This would mean that the worker is not legally covered by the company and shouldn’t file a claim either way, as it won’t result in anything. Unfortunately, this does frequently work because people aren’t aware of the workers compensation laws in North Carolina. Our advice is always to file a claim anyway, regardless of what your employer says just in case they are giving you false information whether maliciously or simply out of ignorance.

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires all businesses that employ three or more employees to have workers compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers. There are exceptions, such as some agricultural workers, workers of some railways, federal government employees, and domestic workers employed directly to a household. You may also not be covered if you are considered an independent contractor. However, you also might be incorrectly labeled as one, and the North Carolina Industrial Commission may rule in your favor despite your employment label from your company.

If your employer says that they do not have workers compensation but do not fall under one of those exemptions, they may very well be breaking the law. If this is the case, they should be reported to the North Carolina Industrial Commission and dealt with through the courts. An employer found to have no workers compensation insurance when they are legally required to can result in everything from fines to prison time. It is dangerous for employers to not have workers compensation insurance for their workers, and this kind of fraud is part of an active crack down. By reporting this type of activity, you are not only helping the state, but also protecting someone else in the future from being in the same position that you are now.

If your employer tells you that they don’t have or need workers compensation insurance, give us a call at Collier Law Firm. You will receive a free consultation, and we can help you figure out whether or not this is true and legal. You deserve to have someone in your corner, and we would be honored to be those people. Give us a call today, and see what we can do to get you the compensation that you deserve.

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. The main thing that we can use to combat occupational illness after the fact is the fight for proper compensation. While we obviously wish the illness never occurred in the first place, you should 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 previous year. Although this publication is nearly a decade old, 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 a workplace death warrants compensation for the family of the deceased.

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, but we will fight to make sure it isn't. We believe that your claim is just as valid as anyone's. You should focus on getting yourself or your family member healthy, let us handle the technicalities, and work for you. Call us for your free consultation!

Agricultural Workers - Workers' Compensation Attorney

Now that we are moving into summer, we want to talk about a specific type of worker and how workers compensation is different for them. This time of the year is often within the big growing season and although modern technology has made it so that nearly anything can be harvested at just about any point on the calendar, the idea of springtime as a busy time for farmers still remains. That is why I want to talk about the specific laws surrounding agricultural workers with compensation. It is one of the few professions that is legally different from the rest.

In North Carolina, the law states that any company that has three or more regularly employed persons needs to have workers compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers. This is the rule that most cases will fall under in this state. However, there are a few exceptions, and one of them is agricultural employers. In this case, the employer only needs to have workers compensation insurance if they have 10 or more full-time, non-seasonal agricultural workers. This means that unless they keep at least 10 people on their books in the “off-season”, they are not legally required to cover any of the injuries their workers may sustain in the course of their jobs. Naturally, this means that all of the extra help that gets hired during the busy season can be left high and dry if they are hurt.

Working in agriculture can take quite a toll on the body. While many people think of it as just planting things and pulling things out of the ground, but it is so much more than that. Even if it did just entail putting some seeds in the ground, if you have to do all of that by hand it will very quickly end up damaging your back. Add to the mix how many things you have to lift, carry, and any equipment you need to operate, and it’s suddenly clear why it is important to know whether or not your employer has workers compensation insurance.

If you work in agriculture and were hurt on the job, call Collier Law. You may just find that your employer should have workers compensation insurance and you may have a case even if you were only a seasonal worker. Let us help you get the benefits that you deserve while you work on getting better. You deserve to be compensated for your injury today!

What Is Covered - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the most frequent questions that we get about workers compensation has to do with what is and what is not covered. While these questions are often difficult to answer due to the case by case basis that we often see with workers compensation, there are a few things that don't change. As with any set of laws, there are certain aspects that are heavily established. in North Carolina state law mandates that ensures certain things are covered. These are the things that we will be going over so that you have a brief overview just in case you ever need it.

When it comes to workers compensation, you are not immediately compensated for the first week that you find yourself unable to work. You begin to get the compensation payments in the second week of your injury related absence, however if you are out for a full month then you do also get reimbursed for the first week that your injury caused you to miss. However, this compensation is not your full wage. It is only 66 2/3% of your weekly wage that you can claim through workers compensation with a maximum per week that cannot be exceeded. This changes yearly, however for 2021 that number is $1,102.00. This means that the absolute maximum that you can collect per month just in lost wages is $4,408. This isn’t everything that you are entitled to, however.

With workers compensation, you may also be reimbursed partly for some travel expenses. This means you should always keep a record of how far you travel for medical visits and when. These amounts will depend on the year that the travel occurred in. This is in addition to the compensation you are entitled to regarding the actual medical treatment that you receive connected to your work-related injury.

When it comes to workers compensation, there are a lot of things that can be up for debate. Compensation will be different for every person because no two cases are the same. This is why having an attorney on your side is so incredibly important. Give Collier Law a call as soon as a work-related injury occurs to file a workers compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This will make sure that you get the help that you deserve. We promise that we will fight until you get the compensation you are owed!

What If It Was My Fault - Workers' Compensation Attorney

Suffering an injury often carries a sense of guilt for one reason or another. People often blame themselves when they get hurt for not paying more attention to their surroundings or for no longer being able to provide financially for their families the way they had been. These feelings are often made more intense by the rhetoric that we often hear about people not actively working. What we want you to know is that if you are no longer able to work due to an injury, you should not feel like you are to blame. In fact, we believe the exact opposite.

Workers compensation in North Carolina is what is known as a “no-fault law”. This means that regardless of who may be “responsible” for the injury, you are normally still eligible for compensation. Accidents happen all the time, and they don’t necessarily have to be caused by the actions of any one person. How many times have you opened your closet at home only to have something fall out? While it is a distinct possibility that someone put the item too close to the edge of the shelf, it may also simply be the result of constant movements that caused it to fall. We don’t blame ourselves when a bottle of shampoo falls in a wet shower, so if something randomly falls at work why should it be any different?

The way North Carolina workers compensation law is written, you can file a claim as long as the incident was an accident. If it was clearly caused by negligence of one party or another, that falls into a different category. There are still options for you if this is what happened, but it most likely will not be handled as a workers compensation case. Unless you blatantly caused the injury by being careless or by ignoring orders, you have at least a chance of getting some form of compensation.

Regardless of who may have been at fault, you should contact Collier Law if you have been hurt at work. You will get a free consultation for your case and a legal team that will fight to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve. We understand that accidents happen and want to do everything we can to make sure that you aren’t left without means to care for yourself and your family. Give us a call today!