No one ever plans to get hurt at work and have to file a workers’ compensation case. However, a serious injury on the job can result in disability and loss of income—which can utterly disrupt your life, and even change it forever.
Wilson, Reives & Silverman is a full-service law firm committed to defending your rights in personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal defense and family law.
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Injuries that occur as a result of manufacturing accidents can range from minor to extremely debilitating. A good workers’ compensation lawyer can often mean the difference between mediocre settlements and ones that can take care of you and your family.
Most common manufacturing workplace hazards:
- Being struck by objects or equipment
- Amputations and crush injuries
- Lifting Injuries
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
While office safety topics are listed in nearly any employee handbook, that doesn’t mean office injuries don’t occur.
Office injuries can include:
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Repetitive motion and strain injuries (such as carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome)
- Workplace assault
- Adverse health conditions caused by poor air quality or inadequate ventilation
- Office electrical injuries
- Car accidents (Accidents that occur while you’re traveling between work locations or on work-related errands such as visiting vendors or purchasing office supplies.)
- Head injuries
- Back and spine injuries
- Broken bones
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary total disability (TTD) is a form of compensation given to injured workers who are not able to return to work as a result of an on-the-job injury. If the employer and insurance company have admitted that your injury entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits, TTD is one of the forms of payment that you are entitled to receive.
TTD is paid out to injured workers who are totally written out of work by an authorized physician for a temporary period of time. This temporary period can last up to 500 weeks and beyond if certain facts about the injury are met.
At some point during your workers’ compensation claim, a doctor will tell you that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement. This means your condition has improved as much as it can, and the doctor will assign permanent restrictions and what is called a Permanent Partial Disability Rating (PPD). This rating is a means of creating monetary compensation for the partial loss of the use of your injured body part.
Vocational Rehabilitation is a multi-faceted process by which an injured worker with a compensable workers’ compensation claim receives assistance from a qualified or conditional rehabilitation professional in an attempt to return to the workforce after a disabling injury.
Specifically in workers compensation cases in North Carolina, “vocational rehabilitation” refers to the delivery and coordination of services under an individualized plan, with the goal of returning an injured worker to “suitable employment.” Vocational rehabilitation services can include assessment, job exploration, counseling, testing, job modification, and job placement.
Workers Comp and Personal Injury
If you’ve been injured in an accident that is covered by workers’ compensation and is also caused by the negligence of a third party who is not your employer, you may be able to simultaneously file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. If you can identify a third party in your injury, or if you suspect negligence or faulty equipment or products, you’re on your way to helping our workers’ comp and personal injury lawyers build a strong third-party case.
Cases like these can include:
- Car accidents
- Defective products or machinery
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Workplace negligence or assault
- Gross negligence
Workers Comp Denied Claims
A legitimate workers’ compensation claim can be denied for a number of reasons. If you receive a letter stating that your claim was denied, your next steps should be to talk with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Most common reasons worker’s compensation claims are denied:
- Your injury wasn’t reported immediately
- Your injury was not witnessed
- Your employer disputes that the injury was sustained at work
- You refused to sign medical authorizations or give the insurance company a recorded statement
- You filed your claim after being laid off or fired
Occupational diseases are chronic disorders that arise because of the kind of work or occupational activity you do. Some occupational diseases are specific conditions listed in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. These include asbestosis, silicosis, synovitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis and exposure to certain chemicals and toxins.
There is also a catchall provision, which defines “occupational diseases” as any disease you carry where your job exposes you to a greater risk of contracting the disease than other members of the public, or where your exposure significantly contributed to or was a significant factor causing the disease’s development.
As an injured employee, you may qualify to be paid for time out of work if an occupational disease keeps you from being able to perform your job, or any job, for a temporary or permanent period of time.
Getting You Back to Work.
Are you already out of work receiving temporary total disability benefits? An injury that causes temporary total disability can be scary and cause you to think about whether you will get fired from your job. There are protections outside of workers’ compensation that can help protect your job such as FMLA and REDA laws.
If you are receiving a weekly check for your workers’ compensation claim and are worried about your job security, call Wilson, Reives and Silverman. Our attorneys will provide a free consultation and explain all your rights and answer any questions you may have. We understand that the injuries sustained can be extremely painful both physically and psychologically, and they can also keep you from performing your job and earning the salary you depend on. We’re here to help.