Recently in North Carolina Workers' Compensation Category

September 3, 2014

Black Lung Work Illness Benefits Upheld for Former Smoker


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently upheld a lower court's decision to grant federal Black Lung benefits to a former coal miner, despite the fact that his years as a cigarette smoker had raised questions regarding the source of his illness.
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The case of Central OH Coal Co. v. Dir.r, Office of Workers' Comp. Programs reveals that when it comes to federal benefits for "black lung," there is much in the worker's favor, assuming he has an experienced Asheville work injury lawyer to advocate on his behalf.

The Black Lung Benefits Act allows for payment to workers deemed 100 percent disabled due to pneumoconiosis, which is a chronic dust disease of the lung caused by coal mining. It's distributed through the U.S. Department of Labor, unlike workers' compensation benefits, which are overseen by the state.

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August 26, 2014

Morgan v. Interim Healthcare - Refusal to Accept Suitable Employment


The purpose of workers' compensation is to give workers and employers a straightforward process by which to request and offer benefits to those who have been injured at work, without the hassle of a lawsuit. The ultimate goal in most cases is for the worker to return to gainful employment, whenever possible.
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A worker who refuses to seek or secure employment when the commission deems the worker eligible to do so may risk forfeiting these benefits. Such was the case recently in Morgan v. Interim Healthcare, before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Our Asheville workers' compensation lawyers know there may be situations in which the North Carolina Industrial Commission overestimates a worker's ability to return to the workforce. An advocate in these circumstances is necessary.

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August 17, 2014

Plane Bound for Asheville, North Carolina Suddenly Dives, Injuring Workers and Passengers


According to a recent article for Fox News, a plane bound for Asheville was forced to make an emergency landing after it suddenly made a significant dive. While diving, a flight attendant hit the ceiling and then fell on a passenger, injuring him. A drink cart also caused an injury. A total of six people were reported hurt.

propeller-1428908-m.jpgAs your Asheville workers' compensation attorney can explain, when employees, such as flight attendants, are injured on the job, it is likely that they will have to file a claim under the state's workers compensation program rather than filing a civil negligence lawsuit.

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July 26, 2014

Mosley v Hannaford Bros. Co.: PTSD and Workers' Compensation


Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys know that mental health conditions, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), that are caused by work-related events can become very complicated and require special attention.

1307593_mobile_phone_in_hand.jpgAccording to a recent article in the NY Daily News, a former supermarket manager was found eligible to receive Workers' Compensation benefits due to PTSD after being harassed and threatened with genital mutilation.

The store manager claimed that the jealous husband of a female employee began harassing him in 2007. The manager called the employee at home on her day off and, the following day, the husband came to the store and threatened to kill him for having an affair with this wife. The manager denied having an affair with the female employee and said that the only reason he was calling was to inform her that due a slowdown in business, the store would be cutting back on hours for workers.

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July 5, 2014

Job Security and Recovery After Work-Related Injury


Workers who suffer on-the-job injury may have more to worry about than just physical recovery or medical bills. According to recent reports published by the Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), employees who have filed workers' compensation claims are often concerned about retaliation or job loss following the injury. Furthermore, individuals who have some security in their employment may fare better in their recovery. Research indicates that those who feel that they have job security after an injury have shorter periods of disability than those who fear they may be fired.

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These studies show both the emotional and psychological damage of a work-related injury and also the reality that some employees may hesitate to file a claim because of job security issues. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been injured on the job. In addition to raising awareness to secure workers' rights, we are also staunch advocates for clients seeking to recover workers' compensation benefits or third-party damages.

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July 4, 2014

Construction Company Cited for NC Worker Death


Construction workers in North and South Carolina and nationwide face some of the most dangerous working conditions. Contractors, property owners, and other employers are responsible for taking action to ensure the safety of all workers on the site. In tragic accident last February, a North Carolina worker lost his life while working on a University of Kentucky construction project. Now officials have cited two private construction companies for serious violations of safety laws. According to reports, the companies will decide whether they are going to appeal the citation and affiliated penalties.

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The companies will be meeting at an informal conference with state officials to determine next steps involving the resolution of the construction accident investigation. The tragic accident sheds light both on the dangers of construction work and the need to ensure safety conditions, equipment, and training. Our Greensboro workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and in raising awareness to prevent worker injury. We are abreast of OSHA developments, safety training, and new legislation in favor of North and South Carolina workers. In addition to client advocacy, we are abreast of cases and legal developments that impact construction workers and their loved ones.

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June 6, 2014

Willard v. VP Builders - NC Appeals Court Upholds Worker Death Benefit Ruling


The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently upheld an award of workers' compensation death benefits to a widow whose husband had died as a result of pain medication prescribed following surgery to a crushed thumb, which he'd suffered while on the job.
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The key issue in this case was whether the deceased had consumed the medication in a manner contrary to what was prescribed. What the commission found - and what the appellate court ultimately upheld - was that there was no proof that he had. Therefore, his widow was entitled to death benefits, as his death was a direct result of the treatment he'd undergone for a work-related injury.

Charlotte worker's compensation lawyers note that this case highlights the fact that not all cases are straightforward matters, but it can be worthwhile to thoroughly explore the legal options with an experienced attorney.

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May 24, 2014

Conley v. Alaska Communications - Third Party Lawsuits Following Work Injuries


North Carolina workers have a right to expect that worker's compensation benefits will cover their expenses if they suffer a job-related injury or illness.
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What they may not realize is that, while workers' compensation benefits serve as a sole remedy barring claims against an employer, acceptance of these benefits does not forbid a worker from filing third-party liability action against other entities that may bear responsibility for the injury. Our Asheville workers' compensation lawyers can help with both types of claims.

The standard of proof in the two cases, however, are likely to be vastly different. In a workers' compensation claim, one must prove that the injury in question occurred during the course of one's employment. In a third-party lawsuit, one must prove not only that negligence occurred, but that negligence was a proximate cause of the worker's injuries or ailments. Workers can collect both, but will need an experienced attorney to handle their claims.

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May 15, 2014

Staffing Agency Responsibilities for Temporary Workers


The Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Administration has made protecting America's temporary workers a leading initiative. The use of temporary workers has grown in a shifting economy, giving employers the ability to manage workflow through temp agencies. While this trend has given business owners flexibility and created a billion dollar industry for staffing agencies, workers may be losing out on important rights and benefits.

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According to OSHA, temp agencies must treat temporary workers as they treat existing employees. That means that agency employers are responsible for ensuring compliance with OSHA standards. Our Greensboro workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping workers recover compensation after suffering a work-related injury. We are also committed to staying abreast of developing issues at the state and federal level that impact North and South Carolina workers. Our priority is to ensure keep safe working conditions to prevent future injuries and to help victims and their loved ones recover the compensation they deserve.

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May 14, 2014

How Does Obesity Weigh In Workers' Compensation?


Every employee enters a worksite with varying degrees of health problems. For some, health issues, including obesity can increase the chances of workplace injury.

According to a report published by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, individuals with a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range has an increased risk of traumatic workplace injury. How does this impact the right to workers' compensation or third-party injury claims?

The short answer--it doesn't.

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Workers' compensation is entitlement for all employees who are injured while in the course of performing work-related duties. Even if you are injured as a result of your own negligence or health issues, you are still entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are committed to raising awareness to protect employee rights and improve workplace safety. Our priority is to help keep workers safe and to reduce the number of accidents, while also helping victims and their loved ones collect full compensation in the event of injury or wrongful death.

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May 7, 2014

Fourth Circuit: Miner's Widow Should Receive Black Lung Benefits


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which oversees North Carolina, has vacated an earlier ruling denying a coal miner's widow benefits for "Black Lung." Formally known as pneumoconiosis, the victim argued the condition was the result of his employment.
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The decision in Collins v. Pond Creek Mining Co. settles a long-running claim, and may help pave the way for future claims.

Black Lung Benefits are filed under state workers' compensation laws, and can be done with the help of an experienced Asheville workers' compensation lawyer.

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April 30, 2014

Workers' Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Requires Clear Evidence


Workplace injuries don't always occur suddenly or traumatically. Injuries can happen gradually, often with little notice paid by the worker in the months or years leading up to the realization that something is wrong.
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Still, the impact of these types of injuries is often no less debilitating, as the recent case of Evans v. Fidelity & Guar. Ins. Co. reveals.

Workers' compensation attorneys in Concord recognize that in order to secure benefits for clients in these situations, it often takes more time and work on behalf of the claimant. It's critical to establish that the origin of the injury - or its worsening condition - is the result of work duties.

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March 29, 2014

Employers Seek to Reduce Workers' Compensation Costs


Employees who have suffered a work injury in Charlotte need to know from the outset that your employer is more interested in mitigating his or her own costs than ensuring you receive the proper compensation. sparks.jpg

If you needed proof, just look to the recent article printed in Insurance Business America entitled, "InFocus: How agents can slash 20% to 50% from workers' comp costs."

The report indicates that a recent MarketScout study found that across the country, workers' compensation rates rose an average of 3 percent in February, indicating insurance carriers are raising their rates and reducing their offerings. The article outlines ways that employers can reduce their workers' compensation expenses.

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March 10, 2014

Carolina Farm Injuries a Spring Risk


As spring arrives, there will be an increase infarming injuries throughout the Carolinas.

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Our Asheville worker's compensation lawyers know that as the warmer weather comes around it brings with it increased farming activity and the end result is more farm injuries.

The fertilizer industry in particular suffers a number of injuries. For this reason, the Agricultural Retailers Association is partnering with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Fertilizer Institute to attempt and reach over 7,000 agricultural producers, distributors, retailers, and other facilities in the fertilizer sector to caution employers about safety concerns.

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February 26, 2014

Court Rejects Contractor Liability for Subcontractors on Multi-Employer Work Sites


The Utah Supreme Court has issued a ruling stating that a federal law making general contractors at multi-employer work sites responsible to correct unsafe work conditions that could cause injury to subcontractor employees runs contrary to state law.
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The immediate impact on those seeking to file a Greensboro workers' compensation claim is probably minimal, as it is an out-of-state ruling and doesn't directly pertain to benefits. However, decisions by state supreme courts tend to be given a lot of weight when courts in other jurisdictions face similar issues. Plus, any action that erodes worker safety is likely to result in more workers' compensation claims overall.

By holding both subcontractors and general contractors on job sites responsible to ensure employee protection, the multi-employer work site doctrine, per Occupational Safety & Health Administration policy CPL 02-00-124, seeks to bolster protection for all workers. A ruling like this serves to undercut that purpose.

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