Recently in North Carolina Workers' Compensation Category

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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February 24, 2014

Workers' Compensation Benefits for "Unexplained" Work Injuries


In order to prove that an injury is compensable under workers' compensation law, courts have typically held that you must prove that the condition occurred by accident "arising out of and in the course of the employment."
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In many cases, this means that you have to show that but-for the conditions and obligations of employment, the worker would not have been in a position to sustain the injury.

In North Carolina, the section of the law addressing the "arising out of and in the course of" is found in G.S.97.2-6 of the state's Workers' Compensation Act. Winston-Salem workers' compensation attorneys recognize that in cases where the injury may have happened at work but is unexplained, benefits may be tougher to secure - though certainly not impossible.

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February 23, 2014

Workers' Compensation and Asbestos-Related Illness


There is no question that asbestos-related disease is one of the biggest job-related cancer concerns in the U.S. today, comprising one of the largest percentages of occupational deaths and related costs.
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That said, the question of whether asbestos disease sufferers should file a Charlotte workers' compensation claim is one that should be approached carefully. One of the general principles of workers' compensation law is that by filing for these benefits, workers give up the right to sue their employer for their occupational injuries.

In general for a lot of people, the trade-off is worth it because they don't necessarily have to prove that the employer was negligent or at-fault for the injury, only that the injury occurred at work or arose out of the conditions of employment. Workers' compensation claims also tend to be less costly than civil litigation and are generally not as drawn-out of a process. Legislators have designed it to be this way for workers to quickly receive benefits, recover, and hopefully return to the workforce as soon as possible.

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February 22, 2014

Report: North Carolina Hospital Staffers Risk Work Injury


For most people, hospitals are supposed to be a place of healing.
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However, for those who work there, it can be an extremely dangerous place. In fact, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration recently released a report indicating that hospitals are one of the riskiest places to work, with some 255,000 work-related injuries and illnesses reported in 2011.

Bear in mind, those were only the reported instances of illness and injury, and that broke down to about 7 work-related illnesses and injuries for every 100 full-time workers. Our Winston-Salem workers' compensation lawyers recognize that this is about double the rate for the private industry as a whole.

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February 18, 2014

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Claims Must be Timely Filed


With very few exceptions, workers' compensation claims in Greensboro must be filed within two years. workers.jpg

Failure to do this will usually result in a worker forever forfeiting the right to pursue benefits. Per North Carolina G.S. 97-58, which covers the time limit for filing workers' compensation claims, workers have either two years from the date of injury or illness (or the date they learned of the injury or illness) to initiate the process.

The only exceptions are for occupational disease like asbestosis or mesothelioma or silicosis or lead poisoning, where the worker might not know he or she has been sickened until years or even decades later.

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February 5, 2014

NC Work Injuries Decline, Still Too Many Employees Hurt on the Job


Last year, there were 23 people who were killed on the job in North Carolina, according to the News Observer. While that's down from the 38 fatalities experienced by North Carolina workers in 2011, it's still far too many. The N.C. Department of Labor points out that all of the workers who were killed on the job last year were men and they were classified as "laborers". The average age was 44.
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"I believe North Carolina is benefiting from increased awareness of safety and health in both private industry and the government, but we must do better," said Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry.

Our Charlotte workers' compensation lawyers understand that these numbers only include workplace fatalities that fall under the Department's jurisdiction. The fatalities that occur to those who are self-employed and the fatalities that occur on the job in motor-vehicle accidents do not fall under this jurisdiction. Last year, there were more than 10 workers who were killed when they were hit by a vehicle or by a falling object. There were six who were killed in falls. Three of them were killed after being caught in machinery, one was electrocuted and two inhaled toxic fumes.

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January 23, 2014

Wait Staff Face High Rate of Injury on the Job


Working in the food service industry requires a great deal of physical stamina, and our Greensboro workers' compensation lawyers know there is ample opportunity for injury.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are approximately 9.5 million workers in America employed in food service. For these individuals, the most common types of injuries include:


  • Sprains, strains, contusions and bruises from slips, falls and trips.

  • Lacerations and cuts from knives and other tools.

  • Heat burns from steam, hot water, hot surfaces and hot oil.

  • Ergonomic hazards resulting from repetitive motion, lifting, bending and pushing.

  • Injuries from workplace violence.

  • Occupational stress due to heavy work loads, prolonged standing and limited breaks for rest.


There is also the potential for injury due to exposure to smoke and chemicals.

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January 18, 2014

Change of Condition in North Carolina Workers' Compensation Claim May Warrant Benefit Modification


In filing a Charlotte workers' compensation claim, the extent of a person's injuries or illness may not be fully realized right away. It's entirely possible that one's condition could worsen over time. gavel2.jpg

Benefits are based on the extent of a person's illness or injuries at the time the case is heard. But a worker may be justified in later seeking a modification to those benefits if it's proven their medical condition, resulting from an on-the-job incident, has significantly deteriorated.

Article 1, Section 97-47 of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act holds that any interested party to a case - the worker, the employer or even the North Carolina Industrial Commission itself - can initiate a review of the benefits previously awarded. A "change of condition" claim has to be filed with the commission within a two-year period. The end result of a review can be that benefits are increased, decreased or ended, depending on the ultimate findings of the commission.

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January 6, 2014

CNC Construction Injuries: OSHA's "Fatal Four"


Dangerous industries, including construction, account for the majority of workplace injuries every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of 4,000 worker fatalities in 2012, nearly 800 or approximately 20% of these injuries occurred in the construction industry. The leading causes of worker fatality on construction sites were falls, getting struck by an object, electrocution and the caught-in/between accident. In this post, we will explore the "Fatal Four" construction injuries and identify ways that OSHA is seeking to reduce or eliminate these accidents in the workplace.

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Construction sites pose some of the most significant and serious dangers to workers as well as to individuals in the vicinity, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Our Greensboro workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping workers collect full compensation for their accidents and injuries. We are also dedicated to raising workplace safety awareness and in helping to reduce the number of workplace related injuries and deaths in North and South Carolina and nationwide.

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December 17, 2013

Proving Causation of Musculoskeletal Work Injuries


A recent case out of Illinois, Caterpillar Logistics, Inc. v. Soli, arose from a worker who alleged her musculoskeletal injury was the result of the repetitive motion required by her work duties.
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While our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys recognize that the core issue in this case was whether the company properly reported the injury to the Department of Labor, as required for any work-related injury, the back-and-forth in the courts illustrates how complex it can be to demonstrate the source of an injury. This is particularly true when the injury is chronic, as opposed to acute.

For example, a worker who suffers an on-the-job fall that results in a broken leg can fairly easily file a claim. The source of the injury is rather straightforward.

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November 8, 2013

Social Workers Face Dangers on the Job


Common dangerous industries for workers include construction, fishing, and farming. Recent attention has been brought to healthcare workers and other social service employees who face dangerous conditions in the workplace. A new study indicates that employees Child Protective Services are often in tense and stressful situations that could place them in harm's way.

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Any employee who is injured while performing work related duties is entitled to employment benefits. Workers who are injured by violent crimes and assault may also pursue compensation. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in handling claims on behalf of injured workers. We are also dedicated to raising awareness surrounding workplace safety.

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September 28, 2013

New Report on Nation's Fatal Work Accident Rates


Fatal accidents, toxic exposure, and occupational disease continue to threaten the nation's workers. A new report has assessed a total of 4,383 fatal work accidents that occurred in 2012. The 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is critical in understanding the present situation of worker health and safety as well as giving future direction to legislators, public health agencies, and employers. Workers in North and South Carolina should also be aware of the particular risks and hazards faced by our communities.

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Work fatalities may be caused by failed equipment, improper training, workplace hazards, heavy machinery, and other dangerous conditions. While the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is charged with creating regulations to protect worker safety, a number of hazards continue to plague America's workforce. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to encourage workplace safety. We are also dedicated to helping victims and their families collect full compensation in the event of an accident.

Despite the significant risk of accidents in the U.S., 2012 number is the second lowest total since the report was first conducted in 1992. This means that the rate of fatality for U.S. workers was 3.2 per 100,000 down from the rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011. Even though the overall number of injuries is on the decline, there are other industries that have seen a rise in fatalities, including the private construction industry. Fatal work injuries rose from 738 in 2011 to 775 in 2012.

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September 26, 2013

North Carolina Child Farmworkers at Risk


Labor laws are intended to protect workers from harsh or dangerous conditions and to ensure that workers' have rights to protect their safety and welfare. Despite the known dangers of farm work, children throughout North Carolina continue face grave dangers, long hours and unsafe work conditions. Many of these children are not given the same protections due to loopholes in labor law.

Though Gov. Pat McCrory has set aside "Farm Health and Safety Week" in North Carolina, there are a number of hazards faced by child farmworkers that must be addressed by legislators. The governor acknowledges that the young workers are at a significant risk of injury. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping all workers protect their rights and recover financial support for lost wages and medical costs related to an accident or illness. We are dedicated to protecting workers' rights throughout the region and stay abreast of labor issues impacting North Carolina residents and communities.

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Recent reports indicate that some workers, as young as 12, begin working 10 hour days as farmworkers. Their job duties may include planting seeds, pulling tops of tobacco plants and harvesting new crops. Many child farmworkers have reported rashes and other skin problems related to chemical exposure. In addition to surface exposure, children are also at risk because their bodies are still in development. Long-term exposure or effects of chemical exposure may lead to cancers, reproductive health issues and neurological problems.

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