Workplace stress is a serious global problem that results in anxiety, exhaustion, cardiovascular disease and (in cases stemming from co-worker conflict) workplace violence. It’s a problem that has increased in recent years with increased competition, higher expectations, longer hours and the effects of the recession, including layoffs, unemployment and fewer job opportunities. stressed

That’s why it is the focus of this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work, recognized on April 28th. The International Labor Organization released a report on the issue, detailing its commonality and effects.

As our Winston-Salem workers’ compensation lawyers know, employees can be compensated for work-related stress when it causes them to either suffer physical injury or when it prohibits them from being able to work or do the work they once did. A good example of this is an employee diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a store robbery and is unable to return to his or her previous position.  Continue reading

In any work-related accident, the sole remedy a worker has against an employer is workers’ compensation. The system is supposed to provide fast, no-fault financial relief when injuries arise out of and occur in the course and scope of one’s work. constructionworkers1

However, this exclusive remedy in workers’ compensation is not applicable to certain third parties. So while you can’t sue your employer, you can take action against, say, the driver of the car that struck you or the manufacturer of the machine by which you were injured.

On a construction site, the question of who is a “third party” and who is not can become muddied. There are so many contracts, subcontracts and various entities involved, it can become tough to parse out the issue of liability. That’s why you must have an experienced construction accident lawyer to help walk you through it.  Continue reading

When you are injured in a work-related accident, you probably know you can seek benefits through workers’ compensation. What you may not realize is there are many different types of workers’ compensation, depending on the extent of your injury, when/ if you can return to work and if you do return, whether your injuries will have a lasting debilitating effect.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The recent case of Tchikobava v. Albatross Express involved several different types of workers’ compensation benefits, including temporary total disability and permanent total disability.

According to Nebraska Supreme Court records, plaintiff was employed by defendant as a truck driver when he sustained injuries in the course and scope of employment. He and his team were driving a semi-trailer from New Jersey to California. Continue reading

In personal injury claims, once a settlement is finalized, that’s pretty much it. There is no going back to ask for more or alter the terms of the agreement. However, a workers’ compensation attorney can often help employees reopen claims after settlement. constructionzone

This type of workers’ compensation assistance is imperative in cases where an employee has a disability that has recurred or increased. Whether a case can be reopened often hinges on whether it was settled by a “stipulation and award” or “compromise and release.” The latter usually resolves all worker’s claims – including into the future. Absent fraud, these settlements are usually final. However, cases that are resolved by stipulation and award can usually be reopened.

In the recent case of Poremba v. Southern Nevada Paving, the question was whether a worker was precluded from reopening his workers’ compensation claim after spending some of the settlement money on non-medical expenses. Continue reading

Workers’ compensation awards for psychological injuries in North Carolina can be tougher to prove than physical injuries. However, they are no less compensable. packagedelivery

Our dedicated Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys understand that trauma to one’s psyche can be just as damaging and crippling as a physical injury. We will carefully analyze each case to determine whether this also should be considered in a client’s efforts to secure workers’ compensation benefits.

In the recent Connecticut Supreme Court case of Hart v. Federal Express Corp., benefits awarded to an injured worker for both physical and psychological injury were challenged by the employer. Ultimately, the benefit award was upheld. Continue reading

A significant number of employees in North Carolina work for contractors and subcontractors of larger firms. The question of workers’ compensation benefits in those cases hinges upon which agency was the actual employer. Courts consider a myriad of factors when considering this question, and in some cases will find the worker had two employers, based on the joint employee doctrine and the lent employee doctrine. cleaning

These doctrines were laid forth in the 1989 North Carolina Court of Appeals case of Anderson v. Texas Gulf, Inc. The same court cited that case in weighing the more recent Whicker v. Compass Group USA et al, which considered whether a worker for a cleaning crew was employed by both the cleaning contractor and the health center to which she reported each day.

According to court records, the cleaning company contracted with numerous health care organizations to provide standard cleaning services to various facilities. The contract between the cleaning company and this health care company provided services to 13 facilities in North Carolina, including one in Forsyth, which was the center of this complaint.  Continue reading

Last May, members of the South Carolina General Assembly introduced S. 674, which would amend the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act and allow employers to provide alternative, private injury plans to workers that are less structured than the state-mandated versions. workboots

In February, the measure was quietly ushered into the Senate Committee on Judiciary. However, the measure has remained untouched in the wake of two key decisions in Oklahoma. That state was one of the two pioneers of the workers’ compensation opt-out system (the other is Texas). Recently, the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission ruled in Vasquez v. Dillards the 2013 opt-out statute is unconstitutional.

But is that the end of the matter? Not in Oklahoma and not necessarily in South Carolina or in Tennessee, the other state weighing an opt-out option.  Continue reading

A new study published by Canadian researchers in the journal Thorax revealed workers who suffer obstructive sleep apnea have a heightened risk of suffering a work injury.sleep

The condition, which results in a person waking up multiple times each night when their airways become blocked, is likely to lessen a person’s senses and dull their reflexes as they are carrying out their daytime duties.

The fact of a pre-existing condition does not mean that a person cannot recover damages for injuries suffered at work. Nonetheless, both workers and employers should be aware of heightened risk factors and take steps to help reduce the impact these conditions can have.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver analyzed data from more than 1,200 sleep clinic patients and discovered that those who suffered from sleep apnea were twice as likely as their peers to suffer some type of workplace injury. What’s more, they were three times as likely to suffer form an injury that directly resulted from failed vigilance. These would be things like tripping, getting burned or falling.  Continue reading

Workers, by both North Carolina law and many employment policies, are required to give immediate notice to their employers when they are injured on-the-job.shovel

Failure to report injuries right away could result in denial of workers’ compensation benefits, as well as sanctions from the company. Of course, some companies have taken this a step too far and punished employees where it was impossible to know the injury would be serious (i.e., a splinter that later got infected) or where immediate reporting was not feasible.

Your workers’ compensation lawyer will help to protect your rights, but you must preserve your claim first by reporting it.  Continue reading

Last month, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) released a report to detail the progress of the severe work-related injury reporting program, implemented one year ago. That report indicates there were nearly 10,400 severe work-related injuries in the U.S. in 2015 – the first full year of the new federal requirement. workers

Included in this number: Eye loss, amputation, hospitalization. All of this has to be reported in the first 24 hours. Within that 10,400 were 2,644 amputations and 7,636 hospitalizations. Fatalities have to be reported within eight hours.

But until this requirements, OSHA officials were often grasping at straws when it came to identifying an actual number of serious workplace injuries. As one official described it, each of those instances was “a wake-up call for safety that went unheeded.”  Continue reading

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