Recently in Workers' Compensation Procedures Category

April 23, 2015

North Carolina State Worker Injured on the Job

According to a recent news report from Eyewitness News 11, a state worker is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries as result of a serious on-the-job accident. Witnesses say employee was working at the State Archives in Raleigh setting up a scissor lift at the time of his accident.

workers-01-566067-m.jpgWitnesses say two employees were working to repair an outside light using a scissor lift when the left fell over crushing one of the employees. Fortunately, there were already police officers working at the location, and they were able to provide immediate assistance to the injured employee. Police officers performed CPR until EMTs arrived and transported him to a local level-one trauma center.

A spokesperson for the NC Department of Administration says two maintenance employees were working on an exterior light when a scissor lift toppled over, injuring one of the workers. North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently conducting an investigation into how this was able to happen, and they have net yet released any conclusions.

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April 18, 2015

Sheena H. v. W. Va. Office of Ins. Commissioner

Sheena H. v. W. Va. Office of Ins. Commissioner, a workers' compensation appeal from West Virginia, involved employee who was a 24-year-old coal miner who died as result of a seizure while he was sleeping. His mother and his 6-year-old daughter survived him.

This case involved a workers' compensation death benefits claim on behalf of employee's surviving daughter. While his mother filed the appeal, she was not a party to the matter.

strip-mine-excavator-3-262839-m.jpgPrior to his death in December of 2010, employee was injured in an on-the-job accident in March of 2009. While employee was working in the mine, a wrench which was on the ceiling of the coal mine fell and hit employee on the head. He was knocked unconscious for about a minute and was left with a knot on his head approximately the size of a golf ball.

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April 5, 2015

State ex rel. Viking Forge Corp. v. Perry - Disability Payments After Termination

Workers who suffer a job injury need to understand that if they voluntarily leave their job, they may no longer be entitled to collect disability. In some cases, employers have argued voluntary abandonment of the job, even when the worker was terminated.
It's important for a worker in this situation to consult with an experienced lawyer because companies too often improperly label an employee departures in an effort to avoid providing workers disability benefits they are otherwise due.

This is what reportedly happened in the case of State ex rel. Viking Forge Corp. v. Perry, where a worker suffered an on-the-job injury but did not seek temporary total disability benefits until after he'd been fired for violation of work rules. Although the state industrial commission approved his award of temporary total disability benefits, the employer sought to have that ruling thrown out. However, the Ohio Supreme Court ultimately affirmed.

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March 22, 2015

Gonzalez v. Tidy Maids - NC Workers' Comp Decision

In requesting ongoing disability compensation for work-related injuries, North Carolina courts presume plaintiff's pain, discomfort and related medical treatment is directly related to previously-established compensable injuries. cleaning.jpg

This standard was set in the 1997 North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in Parsons v. Pantry, Inc. It's sometimes referred to as the "Parsons presumption."

In the more recent case of Gonzalez v. Tiny Maids, Inc., an employer appealed the reinstatement of disability benefits, applied retroactively, to a worker who had suffered a compensable injury and alleged ongoing medical problems stemmed directly from that same issue. Defendant company and insurer insisted it had successfully refuted worker's evidence under Parsons, but appellate court noted the company presented no evidence to suggest plaintiff's discomfort or pain was unrelated to her prior work injuries.

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March 19, 2015

Shubert v. Macy's West, Inc. - Failure to Adhere to Care Plan

In a workers' compensation case, it is important that the worker abide by the recommendations of his or her treating physician. To do otherwise may jeopardize the employee's ongoing benefits. walking4.jpg

This was seen recently in the case of Shubert v. Macy's West, Inc., reviewed by the Idaho Supreme Court.

This case was riddled with a number of issues, including the fact that she failed to present an expert witness at a hearing, argued too late on the issue of admitting evidence of an award of Social Security Disability Insurance (though the standard of determining disability is different than for workers' compensation) and had not followed through on numerous occasions with physicians' advice for treatment.

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March 7, 2015

Thomas v. 5 Star Transportation - SC Workers' Comp Award Affirmed

The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently affirmed workers' compensation death benefits awarded to the surviving spouse of a deceased worker who died after suffering an aneurysm while driving a tour bus for defendant.
Employer argued the grant of benefits was an error because worker's death was caused by an idiopathic injury and further, decedent's wife wasn't actually his spouse because he was already married to someone else when he married her. Appellate court rejected these arguments in its decision in Thomas v. 5 Star Transportation.

According to court records, worker was a tour bus driver who, on Nov. 19, 2007, lost control of the bus and collided with a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses described him as slumped over and unresponsive prior to careening off the road. A doctor who performed the autopsy determined worker died as a result of full body trauma complicating a ruptured brain aneurysm.

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February 22, 2015

Silva v. Lowes - Penalties, Fees and Other Awards in Workers' Compensation Claims

In making a North Carolina workers' compensation claim, the primary issue is typically securing benefits. Beyond that, there may be additional compensation for late payments, attorney's fees and other expenses. These expenses can add up to a significant sum, so it's certainly worth exploring. However, there needs to be sufficient proof that the additional compensation is warranted. aislephoto.jpg

In the recent case of Silva v. Lowes, plaintiff fought a years-long battle for continued benefits after he was terminated from the job for unrelated reasons. The employer argued that because he was fired for reasons unrelated to his disability, workers' compensation benefits, including temporary total disability and coverage of medical expenses, should be revoked.

Plaintiff ultimately prevailed and, after several defendant appeals, received a lump sum payment for about $221,000, or $460 a week from the time of his termination to when the final decision was issued. However, the commission denied plaintiff's request for compensation on certain other fronts. Specifically, he had requested a 10 percent late payment penalty for defendant's alleged untimely payment after it lost the final appeal, plus reimbursement for attorney's fees and certain other expenses.

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February 20, 2015

Report: Nurses at High Risk of Becoming Patients Due to Work Injury

Nurses by trade are healers. And yet, when it comes to their own health, it's apparent workplaces aren't doing enough to prevent serious injury.
New figures released by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates nurses have some of the highest work injury rates in the country. There are an estimated 35,000 back injuries reported among nurses every year that are severe enough they must miss work.

While we tend to think of construction workers as having the most dangerous jobs, consider this: Nursing assistants and orderlies each are three times more likely to suffer musculoskeletal and back injuries than those who work in construction.

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February 16, 2015

State ex rel. Hildebrand v. Wingate Transport, Inc. - Use Caution in Quitting Your Job After Work Injury

In the wake of a work injury, there may be some circumstances in which an employee is mulling quitting his or her job. Maybe he or she has no choice.
Ideally, if the case is pending, it's generally best to hold onto the job at long as possible. While your medical benefits should remain unchanged regardless of your job status, your temporary total disability benefits could be affected. That's because temporary total disability benefits cover a percentage of your lost wages when your injury keeps you from carrying out your previous job duties.

So for example, if there are job restrictions your doctor places on you while you are healing, you can recover the difference through TTD.

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January 7, 2015

A Look Ahead to Changing OSHA Regulations in 2015

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is vested with the responsibility to make rules related to workplace safety. OSHA suffers from being understaffed and underfunded, which means inspections of workplaces do not occur with sufficient frequency. The process of making rules can also be prolonged, leaving many lingering work safety issues that endanger employees due to lack of regulation. law books.jpg

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January 3, 2015

New OSHA Injury Reporting Requirements Take Effect for Carolina Employers

January 1, 2015 marks the first day that companies are subject to new reporting requirements established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers need to be aware of the new reporting requirements so they can fulfill their obligations. Workers also need to know the rules to ensure that their workplace injuries are properly documented. notice-878922-m.jpg

A Charlotte work injury attorney knows that accurate reporting of workplace injuries is essential to increase the safety of employees and improve working conditions. OSHA and other regulators need to know the top causes and types of injuries to try to make effective rules to improve safety. Employers and employees also need to be aware of what the biggest risks to workers are so they can take the necessary steps to correct conditions that cause workplace accidents.

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December 10, 2014

World Trade Center Injuries and the Danger of "Rush Jobs"

One of the world's most notorious construction sites has been haunted by a series of accidents and injuries related to dangerous working conditions. Rebuilding "Ground Zero" into the new World Trade center has resulted in many serious injuries that often went unreported. According to a Daily News investigation, over 30 serious injuries that occurred on the site were not reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many of the workers suffered from serious and permanent injuries, including spinal cord fractures and broken bones. The report was based on court documents and city records, medical reports, and OSHA reports.


Workers endured a host of injuries, including getting struck in the head, falling from scaffolding, or getting struck by a steel plate. These were a few of the severely injured workers whose cases were never reported to OSHA. Construction zones are widely known have some of the most dangerous working conditions. Contractors, subcontractors, property owners, and other managers involved in construction projects must ensure that equipment is safe and maintained, that sites are secure, and that workers are properly trained. In these accident cases, some of the workers were able to recover, but others are still in rehabilitation or suffering from permanent injuries.

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December 5, 2014

OSHA Investigates: Man Killed By Falling Tape Measure

Freak accidents can occur on construction sites or in other work zones, especially when proper safety precautions are not in place. In a tragic case, a construction worker was killed when a tape measure fell over 50 stories and struck the worker on the head. According to reports, the 58-year-old man was bringing dry wall to the site when he was struck with a tape measure that had fallen from the belt of a worker on the high rise. The object was only 1-pound, but had the power to kill the man who stood below.

consruction hat.jpg

Witnesses reported that before it struck the victim, the tape measure hit another piece of metal approximately 15 feet from the ground, the ricocheted before it caused the fatal injury. The case is a reminder of the importance of proper training and equipment on a worksite. Usually construction sites are gated and include signs that remind workers, visitors, and others that it is a 'hard hat area.' According to reports, the victim was not wearing a hard hat at the time of the accident. He had stopped at another man's truck to have a conversation. Witnesses say it was a clear case of "wrong place, wrong time."

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November 22, 2014

Compensation for Injured Workers with Pre-Existing Conditions

Workers' compensation benefits are available to any worker who suffers injury or loses his or her life while performing work-related job duties. Some cases can be more complicated than others. For example, drivers who are in an accident while leaving or heading to work or workers who suffer illness. Can a worker collect compensation when they are injured as a result of a pre-existing or chronic condition? Every case is unique and should be reviewed by an experienced advocate. When pursuing workers' compensation benefits after an accident or injury, it is important to know your rights and the potential obstacles you may face.


In some instances, workers with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, will often take longer to recover from an on-the-job injury. If the worker suffers from partial or permanent disability, workers' compensation costs go up for employers. Even if an employer has advanced knowledge of the condition, workers' compensation benefits may still extend to total cost of an injured workers medical care and lost wages. Some states, including Connecticut, Florida, New York, and California, allow disability benefits to be split between and employer and another responsible entity, such as a former employer or state-controlled injury fund.

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October 31, 2014

Average Salaries for the Most Dangerous U.S. Jobs

While many high-risk jobs are in widely known--industries such as logging, fishing, and firefighting--a new report reveals only a few of these high risk industries are also lucrative. A research company set out to find out the most dangerous jobs in America and how much workers were making. According to the study, which was recently published in Time Magazine, many workers are taking on significant risk for less than average salaries.


According to the BLS, the average wage for all professions was $34,750. Compared to wages collected by those in the most dangerous positions, only 4 of the top 10 dangerous jobs pay more than $10,000 above the average. The others pay around median or less than average. The highest paid dangerous job was airplane pilots who made an average of $129,600 per year.

So what are the most dangerous jobs in America and are they worth it? Here is a summary according to the FindtheBest data combined with wages posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census:

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