Articles Posted in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation

In work injury cases, injured employees may have a number of possible avenues in which to pursue monetary compensation for the damages suffered. One of the first, of course, is workers’ compensation. This is a no-fault system wherein the employer is responsible to pay into an insurance program that provides medical and wage loss benefits for workers injured on-the-job. This system does not allow workers to collect compensation for non-economic damages, such as for pain and suffering, and their wage loss compensation may be limited. church

This is why it’s important for injured workers to ask their workers’ compensation attorney about the possibility of pursuing third-party liability. Third parties that might be liable for a worker’s injury could include:

  • Manufacturer/ designer/ distributor of dangerous products/ machinery/ equipment/ vehicles;
  • The at-fault driver (if the injury was caused by a motor vehicle collision);
  • The at-fault driver’s employer;
  • The owner of the vehicle driven by at-fault driver;
  • The property owner;
  • The general contractor;
  • Other subcontractors.

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The Tennessee Supreme Court denied workers’ compensation benefits to the widow of a worker who died of an opioid overdose after taking medication he’d been prescribed following a work injury. pills

This ruling runs contrary to what a number of other state courts have decided, and was actually a reversal of the trial court consensus in Tennessee.

Opioid addiction and overdose has fast become a rising problem for employees and workers’ compensation insurance carriers. Many are discovering that the powerful painkillers used to treat acute and chronic pain following a job-related injury are highly addictive – and potentially deadly. Injured workers grappling with pain are prescribed Vicodin and OxyContin, Percocet and morphine. Continue reading

Administrators with the North Carolina Department of Transportation said they have planned meetings with traffic engineers and officials with local governments in Mecklenburg County after a spate of crashes on the I-77 toll lane that is under construction. construction

According to, there was an uptick of 400 crashes last year in comparison to the three previous years. There was no one kind of crash that occurred in particular – rear-end collisions, sideswipes and crashes with fixed objects all rose in frequency in this entire construction zone. In the active work zone areas, it was even worse. There was a nearly 85 percent increase in the number of sideswipe crashes in this segment, and fixed object crashes were up more than 60 percent.

NCDOT said it plans to dispatch safety units and traffic engineers to conduct an analysis of what can be done to improve safety along this corridor. Officials did note that while crashes in construction zones tend to be more common than in other areas, they tend to be less severe and less likely to result in injury or fatalities. This often has to do with the fact that people may be traveling at lower speeds, but often in traffic patterns that are unfamiliar or even confusing.  Continue reading

While there is a potential for any worker to be injured on the job, some are at higher risk than others, given the industry in which they work or the type of job they do. worker

However, some workers are at a statistically higher risk on the basis of their skin color or their ethnic or national origin. That’s according to a new study conducted by researchers at The University of Southern California. Study authors included experts in health policy, economics, and medicine.

Researchers opined the cause may be disparities in economic opportunities that lead them to take on jobs that are more dangerous and heighten their risk of injuries and subsequent disabilities.

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The law in North Carolina requires workplaces that have three or more employees – regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time – to secure workers’ compensation for those workers. work boots

Approximately 70,000 workers were injured on the job in North Carolina last year. Many people assume that if they are injured at work, they’ll be covered by workers’ compensation, a no-fault system that covers medical bills and lost wages.

Unfortunately, according to a new report from WSOC-TV, tens of thousands of businesses in the state aren’t offering the coverage – defying legal requirements.

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The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is implementing a final rule aimed at stopping workers from falling ill as a result of exposure to beryllium and its compounds. Beryllium is a steel gray and hard metal with a reasonably high melting point. It’s only mined from the U.S., China, and Kazakhstan and is used for a variety of purposes, including in the manufacture of x-ray tubes and in various capacities in the defense, aerospace, and auto industries, as well as in some electronics and acoustics. workers

The problem is that the mineral and its compounds can be very dangerous. OSHA’s new rule contains a series of updated standards for shipyards, construction, and general industry, and the goal is to prevent lung cancer and chronic beryllium disease for workers. The rule is supposed to limit workers’ exposure, and it is expected to save an estimated 95 lives and prevent 46 new cases of chronic beryllium diseases annually. Those benefits won’t be fully realized until the updated rules are in place for a while. The estimated net benefits of the rule – i.e., savings in medical expenses, lost time off work, and workers’ compensation payments – is $561 million a year.

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The number of fatal workplace injuries in the U.S. increased in 2015, according to the final figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.sad face

There were a total of 4,836 job-related deaths in 2015, as compared to the 4,821 recorded in 2014. This was the highest number that has been counted since 2008, when there were 5,214. Still, the rate of injury was lower last year – 3.38 per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to 3.43 in 2014.

An especially vulnerable group included workers of Hispanic and Latino descent. There were 903 of these workers who lost their lives on the job in 2015, which is the most there has been since 2007, when there were 937. For them, the rate of injury also rose 12 percent, from 804 per 100,000 full-time workers up to 903. Workers over the age of 65 also historically have a high rate of injury and death, with 650 of those workers dying in 2015. Still, this represented a slight dip from the 2014 figure of 684.

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The issue of workplace violence is one that affects employees in a vast array of industries, but it’s especially pervasive for those in the health care industry.medical doctor

Last month, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued a formal request for information on potential standards to prevent workplace violence, specifically in health care and social assistance settings. The goal is to collect as much detailed information as possible on a variety of topics so that the agency can help develop strategies that will be effective in lowering the risk of workplace violence. The deadline for submitting information is in April. The agency is also planning on holding a public meeting for those interested on commenting on the issue.

The move was prompted by a report issued by the Government Accountability Office in April that called on OSHA to improve the safety of health care workers, who reportedly suffer much higher rates of workplace violence. In fact, workers in this field suffer some type of violent incident at work at rates that are five times the national average.

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An injured worker in Charlotte sought added medical compensation from the Transit Management in Charlotte following a previous job-related injury.bus

The trial court in Lewis v. Transit Management of Charlotte denied that request, and for reasons explained below, the appellate court affirmed this ruling.

According to court records, the plaintiff worked as a bus operator for the transit management department when he suffered what the defendant conceded was a compensable work-related injury in June 2009. That’s when the driver of a sport utility vehicle rear-ended the bus the plaintiff was driving. The plaintiff reported that injury to the commission. By November 2009, the plaintiff had reportedly reached maximum medical improvement, and, according to his treating physician, he had sustained 0 percent permanent impairment on his back. The plaintiff returned the form, and it was indicated he received up to that date $22,600 in compensation – including $8,800 in medical compensation.

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As families across America prepare for large feasts this holiday season, central to those meals is a large bird. Stuffed. Trussed. Seasoned. Roasted. Fried. Slow-cooked. People give a great deal of thought to the ways in which the turkey, chicken, or duck is prepared. However, less thought is generally given to the labor and peril of workers who toiled to get it kitchen-ready. turkey

A recent investigative report by The Investigative Fund and Slate Magazine reveals workers in the poultry industry endure grueling conditions, particularly in the lead up to major holidays toward the end of the year. Many of the workers are immigrants, the jobs are low-paying, and the rates of workplace injury and illness are high.

One worker explained the frenetic pace of being required to slice and de-bone the de-feathered turkeys with sharp knives – 47 birds per minute. That works out to 1,410 birds an hour, or 11,000 per shift. That’s in a normal shift. In preparation for the holidays, the pace is even faster.

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