Two South Carolina workers were killed and a third seriously injured when a driver left the roadway and struck them as they were working alongside the shoulder of a highway in Aiken County. road construction

According to the Aiken Standard, the workers were employed by the S.C. Department of Transportation. The driver did not stop, but authorities reportedly arrested a 29-year-old for a hit-and-run later that day. (The incident occurred at around 8:30 a.m.) Witnesses to the crash tailed the vehicle, allowing police to identify the alleged driver. He has been charged with two counts of hit-and-run involving death and one count of hit-and-run involving injury.

One victim, 54, had been employed by the state transportation department since 1996, and the other, 64, had been employed by the state since 2012.

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A former data entry clerk for a South Carolina school district will have another opportunity to have her “change in condition” claim weighed. The original workers’ compensation claim stemmed from a May 2006 fistfight between two male students in which the plaintiff was pinned against a counter and sustained serious injuries to her neck and back. sad

Later that summer, the plaintiff filed for disability, alleging she was permanently disabled. A commissioner overseeing her case ruled she suffered 45 percent disability to her back as a result of the incident. However, her last payment of benefits was issued in January 2008.

Then, a year later, the plaintiff filed a claim for change of condition, asserting she was suffering from depression as a result of her back injury. She requested a change of condition hearing in March 2011.

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In a workers’ compensation case that involves third-party negligence, the employee can seek damages from that third-party. This is usually a good idea, if that option is available, because the amount of compensable damages in a personal injury lawsuit are typically over and above what one might receive in a workers’ compensation claim. car accident

However, one must note that whatever damages you collect from that third party, your employer may retain a lien on the portion it already paid. So for example, your employer covers $50,000 in medical expenses through workers’ compensation and you later win an injury lawsuit against the third-party for $150,000 – which includes $50,000 for medical expenses. Your employer would be entitled to collect its $50,000, and you would only be entitled to collect $100,000.

In a recent case out of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the court ruled that a defendant ordered to pay an employer directly from an injury judgment was entitled to have the matter reviewed by the superior court.  Continue reading

A workers’ compensation insurer lacked standing to bring a third-party liability claim against a negligent driver who caused injury to an insured worker. ambulance

That was according to a recent ruling by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which disagreed with plaintiff insurer that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2 granted it standing to file suit. That statute outlines claims against third parties under the state’s Worker’s Compensation Act.

The court noted that under this provision, it is the employee who has the sole right to proceed against a third-party wrongdoer in the first year after the injury. If the worker does not file an action in the first year and the employer has filed an admission of liability with the state industrial commission, then either the worker or the employer can go forward with a third-party liability claim. If neither the employee or employer file a third-party claim 60 days before the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations on that claim, the right of action goes back again exclusively to the employee.  Continue reading

The scheduled-member statute of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act spells out the number of weeks’ worth of compensation to be paid claimants based on the “member” or function claimant has lost. For example, a plaintiff who loses a thumb will be entitled to a total of 65 weeks for total loss. A plaintiff who suffers loss of a leg will be entitled to 195 weeks’ worth of compensation. The list goes on. power

In a recent case before the South Carolina Supreme Court, justices were asked to consider whether a claimant’s ability to hold gainful employment could, on its own, preclude a determination of permanent disability per the scheduled-member law. The court answered: No.

According to court records, plaintiff was employed at a large chain hardware store when, as he was helping a customer, he fell on the concrete floor and suffered severe injury to his back. 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

The estate of a school teacher who died of mesothelioma can hold the school district liable that she for worked at the time of her alleged exposure to asbestos. teacher

That’s according to a ruling by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, which ruled that so long as the exposure leading to illness fell within one of the exceptions to governmental immunity, the case can proceed. The case is noteworthy for the fact that often, suing an employer for workplace injuries is barred under workers’ compensation exclusivity rules.

According to the case’s court records , plaintiff worked for the district as a high school mathematics teacher for a single year in the late 1950s. At the time, she was allegedly exposed to asbestos coming from dust in the pipes found in stairways, classrooms and hallways of the school. Of course, at that time many schools were constructed with asbestos-laden materials, including floor tiles, ceiling tiles and insulation. This was especially true for those who worked in the schools, those who were exposed to it day after day for years. Continue reading

A variable wage worker is one for whom wages are not consistent from month-to-month, week-to-week or sometimes day-to-day. The most common example of this is tipped workers, or those who rely on tips for the majority of their pay. Restaurant workers and those in the service industry usually top this list. server

When these employees are hurt on-the-job, the question of what they should receive in compensation is often a tricky one. Workers’ compensation is based on a percentage of a worker’s average weekly wage – specifically 66 and 2/3 percent the average weekly wage, not to exceed $978 a week as of 2017. As workers’ compensation lawyers, we usually can get this information easily for salaried workers. However, we often have to look more closely in cases where a worker receives variable wages or when he or she recently earned a raise or changed positions.

In a recent case before the Kentucky Supreme Court, the question regarding whether a worker was salaried or made variable wages was in question, as she had changed jobs in the months before the work injury.  Continue reading

A gas station clerk who was shot and seriously injured while in his personal vehicle outside the store will be allowed to collect workers’ compensation for his injuries. That’s according to a ruling from the state’s Commonwealth Court, which held the injuries inflicted by violence were work-related, even though he was preparing to leave for the night, and he wasn’t technically on site. gun

The justices looked carefully at evidence tending to indicate the shooting was retribution by the family members of a woman who had been arrested for shoplifting.

According to, the plaintiff was shot soon after he was threatened by the woman’s relatives.

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The North Carolina workers’ compensation law entitles employees injured on the job to receive reasonable and necessary medical expenses for their injuries. This includes, per the General Assembly’s amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2011, attendant care services, which may be provided by a family member or other loved one. In many cases, the person has to give up their job (often a much better-paying one), but it is usually no less of a “job.” hands

Attendant care is a type of hands-on assistance with a person’s functional needs, including activities of daily living. It could mean helping with meals or shopping, keeping house, bathing, managing finances, and helping a person take their medications. Often, it’s the same type of service that may be offered in an assisted living center, but not quite so intensive and from the person’s private residence.

In a recent case before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the justices were asked to consider if the North Carolina Industrial Commission was wrong to grant attendant services benefits to the mother of a worker who suffered an on-the-job traumatic brain injury years earlier.

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