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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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports undocumented immigrants make up approximately 3.5 percent of the U.S. population and an even more sizable portion of the workforce. Many of them work in industries and positions that tend to be inherently more dangerous. When they suffer work-related injuries, they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation. Even though these individuals aren’t authorized to work in the U.S., these companies don’t get a break on paying benefits just because the workers they chose to hire don’t have the proper documents – at least not in North Carolina.machine

Still, these worker may face additional legal complexities that workers with legal immigration status do not face.

A recent workers’ compensation case out of Delaware details one such case. In Roos Foods v. Guardado, the plaintiff worked as a machine manager for the defendant food processing company when she was involved in a work-related accident and injured her wrist. Thereafter, she received total disability benefits. Later, her employer petitioned the industrial board, asking that those benefits be terminated because the worker was no longer totally disabled.

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Almost every state with a workers’ compensation system has an exclusive remedy provision stating that workers’ compensation is the sole compensation employees can seek from their workplaces for job-related injuries or illnesses. In North Carolina, the exclusive remedy provision is strong. There is a limited exception if the employer is engaging in conduct that is substantially certain to result in death or serious bodily injury. Workers can also sue their co-workers for intentional torts. mining

The exceptions to the exclusive remedy are narrow. It’s usually very tough to prove such an exception is warranted. That’s why workers’ compensation attorneys will recommend, if possible, the pursuit of third-party litigation, since outside persons and companies are not bound by workers’ compensation exclusivity rules.

In the recent case of Barrett v. Hecla Mining Co., workers in Idaho sought to hold their employer accountable for injuries they suffered in a rock burst in a mine in 2011. However, the exclusive remedy provision got in the way.

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A construction accident lawsuit has been filed in North Carolina on behalf of workers who were injured and the families of those killed when part of a pedestrian bridge collapsed as workers were pouring concrete. The incident happened two years ago on Wake Tech’s Northern Wake Campus. bridge

An investigative report by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) concluded that one of the project’s subcontractors, an engineering firm, should have seen the design flaws when preparing drawings of the bridge. However, that company isn’t named in the lawsuit. Instead, the lawsuit names the architectural and engineering firm that hired the subcontractor, as well as the company that provided the wood timbers used in the construction. Also named are the architect, the engineer, and the structural engineer. The college itself is not named as a defendant.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four men who were working on the bridge when it collapsed. One of those workers, a married father of three small children, died. Three others were seriously injured and have lost either body parts or the use of certain body parts, according to the injury lawsuit.

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Although one typically thinks of Hollywood as being the prime location for the American film industry, North Carolina actually does have a budding film industry for movies, television productions, and reality show series.action

What is even less known about this industry is the fact that many people – on both sides of the camera – suffer serious work-related injuries that are rarely reported to the public at-large, and these often result in a few thousand dollars in federal fines – a pittance in comparison to the often colossal, multi-million dollar budgets of some productions.

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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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When a worker suffers an injury that aggravates a pre-existing condition, this can be grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. However, these types of claims can be more challenging that those that don’t stem from a pre-existing condition. The key is proving that the work injury was causally related to the exacerbation of the existing condition. That’s sometimes a challenging hurdle, as the plaintiff in Parker v. West Pharmaceutical Services recently learned. slippery floor

Here, the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the full industrial commission panel denying benefits – a reversal of the decision reached by the deputy commissioner.

According to court records, the plaintiff filed a Form 18 in August 2013, seeking workers’ compensation benefits as a result of a slip-and-fall injury he suffered at work as a maintenance technician at a drug manufacturing firm.

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The newest report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals there were nearly 3 million work injuries reported nationally last year. The number of injuries varied vastly by industry. emergency

Interestingly, workers employed by state-run nursing homes were more likely to be injured on the job than those who toiled in manufacturing or construction, which underscores the difficulty of caring for the ill and elderly. Agriculture and local police also were at high risk of work-related injuries.

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The latest report on North Carolina workplace injuries and illnesses for those in the private sector indicates historic lows. The North Carolina Department of Labor reports the rate of work injury/illness fell from 2.7 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2014 to 2.6 in 2015. This is below the national rate and also less than half of what it was in 2001 – which was 5.3 per 100 full-time workers. work sign

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry credited management, workers, and companies with being more vigilant about on-the-job safety, particularly those in the most dangerous professions, which include construction, manufacturing, and transportation.

However, those in the industry say it has equally to do with injured workers obtaining good legal representation. Workplace accidents are in fact very costly when you factor in the legal expenses, insurance fees, lost productivity, and third-party liability lawsuits. Smart employers recognize that investing in workplace safety is something that ultimately pays for itself – even if it affects their bottom line in the short term.

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One of the best arguments one can make for securing uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is that it will provide coverage even if you aren’t actually driving or in a motor vehicle. For example, if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can seek coverage from your UM/UIM carrier to make up the difference. highway

However, insurance companies are free to write the terms of their coverage, so this isn’t a guaranteed benefit. In the recent case of Spiller v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky ruled that a worker who was not in his employer’s truck when he was struck by a negligent driver was not entitled to collect UIM benefits.

The underlying facts of this work injury lawsuit were that the plaintiff, employed by a contractor, was tasked with making certain repairs along  a four-lane expressway. In the course of doing this work, he was trailed by a large truck equipped with an arrow that flashed. This was supposed to alert rear traffic to move left because there was construction on the right. A few hours into his shift, a motorist slammed into that arrow board attached to the truck, pushing the truck into the plaintiff and causing him to suffer injuries.

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