In North Carolina, just because a worker gets hurt at work does not necessarily mean there is a compensable claim under the NC Workers’ Compensation Act.  An injury and an accident are not the same thing.  Accidents occur when the work routine has been interrupted, and unusual conditions are created.  If you trip, fall and break your leg while doing your job, that is a compensable accident and injury.  If you are doing your normal job, in its normal manner, and experience an injury, you may not have a compensable claim.  You should call a workers compensation attorney if you have questions related to the circumstances of your injury.

The two main kinds of compensable injuries in NC are astockfresh_6098357_worker-falling-off-ladder-in-warehouse_sizeS-200x300ccidents and occupational diseases.  There are a few other categories of injuries that will qualify you for benefits, including back injuries attributable to a specific traumatic incident, and hernias under certain conditions.

The most important thing to remember is if you are hurt at work, you need to report it to your supervisor immediately and seek medical treatment as soon as possible.  Any delay in seeking treatment can be used to undermine the validity of your claim.

Continue Reading

Unfortunately, when many South Carolinians suffer an on the job injury, that injury results in permanent scarring or disfigurement to their body. I am often confronted with whether my client is entitled to compensation or additional compensation when they are left with permanent scarring or disfigurement. Whether the injury is a result of serious burn injuries, lacerations, or if a worker has surgical scarring it is important that they know their rights.stockfresh_270855_scar-4_sizeS-200x300

In South Carolina, it is possible to receive compensation for permanent scars. Under our laws, a Commissioner may award an injured worker up to 50 weeks of compensation for serious scars or disfigurement that is located on the head, neck, or other body part that is normally exposed during employment. For example only, if a worker’s compensation rate is $300.00 per week and a Commissioner finds that he or she is entitled to full disfigurement benefits, that worker’s disfigurement benefit would total $15,000.00. (For questions regarding how a compensation rate is determined please ready my prior blog post:  https://www.injurylaw-carolinas.com/2015/02/injured-cant-work-much-receive-week-work-benefits.html).

Continue Reading

Drunk driving-related incidents spike on Super Bowl Sunday according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and an analysis by another group reports that “states and regions with a team in the game can see drinking violations that are double or even triple the norm.”

stockfresh_5180_glass-of-beer-and-keys-on-bar-table_sizeS-200x300Ultimately, it is the responsibility of every individual to make smart choices during Super Bowl parties. This means paying attention to how much alcohol you consume at parties and making safe decisions when it comes to transportation. With popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operating in many areas of North Carolina and South Carolina, there is no excuse for drinking and driving. If you live in a location that doesn’t have Uber or Lyft, a taxi or a designated driver are still dependable and safe choices that should be relied upon if you plan to drink during the holidays.  The NHTSA also has a SafeRide app which identifies your location so you can get a taxi or friend to pick you up and give you a ride home.

If you are hosting a party, it is important to consider the safety of your guests and the safety of others on the road. Make sure to watch how much alcohol your guests are consuming at your event, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much and tries to drive themselves home. By letting people stay at your home or finding them a safe ride home through an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or sober ride, you can ensure the safety of your friend and countless others who are on the road.

For most of us, the idea of someone – and especially a relative – taking advantage of the elderly is unthinkable. The tragic truth is that elder abuse is widespread, and the majority of abusers are family members, according to Aging.com.

stockfresh_1263647_old-woman-hands_sizeS-300x200One all-too-common type of elder abuse comes in the form of financial exploitation. A family member, friend, or caregiver may take advantage of an older adult’s finances for their own gain. It may be up to you to put a stop to it.

Financial abuse of the elderly takes many varied forms, and often includes the forging of signatures, taking money or property, fraud or scams, and coercion or deception. Elderly individuals are often forced to relinquish ownership through wills, deeds, or powers of attorney through threats, intimidation, or fraud at the hands of an abuser who is close to them.

stockfresh_1513518_social-security-benefits_sizeS-300x199The Social Security Administration keeps track of the medical status of some of its beneficiaries with what is called a Continuing Disability Review (CDR).  CDRs take place for beneficiaries of both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  They are not the same as the financial review that people receiving SSI benefits undergo each year to verify their eligibility. This article will explain the frequency of CDRs, how they are carried out, and what to do in the wake of discontinuation of your benefits.

Typical CDR Cycles

If you are a Social Security Disability beneficiary under the age of fifty or one of those deemed likely to recover in a relatively short period of time (more than 12 months but likely in a few years), the SSA typically sets the first CDR for three years, or less, after benefits begin.  In cases where recovery is expected to take a long time or continue permanently, the SSA typically sets CDR dates at five to seven years from the initial determination of disability.  [Note:  These are not hard and fast timelines! In some cases, the SSA might perform a CDR one or two years from the initial finding of disability, and in very rare cases, such as those where the claimant has a permanent injury, they might perform a CDR beyond seven years from the initial review.]  Continue Reading

On December 18, a federal mandate requiring the installation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on all commercial trucks went into effect.  Still, other proposed regulations designed to improve highway safety have been rolled back or are on hold.

According to a recent story on NPR, the Obama-era mandate stockfresh_314277_rearview-car-driving-mirror-overtaking-big-truck_sizeS-300x200was one of several proposed regulations that were designed to make the roads safer by preventing drivers from operating their vehicles while fatigued. The ELD mandate, specifically, requires all trucks to have ELDs, which would replace the easily altered paper logbooks that many drivers still use to track the hours they spend on the road and the hours that they spend at rest.

Some truck drivers complain that the new devices are prohibitively expensive (the devices cost about $500) and that they do not take into account the actual conditions and delays that drivers experience while on the road.

Continue Reading

If you are shopping for a Christmas gift for a child this holiday season, remember that safety should be a top priority. While toys may appear to be safe, some are not properly labeled or tested and may pose serious health risks.

stockfresh_5929984_portrait-of-little-african-american-little-girl-sitting-on-the-f_sizeS-300x200Fortunately, watchdog groups like the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) have taken the time to research the most popular toys this year. They recently released their “Trouble in Toyland” report, warning consumers about potentially dangerous toys and other gifts for kids.

Over the past three decades, U.S. PIRG reports have led to more than 150 recalls of potentially dangerous toys, and its public awareness campaigns have helped lawmakers and consumers alike realize the dangers of these defective products. For 2017, the group’s attention focused on the newest and biggest threats that these products pose to children today, including: Continue Reading

 

Workplace injuries can be devastating for anyone, regardless of gender. But a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while women have historically received fewer workplace injuries than men, the types of on-the-job injuries can be quite different for females.

stockfresh_4489991_work-accident_sizeS-300x208According to the recently released data, men accounted for 4,836 workplace fatalities in 2015. By contrast, 344 women died on the job during the same period. The leading cause of job-related deaths for both genders is the same – transportation accidents that occur by road, air, water or railway.

Then the numbers begin to diverge, where the second most common cause of workplace deaths death for women is by violence and other injuries by persons or animals. By contrast, the second leading cause for men are caused by slip, trip, and fall mishaps.

Continue Reading

Even in our great nation, military service is not always as lauded as it should be and Servicemembers and Veterans are not always as sought after as employees as they should be.  Fortunately, the United States Congress realized that we do not all act as we should towards these heroes and Congress enacted the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  This brief article will focus on the anti-discrimination provisions of USERRA.

stockfresh_936092_military-uniform-soldier-row_sizeS-300x200It is important to realize that USERRA is a floor and not a ceiling.  In other words, it does not supersede any laws, regulations, or agreements that increase protections based on service in the uniformed services but it supersedes all those which reduce, limit or eliminate a right or benefit.[1]  Continue Reading

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for providing benefits to people who are disabled and either temporarily (more than 12 months) or permanently unable to work.  In order to determine that people are actually unable to work the SSA keeps track of a beneficiary’s medical condition and financial status.  stockfresh_5487160_person-hand-with-pen-filling-social-security-disability-form_sizeS-300x200If you are receiving payments from either the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program or the Supplement Security Income (SSI) program, the SSA will require that you submit proof of income information on an annual basis to ensure that your income does not exceed a certain limit.  This limit is called the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level.  This post will explain how the Social Security Administration defines SGA for you as one of its beneficiaries and the limits on income that the SSA requires in order to continue providing benefits.

Continue Reading

Contact Information