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Overwhelmed by the Choices of Personal Injury Attorneys?

Use Our Checklist to Help You Decide

You’ve decided you need to hire an attorney to handle your personal injury case. But now you need to narrow down your options.

With so many law firms and attorneys to choose from, how do you zero in on the one who’s best suited to represent you?

We have a tool that may be able to help you decide. Our Personal Injury Attorney checklist  outlines specific questions you should consider asking before deciding which attorney to hire.

First, we suggest narrowing down your initial choices to a few. Once that’s decided, contact each one by phone to set up about 15 minutes to ask the 16 important questions on this checklist. Most will offer these answers free.

You can print this list or read it directly from our website. You may have more questions of your own, but we believe these questions are a good starting point that can help you decide which attorney or law firm will be best for you.

And remember to read “between the lines.” Listen for answers, of course, but also listen for a genuine concern for your issues and willingness to represent you.

Click here for your Personal Injury Attorney checklist.

Insurance Policy Limits Only Covered Part of My Damages. Now What?

What happens when a stubborn millionaire gets behind the wheel while drunk or texts while driving and hits you, but only has minimal insurance coverage that doesn’t even cover all your medical bills?

We don’t think that’s right and the courts don’t either. That’s why, in situations like these, your attorney can sue the other driver and go after “recreational assets,” like large savings accounts, extra cars, fancy boats, or vacation homes.

Basically the court says if the at-fault driver has the extra money to own these things, they can pay for the damages they’ve caused you.

But because the courts also don’t want everyone to go “lawsuit crazy,” the process can be long and arduous, and we don’t recommend trying it without an experienced North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer.

Suing for Damages Above Insurance Limits

Before your attorney can sue the at-fault driver for their assets, you must first go through litigation and a trial. If you win, and the jury awards a verdict in your favor, the insurance company will have to pay. However, the insurance company can only pay what it is under contract to pay (the policy limits), no more.

If a jury agrees that you should be awarded more than the insurance company’s policy limits can pay, that award is known as an “excess verdict.”

The excess verdict is what is owed to you above the limits the insurance company is contracted to pay.

Let’s say, for example, the at-fault driver has a $100,000 policy limit contracted with their insurance company, but your damages total $170,000. The insurance can only pay up to $100,000. That additional $70,000 would fall under the “excess verdict” the jury awarded.

It is only with an excess verdict that you can sue for personal property to help bridge the gap between what the jury awarded you, and what the insurance company paid.

Fortunately, most people buy insurance policies with limits high enough to protect their personal assets. However, in the event of a serious injury, an attorney may seek an excess judgment if there isn’t enough insurance available to cover current and future medical bills. This is particularly true if the at-fault party has significant assets that could be used to satisfy the judgment.

What Properties and Assets Can be Seized?

That being said, even if you are awarded an excess verdict, the at-fault driver has legal rights to protect certain property by claiming exemptions. Moreover, do not be deceived into thinking that just because you sue someone for their property, you will get paid right away. That would be too easy!

Exempt property must fall under certain legal definitions. It includes things like the primary home the at-fault driver owns and lives in, as well as their primary vehicle.

For other non-essential property, like a vacation home, the judgment must be filed in every county where the defendant owns real property. And because the at-fault driver cannot be forced to sell their real estate to pay you right away, that judgment must be renewed every 10 years.

The judgement gives you a lien on the property, and when it is voluntarily sold, then the judgment is paid. It is also worth noting that the judgment does not have priority. It is paid after other lienholders, such as the mortgage company.

If there are other assets that are easier to sell, like trucks, cars, or boats, then the local sheriff can execute the judgment and seize those assets. But you won’t get the full amount of the proceeds. The sheriff is entitled to a percentage of what is made on the sale of those assets.

While each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits, you can undoubtedly begin to see why it can be prudent to work with a legal team experienced in personal injury litigation.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times1 more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.

Why Work With the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin?

While each case is different, having a lawyer who thoroughly understands and has experience dealing with North Carolina personal injury law can potentially go a long way toward your financial recovery efforts. So why choose us?

  • We are one of the largest personal injury law firms in our part of the country.
  • We have recovered over $600 million2 gross for more than 30,000 clients since 1997.
  • We have more than 150 staff members, including over 35 attorneys.
  • Several of our lawyers have achieved peer- and client-reviewed designations including Best Lawyers Best Lawyers in America 20173 and Lawyer of the Year 20174; and Super Lawyers Rising Star 20165 and Super Lawyer 20166.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of the things clients have to say about us.

Get FREE Case Evaluations From North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If your car wreck damages exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance limits, we strongly urge you to contact us right now or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE over the phone or online – 24/7.

 

Insurance Research Council 1999

Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel Magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the Lawyer of the Year, making this accolade particularly significant. Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com

To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. Rising Stars undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. While up to 5% of the lawyers in any state are named “Super Lawyers,” by Super Lawyers magazine, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com

Super Lawyers undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com

 

5 Ways to Help Strengthen (and Maybe Hasten) Your Social Security Disability Case

According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 67% of those who file for their initial Social Security Disability cases end in denial. And 88% of those filing a second time are denied! The third time is not a charm for applicants either, with a 37% denial rate.

What gives?

Clearly, the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a struggle for many. Although Social Security Disability benefits can often be worth the effort, the system can be a complex web of government rules, regulations, and procedures, and understandably, wrought with confusion for those unfamiliar it.

And the wait times can be long too. Currently in Raleigh, for example, the average wait time for a Social Security Disability hearing is 19 months, according to the Social Security Administration’s Hearing Office.

But don’t despair.

We Can Help – NC Board Certified Expertise in Social Security Disability Law



Our NC Social Security Disability attorneys are familiar with the system. Very familiar. One of our attorneys, Rick Fleming, is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability law. Out of the 28,000 North Carolina-licensed lawyers, only 51 in the entire state can make that claim1. Not only is he certified, he’s actually the vice chair of the N.C. State Bar’s Social Security Disability Law Specialty Committee (the entity that certifies attorneys).

And many of our staff members have more than ten years of Social Security Disability experience, including experience with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Disability Determination Services division. They understand what you’re up against.

Although the denial rate is high for Social Security Disability cases and the wait time can be long, there are ways our Social Security Disability lawyers can try to improve your chances for approval.

5 Ways a NC Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help


  1. Wade through the bureaucracy. Our attorneys can help handle the mountains of paperwork, and help ensure rules, timelines, and methods are followed, and deadlines met.
  2. Offer you piece of mind – and time to heal. We can focus on the legal aspects of your situation, which gives you more time and opportunity to focus on healing.
  3. Direct examiners to the most important information. We can help examiners focus on the important issues by highlighting the most critical aspects of your case. Sometimes we’ve found this can increase the chance of more expedient success.Although many people believe they’ve given accurate information, often clients forget about some past medical experiences. Or think they’re unrelated. In Social Security Disability cases, everything counts and our attorneys are skilled at helping you try to file the most compelling claim possible.
  4. Go to court prepared! We know the drill. It’s a process we’ve repeated over many years and we’ve continually honed our process to try to achieve maximum results. We know how to handle the medical records, question witnesses, and interpret the rules and regulations that govern both a court of law and the various Social Security programs.
  1. Increase your chance for a successful outcome. All of the above can increase your chances for success.
    Consider a client of ours who, at first, had been seeking Social Security Disability on his own. After initially being denied, we helped him appeal that decision by presenting additional information about his medical condition before the Social Security Disability Administration. Subsequently, our client’s case was approved2.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation by North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers



You don’t need to stumble through this process alone. We encourage you to contact us.

If you think you can’t afford to hire us to fight for you, think again! We work on a contingency basis, which means if we don’t recover for you, you don’t pay us one penny in attorney’s fees. So don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when it comes to getting the help you need.

If you’re having problems applying for Social Security Disability, or just can’t seem to get approved, click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. Our skilled team will work tirelessly to review and try to improve your chances to finally get you the benefits you may deserve.

1 Figures provided by NC State Bar December 31, 2015

2Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Denied Social Security Disability Benefits? Don’t Give Up. Tony Didn’t

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, don’t be disheartened. Sometimes even the most clearly disabled are denied the first two or even three times.

That was certainly the case with our client, Tony (click here to read his full story).

Tony went from working in a job he loved, to being so disabled after a car accident that he can’t eat, sleep, or even go outside on a sunny day. He vomits almost daily and his headaches are so severe they sometimes cause him to cry. Within a year he dropped from 155 to 123 lbs. – and he’s 6’2”.

Even though he’s disabled by almost anyone’s definition, the Social Security Disability administration denied him benefits. Twice. But he didn’t give up and neither did we. It took some relentless work, but eventually we won him disability benefits1 – including back-due benefits – and he became immediately eligible for Medicare.

Don’t Give Up After Being Denied Benefits

The moral of this story is that it’s not unusual to be denied benefits the first or even the second time you apply. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, 67% of Social Security Disability applicants applying for benefits are denied the first time around, and 88% are denied the second time.

Sometimes All You Need Is Experienced Legal Help

A good Social Security Disability lawyer who is familiar with the system may be able to help you through the complicated and cumbersome process and may even potentially speed up your claim.

Think you can’t afford to hire an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer? Think again.

Many, like our firm, work on contingency, which means you don’t pay us one penny in attorney’s fees unless we get you your benefits. Don’t give up because you are frustrated or because you think you cannot afford legal help.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation from our NC Social Security Disability Attorneys

If you are disabled, ask one of our Social Security Disability lawyers if they think they can help before you wade through the disability process alone.

One of our Social Security Disability attorneys is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law. Out of the 28,000 licensed North Carolina lawyers, only 51 can make that claim2. That same attorney also happens to be vice chair of the N.C. State Bar’s Social Security Disability Law Specialty Committee.

Yet all of our Social Security Disability lawyers and paralegals know their way around the system and its processes. It’s what they do. And helping those in need is their passion. If you’ve been denied once, twice, or even three times, don’t give up. Contact us instead. Better yet, contact us before you apply. We are here to fight for the benefits you may rightly deserve. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your situation.

 

1Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2Figures provided by NC State Bar December 31, 2015

 

What Kind of Medical Treatment Can I Receive Under Workers’ Comp Insurance?

If you’re injured on the job and your workers’ compensation claim is approved, workers’ comp will pay for your medical treatment. That’s great! But what exactly does that mean to you?

That’s a loaded question.

What Is Medical Compensation?

Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act “medical compensation” can include virtually anything that will cure your pain, give you relief from pain, and/or get you well enough to get back to work.

Treatment can include:

  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • Hospital
  • Nursing
  • Rehabilitative services, such as:
    • Attendant care services: At-home care or physical therapy
    • Vocational rehabilitation: In some circumstances, the insurance company will pay for retraining or for a specialist to help you find another job
  • Medicines
  • Sick travel: Reimbursement for any travel to authorized medical providers or pharmacies more than 10 miles away
  • Other treatment

While it may seem as though you’re entitled to just about anything that will help you get better, who gets to decide what will help you get better. You or the insurance company?

1756873Who Decides What Medical Treatment Is Necessary?

If your workers’ compensation case is accepted by the workers’ comp insurance company, they are responsible for paying for your medical treatment. The flip side is: they also have the right to direct your care.

That means the workers’ comp insurance company can send you to the doctor or doctors they choose. Keep in mind, many insurance companies are for profit businesses – not nonprofits. That means if there’s a choice of treatments and doctors who might claim to be able to achieve the same results, but one option is less expensive than the other and may even get you back to work quicker, it would likely benefit the insurance company to opt for the less expensive, get-back-to-work-quicker option. Even if your doctor recommends a more expensive treatment and potentially longer recovery period for you, the insurance company may refuse to authorize it. So what can you do if they refuse the treatment you’d rather have?

How Can I Control What Treatment I Get?

Fighting for the treatment our clients feel they need is something we deal with day in and day out. It’s one of the primary reasons people contact our firm.

If the workers’ compensation doctor recommends treatment the insurance company refuses to pay for, our attorneys can file a motion for a hearing or a motion for medical treatment.

You also have the right to request a second opinion exam with a physician that you and the insurance company agree on. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have years of experience fighting on our clients’ behalf to try to get them the second opinions they may need

If you wish to transfer your treatment to another doctor, our attorneys can file a motion with the NC Industrial Commission (that’s the workers’ compensation “court”) to try to transfer that care for you.

Our NC Workers’ Comp Attorneys Will Review Your Case for Free

If you feel you’re not getting the treatment you need, or that your insurance company may not have your best interests at heart, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

Let one of our workers’ comp attorneys – six of whom are North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law – evaluate your situation for free. We’re available 24/7 to try to get you the answers you need.

(PS…If you’re worried that you can’t afford us, stop worrying! We work on contingency, which means that you don’t pay any attorney’s fee unless we get you compensation.)

Hiring an Attorney Can Make Things Happen – Often Good Things

It’s hard for some people to consider hiring an attorney after a car wreck. After all, you don’t want to be “one of those” litigious types. You just want what’s fair. And, you reason, so does the insurance company.

But when the insurance company starts playing games with your time and potential compensation, what are you supposed to do?

Here’s a story about one of our clients who gave the insurance company six ways to Sunday to treat him fair and square. But they never did. So he hired us.

It’s a classic case of an injured driver who reluctantly came to us after the insurance carrier unsuccessfully tried two typical defense strategies: the lowball offer to pay medical bills to an unrepresented victim, followed by a bogus denial threat. This client wisely hired us and heeded our counsel instead. Here’s the story…

The defendant’s vehicle had plowed into our client, smashing the vehicle’s front end. Luckily, the client emerged with moderate injuries. Initially, the client tried to work directly with the insurance carrier who verbally told him they would pay for his bills. The carrier made the process so convoluted that the client became frustrated. They gave him every excuse in the book except, “my pen won’t work.”  Finally, the client contacted us.

After our involvement, the insurance carrier then tried to deny him any recovery, causing further delay and frustration for the client. All of us, including the client, had had just about enough of their time-wasting tactics, and we were able to negotiate a settlement for our client that we were pleased with1.

PI Book

What Happens When You Hire a Car Wreck Lawyer?

While not all law firms are created equal, hiring a law firm can potentially make good things happen. Many on our teams have worked for the insurance companies before joining our firm. So they know effective strategies to show them we mean business.

As a matter of fact, studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5x more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own2.

NC Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation

If you want a legal team you can trust to fight for your interests, click here for a FREE case evaluation, or call 1-866-900-7078. Our phone lines are open 24/7/365.

 

1 Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results. Client identity and certain circumstances have been removed or changed to protect their privacy.

2 Insurance Research Council, 1999

Can I Get Fired if I File for Workers’ Comp in North Carolina?

WCYou can probably guess the legal answer to this question is: No – you cannot get fired just for filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina.

But the unfortunate truth is that it does happen sometimes.

Does that mean you shouldn’t file a workers’ compensation claim? Absolutely not! Don’t allow yourself to be bullied. A skilled NC workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help you take steps to protect your job or file a discrimination claim, if needed.

Considering a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If you’ve been hurt on the job, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need money to cover medical bills or the time I’ve been out of work?
  • Is it possible that I will need medical treatment for this injury down the road?
  • Could this injury result in permanent damage?
  • Might this injury affect my ability to work in the future?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we strongly encourage you to file a workers’ compensation claim and to contact a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Don’t put your physical or financial health at risk for an unknown.

After all, jobs may come and go, but you’re living in the only body you’re going to get. You need to take care of it.

2 Ways to Potentially Minimize Being Fired After a Workers’ Comp Claim

Here are two important ways you may be able to protect your job after a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on your specific case, your workers’ compensation attorney may have additional suggestions.

  1. Be a good employee
    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim, you’re immune to getting fired. You’re not. You can still easily be fired for any number of reasons like repeatedly being late, slacking off, or for any other behaviors or reasons an employer might fire someone. Your work habits may be especially scrutinized after returning to work, so don’t give anyone cause to think you’re not being the very best employee you can be.
  2. Get someone to look out for you
    If you feel like your employer is “out to get you,” we highly recommend hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney may have the experience needed to recognize what’s happening and how it could eventually hurt your case. Plus they may be able to help you be preemptive in gathering evidence. Generally speaking, evidence gathered beforehand may be more convincing than evidence you gathered after the fact. And a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help leverage this evidence if you’re fired when filing your discrimination claim.

Need a North Carolina Workers’ Comp Case Evaluation – FREE?

If you’ve been injured at work, don’t go through the workers’ compensation process alone. There’s just too much most people don’t know about the system. Even some of the more savvy clients we’ve known have made seemingly minor mistakes that cost them (big) in the long run.

One more point. Don’t feel like you can’t afford to hire a qualified workers’ comp attorney. You can! At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we work on a contingency basis, so you don’t owe us an attorney’s fee if we don’t get you compensation for your claim. What are you waiting for? Click here or call us at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

5 Common Sense Ways You Can Try to Avoid Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes are among the most common collisions occurring throughout North Carolina and the U.S., according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The agency found that about 87% of rear-end crashes involved distracted driving on the part of the at-fault driver. And in 81% of those crashes the lead vehicle was stopped.

A rear-end collision can change your life forever. Consider the story of Tony, one of our clients. He was living the dream and simply driving home from work one day when his life was forever changed. Click here to read Tony’s story.

5 Ways to Try to Avoid a Rear-End Collision

Rear-end accidents can often be avoided! And prevention is up to each of us. We can start by practicing five simple things every time we get behind the wheel:

  1. Don’t tailgate. Tailgating or following too closely behind someone else is just plain rude and inconsiderate, not to mention unsafe. If you don’t leave enough distance to stop, there’s a very real chance you will end up hitting another car – and likely blamed for the crash. Remember: one car length for every 10 mph.
  2. Don’t stop short or cut people off. If you slam on your brakes suddenly and unexpectedly or suddenly changes lanes or pull in front of another car, cars around you may not have time to react. Look ahead and plan ahead.
  3. Go the speed limit and try to maintain a steady speed. Drivers who slow suddenly can cause a car following them to hit them. A driver who goes too fast also faces an increased chance of hitting the car in front.
  4. Don’t drive distracted. Pay careful attention to what is going on in front of you, behind, you and all around you – but not to your phone or that last cold French fry at the bottom of your fast food bag.
  5. Avoid drunk or drowsy driving. Both drunk and drowsy driving make it harder to pay attention to what is going on around you and can cause delayed reaction time. This makes rear-end accidents much more likely. Stop to rest if you are too tired to drive safely. And if you have been drinking alcohol, call a North Carolina designated driver service, Uber, Lyft or a taxi.

And remember this: It’s nearly always the driver who strikes the vehicle in front of him who is assumed to be at fault. That may mean facing liability in a civil suit in addition to dealing with the accident and injuries.

North Carolina Injury Lawyers Evaluate Your Claim FREE

If you’ve been injured in any kind of car wreck or if you’ve been denied for Social Security Disability, call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click here  for a free case evaluation.

 

* Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.

Teen Distractions Behind the Wheel Kill — 5 Simple Steps That Can Help Save a Life

Summertime means more teens will be driving on our roadways – and many will not be paying attention. Inattention behind the wheel among teens is so widespread that AAA refers to summertime when teens are out of school as the ‘100 deadliest days for teens.’

Crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, and distracted driving is thought to contribute to more than half of teen crashes. Worse, teen fatality rates are three times higher than other age groups.

As a father of two teenagers who will be driving on their own soon, these statistics alarm me. As a lawyer, I have seen an exponential growth in distracted driving crashes in recent years.

We’re Taking the Distracted Driving Message to High Schools

For these reasons and more my firm has partnered with EnDD.org (End Distracted Driving) and the American Association for Justice (AAJ) to offer a distracted driving educational program to area high schools.

This program was developed by Joel Feldman, an attorney whose 21-year-old daughter was tragically killed by a distracted driver. It is truly unlike any other we know of, and has been extremely well received by more than 300,000 students in 44 states and Canada. And it is recognized by traffic safety experts, including the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Governors Highway Safety Association, as one of the most effective programs for teens.

Joel worked with psychologists and teen safe-driving experts to integrate behavioral science, behavior change theory, and teen-targeted persuasion principles specifically designed to avoid any potential teen backlash of feeling as though someone is trying to restrict their freedom and rights.

We are excited about this effort. And based on feedback, we hope it will help make a positive impact in our communities.

5 Ways You Can Help Curb Distracted Driving

Because distracted driving affects all of us, it’s everyone’s problem. And this growing and deadly epidemic needs attention from all fronts. Here is what each of us, including you, can do to help try to render distracted driving unacceptable – period.

  • Model appropriate behavior behind the wheel. Don’t drive distracted
  • Download, print, and display the YES! I WILL family pledge and safe driving agreement from EndDD.org
  • Visit teendriving.aaa.com/NC for safety resources for your teen drivers
  • Start discussions early on, well before teens reach driving age
  • Take advantage of some of the latest apps (some free) and tech gadgets that can help make it easier for teens (and all of us) to avoid using phones while behind the wheel. Here’s an article by a USA Today affiliate which highlights some of them

I urge you to join me in modeling this behavior for our young drivers, so that eventually this dangerous practice will no longer be considered acceptable.

Is the Insurance Company Using a Workers’ Comp Nurse to Watch Over Me?

When you’re hurt on the job, experience has taught us that one of the insurance company’s primary concerns is cost control.

If your injuries are serious, the insurance company will often assign a workers’ comp nurse to closely monitor your medical treatment and the recommendations your doctors make.

It’s important to know the purpose of the nurse’s involvement – and how you can protect yourself if your rights are violated. Below are important things to know if a workers’ comp nurse becomes involved.

nurseWho Is a Workers’ Comp Nurse?

Workers’ comp nurses are case managers, coordinators, and rehabilitation nurses who do not provide direct medical care.

Contrary to your physical therapist or occupational therapist, a workers’ comp nurse is more of an overseer.

How Does a Workers’ Comp Nurse Become Involved in My Case?

Most frequently, workers’ comp nurses become involved at the request of the insurance company. The insurance company selects the nurse and pays them.

Nurses are often brought in when serious injuries occur, or when medical costs begin to rise. You can also request that the Industrial Commission assign a nurse free of charge.

What’s the Point of a Workers’ Comp Nurse?

According to the Industrial Commission, workers’ comp nurses are directed to coordinate and plan medical care with the goal of assisting you back to your pre-injury level of function. They are supposed to communicate with your doctor about your treatment plan and work capabilities.

However, in our experience, some workers’ comp nurses have ended up becoming more of a mouthpiece for the insurance company, focusing more on costs rather than what is best for the injured worker. Workers’ comp nurses should not:

  • Direct medical care (tell the doctor or you what treatment you should or shouldn’t have)
  • Advocate for one type of treatment over another
  • Advocate for a change in your treatment plan
  • Advise you on any legal matters involving your workers’ comp claim

Workers’ comp nurses are allowed to come to your doctors’ appointments, but you can request a private exam with your doctor, in which case the nurse will speak with your doctor after the appointment (with you present).

Nurses will often speak with your doctor about your work restrictions and ability to return to work. The nurse should not be pressuring your doctor to ease your restrictions or release you to your full duty of work.

If looking at alternative work you might be able to do, the nurse can only recommend you for, or direct you to, suitable employment – jobs that are within the restrictions assigned by your doctor.

What Are My Rights When a Workers’ Comp Nurse Is Involved?

If you have a workers’ comp nurse assigned to you, remember this:

  • You are entitled to a private exam with your doctor, outside the presence of the nurse
  • You are entitled to be present when the nurse talks with your doctor
  • You can request the nurse be removed from your case for advocating for the insurance company or for violating the rehabilitation rules

In our experience, some workers’ comp nurses have focused more on costs instead of health.

NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers Evaluate Your Case FREE

If you are having problems with a workers’ comp nurse looking out for the insurance company and not for your health, click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. We can file a claim and work to try to ensure the workers’ comp nurse understands their limits, so you can focus on your recovery.