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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

I Was Hurt at Work, Now What?

WorkersComp38_06062014As a general starting point, if you are injured while at work, you should make sure your employer is aware of your injury and a workers' compensation claim has been filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In North Carolina, almost all employers with three or more employees are required to purchase and maintain workers' compensation insurance.

Your employer's workers' compensation insurance company is supposed to cover and direct your treatment, but if any disagreements arise about how much you should receive, or if you want a second medical opinion, you can take your complaints to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. However, keep in mind that the Industrial Commission does not provide legal advice.

What Is the North Carolina Industrial Commission?

The North Carolina Industrial Commission was created by the North Carolina General Assembly to administer and carry out North Carolina's workers' compensation laws. When you are injured by an accident while on the job, or suffer an occupational disease (i.e. carpel tunnel syndrome, loss of hearing, exposure to hazardous substances, etc.), the North Carolina Industrial Commission will work with you and your employer to administer and process your workers' compensation claim. You can think of the North Carolina Industrial Commission as the final decision-maker in your workers' compensation claim.


How Is the North Carolina Industrial Commission Structured?

The North Carolina Industrial Commission is made up of six commissioners who are appointed by the governor for terms of six years. The commissioners administer workers' compensation cases, as well as the operations of the employees that make up the Commission. The commissioners also sit in panels of three for purposes of resolving claims that come before them. This is called the, "Full Commission." You can think of the Full Commission as the equivalent of an appellate level court (a court that hears appeals). Basically, if you appeal a Deputy Commissioner's decision, it will heard by the Full Commission. The Full Commission panels, like the Deputy Commissioners, resolve claims coming before them through orders, opinions, and decisions.

The Commission is also made up of Deputy Commissioners and Special Deputy Commissioners. Deputy Commissioners are responsible for conducting full evidentiary hearings, much like the Full Commission. The also hear administrative motions, such as a motion requesting defendants' be ordered to provide medical care for an injured worker.


Will My Case Be Heard by the Commission?

Most injured workers will settle their workers' compensation claim before it becomes necessary to have a hearing before a Deputy Commissioner. If the parties are able to reach an agreement and settle a workers' compensation claim, a Special Deputy Commissioner will review the settlement agreement. Settlement agreements are often referred to as "clinchers."

 

So Remember....

If your employer has three or more employees, it's likely they have workers' compensation insurance coverage. If you are injured while at work, you should make sure your employer is aware of your injury, and a workers' compensation claim has been filed.

Once a claim has been filed, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will work with you, your attorney, your employer, and your employer's workers' compensation insurance provider to process and resolve your workers' compensation claim.

 

We Have Former Commissioners On Staff!

Wouldn't it be nice if you knew what the people who would ultimately deny or approve your claim thought about your case? Well, at our firm, we actually have two former commissioners on staff.

Doug Berger used to be a Deputy Commissioner for the NC Industrial Commission and Matt Harbin is a former Special Deputy Commissioner. They serve as a resource for all of our workers' compensation attorneys and staff to help us try to present your case in the best possible light.

Want that expertise on your side? Just give us a call at 1-866-900-7078 or click here for a free case evaluation.

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Filing a Disability Claim

Disability_06132014The definition of "disability" under Social Security is different than other programs, like workers' compensation or when settling for damages after a car accident.

Social Security pays only for total disabilityNo benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. You are considered disabled under Social Security rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • It is found that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

The 5 Questions You'll Be Asked

To determine if you fall under this definition of disability, the Social Security Administration uses a step-by-step process involving five questions. They are:

  1. 1. Are you working? (If you are working and you earn a certain amount per month, you generally cannot be considered disabled).
  2. 2. Is your condition severe? (Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered disabling).
  3. 3. Is your condition found in the list of disability conditions? (The Listings are a list of medical conditions that are considered so severe that they automatically mean that you are disabled.)
  4. Can you do the work/kind of jobs you used to do? (If your condition is severe, but not at the same or equal level of severity as a Listing, then it must be determined if your impairment interferes with your ability to do the kind of jobs you used to do. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, the matter proceeds on to the fifth and final step of evaluation below).
  5. Can you do any other type of work? (If you cannot do the kind of work you used to do, the SSA will determine if you are able to adjust to other kinds of work. If you are, your claim will be denied. If you are unable to do your past work and unable to adjust to other work, your claim should be approved).

The Social Security disability process can be complicated. If you're considering filing a claim (or have tried in the past), contact us for a free case assessment.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Attorneys Working for You

Were you denied a Social Security disability claim? You are not alone. Far from it. The vast majority of initial SSD claims are denied (roughly 70%). Many applicants give up in frustration. This is a mistake.

It's important to appeal your claim through the Social Security benefits appeals process. A Social Security disability attorney who thoroughly understands the rules and regulations may be able to help you get results.

Call 1-866-900-7078 today to find out how the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin can help. Let a Social Security disability attorney in North Carolina guide you through the complicated Social Security disability claims process.

 

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

201 McCullough Drive, Suite 220
Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078