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Does Workers' Compensation only Cover Medical Bills?

Workers' compensation insurance may protect you if you are injured on the job, and as such, it may provide for much more than just your medical expenses.

As North Carolina Workers' Compensation Attorney Barry Jennings explains, North Carolina workers' compensation law provides for the payment of medical expenses and lost wages for those who qualify. Depending on the extent of your injury and how the injury occurred, you may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits to cover your medical treatment, as well as the time you missed from work.

Injury6_07182014If you suffer a permanent injury, or your injury is severe enough that you will no longer be able to earn the same wages you did before, you may be entitled to additional benefits under workers' compensation law.

The compensation you receive may be paid out by your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier or by your employer.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

A qualified North Carolina workers' compensation lawyer can review the details of your case and advise you about what kind of benefits you may be entitled to under the law. If you have been injured on the job, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case. One of our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you get the benefits you may deserve for your injuries!

Under What Circumstances is a Person Eligible for Workers' Compensation in North Carolina?

Injury7_07182014Workers' compensation insurance protects workers in North Carolina in the event that they are injured on the job. However, employees must meet eligibility criteria in order to collect those benefits.

There are three types of situations in which employees can become eligible for workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina:

Workplace Accident

Accidents happen. When they happen on the job, your employer's workers' compensation insurance may cover you for injuries and other losses. Some examples may include a construction worker who falls off a ladder, or a delivery driver who is in a car accident. Accidents may occur in professions that don't seem prone to such dangers, as well. For example, a secretary may be burned by office equipment.

If the accident occurs on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina.

Workplace Injury

Sometimes employees become inured just doing their jobs -- not as a result of having an accident. Some examples may include neck or back strain from repeated performance of the same task, or even joint strain such as in the shoulders, knees, or wrists.

Workplace Illness

Workers' compensation benefits may also be available if you become seriously ill as a result of your work. Examples may include exposure to toxic chemicals that contribute to the development of cancer, such as workers who were exposed to asbestos and later developed mesothelioma.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyer

There are many factors that can contribute to whether or not you receive workers' compensation benefits and to how much compensation you receive. A North Carolina workers' compensation lawyer can help you understand the law and how it applies to you.

If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case to find out if one of our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you!

N.C. Court of Appeals Upholds Ruling in Favor of Woman Who Fell During Lunch Break

The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the North Carolina Industrial Commission awarding workers' compensation benefits to a woman who fell while walking on her lunch break.

The woman, who worked for Verizon Wireless, took an hour-long unpaid lunch break and went for a walk through the hallways of the first floor of her building for exercise. Near the end of her break, she slipped and fell on some ice near an ice machine. The fall caused her to land on her knee, and doctors say it aggravated arthritis in her knee caused by a previous knee injury.

Medical31_07232014The woman was awarded medical compensation, indemnity benefits and attorney's fees. However, her employer appealed the award on the grounds that her injury did not "arise out of" and "in the course of" her employment, and that her fall aggravated her previous injury.

The N.C. Court of Appeals found that even though the woman was on her lunch break when the fall occurred, the work injury "arose out of" her employment because she was in a building that was not open to the public and was, therefore, only accessible to her because of her employment. The court also found that her work injury arose "in the course of" her employment since this definition "includes times during the workday for rest and refreshment" and since "'[a]n employee tending to her personal needs is indirectly benefiting the employer[,]' and 'it was in [d]efendant-[e]mployer's interest that [p]laintiff be rested and refreshed so she could provide pleasant and effective customer service, and the activity in which [p]laintiff was engaging when she fell thus indirectly benefited [d]efendant-[e]mployer."

The court also upheld the judgment of the N.C. Industrial Commission regarding the evidence and witness testimony that the fall "materially aggravated" the woman's previous injury.

The full judgment of the N.C. Industrial Commission was upheld, including the full award granted the woman for her on-the-job injuries.

N.C. Department of Transportation Worker Killed in Construction Accident on N.C. 12 in Outer Banks

A Hertford man who was helping with cleanup after Hurricane Sandy was killed in an accident on N.C. 12 on Sunday.

WorkersComp13_06162014The man, who had worked for the N.C. Department of Transportation for 15 years, was driving a dump truck while cleaning up tons of sand covering the highway south or Oregon Inlet in the Outer Bank after Hurricane Sandy. The road has been closed for two weeks while crews try to clean up the sand and debris.

The accident involved another dump truck driver, but no other details were released about the cause of the accident.

Traffic was reopened on the road a day earlier from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The accident happened after traffic was closed again for the day - sometime between 1 a.m. and 1:45 a.m.

Sand is still deep on the highway along Pea Island, and stretches of pavement north of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island have to be repaired. N.C. DOT officials say that it will take several more weeks to finish repaired storm damage along the road and on the Oregon Inlet bridge.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

The accident highlights the importance of workers' compensation benefits to protect workers and their families after an injury or death on the job. If you or someone you love were injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out if one of our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you!

Workers and Firefighters Injured in Three Fires around the Triangle

Three separate fires around the Triangle last week left firefighters and hospital workers injured.

The first broke out early Tuesday at Durham Regional Hospital and may have started from use of a defibrillator. Although the fire was initially reported as an explosion, according to, the preliminary findings by the State Department of Health and Human Services concluded that a spark from a defibrillator ignited the fire.

FireAlarm2_07022014Four employees were treated for smoke inhalation, and one critically ill patient died.

The second fire broke out on Thursday in an abandoned house in Johnston County. The roof collapsed on a firefighter who was battling the fire at the house that had been vacant or a couple of years.

The firefighter was kept overnight for observation, and the cause of the fire was not known.

Finally, the third fire in The Lakes Apartments in Raleigh on Friday night was believed to have started in a bedroom. About 50 people living in 10 apartments were displaced by the fire.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation, and two firefighters were treated on the scene for minor injuries. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation

The firefighters and other workers affected by these fires could have faced serious injury as a result of just doing their jobs. If you were injured on the job, you could be entitled to compensation under the law. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation and to find out if one of our North Carolina Workers' Compensation lawyers may be able to help you.

What If I Was at Fault for an Injury I Sustained on the Job? Am I Still Eligible for Workers' Compensation Benefits?

HouseConstruction_07312014According to Attorney Barry Jennings, a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation Law, it does not matter if an injury you sustained while working on the job was your fault because, in North Carolina, workers' compensation claims do not consider negligence when determining benefits.

The workers' compensation system in North Carolina is considered "no fault," and you may still be entitled to workers' compensation benefits even if you contributed to the accident. The major exception to this rule is if you are intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Other factors could reduce the amount of workers' compensation you are awarded, such as willful disobeying of a safety rule.

No matter how you were injured on the job, it is important to notify your employer and to seek medical care immediately. Even if it was a minor injury, it is still a good idea to see a doctor to have your injuries evaluated. Some major injuries may not seem severe at first, and delaying treatment can make recovery more difficult.

It is also important to consult with a workers' compensation attorney if you have been injured on the job. Every case is different, and an experienced North Carolina workers' compensation attorney can advise you on your legal rights if you have been injured on the job and may be able to help you get the full benefits that you may deserve under the law.

If you have been injured on the job, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 right now for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how one of our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you.

N.C. Court of Appeals Upholds Worker’s Right to Attorney Fees

A recent N.C. Court of Appeals ruling upheld a finding by the N.C. Industrial Commission to award attorney fees to a permanently disabled worker who contracted asbestosis and silicosis as a result of his employment.

The N.C. Industrial Commission ruled on the case involving FMC Corporation and an employee. In October 2011, the N.C. Industrial Commission found that the man had been "permanently and totally disabled as a result of his asbestosis" as of June 18, 2006.

Paperwork5_07312014The commission awarded the man permanent total disability benefits at a rate of $730 per week for the remainder of his life. The man was also awarded "a reasonable attorney's fee of $12,000, not to be deducted from the sums due to Plaintiff."

The defendant, FMC Corporation, appealed the decision to award attorney's fees, citing N.C. General Statute 97-88.1, which states that if the Industrial Commission finds that a case "has been brought, prosecuted, or defended without reasonable ground, it may assess the whole cost of the proceedings including reasonable fees for defendant's attorney or plaintiff's attorney." FMC Corporation contended that the case was defended on reasonable grounds, and therefore, it should not have to pay attorney fees.

The N.C. Court of Appeals reviewed testimony presented about the man's injuries and concluded that "the expert medical testimony in this case demonstrates that there was no genuine basis for Defendant's denial or defense of Plaintiff's claim."

Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Decline in Fatal Work Injuries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the preliminary results from its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries at the end of September showing that fatal work injuries decreased slightly in 2011 from the previous year.

According to the CFOI, 4,609 workers died from work-related injuries in 2011, down from 4,690 in 2010. The rate of injuries also fell. The rate of injuries was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2011, down 1.7 percent from the previous year.

The agency reported that workplace deaths have been declining almost every year since 1994.

WorkersComp23_06042014In particular, work-related deaths in the construction and mining industries have declined. Deaths in the construction industry were down 6.8 percent in 2011, dropping to 721 from 774 the previous year. It was the fifth consecutive year that construction-related deaths had decreased.

The labor department said that fewer jobs in the industry as a result of the economic downturn were likely behind the decrease in fatalities.

However, the construction industry still had the second highest number of work-related deaths than any other industry last year. Mining was the most deadly industry, with the highest rate of injuries per 100,000 FTE workers at 15.8. The number of work-related deaths in mining were down 10 percent in 2011, but the number of deaths per worker remained high overall.

The 10 deadliest occupations identified by the report were:

  • Fisherman
  • Logger
  • Pilot
  • Sanitation worker
  • Roofer
  • Iron worker
  • Farmer and rancher
  • Trucker
  • Electrical power line worker
  • Taxi driver


Final data for 2011 will not be released until the spring of 2013.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

If you have been injured while on the job, one of the North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

What You Should Do When You’ve Been Injured on the Job

Injuries can happen on the job even in the safest working environments. When you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to protect your rights, you need to make sure you take the right steps after you have been injured.

Here are a few things you should do when you've been injured on the job:

Get Medical Treatment Right Away

Even if you feel that your injuries are minor, you should seek medical treatment right away if you have experienced an accident at work. Some injuries that appear minor at first could become very serious. For example, internal bleeding or concussion may not be obvious right away, but if left untreated, they could lead to serious injury and even death.

Get first-aid care on the scene as needed then go see a health-care provider to evaluate your injuries.

Notify Your Employer

You should notify your employer as soon as possible about your accident or injury. If you are not incapacitated, you should tell your employer immediately after the accident has happened. Later, you can file an official report for the incident, detailing what happened.

Document What Happened

As soon as you are able to, document what happened. File your report and take notes about the details of the incident. Take pictures if possible. Provide the names of witnesses. Include any other evidence that may be available, such as broken machine parts that may have caused a malfunction, and so on.

Whatever documentation and evidence you can provide may make it easier to settle your case if your claim is disputed.

Keep Records

As time goes on and you continue to get medical care and have further discussions with your employer about the incident, be sure to keep records. Keep documents showing your doctor's visits and medical bills. Keep a log of when you meet with your employer or legal representatives to discuss your case.

The records you keep can also help you to settle your case should legal action be required.

Get Proper Ongoing Medical Care

Once you get medical treatment, be sure to see a doctor for a follow-up visit and to continue keeping all recommended appointments. If you require ongoing medical care, be sure that you keep all your appointments and that you follow your doctor's directions for care.

Failure to get proper medical care or to follow your doctor's orders could damage any potential claim you have against your employer's insurance company for your injuries.

Consult with an Attorney

Of course, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can offer you advice about your case and the actions you can take to potentially improve your outcome. What you don't know can hurt you in a legal case, and a qualified attorney can offer you guidance about what to do to protect your rights.

Consult with a workers' compensation attorney as soon as you can after you have been injured - even before you meet with your employer, if possible.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you!

Employees Paying for Workers’ Compensation Loophole, Newspaper Reports

Law3_07312014The cost of workers' compensation insurance can be very costly for some businesses. According to a new report from the News & Observer, some businesses are finding ways to get around paying these premiums by using a loophole in which they declare their employees to be "contractors" - a move that is costing some injured workers the benefits they are supposed to receive by law.

In North Carolina, businesses with three or more employees are required by law to buy workers' compensation insurance. If they don't want to purchase insurance, they can show they have the funds to cover liability for any potential workplace injuries.

The newspaper reports that some employers are using a loophole that allows them to declare themselves sole proprietors and their employees contractors. They then purchase what is known as a "ghost policy," which provides coverage for one person as a failsafe in the event that the "sole proprietorship" hires an employee within the year.

According to the newspaper, the ghost policies cost about $1,000 a year, compared to tens of thousands of dollars a year for workers' compensation insurance premiums for some businesses.

One worker featured in the investigative article became injured in a wreck when another employee fell asleep at the wheel. The man became paralyzed from the neck down, and doctors expect his medical care to cost as much as $8 million. His employer had purchased a ghost policy, which didn't provide benefits for the man.

His case is currently being litigated to determine who is liable for paying for his injuries.

The News & Observer reported in April that at least 30,000 businesses in North Carolina have not purchased workers' compensation insurance. It is unclear how many businesses have incorrectly classified employees as contractors in order to purchase ghost policies.

By labeling employees "contractors," employers also avoid having to pay Social Security, unemployment, and insurance for these workers.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau has reported that there are about 16,000 ghost policies for high-risk employers who could not buy workers' compensation insurance, according to the N&O.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

If you have been injured on the job, the North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 right now for a free evaluation of your case!

Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-552-8215
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
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

2915 Raeford Road, Suite 204
Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Phone: 919-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greensboro Law Office

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

Greenville Law Office

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

Henderson Law Office

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

Morganton Law Office

216 N. Sterling Street, Suite B
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: 828-219-3080
Toll Free: 1-844-520-2894

New Bern Law Office

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

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
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

144 Woodridge Court
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