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Kitty Hawk Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Time On Task: An Overlooked Cause Of Workplace Injuries

On the topic of workplace injuries, you typically think of things like wet floors, dangerous equipment and poor maintenance. Another major cause of injuries is invisible: worker fatigue, which reduces productivity and increases the risk of injury or accident.

Sleep deprivation and working on night shifts are two well-known causes of fatigue. A third cause is “time on task,” which is the amount of time a worker spends on a specific task. These tasks are the backbone of the economy and are an important part of many jobs, such as driving, data entry, assembly work and processing of orders.

Can I choose my own doctor for a workers' comp injury?

It's a big deal when you can't work because of a job-related injury. Your ability to recover quickly and fully may depend on quality medical treatment. Your first instinct might be to see your regular family doctor or to ask around for referrals to a good specialist.

Unfortunately, under North Carolina workers' compensation law, employers can dictate who treats your work injury. You can pick from a list of approved providers, but it's not truly a choice. However, under the statute you are entitled to a second opinion and you can request permission to switch doctors.

Work with experienced attorney to protect your NC workers' compensation benefits

Workers' compensation coverage is an important resource for injured employees. It is all the more important given the fact that it is typically the only avenue of compensation available to workers when they are injured on the job. One important principle for employees to realize, though, is that when they are injured on the job, it is their responsibility to claim workers' compensation coverage. This is true regardless of the circumstances of the accident.

There are several important responsibilities injured employees have with respect to workers' compensation claims in North Carolina. First of all, workers have the responsibility of providing timely notification of the accident or occupational disease. This includes notifying their employer within 30 days of when an accident occurs. If the condition is an occupational disease, notice must be provided when the employee first receives a diagnosis regarding the nature and work-related cause of his or her condition. Failure to timely notify an employer can result in denial of compensation. 

Appealing a denied workers' compensation claim

Choosing to file a workers' compensation claim is not an easy decision to make. Once you decide to file a claim, you then have to go through all the effort of making sure it is done properly all while dealing with your work-related injuries and their impact on your life. After investing so much time and effort, it can be difficult to discover that your claim has been denied.

Even though having a workers' compensation claim denied can be a serious blow to your morale, it is important to know that you have options. It is not uncommon for claims to be denied the first time they are filed, but workers have the ability to appeal that decision. However, before you begin the appeals process, the first step is figuring out why the claim was initially denied.

Workers' comp changes may be coming for NC law enforcement and firefighters

It is no secret that law enforcement officers and firefighters are often in hazardous situations. This is one of the reasons the services they provide are so important to the societies they serve. Unfortunately for these civil workers, the dangers of their jobs often take a heavy toll.

Because of the nature of their jobs, law enforcement officers and firefighters deal with situations on a regular basis that have a high potential for short and long-term physical and mental injury. Although the workers' compensation program tries to account for these factors, it sometimes falls short. However, this may be changing soon.

Noise-induced hearing loss is common in construction

Noise-induced hearing loss is a common occupational disease but it's not often discussed. In fact, it may often be overlooked or attributed to the normal signs of aging.

The reality is that approximately 30 million workers in the United States are regularly exposed to noise levels that are above the limits considered safe for human hearing. Those within certain industries, particularly mining and construction, face up to six times the likelihood to experience hearing loss by the time they are 50 years old than those who aren't exposed to the same levels of chronic noise.

Many North Carolina employers lack required insurance

Do you have any idea whether you actually have workers' compensation insurance if you need it, or are you trusting your employer to take care of you?

If so, your trust may be misplaced. According to investigative reporters, many North Carolina businesses don't have the required coverage for their employees.

Preventable deaths on the rise in North Carolina workplaces

The North Carolina Department of Labor, which tracks workplace deaths that fall under the U.S. Labor Departments investigatory authority, says that 48 fatalities occurred in the state in 2016 -- and that half were probably preventable.

Year after year, four types of injuries tend to stand out as the cause of most workplace fatalities, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries:

Workers' Compensation, anxiety and stress in North Carolina

A lot of jobs cause anxiety and stress for employees -- but there are times that anxiety and stress can become debilitating, especially if it starts to manifest itself in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or some other form of serious mental disorder.

That leaves many workers wondering if they're entitled to workers' compensation as a result. In North Carolina, the answer to that question depends entirely on the circumstances of your case.

Hearing Loss and Workers' Compensation

 

Hearing loss due to chronic noise exposure at work does qualify for workers' compensation, but it's a trickier injury to deal with than something acute like an injured limb. Claim approval and adequate compensation depend not only on your behavior at work and at home, but also whether you can prove your hearing used to be better.

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