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Kitty Hawk Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What does scope of employment mean for workplace injuries?

It is an unfortunate reality that many employees sustain injuries on the job. However, it is not as common as it used to be. Thanks to efforts by federal agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace injuries have decreased significantly over the last few decades. 

Following an injury, attorneys and insurance agents investigate the matter to see if the company was ultimately negligent. Part of this is determining if the injured employee was within the scope of employment when the accident occurred. There are key things to know about the phrase "scope of employment."

3 major misconceptions about workers' comp

Nobody wants to be in a situation where they are unable to do their job. This is exactly what many people face, however, and what motivates them to file workers' compensation claims. According to Employers.com, as many as three million nonfatal workplace accidents can occur in a single year, and these injuries are often serious enough to necessitate medical treatment and time away from work.

If you have experienced such an accident, you might be wondering what to expect from your workers' compensation claim. Hiring an attorney may help you navigate the process and avoid costly errors. In the meantime, however, you can start by learning about some of the most common misconceptions.

Hospital nurses: the dedicated workforce surviving on fatigue

There is no question. When you get home from your shift at the hospital, you are absolutely exhausted, but satisfied. You helped your patients work through their medical problems and hope that you have helped them on the road to recovery.

The problem is that you likely worked longer hours in a highly stressful environment than those in many other professions. The medical industry seems to take for granted the fact that nurses suffering fatigue is a major issue. It's just not right.

Give construction workers the 'brake' they deserve this summer

The good news is that it appears as though the nation's economy is on its way to recovery. Some states, such as North Carolina, have seen a steady increase in development that includes breaking ground on new buildings and infrastructure. In some cases, the contractors are struggling to hire enough hands to complete the jobs on time.

So, what is the bad news? In an odd twist of prosperity and progress, the low jobless rate could contribute to a rise in job-related accidents, especially as roadway construction increases.

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.

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