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THE WORK COMP BLOG

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Specific Traumatic Injuries Under Workers’ Compensation

David Gantt is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation Law. He represents individuals in matters regarding workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits. Contact David Gantt at 828-252-2852 to schedule a consultation about your matter.

TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO

North Carolina law covers back injuries. It has always covered back injuries when you slip and have an accident; you slip on a banana peel and hurt your back or you fall off a ladder.  North Carolina law has also in the General Assembly several years ago increased the coverage of back injuries to include a concept called “specific traumatic injury.”  Specific traumatic injuries mean that you don’t have an accident that happens in an instant, but you do have a back injury over time. Now if you back gets injured over 20 years of hard work, that’s not what they’re talking about. They are talking about a pretty limited period of time where you can pinpoint your back got hurt during that activity. There’s no time set for this, but I think the more compact the time or the shorter the time period, the better your chances of winning your case.  It is a complicated area of law and there are hundreds of cases interpreting what is too long and what is not long enough. You need to consult an attorney who is familiar with the area in specializes in workers compensation law.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED WORKERS' COMPENSATION QUESTIONS

Q. How much $ will I get from WC due to an on-the-job injury?

A. NC law permits an injured worker to receive 66%of his or her pre injury gross wages for each week they are unable to work. This salary continuation or temporary total disability (TTD) payment continues until the worker returns to work at the same job or a “suitable” position making similar wages. If the worker cannot return to a job making similar wages, they are entitled to additional benefits depending on the extent of loss of earning capacity. Each year, the maximum TTD is increased. In 2005, the maximum TTD was $704.

Q. Who provides and directs medical treatment resulting from a workers’ compensation accident?

A. The employer or its insurance company, subject to any NC Industrial Commission orders, provides, and directs medical treatment. The NC Industrial Commission may permit the employee to change physicians or approve a physician of employee's selection when good grounds are shown. However, payment by the employer or carrier is not guaranteed unless written permission to change physicians is obtained from the employer, carrier, or Commission before the treatment is rendered.

What benefits can I receive under WC?

The employer is normally responsible for any medical expense your doctor feels will make you better. This normally includes prescriptions, medical supplies, TENS units, crutches, braces, physical therapy and any other expenses you would not have incurred but for your injury. These expenses are payable by the employer until the case is settled. While you have a general right to choose your own doctor for treatment, the insurance company retains certain rights to pre-authorize medical treatment. You should never go to a doctor without obtaining insurance pre-authorization. You should also never let an insurance company force their doctors on you without your approval. A rehabilitation nurse assigned by the insurance company does NOT have the right to be in your exam room with the doctor. Lost Wages In N.C., the employer is responsible for paying you only 66 2/3% of your gross average wages, up to a maximum that changes each year....

What time limit do I have to file WC?

As soon as possible, you should file a Form 18, Notice of Accident, with the IC and employer, informing them that you wish to make a claim. While N.C. law requires this Form 18 to be filed within 30 days, an absolute time limit of 2 years may be applicable to your claim depending on the facts. After your claim is settled, time limits also exist for reopening the case. This form can be obtained by e-mailing our office or calling the IC at 828-348-4107.

Can my employer fire me while I am on WC?

Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) protects employees who file WC claims. This law allows employees to sue the employer for monetary damages if the employer fires, demotes, punishes or takes any retaliatory action against the employee just because the employee files or testifies in a workers' compensation case. An attorney can give you the correct form to file a REDA complaint with the Department of Labor or you may call the Department of Labor at 1-800-522-6762.

Q. Are back injuries that are not “accidents” covered by Workers’ Compensation?

A. Yes. Generally, a work injury must be an “accident” to be compensable. Back injuries do not have to meet this requirement. NC law accepts back injuries that do not result from “accidents” if the worker can trace the injury to a “specific traumatic incident.” The more precise the time of the incident, the more likely the back injury claim will be compensable. ANY back injury should be prompted reported and checked out by a qualified physician. The details of the incident should be given very carefully and completely to both employer and medical providers. Many back injuries do not become symptomatic until several days later.

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Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Claims

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefit

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases

~ What Our Clients Say ~

Google Review 2020

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Yelp Review 2019

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November 2019 AVVO Review

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November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

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2019 Google Review

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2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

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I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

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2019 Google Review

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2019 Google Review

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2019 Google Review

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2019 Google Review

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2019 Google Review

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Avvo Review 2019

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Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

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2019 Google Review

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Avvo Review 2019

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2019 Google Review

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2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

~ What Our Clients Say ~