A key aspect of a workers’ compensation claim is to determine the severity and scope of the injury to assess whether the worker will be paid partial or total injury benefits as well as permanent or temporary injury benefits. This is a complicated process that involves a thorough examination of the employee’s work history, physical assessment, and other factors. As seasoned North Carolina work injury lawyers, we can help you ensure that you receive the amount of benefit payments that you deserve.

In a recent case, the North Carolina appellate court discussed the process for assessing whether a worker has sufficiently proven that he or she lost wages as a result of the work injury. The plaintiff owned a stump grinding business and fell while he was working in October 2012. He was diagnosed with a rupture to his quadriceps and required surgery. He had a second rupture in February 2013 that also required surgery.

Eventually, the plaintiff’s doctor concluded that he’d reached maximum medical improvement and that he had a 15% permanent partial disability in his left knee. A second opinion from another doctor concluded that it was a 20% permanent partial disability. An independent medical examiner concluded that the plaintiff could continue working in the same capacity.

One of the most important determinations in a workers’ compensation claim is whether the alleged injury can be directly related to the claimant’s job duties and functions. If the employer can point to a pre-existing injury as the primary cause of your pain and injury, then you may not be awarded workers’ compensation benefits. As dedicated North Carolina work injury lawyers, we have provided seasoned legal guidance to injured parties throughout the region and are prepared to help you ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a dispute in a claim involving a pre-existing injury. The claimant worked at a hospital where she was injured on April 20. Roughly one month later on May 26, she stood up after finishing her lunch, heard a loud popping noise in her knee, and experienced immediate unbearable pain.

The plaintiff filed a claim seeking compensation for the original injury. She also had a history of conditions in both knees, starting roughly 40 years ago. The employer accepted the claim on a medical-only basis and denied further treatment on the basis that the claimant’s current condition was not causally related to the accident. It also denied the injury that occurred one month after the accident. A Deputy Commissioner denied the woman’s claim for benefits, which was later affirmed by the Full Commission.

There are many ways that a prevailing party in a lawsuit can win an award of attorney’s fees, which means the other party must pay the prevailing party’s costs incurred in hiring an attorney. This can make a substantial difference financially, especially if the lawsuit has gone on for a long period of time. In some instances, the losing party will fight the prevailing party’s request for attorney’s fees. As dedicated North Carolina workers compensation lawyers, we are well versed in the rule that governs claims proceedings, including when you might be entitled to having your attorney’s fees reimbursed.

In a recent lawsuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court considered whether a lower court acted correctly in denying to award attorney’s fees to the plaintiff under a North Carolina statute. The statute in question, N.C.G.S. §97-90(c), state that where an attorney has an agreement for a fee, it shall be filed with the Commission and if the agreement is not unreasonable, it shall be approved.

The worker was employed as a bartender when he suffered two back injuries in 2010. He sought workers’ compensation benefits, which he was awarded. The plaintiff underwent back surgery and therapy, but his disability did not improve and continued to worsen. He eventually required attendant care medical services, which the defendants agreed to provide if they could take the depositions of two of the plaintiff’s doctors. The plaintiff and his attorney modified their retainer agreement at this time to include fees for the attorney in the event that attendant care services were awarded.

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Work injuries are incredibly stressful and disruptive for the victim, especially if it is unclear whether you will be able to return to work. The seasoned North Carolina work injury lawyers at Maurer Law have handled many different types of injuries on behalf of hard-working individuals and we are ready to use our skills and experience on your behalf.

The North Carolina appellate court recently considered a claim in which the worker suffered injuries to her neck and spine while working as a truck driver, which required her to maintain a Class A commercial license. Obtaining this license requires the applicant to undergo a medical examination on a periodic basis. She injured her back and spine while operating the landing gear on her vehicle. The company told her that there was no light duty work available. Eventually, the Industrial Commission concluded that she had suffered a work-related injury and she was entitled to temporary total disability benefits.

The woman underwent treatment for her injuries, including a surgical procedure. She was unable to work for several weeks after the surgery. Her treating physician testified that her injury would affect her for the rest of her life, in terms of her ability to move and lift heavy objects. He did indicate that she was able to return to full activities. He prescribed her Vicodin as needed and referred her to the DMV or federal Department of Transportation to determine whether she could return to truck driving.

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If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our dedicated team of North Carolina work injury lawyers have assisted individuals throughout the region with a wide variety of injury types and legal issues. The workers’ compensation process can be very complex, which is why it helps to have an experienced legal advocate on your side.

In a recent case, the North Carolina appellate court considered a claim in which the worker hurt his back while working in the produce department of a grocery store. He was lifting watermelons from a bin which required him to bend over and scoop them out of the bin. He experienced a sudden onset of pain in his right arm and shoulder. A medical exam was conducted and the doctor concluded that the injury was likely neurological in nature. The MRI revealed acute and chronic damage to his spine with multilevel degenerative disc disease. The doctor attributed it to a sudden event but noted that MRIs do not indicate when an injury occurred. He also identified narrowing of the worker’s spinal cord.

He underwent further treatment, including a decompression surgery for his spine. One of his doctors testified that he could not give a medical opinion with a reasonable degree of certainty regarding whether the incident with the watermelons was the primary cause of his injury. The employer challenged the worker’s claim for benefits on the basis that the injury was chronic and not related to the course and scope of his employment. The Commission agreed with the employer and the worker appealed.

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Personal injury incidences always involve deeply stressful and emotional situations. In some instances, however, they are extraordinarily painful for the victim and his or her family. A common example of this type of case is a sexual abuse incident. Although there is a criminal prosecution component, the victim can bring a civil claim seeking compensation for his or her suffering. Our experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you seek the justice you deserve.

Recently, the North Carolina appellate court considered a claim involving alleged sexual abuse against a minor. The victim was a 15-year-old girl raised in a strict household with her mother and her sisters. Evidence in the record indicated that due to her mother’s beliefs, the girl lived a very sheltered life which included not being able to spend the night at friends’ houses and not being allowed outside unsupervised past dusk. The mother needed to leave the state to care for her dying mother and the mother agreed to let the girl stay with a friend under the agreement that the friend’s mother provide constant supervision. The mother was unaware that the family had an adult son who was living at the house and that he had an alcohol abuse problem and history of violence.

One evening, the son and some friends were partying in the backyard. The friend’s mother went to sleep and the friend went into her bedroom, leaving the girl alone with the son and his friends. According to the victim, the son provided her with a beverage containing some kind of drug and ultimately raped her in the home. The girl filed a lawsuit against the friend’s mother and the son, alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress based on the friend’s mother’s alleged failure to protect the girl from her son and to provide support for her after she informed the mother of what happened. The friend’s mother’s insurer defended the action and requested a declaratory judgment stating that it had no duty to the mother or son to defend against the claims. The lower court granted the insurer’s motion. The defendants appealed.

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Personal injury lawsuits often involve car accidents and other types of bodily injury. What few people realize, however, is that North Carolina law provides causes of action for other types of harm, including emotional distress. Our knowledgeable team of North Carolina personal injury lawyers is standing by to answer any questions you may have regarding whether you have a legal claim against someone else.

A North Carolina appellate court recently considered a claim in which an employee of a political campaign pulled a gun on the plaintiff in the back of a vehicle. The employee worked for the campaign as a director of its North Carolina office. The employee was known for carrying a gun through a concealed carry permit. While the plaintiff and defendant were riding in the back of a car to a campaign event, the plaintiff alleged that the employee brandished the loaded weapon and held it against his knee with his finger on the trigger. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the campaign alleging civil claims for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent retention and supervision. The plaintiff’s claims were based on a doctrine called vicarious liability, which holds employers responsible for the tortious acts that their employees commit during the course and scope of employment.

The campaign filed a motion for summary judgment on all the claims, which the lower court granted. The plaintiff filed an appeal alleging that it was improper for the court to grant summary judgment. The appellate court first rejected the campaign’s contention that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter and that it was a workers’ compensation claim. The court noted that a workers’ compensation claim does not preempt intentional torts because the risk of being potentially assaulted at gunpoint by a coworker is not something that a reasonable person would foresee experiencing on the job.

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Wrongful death accidents are some of the most tragic and stressful accidents that we handle as seasoned North Carolina personal injury attorneys. One of the most common defenses that the other party will assert is that your loved one was acting negligently at the time of the incident and that this contributed to his or her death, rendering the defendant not liable.

In a recent case, the plaintiffs filed a wrongful death claim against an energy company and its associated companies after the loss of their son who worked at a summer camp. The decedent was assisting another camp counselor with bringing a sailboat out of the water when the mast made contact with an uninsulated high voltage power line overhead, thereby electrocuting the decedent who had his hand on the metal portion of the boat at the time the mast made contact.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs admitted that the decedent was reasonably unaware that the high voltage power line was above the boat and that insufficient vertical clearance for the mast of the sailboat to pass under the power lines existed. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants acted negligently in several regards, including an allegation that the defendant knew or should have known that the uninsulated high-voltage power lines created a risk for the camp employees and guests. The plaintiffs also alleged that the defendants breached their duty to the plaintiff to maintain a safe electrical wire.

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Car accidents often involve multiple auto insurance policies, which can lead to confusion and headaches for injury victims. It’s also important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit entities who don’t always have the best interests of injured persons in mind. At Maurer Law, our dedicated team of North Carolina personal injury lawyers has aided numerous residents in interpreting insurance policies and ensuring that they receive the full amount of compensation that they are owed.

Recently, the North Carolina appellate court considered whether a trial court committed a reversible error by crediting payments made to the plaintiff under his own insurer’s underinsured motorist coverage against the judgment that the plaintiff obtained from the other driver in a civil suit. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff had an insurance policy that provided an underinsured motor vehicle coverage up to $250,000 per person. The defendant had an insurance policy that provided a personal liability limit of $100,000 per person.

The case proceeded to trial and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff finding the defendant negligent and awarding the plaintiff $263,000 in compensation. A few months later, the plaintiff’s insurance company sent him a check for $145,000 which it claimed represented the amount of underinsured motorist coverage that the plaintiff was owed under the policy. The defendant filed a motion asking the court to determine the amount of set-off that should be credited against the jury award based on the payment as well as other payments that the plaintiff received, including $3,000 from the defendant’s insurer as well as $30,000 from the settlement of a medical negligence claim the plaintiff asserted against the medical professionals who treated him following the accident.

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When an employee is hurt at work, the workers’ compensation system may provide him or her with benefit payments to replace weekly wages as well as reimbursement for medical expenses. Understanding the claims process can be very stressful, especially if this is your first encounter with seeking benefits. The dedicated North Carolina work injury lawyers at Maurer Law are prepared to help you ensure that you protect your legal rights to the fullest extent.

In a recent claim, the plaintiff worked in a major department store for nearly 22 years when she tripped and fell forward over the bottom of a stairway ladder. She attempted to break her fall and struck her wrist on the cement floor as well as her shoulder and knee. The plaintiff received emergency medical treatment for her injuries and she was diagnosed with a shoulder sprain. She followed up with the doctor several times complaining of continued pain in her wrist, shoulder, arm, neck, and knee. She underwent many additional medical examinations and treatments to address her pain and symptoms.

The plaintiff filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and the employer accepted plaintiff’s claim and identified the injury as impacting her right shoulder and arm. The insurer later filed a form indicating that it denied compensability of any new injuries that the plaintiff reported outside of her employment involving her cervical spine. The matter came before a Deputy Commissioner for hearing and he concluded that the plaintiff had suffered a work-related injury that impacted her wrist, knee, and pre-existing cervical disc disease. The plaintiff was awarded benefits and compensation for her medical expenses, including any surgical procedures that were recommended.

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