When you are injured at work, you may be prevented from returning to your usual occupation either for a temporary period of time or indefinitely. There are many different rules in the North Carolina workers’ compensation laws that require an injured worker to make a reasonable effort to find suitable work in the event that he or she cannot return to his or her usual employment. One of the most common defenses that employers assert is that the injured worker did not perform a diligent search. At Maurer Law, we have substantial experience ensuring that workers are treated fairly in a workers’ compensation claim and that they receive the full amount of benefits that they deserve.

A recent North Carolina appellate opinion discusses the issue of reasonableness. The worker was injured in an accident involving a flatbed truck during the course and scope of his employment. He received emergency medical treatment and complained of pain in the left side of his back, hip, and knee. He received treatment for his injuries including physical therapy and pain medication. He eventually returned to work, but indicated that his back pain increased. The employee attempted to obtain different positions with his employer but was unable to qualify for the positions due to his back pain.

The worker continued to undergo different medical treatments and examinations for his back pain. He was eventually diagnosed with non-mechanical back pain and a spinal contusion.

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The legal process includes many different rules that govern substantive aspects of your claim, like which evidence the other party can present and procedural aspects of your claim such as when you can seek an appeal. These rules can be complicated and it can be difficult to know whether you are proceeding in the right manner. This is why having a seasoned North Carolina personal injury lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to securing the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent appeal, the court discussed when a party can seek an interlocutory appeal. The plaintiff was operating a city bus when the vehicle was struck from behind by a regular passenger car. The plaintiff suffered injuries and filed a claim against the driver of the vehicle alleging negligence. The matter proceeded to discovery, which is the phase of litigation where the parties seek information from one another about the claim.

During discovery, the defendant filed a motion to compel seeking an order that would require the plaintiff to provide more robust answers to the defendant’s discovery requests. The court granted this order and compelled the plaintiff to provide more information about her physicians before the accident and her post-accident injuries and mental disabilities. She was also compelled to produce more information about her wage and hours worked following the crash.

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Slip and fall accidents can happen virtually anywhere in North Carolina. If you are injured due to someone else’s failure to maintain his or her property in good working condition, then you can bring a premises liability claim against the owner to recover compensation for your injuries. When the owner of the premises is the government, however, special rules and considerations apply. The doctrine of governmental immunity states that municipalities cannot be deemed negligent in some situations for personal injuries. Our diligent team of North Carolina slip and fall lawyers is standing by and ready to help you ensure that you proceed with your claim in the correct manner.

A North Carolina appellate court recently considered a claim asking whether a city was immune from tort liability for the plaintiff’s slip and fall injury based on the doctrine of governmental immunity. The defendant leased the premises to various groups and the lease stated that the defendant was responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building and that it had the right to inspect the premises at any time.

The plaintiff in the matter was one of the tenants of the building. She was leaving through a rear exit carrying a large stack of items when she lost her balance and fell down the steps on a section of the steps that she alleged had eroded. She suffered a broken hip and other injuries. She filed a personal injury claim against the defendant alleging that it was negligent in its maintenance of the stairs and that it waived the doctrine of governmental immunity because it purchased liability insurance. She also alleged that the government was engaged in a proprietary function, which deprived the defendant of governmental immunity.

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In a workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee usually must undergo medical examinations to determine the nature and extent of his or her injury. This often involves assessing any pre-existing injuries, which raises issues about protecting the worker’s privacy regarding his or her medical information. As seasoned North Carolina work injury lawyers, we understand how daunting and confusing the claims process can be and we understand the concerns that you likely have about putting your medical history on display. We are standing by and ready to help you determine whether seeking workers’ compensation benefits is right for you.

In a recent claim, the North Carolina appellate court considered the scope of privacy rights regarding medical information that applies to an award of benefits. When the Industrial Commission enters an Award, it provides a written decision explaining its reasoning and basis for making the award. Judges must provide the evidentiary bases for reaching a conclusion regarding whether or not a claimant is entitled to benefits. These evidentiary findings include medical records, as well as expert witness reports and testimony regarding the claimant’s medical condition and health history. The Awards are then uploaded into a publicly available database that can be searched online.

In the case at hand, the plaintiff suffered an injury when he slipped and fell on a wet floor while moving pallets at work, resulting in a lower back injury. During the claim, the employer’s insurance company claimed that the plaintiff was no longer disabled and that he had failed to cooperate with the medical care and further treatment authorized and paid for by the insurer. The plaintiff refuted these allegations. His attorney sought permission to withdrawal, which was granted, and the plaintiff proceeded pro se. This means that he represented himself without counsel.

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Many workers’ compensation claims involve physical injuries like strained muscles, broken bones, and chronic back pain. The workers’ compensation system also provides benefits and medical expenses reimbursement for injuries involving psychiatric conditions and mental health. Just like any workers’ compensation claim, however, it is critical to obey all the procedural and evidentiary rules that govern the compensation process. As seasoned North Carolina work injury lawyers, we are prepared to help you navigate the claims process smoothly and efficiently while ensuring that you receive the outcome that you deserve.

In a recent claim, the worker alleged that she suffered from bipolar disorder and depression as a result of working at a bank as a personal banker. The employer’s insurance carrier denied the claim as non-compensable. The plaintiff filed a request to have the denial reviewed and the commissioner who reviewed the claim denied it.

The plaintiff did not file an appeal. Instead, sometime later she filed a motion to set aside the denial based on newly discovered evidence. She alleged that she suffered the disabilities as a result of practices used by the defendant that she described as “sub-human” and alleged that these practices only became knowable after the statute of limitations had expired. Plaintiff’s motion was ultimately denied and she appealed.

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Insurance policies play a big role in most car accident cases. Knowing your rights under an insurance policy and ensuring that an insurance company treats you fairly can be incredibly difficult, especially if you are dealing with severe and painful injuries as well as major disruptions in your everyday life. At Maurer Law, we proudly provide North Carolina car accident victims with compassionate and dedicated legal counsel in a wide variety of motor vehicle accident claims.

In a recent appeal, the North Carolina appellate court considered whether a plaintiff was properly an insured person for the purpose of an at-fault driver’s insurance policy following a collision. The plaintiff was an employee of a construction company when he was hit by a car while helping his co-worker back a truck and trailer onto the highway.

The plaintiff received workers’ compensation benefits for his injuries through the defendant insurer, which provided a workers’ compensation policy to the construction employer. The insurer also provided a business auto coverage policy to the construction employer with a million dollar limit for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This policy provided a hierarchy indicating when an accident victim is entitled to uninsured/underinsured benefits where multiple policies are involved. The plaintiff had a personal auto policy that provided $250,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.

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There several steps involved in a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim that a claimant must complete before receiving an award of benefits and reimbursement for medical expenses.  For example, the reviewing judge will scrutinize all medical evidence that the parties present and determine whether your injury is the direct result of your work duties. As dedicated work injury lawyers, the attorneys at Maurer Law understand how important it is to abide by all applicable procedural rules and to present your claim in the most favorable manner possible.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered whether a lower court made an appropriate determination regarding whether a welder’s lung disease was the direct result of his job duties and functions. The man’s welding job required him to perform a type of welding that produced large volumes of smoke and fumes. In 2009, he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary impairment. His doctor told him that the condition was caused by or contributed to his employment and welding activities. He was awarded social security benefits starting in May 2010.

Next, the man went to work for a temporary staffing agency and spent 80% of his time working each day. His assignment lasted 18 days over a one-month period. In January 2011, the worker filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and named several of his prior employers regarding his COPD. All but the temporary staffing agency entered into a settlement with the man.

Knowing when and how to file an appeal after a ruling in a case is a critical step to preserving your rights. If you do not comply with the appeal procedures, you will lose your right to appeal. There are many different ways and times during the proceedings that you can file an appeal. As knowledgeable North Carolina personal injury lawyers, we have handled numerous trials on behalf of injured residents and understand how to help you protect your rights.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered whether the plaintiff properly appealed from a partial summary judgment order dismissing her claims against two defendants in a wrongful death action that she asserted after her husband was killed in a car crash. The crash happened when a dealership allowed a relative of a vehicle buyer to take the newly purchased vehicle from a dealership lot. The relative crashed it into the back of the decedent’s vehicle, pushing him into oncoming traffic. The decedent’s wife brought a wrongful death claim against the vehicle buyer, the relative, and the dealership. All defendants brought motions for summary judgment and the trial court granted the dealership’s motion. The plaintiff appealed this ruling while her claims against the vehicle buyer and the relative remained.

Because the plaintiff still had pending claims against other parties in the lawsuit, the appeal was classified as an appeal from an interlocutory order, which means the order only resolved some of the claims in the action and not the entire action as a whole. In most situations, there is no immediate right to an appeal from interlocutory orders. In seeking her appeal, however, the plaintiff failed to comply with N.C. Gen. Stat Section 1A-1, Rule 54(b), which requires a trial court’s certification that an order is appropriate for immediate appellate review.

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Motorcycle accidents can lead to some of the most debilitating injuries. In the worst cases, the victim loses his or her life as a result of a driver’s negligence. As competent North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers, we have assisted countless individuals with understanding their right to compensation after losing a loved one in an unnecessary and tragic crash. One of the most challenging aspects of resolving the situation is negotiating with insurance companies, who don’t always have your best interests in mind. While you and your family are coping with the sudden tragedy, we will work with insurance companies to fight for your rights and to protect your interests.

A recent North Carolina appellate opinion discussed the applicability of insurance in a crash that involved a motorcyclist and his passenger. The driver of a passenger vehicle containing three passengers lost control of her vehicle, which then collided with the victim’s motorcycle. The motorcycle rider and his passenger died as a result of the crash.

The defendant’s policy provided liability insurance with limits of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. The insurer distributed the coverage to the passengers in the passenger vehicle and to the estates of the motorcyclist and his passenger. The victims’ estates received $17,928 each. The victim also had an insurance policy that provided underinsured motorist coverage with a limit of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. The policy was distributed to the victims’ estates in the amount of $82,072 each. Ultimately, each estate received a total of $100,000 for both policies, which comprised the per-person limits of the underinsured motorist policy for the victim’s insurance.

Work-related injuries can be very complex and it can be difficult to determine the full extent of the harm at the moment the injury happens. Ensuring that you receive the medical treatment and diagnoses that you deserve is a key part of any workers’ compensation claim. At Maurer Law, our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers have handled countless claims involving a broad variety of injuries. We are standing by and ready to help you seek the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent workers’ compensation claim, a worker was injured while working as a lead installer for a security systems company. The worker reported feeling a sudden pop and the onset of pain in his lower back while lifting some hardware. A few days later, he went to an urgent care facility to receive treatment. The doctor recommended that he switch to light-duty work and receive physical therapy. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which the employer accepted.

Soon thereafter, he returned to the same doctor, reporting ongoing pain in his lower back and buttocks but indicated that the physical therapy was helpful. Over the following months, however, he indicated that his pain worsened. His treating physician recommended work conditioning but the man could not complete it due to bladder incontinence. He eventually saw a doctor about the incontinence, who concluded that it might be related to his back injury and that he should seek a second opinion. The insurance carrier denied the worker’s request for consultations with a neurosurgeon and orthopedist, but the worker went and saw them anyway. The exam revealed that he suffered a lumbar disc desiccation that required surgery. The man returned to the physician a while later and reported symptoms that suggested he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

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