North Carolina Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured North Carolina Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6

    Question No Response, No Answer

    I filed a wc claim in Jan 07, in april i was inoformed i was out of work on unpaid sick leave. It appears they wanted me to file for a medical leave and have deemed me to have resigned for not filing one. Do i have to be on medical leave while the wc claim is pending? can they fire me/deem me resigned while waiting for a wc claim decision?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    no you don't have to be on medical leave.
    filing a comp claim doesn't give you immunity from termination

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    But they are deeming me resigned because they claim my absence is "sick unpaid" and that my time out is not covered by a leave (medical) so what are you supposed to be on while awaiting a wc claim answer? they can simply ignore your claim and fire you for not appling for medical leave (that you said I don't need to be on)thats legal?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    seems to me that it might be time to contact an attorny iam not sure why your work is saying you needed to be on medical leave it seems they are trying to cover there buts but remember even if they fire you they still assuming you get approved have to cover your injury i hope the best for you and wish you well

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    If you employer is subject to FMLA then you have 12 weeks of job protection.
    Check out your FMLA rights here
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/
    If workers' comp haven't accepted the claim by now you have operate on the assupmption that is rejected. Obviously the effects are the same.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    If you employer is subject to FMLA then you have 12 weeks of job protection.
    Check out your FMLA rights here
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/
    If workers' comp haven't accepted the claim by now you have operate on the assupmption that is rejected. Obviously the effects are the same.
    If the claim was filed with the NCIC and they also have not had a reponse since the claim in Jan, 07 does that help my case in winning WC?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,956

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    That is a typical employer/insurance carrier response to a report of injury. They figure if they ignore it, it will either go away or will be so screwed up that they can win it later. They will also lie about when you told them about it, so hopefully you have more evidence than simply your word to prove it. There is a 30 day reporting rule in NC, and if you fail to report your claim in writing within 30 days, they can beat you if they can show prejudice. So some employers simply ignore a clear oral or visual notice of the injury, and don't do anything unless and until you report it in writing. They are just out to screw you over.

    Under the NC Workers' Compensation Act, they have 14 days to either admit or deny your case once you make them aware of it. The fact that you are now 4 months out without a response tells me one of two things--your effort to "report" the case to your employer was not received, or, it was received, and they are ignoring it and have no intention of voluntarily providing you with work comp benefits.

    About your only hope of getting this fixed at this point is to get a good work comp lawyer to help you. In fact, I don't think you should file a Form 18 with the NCIC at this point, until you discuss it with a good comp lawyer, bc you may screw it up the Form 18 without realizing it. You have two years from the date of accident to file the Form 18 with the NCIC, after which your claim is time-barred. But don't wait any longer. You need help NOW.

    If you are not sure how to go about finding a good lawyer, then proceed to the NC State Bar (NOT the Bar Association) web site (just google the "NC State Bar") and go to the section on the site that lists "Specialists." Towards the end of that list will be the Board Certified Work Comp Specialists in NC, listed by location. These lawyers are the most qualified to help you. Good luck. You need to get going if you are ever going to prevail on this case, so do not delay.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,956

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    Your question about medical leave and being fired is too complicated for a simple answer on this forum. If you are on restrictions due to the OJI, then their firing you means they will probably, eventually, owe you work comp indemnity payments ("TTD") for the period after the firing. They cannot avoid work comp obligations by firing you. The problem is, can you prove you are disabled bc of the OJI? There is a specific way to prove that and you really need medical evidence of disability. You also need to perform a diligent and well-documented job search as soon as the doctor releases you to go back to work with restrictions. Start at the unemployment office.

    Again, you need a good lawyer at this point. Pick one that has experience actually taking comp cases to trial. Most of the guys who advertise on TV don't try cases--they just settle them for the first offer that is not clearly a bad joke. You can research the "searchable databases" on the IC web site and see which lawyers actually try cases to a decision. Use the name of the lawyer as your search term.

    You may have a good case but if you don't get some expert legal advice soon your good case facts will be squandered simply because you do not know what to do, and you will be up the creek without a paddle.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    your right, I do need a attorney and I need to get on it by next week. The problem is i've been so cunfused i didn't feel I could present my case to an attorney without appearing like I lack any intelligence. Without going into it. (its complicated) I've been out from work since 8/06 for injuries from work.

    I gave the company notice of this last claim by E-mail back in 06. and then again in Jan 07. I have proof. I both called them and faxed them in jan. 07.

    Unfortunately, I filed the form 18 in Jan 07 after I gave notice to the co. I hope I didn't screw it up. I called the NCIC last week and they do have the claim and they also, have not recieved an answer yet. I was told to file form 33,

    Update: I called the company yesterday afternoon, this time locally. They finally stated they had no record of my claim. However, after I faxed them the one page from the NCIC stating I have a claim on file. wala..... they found my claim from Jan 07. They rescinded the forced resignation and medical leave request. I can't imagine my fate if the NCIC didn't have that on file? nobody would had believed me.

    In Feb. 07 my doctor had given me a five lb lifting restriction. The company informed me they don't allow employees hurt off the job (because they didn't have or accept my wc claim) to work under restriction and therefore refused me work. (there is work i could do) I have to be hurt on the job to be able to work.

    I'm a single mother and have been with this co. for 26yrs. I would have never imagined it would be like this when I needed the company to do the right thing. I always assumed they would be there for me. I've been out of work for eight months and need to pay doctor bills including therapy I went through twice a week for about two months. I most likely need surgery. I'm having a hard time coming up with the co-pay to go back to the orthopedic and if i don't get accepted for wc its useless anyway because I won't have the funds for the surgery to get better and back to work. I gave this company alot of good years and alot of hard work. I was there for them. Now that i need them, the door gets shut in my face.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: no response, no answer

    Sick and twisted world we live in, its sad but its true, NO one is valuable to anyone. The only thing companies, insurers, and Government care about is the BOTTOM LINE. Good luck with your case and I hope it all goes well. Do remember that in the end you will most likely have to settle for what someone else thinks is best for you, crying shame but the truth none the less. Its funny that companies and government wonder why people become more self centered all the time... Just look at your situation and ask your self one thing in the end, "who really,.....REALLY had your best interest in mind? Probably no one but yourself. So with that kind of enviroment we live in what is the smart thing for people to do? Watchout for yourself and your own!


    GOOD LUCK!!!!

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