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

• North Carolina Worker's Compensation - Quick facts about worker's compensation law, benefits and lawyer fees.

• North Carolina Worker's Compensation Resources - Links and resources for injured workers.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default How Are Settlements Calculated For Shoulder Injuries

    My husband had been out of work for 15 months with a shoulder injury. The first doctor that done his surgery said he would be out of work for 6 weeks. That was before he screwed it up. The second surgeon fixed it (as much as he could) and was released with a 15% at the end of March. My question is this, I do not understand the rating process of when you settle the claim so could someone help me out with this? Do they take into account the amount of time he has been out of work and the fact that it is his dominent arm? He also has a 30% rating on his left shoulder from the military. Does that come into play as well?

    Any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Question regarding shoulder........

    Well tired, its kinda confusing if you've never been through it. I will try and help you as best I can with what knowledge I have. The rating is determained by weeks and percentages. Certain parts of the body carry a diff amount of weeks multiplied by the percentage which is usually given by a doctor (In your case 15%) This is a link to the general assemblies guidlines for PPD (Partial Pemenant Disability) Which is what sounds like your dealing with.

    http://www.comp.state.nc.us/ncic/pag...tute/97-31.htm

    That will give you an idea of what PPD benefits you are entitled to. Now keep in consideration if your looking to settle there are things to consider as you are trying to put a monetary value on your case. You want to consider, PPD or PTD (Permenant and Total Disablility) wages as outlined in the link I posted for you. Also consider future medical treatments, future medications, possible furture surgeries (some that may not be available yet). Best thing you could probably do is consult with a decent lawyer to get some help with understanding and figuring the monetary value of it. With that being said ...shop careful you will find there are 5 bad lawyers to every 1 good one. *personal opinion of course*

    GOOD LUCK!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: Question regarding shoulder........

    as fozzy stated ratings are complicated.
    here's a better link to how North Carolina does it:
    http://www.comp.state.nc.us/ncic/pages/ratinggd.htm

    while length of recovery is not relevant to permanent impairment, a prior injury to the other extremity could be (some states have second injury funds to provide the difference).

    Each case is different. It might be best to have your husband contact an ombudsman/specialist to discuss his particular situation:

    http://www.comp.state.nc.us/ncic/pages/ombudsmn.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,062

    Exclamation Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    IF your husband is still out of work on restrictions, then forget about the rating. It is not the best deal. One should take the rating money only if one is able to work. If you are not able to work due to the injury, then there is a much more lucrative way to resolve the case. But the insurance company is unlikely to volunteer that info. They would LOVE for you to take the rating. Saves them a truckload of money.

    By the way, a 15% rating to the shoulder is worth 36 weeks times the weekly "compensation rate" that he draws when he is completely out of work.

    He should have already been paid for the time he has missed from work up to now.

    I doubt that the ombudsmen at the Commission will be comfortable helping with this kind of issue. They are very limited in what they can advise or do. It is time to get a good lawyer. Ignore the TV ads and look for a "Board Certified Specialist" in work comp law, as those folks have the most knowledge and experience. The NC State Bar has a directory of them on its web site.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    Thanks for the information everyone.

    This is in response to the comments made by Bob, my husband is not able to return to his former line of work but can work else where with permanent restrictions. What is the other way to go other than by the rating?

    By the way, we do have an attorney but is not worth the money he may be receiving. He hasn't really done a lot for us. We have asked more questions than he has but I don't think we can change at this point without having to pay him. Plus, I really don't want to start the process over again. My husband was released for work in March and still no settlement.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,062

    Talking Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    You can always change attorneys, and in NC work comp, the nice thing (for you, not for the lawyers) is that you only pay one attorney fee. Your first attorney and your second one have to work out a fee split between them and share the one 25% attorney fee that the Industrial Commission (the "IC") awards from your benefits. All attorney fees have to be approved by the IC and they will only approve one total fee. So you don't have to pay twice if you change lawyers. You will have some extra "costs" perhaps, but those are minimal.

    When you are hurt but can return to modified work that pays less, then your benefits under NC Gen Stat 97-30 are calculated like this: Pre-injury average weekly gross wage ("AWW") minus post-injury average weekly gross wage, equals the difference in wage earning capacity. Then, you take 2/3 of that difference as your weekly check from work comp. If the injury has knocked you out of your pre-injury job, and you are making less money due to the injury, then you can get 2/3 of the weekly difference for up to 300 weeks from the date of the injury, instead of the rating money. You get to choose whichever one gives you the most money. That is the basic calculation, altho there are a few more complex considerations that could come into play. And if you had two jobs before your injury ("concurrent employment") you can add the earnings together from those, subtract your post-injury earnings, and take 2/3 of that difference, if the injury impacted your ability to do the two original jobs.

    Examples: pre-injury AWW was 40 hours times $15 hour equals $600 per week

    post injury, best job you can find due to injury pays $7 per hour for 40 hours. That is $280 per week.

    $600- $280 = $320 difference. $320 times .6667 equals about $212.67 per week. Your work comp check becomes $212.67 each week, even though you are working 40 hours making $280. If you got hurt on 1-1-2007, you would be able to get this benefit until you started making $600 per week again, or until 300 weeks from 1-1-07 had run out---which would be around September of the year 2012.

    Compare that to, say, a 15% rating to the back, which is worth 45 weeks times the comp rate based on the $600 per week you were making. That comp rate is $400 per week, so 45 times $400 would be about $18,000(I did the math in my head, hopefully it is right). The rating will pay you $18,000 over a period of 45 weeks or the lost earning capacity settlement will pay around $213 per week for about 275 weeks, which is about $56,000 spread out over that time period. You choose--$18K or $56K? Depending on the facts of the case, the insurance carrier may just pay you a lump sum based on the $56K projected benefit.

    I love to handle cases in which the worker had to take a lower paying job due to the injury, because I love tagging the insurance company for this larger amount of money. And of course, I get paid a percentage of what I am able to get for my client.......
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    10

    Smile Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    Bob,
    Thanks for all the information. We are going to look into another attorney. How long does it usually take to complete a settlement?

    IF we settle the case and their are debts owed (ie back child support), do they take part of what we get?? If so, is there a percentage of what we get?? The back child support is owed to Minnesota not NC so you may not know the answer to this but thought I would ask.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,062

    Default Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    Once you settle it takes about a month for the paperwork to be completed and approved by the IC, and the money paid. Sometimes longer. After a certain point (24 days after notice of approval) the carrier must pay a 10% penalty if they have not paid the money yet.

    If the Child Support enforcement agency has advised your Husband or the carrier of a lien, then it will generally have to be paid directly from the settlement. Of course, he should pay that anyway, even if the lien is not in place. When they eventually haul him into court on a show cause order and try to put him in jail for not paying his child support it will help that he caught it up when the settlement came in. And if he cannot work, he needs to ask the court that entered the support order to modify it due to his changed circumstances.
    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
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    Agree 100% with CL. If he does not catch it up now and the court sees that he could have with the WC settlement it will not look good on him. Might even make the difference if he goes to jail or not. Which by the way, and contrary to popular belief, does not have much of a health care system. Further if he gets SSDI and is put in jail for any reason he will loose that income as well. If he is getting SSDI then the dependent children would also receive a portion of the amount he gets. Dependents benefits will be paid rather he is in jail or not.

    Just curious but why is he behind in his CS payments? Is it due to the WC injury or something else?

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    10

    Angry Re: Question Regarding Shoulder Injury

    First of all he is not behind on his payments. They are paid out of his WC check every week. He has arrears from 10 years ago that we have not been able to pay because of reasons like this (he's been out of work for 16 months). The state of MN screwed him in the very beginning of the case. He tried to fight it but they pushed everything through so for about 6 months his monthly obiligation was $1,000 that we could in no way pay. They don't care about you, they care about what they can squeeze out of you. So before you start hanging my husband for not paying I will let you know that he is current on paying and there is no reason to discuss jail!!!

Similar Threads

  1. How Are Settlements Calculated
    By dandecker in forum Florida
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-11-2008, 10:38 AM
  2. Shoulder Injuries Anyone?
    By Crush in forum Medical Issues
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-03-2008, 04:16 PM
  3. How Are Settlements Calculated
    By Bald in Oak Forest in forum Illinois
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-19-2007, 02:46 PM
  4. Shoulder Injuries
    By ann in forum Medical Issues
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-14-2005, 10:03 AM
  5. Shoulder injuries
    By brian in forum Kansas
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-18-2004, 06:26 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 


Find a Lawyer