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

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default How Much Should My Settlement Be?

    I was a passenger in a company owned plane and it crashed while I was on the job. I was in the water for 2 hours hanging on the tail section. I was choppered to the hospital with broken leg (had to be pinned), three injured vertebrae, severe chest pain, broken front tooth, nose twisted, 6" or 7" laceration to the top of my head. I am left with a noticable scar, some leg pain, back pain, leg scars, and my nose is still a little off. I have returned to work and have been offered a settlement. Can you guestimate a proper settlement?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: How Much Should My Settlement Be?

    The amount of your settlement is based on the impairment ratings of your treating physicans.
    Q: What is permanent partial disability?
    A: Total loss or partial loss of use of a member of the body or inability to earn the same wages in any employment as earned at the time of injury.
    Q: Who determines permanent partial disability?
    A: The Commission, based on the impairment ratings of physicians or evidence of consideration of wage earning capacity. http://www.comp.state.nc.us/ncic/pages/faq.htm#payments
    NC state laws provide for some scheduled impairment awards...
    97-31. Schedule of injuries; rate and period of compensation.
    http://www.comp.state.nc.us/ncic/pag...tute/97-31.htm
    There are set number of weeks compensation for scheduled loss..so go to the above link, and you should be able to calculate pretty close to your award value.

    Consider carefully the potential need for addiitonal treatment to your injuries before you agree to a C&R where you release the ER/IC from all future liability for this injury.

    There are no benefits in WC for 'pain and suffering', or 'lost wages'...once you are released to RTW, you'll be entitled to the PD indemnity as determined by the impairment rating, and additional medical treatment as necessary per the treatment guidelines of NC WC act.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: How Much Should My Settlement Be?

    how much were you offered ? why did the plane crash ? there are so many possibilities. finding out how the plane crashed is important. there is only so much you will get from w/c if you have permanent disability. if the plane crashed due to something failing you could have a very considerable law suit. not against the employer but the manufactur of plane. keep us informed on how things work out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: How Much Should My Settlement Be?

    i would also get a lawyer involved if your unsure about your rights. it will cost you nothing to talk about your case. if you were to decide to hire one they would get roughly 20 to 25 % of what ever your settlement would be. if you need one for going after manufacture i'm not sure if they work off % .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,009

    Default Re: How Much Should My Settlement Be?

    If you have no wage loss at this point due to going back to your job, then your settlement outcome will be based on the injuries to the particular body parts. I went to a seminar this past Friday on this topic. You can stack or add up the ratings to each body part under NCGS 97-31. For injuries to important body parts that are not in the schedule of limbs there, you can get "catch-all" money of up to $20,000 per injury, although the Industrial Commission rarely awards that much. You may also be entitled to something for scarring.

    I can say almost without reservation that whatever the insurance company is offering will be a lot less than you are potentially entitled to have under the law. They almost never make a fair offer at first.

    A lawyer can probably help you and be worth the money you would pay. Get your current offer in writing from the insurance company, then ask the lawyer to agree not to charge a fee on that much of whatever total he negotiates for you. In other words, the lawyer fee should be limited to a percentage of whatever additional money he gets for you. When I do this I usually charge a third of the additional money, and my client gets to keep every penny of the offer he had when he hired me. This way, we both "win." I get paid for my work and the client gets more money too.

    I suggest you get someone who is a Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation Law (the list is on the NC State Bar web site) and preferably someone who is a member of the NC Academy of Trial Lawyers, now known as the NC Advocates for Justice, as those lawyers will often be more up to date on the law due to the activities of the workers' comp section of that organization and attendance at continuing legal education programs such as the one I went to on Dec 5, which had a presentation on this very type of case.
    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

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