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

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Permanent Light Duty

    I have been out of work now for over 3 years. In that time I had my 2 back surgery. I also had a stimulater implanted in my back for permanent nerve damage to my leg. After the stimulater was implanted I woke up in extreme pain in my abdominal area. Long story short, the stimulater had rolled over on some nerves and 24 hrs later I was back in surgery. They ended up getting the stimulater position right and it worked great on my leg pain, but the roll over on the nerves caused nerved damage to my abdominal area. They tried all kinds of meds to fix the problem but none of them worked. They ended up having to take the stimulater back out! So I ended up over a year later in surgery to fix the nerve damage. As of right now most of the pain is gone from the abdominal area. But the leg pain is still there! My surgeon has just giving me a Permanent Light Duty Rating . I work for a large package company for over 28 years now, but they say I have to have a high rating to return to work!

    I need to know what are my options? And what does a permanent light duty rating mean?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,009

    Default Re: Permanent Light Duty

    The terms "light duty" and "rating" are apples and oranges. They don't go together. You can have a "permanent partial disability rating" and you can have "light duty restrictions." For returning to work the restrictions are what matters, and the "rating" is irrelevant.

    IF you cannot return to your job due to the restrictions then you need to immediately start doing a diligent and reasonable job search and keep detailed written records of all your job search activities. I have a paper on my web site about proving disability that explains why job search evidence is crucial.

    If you are unable to return to work due to the injury and restrictions, then the work comp company will owe you weekly checks while you look for a new job. So don't settle your case at this point.

    This stuff is complicated when you cannot return to work due to an injury. I can't type a full explanation on here. Basically you will have a choice of how to resolve your comp claim---and your choices will depend on your work status and post-injury earnings.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Permanent Light Duty

    Thanks for the info...I have found out that the company will not take me back with this rating. Also the Dr. told me that I can never do that kind of work again. The last full year I work for this company I made just a little over $80,000. Im in the process over finding a good w/c lawyer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,009

    Default Re: Permanent Light Duty

    Do you mean the employer will not take you back with these "restrictions?" That makes sense. You have a high AWW and are at the maximum comp rate, so your case will have a substantial settlment value if you are unable to get back to work making close to that preinjury income. But you don't have to settle.

    I would suggest you limit your lawyer search to those who are certified by the State Bar as "specialists" in workers' compensation law. The NC State Bar web site has a directory of specialists on it.
    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
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Permanent Light Duty

    Thank you so much for that info, I will take your advice and look on the NC State Bar web-site....Again Thanks!

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