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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    I need 2400 mg a day of Gabapentin to withstand the nerve damage and scar tissue pain from surgery. Had 2 surgeries. Had injections. Had PT 2 rounds. The gabapentin causes me to have blurred vision and memory issues and concentration probs. Since starting the drug 6 months ago I have had to get glasses for the first time in my life. I can't handle the pain if I miss more than a few dosages. I have tested myself to see how I would do and it gets to the point where I can't walk without being on steady Gabapentin.

    No college, no special training, I was a truck driver and really good at it. Almost 2 million miles, 45 states, no accidents. Doctor will not release me for a DOT exam and I would not be a safe driver handling an 80k lb vehicle with the delayed reaction and blurred vision anyhow. I provided great for my family and now this is a real nightmare. Not too many employers looking for a guy that can't sit long, can't stand too long, can't BLT, and is absent minded.

    I do thank you all for making it clear to me that I am screwed. Lawyer or not if I can never expect to earn more than $978 this will not only harm my working decades but greatly destroy my retirement and social security as well. Hell of a system we have for injured workers. I'll keep you all updated on anything I do agree to in the months or years ahead.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    Quote Quoting TommyLocklear View Post

    I do thank you all for making it clear to me that I am screwed. Lawyer or not if I can never expect to earn more than $978 this will not only harm my working decades but greatly destroy my retirement and social security as well. Hell of a system we have for injured workers. I'll keep you all updated on anything I do agree to in the months or years ahead.
    If you do not have a lawyer I will guaranty you not only will be short changed, but they will do their best to "screw you"!
    A lawyer is your only chance of being treated fair by the rules and laws surrounding WC!

    It has often been said and repeated all the time here, working people that vote GOP is a vote against your own best self interest!...They undermine everything and anything to help the middle class! WC is only one thing that they have diminished since the Reagan years.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    TommyLocklear ,

    Have you applied for Social Security Disability? Here something to read. It may help. From what you indicate you may have a hard time finding work, and with your weekly salary you will fall with the 80% pay rule for SSD.
    Last edited by tony; 01-24-2018 at 02:28 PM. Reason: spam link

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    Thank you for that comment Goneback-1, I just spoke this morning with an older cousin who is on SS disability. He had a rep call me from his disability lawyer's office. The lady told me in my situation I can get SS disability and be getting comp benefits too. She said I will do much better than just by having comp alone. The lawyer has my notes and will be calling me for a free consult tomorrow.

    IDK, but maybe I can get better each month than the NC WC weekly cap. I am trying to not get my hopes up, but with a lawyer and going for both benefits I think I may be ok financially. I am not sure what the 80% thing is you mentioned, but I will be looking into it. I'm sure the lawyer will explain things to me tomorrow. Thanks to all!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,054

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    TommyLocklear
    I am not sure what the 80% thing is you mentioned,
    The total between your comp and SSDI can't exceed 80% of your post injury wages.

    Applicable Limit (Maximum Amount of Benefits)
    The applicable limit is the higher of either:
    80% of the worker's pre-injury income, called “average current earnings,” or
    the total amount of SSDI received by all of the members of the recipient's family in the first month that worker’s compensation is received, called the “total family benefit.”
    For most SSDI recipients, the 80% of earnings figure will be higher, and Social Security will use that figure in the offset calculation.
    http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/res...s-offset-socia

    How Workers’ Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefit
    https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10018.pdf


    goneback-1
    Have you applied for Social Security Disability? Here something to read. It may help. From what you indicate you may have a hard time finding work, and with your weekly salary you will fall with the 80% pay rule for SSD.
    Hard time finding a job and the 80% rule have nothing to do with qualifying for SSDI.
    You have to be found totally disabled to qualify for SSDI, this poster hasn't even reached MMI yet let alone found to be totally disabled.
    You can't post links to lawyers websites, I removed the spam links.
    Check your PMs.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,760

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    If your pre-injury AWW established in the case is $1,800 per week, and you return to work post-injury making $700 per week, and this loss of earning capacity is due to your injury, then you have an election of benefits to make in NC. You (and NOT the insurance company) can choose the most munificent remedy - either the PPD rating for the scheduled injury, or the loss of earning capacity money under NCGS 97-30. For injuries that arose after 6-24-11, the maximum number of weeks for which you can collect under 97-30 (temporary partial or permanent partial for loss of earning capacity) is 500 weeks, not 300 weeks. The rating money would depend on your body part, as those awards are subject to the schedule set forth in GS 97-31. For example, a 15% rating to the spine is worth 45 weeks times your weekly comp rate of $978. But if you went from making $1800 to making $700 due to your injury, then you are owed 1800 - 700 = $1100 times .6667 = $733.37 for your TPD/PPD weekly rate under GS 97-30. You can get that tax-fee check in addition to the $700 per week in wages you are earning. The insurance carrier will typically not volunteer that you get to elect the most lucrative benefits and will not volunteer this benefit to you. The adjuster may even lie to you and tell you that the rating is all you can get. If you think you will qualify for the 97-30 benefit, you will probably need a good workers' comp lawyer to help you get it. It is likely to require litigation. I have obtained these benefits for clients a number of times in recent years and it almost always required us to request a hearing and prepare for trial, at a minimum. Sometimes, as in Rocky Eudy v. Michelin, I had to litigate it all the way through the NC Court of Appeals. Look up that case on Google scholar and read through it. But $733.37 for possibly hundreds of weeks is worth pursuing, compared to the scheduled benefit, which is the minimum they would have to pay you (and therefore what they are likely to offer to an unrepresented worker). You come out with a better deal even after paying lawyers' fees and litigation expenses.
    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 and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    Complwyr, this sounds good. I still have not spoken with the laywer yet. Expect the call shortly.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying my post-injury earnings come off the top, against the pre-injury determined $1800 AWW. They do not count from the bottom, against the weekly $978 NC max.

    Now I can see why it may be worth it to suffer somewhat and do better for my family. I will not be just risking my own health and saving money for the insurance company.

    The tiny $278 a week I thought I would be limited to, actually turned into that $733.37 (2/3 of the true difference $1100).

    Thank you very much for enlightening me on that 97-30! You are correct, nothing was mentioned to hint of anything like the kind of numbers under this math. This is $366,685 with nothing for future medical needs.

    Thank you again!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,760

    Default Re: Aww Purposes when You Earn Way Above the $978

    You are welcome. Keep in mind that each state has its own work comp law, so what may be common in, say, California, may not apply at all in NC. So you have to be careful about what info you rely on from your own research.

    If you hire a workers' comp lawyer, hire one who is a Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation law. Here is a link to the directory of specialists: http://www.nclawspecialists.gov/for-...ed-specialist/

    And I would be happy to give you a free consultation and explain this process in more detail. What I posted above is greatly simplified, as it does not get into the problems you may encounter when proving your loss in earning capacity under GS 97-30. That is why it is so important to get a lawyer with the proper experience.

    Here is an article I wrote that explains the election of benefits a little further: https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ug...c-workers-comp
    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 and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

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