The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

Calculating Benefits Due Archives

Injured Truck Drivers and North Carolina Workers' Comp Claims

Many truck drivers can file their injury claims here in North Carolina even if the driver is hurt in another state.  This is because of the "jurisdiction" rules of the NC Workers' Compensation Act.  The workers' compensation benefits under NC law may be better than the benefits in other states.  For instance, Florida only allows 104 weeks of TTD (temporary total disability) payments.   North Carolina allows up to 500 weeks of TTD.   Being able to pursue your claim under North Carolina workers' comp law is important if you live here in our state.  Your doctors are likely to be here near your home, and it is much easier to fight the insurance company here on your home turf than to have to travel to Kansas or Oregon to do it.  Under NCGS 97-36, an injured worker can file his or her claim in North Carolina if: 

I had two jobs when I got hurt and lost one--how is my compensation calculated in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed this issue in a case decided on August 7, 2012. In Tunell v. Resource Manufacturing/Prologistix, COA 12-103, the Court reversed the Industrial Commission's decision (IC# W77904) with regard to the calculation of the employee's post-injury earnings.

When Should You Take the "PPD Rating Money?"

I get calls frequently from unrepresented injured workers who have been "rated and released" by their treating physicians.  The term "rated and released" means that the worker has reached "MMI" (maximum medical improvement) and the doctor has provided a "permanent partial disability rating" and released the patient from treatment, either with or without work restrictions.   Under the NC Workers' Compensation Act, and specifically NC General Statute section 97-31, that rating--expressed as a percentage of a body part--translates into a certain amount of money for the patient, based on the body part, percentage assigned, and the compensation rate in the case.  For example, a broken wrist with a healed ORIF may result in a PPD rating of 15%, which would be 15% of the "hand" (the "hand" is everything distal to the elbow, down to the fingers).  The hand is a 200 week body part, so 15% of the hand is worth 200 x .15 = 30 weeks of the compensation rate.  A worker who made $600 per week in gross pay before the injury would have a compensation rate of $400.  Using that comp rate, a 15% to the hand would be worth 30 times $400, which equals $12,000, paid out (after Industrial Commission approval) over the 30 weeks that immediately follow the rating and release date.   The injured worker also has the right to get a second opinion on the percentage amount of the PPD rating.          

Representing Oneself in NC Workers' Compensation cases

An injured worker is entitled to represent himself in court or in a workers' comp claim in North Carolina.  Is it a good idea? 

I have two jobs, was hurt on one job-- how is my comp calculated in NC?

The North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed this issue in a case decided on August 7, 2012.  In Tunell v. Resource Manufacturing/Prologistix, COA 12-103, the Court reversed the Industrial Commission's decision (IC# W77904) with regard to the calculation of the employee's post-injury earnings. 

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