North Carolina Workers’ Compensation and Attendant Care
By: Bobby L. Bollinger, Jr.
Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law (NC)
Unfortunately, some workers’ compensation injuries can result in more than disability from work. Certain injuries, such as traumatic head injuries and serious spinal cord injuries, can result in the injured worker not being able to take care of himself at home.
If you have received a catastrophic injury at work, then you may be entitled to “attendant care” services that are paid for by the workers’ compensation insurance company. These attendant care services can take many different forms, but commonly, attendant care involves a trained nursing assistant who can come to the injured worker’s home and stay with him through the day to provide the needed care. Twenty four hour service can be provided if needed. Attendant care providers take care of the injured worker’s personal needs and make sure that the injured worker does not hurt himself further during everyday tasks such as cooking and taking a walk in the neighborhood. The workers’ compensation insurance company can be required by the Industrial Commission to pay for this care is it is medically necessary due to the on-the-job injury.
We have had a number of clients over the years whose family members provided attendant care. This frequently comes up when the injured worker can generally function to some degree at home, but may need help otherwise handling certain activities of daily living. Sometimes, we can require the insurance company to pay the family member who is providing the care. The family member is paid an hourly rate that is comparable to what it would cost to hire an outside vendor to come into the home and provide the services.
The bottom line is this: If a person is catastrophically injured at work to the point that he needs someone tending to him at home on a daily basis, then attendant care services can usually be obtained from the insurance company. These services are expensive and the insurance company may not offer to pay for these things voluntarily, so you may need a competent workers’ compensation lawyer to help you obtain professional attendant care services, or payment to a family member for providing those services. If you or a loved one is in need of attendant care services as a result of a North Carolina workers’ compensation injury, then please contact attorney Bob Bollinger at the Bollinger Law Firm, PC, in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free strategy session and possible assistance.