What injuries are covered under workers’ compensation law?
That’s our topic on this episode of Main Street Law. My guest today is North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney David Daggett of Daggett
Shuler Law. So David, thanks for being here today.
David: Thank you Cindy. Thanks for having me on.
Cindy: Well, David, are there regulations that stipulate what injuries are covered under workers’ compensation law in North Carolina?
David: In North Carolina, you have to be in the scope and course of your employment and have to have an injury by accident, or what’s called a specific traumatic event, or an occupational disease. Those are three different areas. Most of the time we’re looking at injuries by accident, which means a trip, a fall, you get hit by something. Something happens to you, not just, “Oh, I started hurting.” Does that make sense?
Cindy: It does make sense. Okay. Now assuming that a person is eligible to collect workers’ compensation, how is that weekly wage determined?
David: Workers in North Carolina are paid two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to the statutory maximum. The average weekly wage
is calculated based on your past year of employment, and you just simply take an average. Now, if you haven’t worked for an employer for a year, then you have to back it down to that period of time. You also have to remember that any additional benefits – overtime, sick pay, vacation pay – are all added in,
in order to calculate the average weekly wage.
Cindy: Okay. Now David, if the doctor states that the employee is able to return to work, but not in the same position due to the injury, what are his options there, especially if the wage for the new position is less?
David: Sure. Cindy, this is where it gets a little tricky, and quite frankly, these return to work issues and going back to your job, that’s really where an experienced attorney ought to be consulted. To answer your specific question, there is such a thing as partial disability payments, which you’re entitled to
that when you go back to work at a lower average weekly wage. But anytime a worker can’t go back to their regular job, they really need to talk to an experienced attorney to figure out just what their rights are.
Cindy: Well, David I know your firm handles these case. If someone has specific questions, how can they reach your firm?
David: Sure. We give a lot of free advice and guidance, and if people need representation, we give that too. Our toll free number is 1-800-815-5500. Or, of course, our website at www.DaggettShulerLaw.com.
Cindy: Very good. Thanks for being with us today David.
David: Thanks for having me Cindy.
Cindy: This is Cindy Speaker for Main Street Law.