Can I receive Workers’ Comp and Disability at the same time?

The short answer is, Yes, you can receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits at the same time. But most often, the Social Security Administration will reduce the amount of SSDI benefits if you are also receiving workers’ comp. Typically you cannot receive more than 80 percent of pre-disability wages, if you are receiving workers’ comp as well.

If you have suffered a job-related injury, then you deserve compensation to help you get the medical care you need, as well as rehabilitative care and replacement of the wages you lose. The experienced workers’ comp and SSDI attorneys at the Ricci Law Firm know how to handle these cases and pursue the benefits that you are owed. Attorney Brian M. Ricci is even a bar-certified specialist in Social Security Disability law.

If you live in or around Fayetteville, Charlotte, Raleigh or Greenville, NC, and want to know more about recovering workers’ comp and Social Security Disability, please call the Ricci Law Firm at (855) 444-9764 for a free consultation. Our attorneys have lengthy experience securing workers’ comp and SSDI benefits for our clients. 

Don’t Kill Your Case with Social Media Posts!

  1. Don’t post comments that could harm your claim or your credibility

The actual facts of your case are crucial, so don’t muddle them up with a post. A client of mine recently posted on Facebook that she had fallen while riding her horse. She was already making a claim for a shoulder injury that occurred at work when she fell off the horse. In the horse incident, she bruised her hand on the other side of her body from the shoulder injury, and did not hurt her shoulder. The insurance adjuster sent her for an IME with a doctor to check out her shoulder, and told the doctor that the woman had fallen off her horse. The doctor concluded that she hurt her shoulder falling off the horse, not at work, even though he had no evidence to support this notion except for her Facebook post that she had fallen off her horse. This IME report has now complicated her case a great deal.

  1. Don’t post photos on social media that could harm your claim or your credibility

Your credibility as a witness is extremely important in a workers’ comp case. A couple years ago a client of mine who was claiming a disabling back injury had a photo on his Facebook page of himself jumping off a picnic table, jumping up and over his girlfriend’s head, as she was standing on the ground at the end of the picnic table. The photo was undated. It was posted AFTER he got hurt at work. We had to track down the friend who had snapped the photo to try to get the digital photo EXIF data to show that the photo was taken BEFORE he got hurt at work. The insurance company claimed that the photo was taken after he got hurt, and that it proved he was not hurt as badly as he claimed. The only way to defeat that bogus defense was to find the friend who took the photo and get the proof of exactly when the photo was taken.

  1. Don’t let your friends or family post things on their pages that could hurt your case or your credibility

You can keep your own page clean but if your social media friends are posting stuff on their pages that can hurt your claim, then the fact that it is not on your page is not really a defense. Pictures in particular are very compelling and persuasive. So try to monitor what your friends are posting about you, and ask them immediately to take down anything that may harm your claim or your credibility. A “tagged photo” can cost you a lot of money–A client with a knee injury once allowed the defense to find out he had been to the beach, playing touch football, the weekend before his mediated settlement conference. This tidbit of information cost him a lot of money in his settlement. If you are not sure about a post or photo, consult with a workers’ comp lawyer about it.

The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, is based in Charlotte, but takes workers’ compensation cases across North Carolina. Founded in 1999, the firm has a strong reputation as a law firm of advocates for injured and disabled people.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation – A Guide for Injured Workers – Time Limits for Filing the Claim

If you are injured at work in North Carolina, or while working anywhere in the country for a North Carolina employer, then you need to take prompt action to report your injury to your employer.

You should first give your employer verbal notice of your accident and your injury. If you have an occupational disease, which is a condition such as carpal tunnel that develops over time, then you should give your employer verbal notice of the condition as soon as you learn about it. In an accident situation, you need to get medical attention as required by the injury. Don’t hesitate to call 911 for an emergency; reporting the incident to the employer can wait until you are done at the emergency room!

Under NC law you are also required to give your employer written notice of the incident that hurt you. You need to provide this written notice within 30 calendar days of when it happened. You need to describe how you were hurt–the accident or incident itself–and you need to disclose the nature of your injury as well. The North Carolina Industrial Commission has a form designed for this purpose–the Form 18 Claim form, which can be filled out online at the Commission’s web site and then sent to both the Commission and the employer. However, if you plan to do this yourself, it is advisable to first contact a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Specialist Attorney for a free consultation in order to learn how to fill out this form properly. Using the wrong word or not giving enough detail about how you were hurt can result in a denial of your claim that may take months to overturn.

If you fail to give this written notice within 30 calendar days, then the employer and its insurance carrier have a defense to your workers’ compensation claim. The law provides that notice given to the employer is deemed to be notice to the insurance carrier, so you do not need to worry about notifying the insurance carrier separately. The employer has a contractual duty to notify the carrier promptly when the employer learns of your claim.

There are some exceptions to this 30 day notice rule, but the better practice is to always file the written notice with the employer within 30 days, and not risk your claim on an exception to the rule. You have two (2) years to file this notice of claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, so getting the notice to the employer on time should be your first consideration after the initial emergency medical care is received.

North Carolina workers’ compensation law is complex and it changes a bit every month when our appellate courts release a new decision. In 2011, our General Assembly passed a reform bill that made large and far-reaching changes to the law. If you are injured at work in North Carolina, it makes sense for you to contact a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law for a free initial consultation before you start filing legal papers to begin your claim. Doing it right the first time is much easier than doing it incorrectly and then having to hire a lawyer to help you fix it later.

The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, is based in Charlotte, but takes workers’ compensation cases across North Carolina. Founded in 1999, the firm has a strong reputation as a law firm of advocates for injured and disabled people.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation — A Guide for Injured Workers — The “Recorded Statement”

When an injured worker files a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina, one of the first critical events that will happen is a phone call from the insurance adjuster requesting a “recorded statement.”

The adjusters are always nice about it, but the process of giving an adjuster a recorded statement is full of traps for the unwary injured worker. The adjusters are looking for reasons to NOT pay the claim, and are not usually looking for a reason to pay your medical bills and lost wages. And, consider this legal fact: Some on the job injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation because of the way the injury occurred. In order to have a “compensable” injury, one must be injured by accident, or by a “specific traumatic incident” or injured over time due to an “occupational disease.” If you do not describe how you got hurt in enough detail in this recorded statement, then the insurance company will deny your claim. Each of these three types of compensable injuries has it own set of key details that need to be disclosed in the recorded statement.

Most people hire a lawyer to help them after their claim is denied–and after they have given a recorded statement that can be used to discredit them in the hearing to review the denial. I have seen many recorded statements that failed to disclose all of the details of the incident that caused the injury, and the injured worker was denied medical benefits and wage loss benefits as a result. We can request a hearing on these denials, but it takes months to get through that litigation process. And if the recorded statement leaves out crucial details then the injured worker’s more detailed testimony in court may be viewed as “not credible” simply because those details were left out in the recording.

So, if you are hurt at work, how do you avoid this potential problem? Well, it is pretty easy. Before you take that risk, you should get a free legal consultation from a Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers’ Compensation law BEFORE you talk to the adjuster in that recorded conversation. That lawyer can go through the facts with you and make sure you know what is important before you put yourself on record with the insurance company.

As soon as you can after your injury, contact a Certified Specialist for some free legal advice. All workers’ compensation lawyers will give you a free legal consultation, but make sure you contact the best lawyer for the task. In North Carolina, you should look for a lawyer who is Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. A directory of those lawyers across the state can be found on the Specialization website. The link is down below.

NC State Bar Specialist Directory

The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, is based in Charlotte, but takes workers’ compensation cases across North Carolina.  Founded in 1999, The Bollinger Law Firm has a strong reputation as a law firm of advocates for injured and disabled people.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month: TBI Statistics

This month is recognized by various agencies and organizations as Brain Injury Awareness Month. It’s a good time to familiarize yourself with the nature of traumatic brain injury: how it can be caused, how prevalent it is, and what you can do to support a loved one who has sustained a brain injury. For the purpose of raising awareness, please consider the following statistics from the CDC:

• Of the leading causes of TBI, falls make up 40.5 percent, motor vehicle accidents 14.3 percent, struck by/against events 15.5 percent, and assault 10.7 percent
• In 2010, traumatic brain injury was involved in 50,000 deaths
• From the decade spanning 2001 to 2010, rates of brain injury related emergency room visits increased 70 percent
• Men are more likely to sustain a TBI than women
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related fatalities among 5 to 24 year olds

Our experienced injury lawyers have represented many brain injury victims over the years. We see how these injuries strain the lives of the injured and their families. An inability to perform former job duties can severely affect the family’s livelihood, and this strain is only compounded by extensive medical bills. For a free case review, please call Ricci Law Firm, PA, at (855) 444-9764.

Life-altering injuries can have a catastrophic impact on your life and livelihood. Ricci Law Firm PA‘s workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for injury victims and their families, and believe in holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. Serving Fayetteville, Greenville & Raleigh, NC.