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August 2017 Archives

Can I get fired if I file a workers' compensation claim?

For many people who are injured at work, their biggest concern is holding on to their job. Many employers discourage injured employees from filing claims for workers compensation benefits, sometimes by actually telling a hurt employee not to file a claim and to just use their own health insurance. Other times, employers let it generally be known throughout the workplace that a worker who files a claim can make themselves a target for termination down the line. The good news is that North Carolina has laws specifically designed to protect injured workers who file workers' compensation claims from retaliation by their employers. Can you be fired for filing a claim? The short answer is "no."

Don't let social media damage your workers' compensation claim

These days, if you want to learn about a person's life or who they are, the first place to go is often that person's social media accounts. Photos, comments, and even places where we have been can all be open to public view. We can have some control over what information about us we make "public," but not always. If you are involved in a workers' compensation claim, rest assured that social media is one of the first places the insurance company evaluating your claim is going to look to try and find an excuse not to pay you the benefits you need. We know that Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media platforms don't tell the whole story of our lives, and are only a "snapshot." Those snapshots are typically of moments when we are in a good place and feeling well - who posts pictures of themselves struggling to get groceries out of the car or of the look on a child's face when a parent can't play catch because the pain is too much? On the other hand, a picture of you smiling at a friend's birthday party at a restaurant or of you on a beach vacation with family can be just the "evidence" an insurance company is looking for to claim that you are not really hurt, or that you are capable of doing more than you really are. It won't matter that the only time you were smiling at the birthday party was for the picture and you were in pain the whole time, or that you spent most of the "vacation" alone in the hotel room while your family had to go have fun without you.

Analysis: Serious traffic wrecks down in 2017, still quite high

Preliminary data from the first half of 2017 indicates that traffic injuries and fatalities were down slightly over last year, although they're still substantially higher than they were at this time in 2015. Deaths from motor vehicle accidents started to spike in 2014, and 2016's total represented the steepest two-year increase in traffic fatalities since 1964, according to the nonprofit National Safety Council.

High levels of construction work mean risks from mobile cranes

Construction is at an all-time high in the U.S. right now, and simple exposure means that injuries and financial losses will follow. This week, we're talking about the risks associated with mobile cranes.

Growing number of older workers, rise in fatal worksite accidents

A recent Associated Press analysis of federal statistics found that older people -- those between 55 and 70 -- are working quite a bit longer than they traditionally have. Baby Boomers may have rejected the traditional retirement date of 65, or they may simply need the income. Either way, statisticians expect them to make up a full 25 percent of the workforce by 2024.

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