Law Articles

Jan. 21 2015

What Really Happens in Workers’ Compensation Mediation

In May of 2013, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission approved new Mediation Regulations (67-1801 through 67-1809), which provide that certain types of cases must be mediated, as well as a regulation (67-1801) that allows a Commissioner to order mediation in any claim. Because such a large number of cases will go to mediation moving forward, it is helpful to establish good practices in order to achieve the most favorable outcome and bring files to resolution more quickly. (more…)

Read On
Dec. 3 2014

NC Workers’ Comp: Health Conscious Employees and the Personal Comfort Doctrine

As people become more and more health conscious, they are taking advantage of down time at work to sneak in a what exercise they can. But what happens when one of these health conscious employees suffers an injury during their break time exercise routine? The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion on a case in which an employee injured her knee while walking around her office building during her required lunch break. (more…)

Read On
Nov. 26 2014

Liability for Temporary Disability Benefits to Employee Terminated for Cause

Providing temporary disability benefits during the course of an injured worker’s recovery is a rather straightforward process. Simply stated, if the injured worker is provided work restrictions by his physician and the employer is unable to accommodate those restrictions then temporary disability benefits are owed. If the employer can accommodate the restrictions then no temporary disability benefits are owed, provided he is earning the same as his pre-injury wages. (more…)

Read On
Oct. 27 2014

Providing Benefits While Compensability is Under Investigation – NC Workers’ Compensation

At the onset of a workers’ compensation claim, many times carriers do not have sufficient information to make a determination of compensability, yet often want to authorize medical treatment for a claimant to determine the extent of the claimant’s injuries and answer potential questions about causation. This is where the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) Form 63, Section 2 comes into play. The NCIC Form 63, Section 2 permits carriers to pay medical compensation without prejudice to later deny the compensability of a claim. (more…)

Read On
Oct. 9 2014

Willful Misrepresentation Defense in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation: When Employees Make False Representations in the Hiring Process

In defending a workers’ compensation claim, employers may discover that the injured employee had not been forthcoming about previous injuries or work restrictions. In these situations, employers often take the position that the employee should not be entitled to compensation due to failure to disclose this information. Fortunately, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act allows employers to assert a defense against the employee’s claim in cases where the employee was dishonest about previous injuries, restrictions or other physical conditions. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-12.1, this is called a willful misrepresentation defense. (more…)

Read On
Sep. 18 2014

Should there be a Special Exception for Law Enforcement in Mental Claims without an Accompanying Physical Injury?

Law enforcement officers who experience psychological trauma after killing someone in the line of duty are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina. In a 3-2 decision, the South Carolina Supreme Court recently decided that such an event was not an unusual circumstance of employment because an officer is specifically trained to use deadly force, the event alleged to have caused the trauma. (more…)

Read On
Aug. 15 2014

Third Party Involvement in Compensable Workers’ Compensation Claims

A South Carolina Scenario
An employee is injured by another’s breach of duty or warranty. The claim is compensable. The best practice is for the carrier and/or the claimant to confirm the third party identity, the type of third party liability, the action’s expiration date and anticipated defenses, if any. This initial investigation can be time consuming and there are additional considerations affecting an efficient recovery. (more…)

Read On