Companies that did not have workers’ comp insurance in 2015 fined

This past December, the North Carolina Industrial Commission charged around 100 employers with misdemeanors and collected almost $1 million in civil fines from companies who did not have workers’ compensation insurance in place in 2015. North Carolina labor laws mandate that companies or businesses which employ three or more workers must provide employees with free workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

While the recent crack down on companies that have violated the workers’ comp rules is good news for wronged workers in the North Carolina, state leaders are aware that this problem is still prevalent and presents a serious issue to employees.

According to state Industrial Commission chairman Andrew Heath, when companies are found at fault, “the goal is to head it off and get to compliance before there’s an injury.” The important thing is that workers are covered while performing job-related duties.

With the legal help of our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh, you can pursue a strong claim to compensation from your employer if you have been injured on the job or in the workplace. Call our offices today at (910) 488-1600 to discuss your situation with our legal team.

Plaintiff in work-related accident case awarded $890,000

An accident victim was able to garner $750,000 from the liability carrier of responsible party and $140,000 from his company’s workers’ compensation insurer for a total settlement of $890,000 in a case wherein said plaintiff became injured when he was struck by a vehicle while he was driving a company vehicle along SR 1436 near Maxton, North Carolina.

In his lawsuit, the plaintiff said he suffered from a post-surgery infection after undergoing a spinal fusion operation to treat the effects of the accident on his pre-existing degenerative disc disease. The man also suffered injuries to his hands, left shoulder, and neck during the rear-end collision. According to court documents, the plaintiff was struck from the rear by a man who was driving recklessly.

Our legal team at Scudder Seguin, PLLC want you to rest assured that legal help is available to you should you ever face the stressful process of claiming workers’ compensation in the wake of an accident or injury. Our attorneys can offer skilled advice in order to speed up the filing process as well as help with negotiating your settlement. To learn more, call our Raleigh office at (910) 488-1600 today.

Corporations work to do away with workers’ compensation insurance

Fifty-six-year-old Texas lawyer Bill Minick has found a legal loophole that may allow certain eligible companies to opt out of workers’ compensation insurance and instead write their own policies. Minick has stated that he hopes to help facilitate the process of “re-engineering one of the pillars of social justice that has not seen significant innovation in 100 years.”

His attempts seem to be working. Oklahoma has recently signed into law a measure co-written by Minick that allows these companies to forego what was previously considered mandatory workers’ compensation insurance.

While Minick and the companies who have followed his lead like to claim that this new form of workers’ compensation will actually be good for employees, there is little evidence to support their claims. In fact, the injury-benefit plans of nearly 120 companies that opted out in Texas or Oklahoma, which were obtained by ProPublica and NPR, showed that those plans had fewer benefits, more limitations, and essentially no independent oversight.

If you have workers’ compensation issues in Raleigh, the attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC want you to know that you don’t have to deal with it alone. Call our offices today at (910) 488-1600 to discuss your case with our legal team.

Family of El Faro crew member files suit against missing captain, cargo ship company

Joanna Johnson is suing Tote Services, Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, and Captain Michael Davidson for $100 million due to their alleged negligence which led to the presumed death of Lonnie Jordan. Jordan was a crew member along with 33 others on the cargo ship El Faro, which disappeared off the coast of the Bahamas on Thursday, October 1 after departing two days prior.

It is believed that the El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin, which produced winds as high as 140 miles per hour and waves over 50 feet tall, on its way to Puerto Rico. Johnson’s attorney, Willie E. Gary, stated that Tote Services and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico knew that the El Faro was not seaworthy, yet they refused to use a different boat in order to save money.

Tote Services has stated that it will not comment on the case while the ship’s disappearance is still under investigation; however, representatives said that Captain Davidson, also presumed missing, had an adequate plan to manage the rough waters that only failed when the ship’s main propulsion stopped working correctly.


Studies released on trends in workers’ compensation programs

According to two new studies published by CompScope Medical Benchmarks and 16th Edition which were recently released by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, there are different factors behind medical payment trends per claim in at least seventeen states’ workers’ compensation systems. The studies focused on the following states: New Jersey, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These seventeen states represent over sixty percent of the country’s workers’ compensation benefit payments.

The study also noted how legislative and regulatory amendments on such costs affect the programs in general.

WCRI executive vice president and counsel Ramona Tanabe said the reports contain significance when it comes to “identify[ing] where medical costs and care patterns may be changing.”

Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC specialize in litigating and settling workers’ compensation issues and cases in Raleigh and other areas in North Carolina. Contact one of our workers’ compensation attorneys today by calling our offices at (910) 488-1600.

9/11 responders last call to register for workers’ comp by Friday

9/11 first responders and volunteers are reminded that the last day of the registration for filing for workers’ compensation benefits is on Thursday, September 11 – the 13th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is encouraging thousands of eligible individuals to register before the 12th via its Tell Us You Were There campaign.

According to the Board’s website, applicants should make it clear what they were doing to respond in the aftermath of the attack, whether they were working at Ground Zero, the morgues, Fresh Kills Landfill, the barges, or the piers nearby.

Should you need assistance regarding this matter, you are advised to call 1-855-WTC-2014 or 1-855-982-2014.

Workers’ compensation can be a confusing and overwhelming process to go through. Call our attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC in our Raleigh, North Carolina offices at 919-851-3311 if you need help with filing for workers’ compensation benefits.

Firefighter receives workers’ comp while participating in MMA fights

An MMA fighter residing in Los Angeles was arrested at the beginning of April and charged with four separate counts of insurance fraud.

Raphael Davis, whose nickname in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world is “The Noodle,” was working as a firefighter when he claimed that he was unable to return to work due to an injury. He filed claims for workers’ compensation in December 2008, and he continued receiving the payments until May 2011.

While he was earning these checks, he was allegedly still participating in MMA fights. He fought in seven fights between 2008 and 2011. If Davis is found guilty of the four charges, the maximum sentence attached to these charges is five years in prison.

If you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, by calling 919-851-3311 today.

More large companies turn to private workers’ comp programs

A growing trend for large companies in regards to state workers’ compensation programs is to transition towards privately funded programs. These programs are more beneficial to the company, and in most instances, are less advantageous in regards to benefits for employees.

Walmart was the latest company to leave Texas’ workers’ compensation program in order to fund a privately owned benefits program. The benefits offered through this new program will be drastically lower than their previous program that was mandated by the state of Texas.

This switch that Walmart made has created quite a buzz among opponents and proponents of state-funded workers’ compensation. These concerns are being voiced throughout the country as more and more large businesses move towards private benefits for their employees.

If you have been injured on the job, you need experienced representation on your side in order to secure the compensation you deserve. Please contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling 919-851-3311 today.

Current and former NFL players sue league for workers’ comp

Numerous professional football players, both current and former, have filed suits against the NFL in order to earn workers’ compensation benefits.

The majority of these claims have been filed in the state of California, even though most of these men were employed by NFL teams that were not located in that state. The NFL, along with several franchise teams, have filed lawsuits against the men in order to have their suits litigated in the proper states.

These men are seeking compensation for different injuries they sustained while on the playing field. NFL teams do not usually pay medical expenses once the player leaves the program, so these former players must file a workers’ compensation claim in order to gain these benefits.

If you have questions regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling 919-851-3311 today.

Facebook used in workers’ comp case as evidence of recovery

Photographs posted onto social networking sites were recently used in a workers’ compensation claim as evidence of a worker’s recovery. The worker was attempting to get an extension on his workers’ compensation benefits in Arkansas, but was denied by both a trial court and appeals court.

About three years ago, the plaintiff was injured when working for a retail appliance company and a refrigerator fell on him.  The accident caused the worker to suffer a hernia. After the accident, the man filed for workers’ compensation and received benefits and compensation for his medical bills from his employer.

Recently, the worker filed for an extension on his benefits, but was denied by a lower court judge after his former employer brought pictures of him displayed on Facebook and MySpace into court.  The pictures were cited as evidence that the plaintiff had recovered from his injury–which he argued still caused him “excruciating pain”– because they showed him partying and drinking.

The worker appealed the judge’s decision to an Arkansas appellate court, which agreed with the first judge’s decision that the pictures were sufficient evidence that the worker had recovered from the injury he suffered three years before. The man’s request for an extension of workers’ compensation was denied, but he could still appeal to the state’s supreme court.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job and needs to file for workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at 919-851-3311 to learn more about how we can help you receive the benefits you deserve.