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Will Workers’ Comp Pay for Additional Injuries From Overcompensation?

Oftentimes, when you injure one part of your body and overcompensate for that injury it can result in another injured body part. And, sometimes, it can be difficult to get your workers’ comp insurance company to pay for the other injury.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys deal with this issue frequently and it is an area where we strongly urge you to enlist the help of an experienced North Carolina workers’ comp lawyer.

Here are some questions I hear frequently on this subject which I believe warrants sharing.

Will I Be Compensated for Injuring Another Part of My Body as a Result of Overcompensating for My Original Work Injury?

If you're on workers' comp and a new injury happens from overcompensation, you may have a right to compensation.

The answer to this question is probably, yes.

If the workers’ compensation claim you filed was accepted, and a new injury or condition to another body part came about by overcompensating for the original injury, every “natural and probable consequence” that comes from that original injury “arises out of employment,” and you would likely have a right to compensation. So, for example, if your authorized doctor (the one the workers’ comp carrier sent you to) says your overcompensation comes from your original injury, then you likely would have a claim to compensation for that new injury.

What Does This Mean for Me?

If an insurance adjuster tells you they can’t provide your medical care for your new condition, we strongly urge you to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. There have been laws passed that state that if a new body part was not listed on the initial acceptance form then you have to prove that the new injury is related to your original injury. Proving this can be very challenging.

It has been my experience that some workers’ comp insurance companies will sometimes do everything in their power to try to deny or at the very least minimize the initial claim, much less an additional claim. One common example is that after a serious knee injury, some patients develop pain in the opposite knee or back due to an altered gait. Some insurance companies will sometimes deny the opposite knee or back conditions as unrelated or claim they are degenerative conditions related to age.

How Do I Show That My Injury for Overcompensating Is Related?

Medical documentation for a secondary injury while on workers' compensation is important.

It may be necessary to hire an attorney to help you explain to the insurance company how your new medical condition is related to your original injury.

We can speak with authority on how these issues have been handled in other cases. If the adjuster doesn’t understand or simply disagrees, it may be necessary to request relief with the NC Industrial Commission by filing a Medical Motion with the Executive Secretary’s office, which involves presenting evidence to a judge about how the new medical condition is related to your original medical condition. Sometimes, we will even have to request a full evidentiary hearing on these disputes about medical care. The most important thing you can do is get medical evidence that your new injury is related. It is key to let your doctor know about any condition that arises from overcompensation.

A doctor who treats you would need to promptly document your new condition and provide their opinion about whether the new condition is being caused by the original injury. This medical documentation is extremely important, as this is in large part what the insurance company will rely on when deciding whether to pay for your new injury. Even with a doctor’s documentation, we have seen some insurance companies fight back in an effort to deny the new claim.

That can be frustrating, having an insurance company adding insult to injury by saying your new injury is not related when your doctor even says that it’s related! Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you try to overcome these obstacles that injured workers sometimes face.

9 NC State Bar Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Comp Law

More than half of our workers’ comp attorneys are NC State Bar Board Certified Specialists in workers’ compensation law. Of the approximately 30,500 North Carolina licensed attorneys, fewer than 160 are North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialists in workers’ compensation law.* Nine of them practice at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin.

What does it mean to be Board Certified in North Carolina? It means you have an attorney who shows special knowledge and proficiency in their specific area of law, having undergone additional training (and other intense analysis) to become certified as a specialist.

Our firm has been recognized by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® as one of the “Best Law Firms” for workers’ compensation for the greater Raleigh area3 in 2021.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation from NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers

Workers’ compensation law is highly complex and the system is extremely difficult to navigate successfully on your own. That is why we urge anyone who has been injured on the job to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 immediately after their injury. Whether it’s for the original injury or one that stemmed from overcompensation, we will try to ensure that all the necessary measures are taken to preserve your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

*Figures provided by the N.C. State Bar as of February 2021.

3 For standards of inclusion, visit www.bestlawyers.com and www.usnews.com.

FREE Hands-On Safe Driving Training for North Carolina Teens

More teens died in North Carolina car accidents in 2016 than compared to previous years. WRAL reported on the troubling statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Administration showing that car crashes and accident-related fatalities are becoming more likely among young drivers in North Carolina.

A common reason for teen car crashes and deaths is distraction from other passengers. There’s a reason North Carolina law limits the number of passengers and their ages in cars driven by teens.
It is dangerous!

Teen Car Accident Risk Rises With Additional Passengers

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a comprehensive report on how dangerous it is for young people to have teen passengers under the age of 21 with them while they are driving. The report showed that if a teenager has one other passenger in the car with them who is 21 or under and there are no older passengers in the car, the risk of a collision for a 16 or 17 year old driver is 44% greater per vehicle mile driven as compared with a teen driver who doesn’t have younger passengers in the car. With two or more passengers, the risk of a collision is doubled and with three or more passengers you can quadruple that risk.

FREE Hands-On Driving Course for NC Teens

Hands-on teen driving courses geared toward teens may be able to help teen drivers become more aware of the real dangers they face from passenger distractions as well as other safety hazards, such as hydroplaning and skidding, veering off the road, etc.

One such driving safety course offered to teenagers in Raleigh, Charlotte, and surrounding areas (including other states) is Charlotte-based B.R.A.K.E.S (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe).

B.R.A.K.E.S is a national non-profit organization offering behind-the-wheel training in advanced safety maneuvers for teens, and it is FREE.3

The instructors are professional drivers who are or have been involved in drag racing, law enforcement, or movie stunt driving. The school is AAA-approved, endorsed by the National Coalition for Safer Roads, and Consumer Reports listed the organization among its preferred list of defensive driving schools. KIA sponsors the school by supplying the cars the teens drive during training.

B.R.A.K.E.S is headquartered in Charlotte and offers monthly training courses at the Zmax Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as periodically in the Raleigh area. Click here to sign up for Raleigh courses.

Attorney Brian Clemmons enrolled his teen daughter in a B.R.A.K.E.S course. “She had been somewhat of an insecure driver,” Brian said. “And frankly I wasn’t totally comfortable having her drive in certain situations. This course, I feel, helped develop her confidence on the road. You could see how her self-assurance soared and she became a much better driver immediately after taking it.”

The course exposes your teen to the following hazards while driving a car, but in the safety of a large protected area.

  • Distraction Exercise
    Your teen will be taught how difficult it is to negotiate a tightly coned course while the instructor distracts them. The course is designed to demonstrate just how dangerous cell phones, text messaging, music, traffic, and friends in the car can be.
  • Accident Avoidance/Slalom Exercise
    This two-part course teaches students how to make a split-second reaction to negotiate a quick, evasive lane change without losing control. It is designed to simulate an object or animal suddenly appearing in front of a car. The second part of the course is a coned slalom course where students must negotiate the vehicle around cones while focusing on weight transfer, hand positioning, and eye scanning.
  • Drop Wheel/Off Road Recovery Exercise
    Drop wheel accidents are among the highest causes of injuries and deaths across the U.S. The drop wheel recovery course teaches students how to effectively recover from a drop wheel situation by regaining control of the car and safely returning to the roadway.
  • Panic Stop Exercise
    Students are taught the proper technique to stop a vehicle in the shortest distance while maintaining vehicle control. Students experience first-hand the effects of an A.B.S. (Anti-Lock Braking System) and its ability to keep the wheels from locking while pulsating brake pressure.
  • Car Control and Recovery Exercise
    The skid pad course is designed to prepare students to learn how to drive in bad weather and not to lose control. Students are taught how to properly recover from both over-steer (rear wheel) and under-steer (front wheel) skids.

If you are unable to attend a Raleigh class, the school offers classes once a month in Charlotte. Or you can access the B.R.A.K.E.S 2018 schedule for upcoming Raleigh and Charlotte courses.

NC Attorneys Evaluate Car Accidents FREE

Many of us are parents and we understand how much is at stake when our teens get behind the wheel. If your teen has been in an accident due to the fault of another person, click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE over the phone or online.

3 B.R.A.K.E.S training asks for a $99 refundable deposit to hold your reservation. If you choose to leave your deposit, it becomes a donation which is tax deductible to you.