Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

North Carolina workers comp settlement?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • North Carolina workers comp settlement?

    I know there is a guidline on pay for specific injuries, I dont think it goes in deep detail so here is my scenario. Have someone that had there upper part of their ear ripped by an accident at work, his ear gre back together but left a good bit of scar tissue and with the scar tissue comes pain on occasion, WC wants to settle for $250! It has been about a year and a half so all the healing has take place, is there any guidelines on something such as this or is it less detailed and broader and gives them the option to weasel out of paying?

  • #2
    I can't tell you what SC WC reg's dictate in this situation but the reality is that such a minor disfigurement that is fully medically resolved and will have no impact on the individual's future job prospects, quality of life, etc., just isn't worth that much. This individual is free to consult with a WC attorney but given the very modest amount of the settlement, that may not be financially prudent. Your acquaintance can always speak directly with the Worker's Compensation division and see what they say.

    FYI, settlements in WC claims are always approved by the State. If the State does not feel the settlement is appropriate, they they won't approve it. Additionally, compensation for "pain and suffering" is not an issue in worker's comp.

    Comment


    • #3
      Every state has a guideline for permanency that dictates what certain claims are worth and a provision for claims that do not fall under one of the specific categories. Beth is correct that these guidelines are primarily concerned with "industrial loss of use" and purely cosmetic injuries are not worth very much, particularly if it isn't a terribly noticeable body part. A huge scar across the face is going to be higher than one that can easily be covered by hair or clothing. The ear is not a "scheduled member". Whether a scar on the upper ear would be considered a "serious facial or head disfigurement" is doubtful but the appropriate statutes are below. Having never settled a disfigurement claim in NC, I can't tell you what these typically settle for there but in my state, which is one of the more liberal in this regard, it is rare for a disfigurement claim to be over $1,000.

      97-31. Schedule of injuries; rate and period of compensation.

      In case of serious facial or head disfigurement, the Industrial Commission shall award proper and equitable compensation not to exceed twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). In case of enucleation where an artificial eye cannot be fitted and used, the Industrial Commission may award compensation as for serious facial disfigurement.

      In case of serious bodily disfigurement for which no compensation is payable under any other subdivision of this section, but excluding the disfigurement resulting from permanent loss or permanent partial loss of use of any member of the body for which compensation is fixed in the schedule contained in this section, the Industrial Commission may award proper and equitable compensation not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

      Comment


      • #4
        However, in some states "pain" is a ratable impairment. Pain from scar tissue can actually be quite painful. Especially on an ear. I would think this injury would be worth more than $250 but less than $2000.

        Comment


        • #5
          NC follows the AMA Guide, as most states do. "Pain" is not ratable except as one of the five factors in considering the overall degree of disablement. It is not a factor in disfigurement cases.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Chapter 18 pages 565 to 591

            Once again Elle has no clue what she is talking about. Gosh, I'm glad your not a lawyer or you would have already been sued for malpractice.

            If your going to give people advice then get a copy of the book.

            "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment" American Medical Association 5th edition.

            Pain is a ratable impairment.
            Last edited by stiffnecked; 12-16-2007, 06:51 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Pain is not rateable on its own. It still is not a factor in disfigurement cases. I'd love to know how many cases you've handled on this.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

              Comment


              • #8
                It sure could be ratable in a disfigurement case. You just can't admit when your wrong. Why do you think they added chapter 18 to the 5th addition?

                To blatantly say that's it's not ratable shows you really don't know what your talking about. But then again your the lawyer here....

                Comment


                • #9
                  NC does not follow the 5th edition. You are correct that if that they did, your information is accurate, but NC does not use the 5th edition for rating purposes. The only states using the 5th edition are Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
                  I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To say that it is rare for disfigurement cases to exceed $1000 is very wrong, I have one employee in my district that had sulfuric acid spill on his arm and run down about 3"'s. the scar was about 3" X 3/4" , he filed his claim and received over $5000 for the scarring to his arm. A short sleeve shirt wont cover it and it is very noticable!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kendel72 View Post
                      To say that it is rare for disfigurement cases to exceed $1000 is very wrong, I have one employee in my district that had sulfuric acid spill on his arm and run down about 3"'s. the scar was about 3" X 3/4" , he filed his claim and received over $5000 for the scarring to his arm. A short sleeve shirt wont cover it and it is very noticable!
                      One case does not make it common. One case makes it rare.
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kendel72 View Post
                        To say that it is rare for disfigurement cases to exceed $1000 is very wrong, I have one employee in my district that had sulfuric acid spill on his arm and run down about 3"'s. the scar was about 3" X 3/4" , he filed his claim and received over $5000 for the scarring to his arm. A short sleeve shirt wont cover it and it is very noticable!
                        Which is also why I qualified the statement by saying that is what is typical in my area. Others may vary.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think Elle's post #3 is pretty accurate for NC. And NC does not use the AMA guides. In fact, NC has its own rating guide for ortho injuries, but it does not have one for scarring or disfigurement. If the parties cannot agree, then the deputy commissioner looks at the scar at a hearing and decides what you get. If you appeal, you have to appear in front of a panel of 3 commissioners in Raleigh and they decide what you get. It is really hard to predict, but the statute that Elle copied in her post sets forth the upper limits. And I would not expect anything close to the upper limits for the injury described in the post. They can consider pain with an ortho injury but I don't think they can for scarring.
                          Bob Bollinger, Attorney
                          Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
                          Charlotte, NC

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X