Appellate Court Reinstates Injured Truck Driver’s Benefits

Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “What happens if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?”

 

Imagine you are at work, performing the required duties, when something happens and you find yourself injured and facing months, or even years, of recovery. Your entire life is changed by this one incident. Is anyone responsible for the medical bills and expenses that you have after being injured at work? What if this injury impedes on your ability to perform your job at all in the foreseeable future? The North Carolina appellate court has rules on benefits to individuals who have been injured at work.

 

Cleaning-the-truck-Huntersville-Waxhaw-Mooresville-Injury-Lawyer-216x300In Glasgow v. Peoplease Corporation, the plaintiff was a truck driver. As a truck driver, she was required to maintain a Class A commercial license just to keep driving. In order to obtain a Class A commercial license, the applicant must undergo a medical exam periodically. The plaintiff previously injured her neck and spine at work while she was operating the landing gear on her truck. Eventually, the plaintiff was awarded temporary total disability benefits after it was determined there was no light duty work available to her.

 

The plaintiff underwent medical treatment for her neck and spine injury, including surgery. After surgery, she was unable to work for many weeks and, according to her physician, would be affected her entire life from her injury. Her ability to lift heavy objects would be impacted. However, the doctor stated that the plaintiff could resume her usual activities, but also prescribed Vicodin for pain.

 

When the plaintiff’s employer asked her about returning to work, the plaintiff stated that she was still taking pain medication and could not drive. She was then terminated because she had been cleared by the doctor. The employer also sought to terminate the disability benefits she received. This order was granted.

 

The plaintiff provided evidence of 19 trucking companies that denied her an interview because of the pain medication she had to take. The plaintiff asked the Industrial Commission if she could train for another field, but that was denied. On appeal, the deputy commissioner reinstated benefits to the plaintiff. The employer then appealed.

 

North Carolina law defines disability as “incapacity to earn the wages which the employee was receiving at the time of injury in the same or any other employment.” The appellate court found that even though the plaintiff was fully released by the doctor, the release still required the plaintiff to focus on healing and was not free of injury related experiences. The appellate court upheld the disability benefits being reinstated.

 

If you have been injured at work, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help. We know that a work related injury can have a detrimental impact on your livelihood. You employer might be unwilling to provide workers compensation benefits, and we are here to help you fight that. Work-related injuries are especially troubling because of their impact on your financial situation. Employers do not want to be liable for their employees’ injuries, but that should not hinder your ability to receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact us today for a consultation. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe, call us at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

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The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.

 

Source:

https://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions/?c=2&pdf=37318

http://www.ic.nc.gov/ncic/pages/statute/97-2.htm

 

 

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