Posted on Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 10:13 am
Car accident cases aren’t simply a matter of “here’s what happened, pay me a large sum of money.” Experienced Virginia car accident lawyers are skilled at each phase of the trial from the initial client consultation through a trial before a jury. Once your medical diagnosis is clear, the lawyer will work to try to settle your case. To get the best results, the lawyer prepares your case as if it is going to go to trial.
Since car accident lawyers usually take your case on a contingency fee basis, the client does not need to rush to make a quick settlement. Contingency fee means the car accident lawyer only gets paid if your case settles or if you obtain a jury verdict. So you will not have to stroke a check to hire the attorney.
There are several steps a car accident victim should take before speaking with an attorney. For more detailed information on what to do and what not to do if you’ve been in a car accident, please download my book 23 Simple Rules to Follow if You’ve Been in a Car Accident, or call our office for a hard-bound copy. Also, remember that if you were on the job at the time of your accident, there will be a Workers’ Compensation element to your claim as well which we can handle for you.
Victims should also understand that both Virginia and North Carolina have a strict contributory negligence laws. This means if a jury finds that the other driver was 90% at fault and you were just 10% at fault, then you get nothing. You don’t get 90%. You don’t get 50%. You get zero. So, admitting or implying fault in any way can cause you to lose your case.
Now if you were on the job at the time of your accident, generally, fault does not affect workers comp entitlement, unless you were grossly negligent, or failed to follow a company safety rule. For instance, if company safety rules require that you wear a seatbelt, and you were not wearing one and this increased your injuries, you would not be entitled to workers comp coverage.
While some injuries such as a broken arm are treated and then heal in a few months, there are often exceptions. When your arm heals, you may lose some range of motion. There still may be a persistent pain. If you settle too early, you can’t come back and ask for more money. That’s why it’s good to wait until your medical condition has stabilized.
Along with the physical pain is the emotional worry about when and if your injuries will heal. You worry that you’ve become a burden to your family. Physical pain is often accompanied by depression, anxiety, fear, and other emotions.
Your doctors can summarize some of your pain and suffering. Family members can testify as to your sadness, your crying, and other symptoms. Often, the best witness for showing pain is you, the victim. An experienced lawyer will usually value the pain and suffering part of your claim based on his experience and knowledge of the jury pool and what other juries have awarded in the past.
How long will all of this Take?
So, this sounds like an awful lot to do. You may ask how long all of this will take? And this really depends on how long your treatment takes and many other factors that are too numerous to get into here. I suggest you download the book How Long Will My Case Take? where attorney Joe Miller provides the detailed answers to that question.
Car accident victims shouldn’t wait to speak with a lawyer. Memories fade. Evidence such as skid marks can disappear. Injuries usually worsen if you don’t see your doctor. As a respected car accident lawyer, Joe Miller will guide you through each phase of your case. He has been fighting for injury victims for over a quarter century. To make an appointment, please call (888) 694-1671 or complete my contact form.
Posted on Monday, June 26th, 2017 at 11:34 am
Many North Carolina and Virginia workers suffer serious burn injuries at work. While employers are required to follow a variety of federal, state, and industry standard guidelines – employees in both states are entitled to workers compensation benefits regardless of employer fault. In serious burn injury cases, the employer’s insurance company or self-insurance is required to pay for all the reasonable surgeries, doctor visits, and medications the employee needs to be able to manage the pain and be able to maximize the chances of recovery. If multiple skin grafts are needed and the burns are deep and extensive, the cost for the medical care can become quite expensive.
Whenever a worker suffers any type of burn injury, it is crucial to get medical help as soon as possible. The burn victim should immediately contact the supervisor and then get emergency help.
If a person’s clothing catches fire, the first priority is to be able to put out the flames. The person should be helped to stop, drop, and roll. All burned clothing should be removed from the worker. The worker should then be given something to wrap their body in such as a jacket or blanket. All burn victims who catch fire will need emotional help as well as physical help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), any jewelry, belts, and rings should be removed immediately because burned areas often swell.
There are three types of burns – first, second, and third degree
Electrical jolts, shocks, or burns often aren’t visible like thermal burns – though the damage is often deep underneath the skin. The electrical burn can cause heart problems and even cardiac arrest. Many electrical burn victims suffer breathing problems and loss of consciousness in addition to heart problems.
The best treatment is to seek immediate medical help. In addition, care should be taken to remove the burn victim from any electrical source by using an object that doesn’t’ conduct electricity. The source of the electricity that caused the burn should be cut off. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be required.
Mining and other industries are especially prone to cause serious chemical burns
According to the Mayo Clinic,, strong acids, lyes, paint thinners, and gasoline are among some of the causes of chemical burns. If an employee has a chemical burn:
If the employee is in shock (is pale, fainted, or has difficulty breathing), the chemical burn is deep (penetrating the first layer of the skin), or the burn involves the eyes, hands, feet, face, buttocks, groins, or a major joint – then emergency medical help should be called for.
Recovery for Scarring and Disfigurement from Burns
Often, there are terrible scars or disfigurement left on the skin as a result of severe burns. Unfortunately, under the laws in North Carolina and Virginia, separate recovery for scarring or disfigurement is extremely limited, unless the scarring is so severe that it interferes with one’s ability to work, such as restriction in the range of motion or limited use of the disfigured area that prevents you from returning to work. In that regard, such cases are treated just like a regular comp case.
In Virginia, if you are able to return to work, you are only entitled to a maximum of 60 weeks of temporary total disability payments for scarring and disfigurement.
In North Carolina, if the disfigurement is on the head or face, the maximum payment is $20,000.00. Elsewhere on the body, it’s only $10,000.00.
Also, as with all workers compensation cases, there are no payments for pain and suffering. All payments are determined by statute.
Burn injuries can require long-term medical care. Employees may not be able to return to work for months, years, or, in severe cases, never. North Carolina and Virginia attorney Joe Miller Esq. has been helping injured workers get their benefits and legal recoveries for over 26 years. He has helped thousands of employees get their full workers’ compensation benefits. For help now, please phone us at (888) 694-1671 or complete our contact form.
Head trauma of all types is a very common workplace injury. An employee can suffer a head injury due to a slip and fall, an automobile or truck accident, a piece of equipment that doesn’t work, or an object that falls from above. Head injuries can happen to:
The brain is made of soft tissue which can be easily damaged. Inside the skull is a cerebrospinal fluid layer that helps protect the brain from the skull. A concussion happens when a blow to the head causes the brain to pass through the fluid and strike the skull.
If a head injury, concussion, or brain trauma is suspected; your physician will conduct several types of tests:
Head trauma victims will often be seen by several doctors such as a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, and a psychiatrist , psychologist, or a neuropsychologist. Other professional help can include social workers, speech and language pathologists, recreational therapists, and a traumatic brain injury nurse specialist.
Some milder head injuries can heal within days, weeks, or months. In serious cases, the first thing an emergency team will examine is that the employee/patient has an adequate supply of oxygen and blood. They will also work to make sure the patient’s blood pressure is monitored.
Some serious traumatic brain injuries which can last a lifetime. Symptoms can include:
According to the Mayo Clinic, medications can include:
Surgeries can include:
Head trauma victims may need the following types of treatments:
Head injury symptoms often don’t show themselves right away. If an employee suffers any blow to the head for any reason, the best course of action is to see a physician right away. The sooner the condition is treated, the better the chances for a recovery will be. Also, delay in treatment can be taken as a sign or proof that the injury happened outside of work. Employers and insurance companies will look for any excuse to say your injuries are not work-related.
You should be paid for all of your medical bills until you reach a state of Maximum Medical Improvement. This means that your hospital, therapy, and other bills will be paid until it is clear than additional medical treatment will not help you get any better.
The amount of income you receive will depend on the extent of your recover
You may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. Many serious brain injury victims need occupational therapy or behavioral therapy to be able to return to their original job. In some cases, the worker can be retrained to do another job. For example, a construction worker who suffers a brain injury when a piece of equipment falls on his head from several stories up, may never be able to do physical labor again. A lot will depend on what the testing reveals are the extent of any permanent cognitive impairments you may have as a result of your brain injury.
Lawyer Joe Miller Esq. has helped thousands of employees get the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. In some cases, he helps workers obtain a long-term settlement of your claim. He works with your medical providers to understand each and every treatment, test, and surgery that will be required and each type of therapy that help you improve your life. He cares about your recovery and your ability to pay for your medical bills and getting paid a regular income. For experienced help, please call (888) 694-1671 or fill out the contact form.
Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2017 at 5:12 pm
Construction work leads to many types of accidents and work injuries that can cause an employee to be out of work for weeks, months, or even be permanently disabled from construction work. Some workers suffer permanent injuries that prevent them from ever working again. Sadly, some workers also die because of a construction accident.
Construction workers can be injured for many reasons. It does not matter that the construction site or supervisors were negligent or failed to comply with the laws, except that in North Carolina if a clear statutory violation caused your injury, you may be entitled to a 10% increase in comp benefits.
That being said, there is generally no need, on the part of the worker, to prove that a product was defective or that someone was at fault in order to get worker’s compensation. Injured construction site workers may have third party remedies against manufacturers. But to get workers’ compensation in North Carolina or Virginia, the worker just needs to prove that he/she was an employee, that he/she suffered a workplace accident, and that the accident caused injuries which prevent the employee from working temporarily or permanently.
Typical workplace accidents for construction workers include:
Men and women who do construction work can suffer one or more of the following injuries – each of which can prevent a worker from doing the job and necessitating medical benefits and lost wages while recuperating.
Also, while NC does not have a UEF, in both NC and VA, if the contractor who hired your employer has comp insurance, then you may be covered by that insurance.
We like to think of it like this. Let’s assume either you or a general contractor hires a painter to paint your house. This painter draws up a contract to be paid a certain amount in advance and a certain amount on completion. He has all his own compressors, ladders, brushes, everything. He may even have a truck with his name on it. He gives you a general idea of when he can start, but he shows up when he wants and quits when he wants. No one has control over when he comes and goes.
That is a subcontractor.
Now we look at a guy who is a painter, let’s call him Bill, who works for Dwayne. Dwayne has a small painting company that employs 4 guys, including Bill. Dwayne employs a supervisor named Rick as well. Dwayne has all his employees sign papers that say they are subcontractors and are each responsible for their own comp insurance. But Dwayne and Rick have the phone numbers of Bill and all is co-workers. Rick routinely calls and yells at them if they are late. Bill and Rick have rules about how they like the work done and they enforce those rules. Everyone must show up at 7 AM and work till when Dwayne or Rick say it’s time to quit—not before. Rick says when it’s time for lunch. Dwayne owns all the compressors and the truck and buys all the supplies for the job. Neither Bill or any of his co-workers engage in paint work for anyone else, except maybe an occasional job on the weekend. Bill and his co-workers are paid every Friday morning at the same time by check.
No matter what the papers are that they signed, Bill and his co-workers are employees and entitled to workers compensation benefits.
Any worker who is injured while doing construction work needs the help of an experienced and trusted work injury lawyer North Carolina and Virginia work accident lawyer has helped thousands of injured workers get just compensation. He helps workers show they were employees and not independent contractors. He helps employees prove how serious their injuries are. Call now at (888) 694-1671 to speak to a reliable workers’ compensation lawyer
Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Many health care professionals suffer injures at work due to injuries they receive working with patients. A typical Virginia work injury case involves a nurse who wrenches her/his back while lifting a patient who is not mobile or heavy. In many ways, this type of injury is akin to a construction worker who might be injured carrying heavy loads.
This blog will review the various types of injuries nurses can suffer and some of the unique worker’s compensation issues that nurses have to deal with. Nurses include those who work in a hospital, in a nursing care facility, ambulatory surgery center, mental health facility, clinic, doctor’s office, and those who provide in-home services. Nurses or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) who suffer occupational illnesses due to work are also entitled to benefits. This means they are entitled to 2/3rds of their lost wages while they are unable to work for up to 500 weeks, plus payment of all medical bills related to the work injuries, for life. They may also be entitled to vocational re-training benefits if their injury or illness necessitates that they obtain new job skills.
In many hospitals, personal assistants, technicians, and other staff members may also have to physically handle a patient. We see these injuries frequently. In our experience, they happen most often during the transitioning of a patient to or from a shower, bed, or wheelchair. It can also happen, for instance, where a nurse needs to restrain a patient who has gotten out of control in a mental facility. These workers should be able to claim Virginia workers’ compensation benefits. But these injuries can also occur as in other industries—slipping on ice or water, falling down a flight of stairs while carrying equipment, etc. Statistically, nurses suffer as many work injury problems as almost any other industry including construction work.
Some of the more common types of injuries and illnesses nurses suffer are:
There really is not a safe way to lift a patient without the new lifting rigs that are starting to appear more and more at facilities. To put patient work in perspective, most male workers who do industry or construction work are judged by their ability to lift or move 25 pounds or 50 pounds. In contrast, many hospital patients weigh 200 pounds. And lifting a patient is more dangerous because if a load of wood or inventory drops, the damage wood or inventory can be fixed or replaced. Patients are human beings who should be treated with extreme care – especially sick ones who can’t fend for themselves. Most nurses are women who are lighter and less strong than men.
Hospitals and nursing facilities should take more steps to help their nurses and staff manage patient and also the equipment which they often have to push around from room to room. As mentioned, there are now mechanical devices that can help nurses do the lifting. There are methods to make the shift from a bed to gurney easier. Multiple nurses should assist with difficult patients. Nurses should be taught the proper techniques for lifting and carrying.
Of course, we know that many facilities try to get by with less, whether it means less personnel or less equipment.
The key in worker’s compensation cases is to be able to prove that a specific accident or incident caused the injury as opposed to daily performance of the job. An experienced workers’ compensation understands what activity qualifies as a workplace accident and when repetitive injuries may qualify for compensation. Do not assume you do not have a case if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or from an injury that occurred over time. You may be able to argue, for example, that while these injuries were repetitive there was still one day, one incident, that uniquely pushed your ability to work to an inability to work status.
Another difference is that nurses often cannot return to a light duty position. There is no job, for example, that says the nurse will lift only patients who weigh less than 50 pounds. Nurses often cannot return to a desk job. Their job is to treat patients. If they can’t physically handle their patients, then they need to seek a new career.
Nursing is also unique because of the human component. Even if a nurse can get help moving or lifting a patient, nurses need to be healthy. If they’re not completely focused, they may give a patient the wrong medication, may fail to take a necessary medical test, or may not make the right decision to call for a doctor when needed.
Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants should understand that filing workers’ compensation complaints in Virginia is perfectly legitimate. Joe Miller has represented numerous nurses and CNA’s and obtained thousands of dollars in compensation for them. In our experience, the larger healthcare organizations are not pinching pennies as much as other industries. Why? Because they are making a tremendous amount of money. And so oftentimes, the settlements for nurses and other healthcare workers can be higher than in other industries such as construction.
You should not worry about being fired or reprimanded for filing a legitimate claim if you are unable to work. That would be illegal. The best course of action is to speak with an attorney who knows workers compensation in either Virginia or North Carolina to fully understand your rights and to assert them if you are hurt. If you are a health care provider suffering from a work-related illness or you are in physical pain, please call Joe Miller at (888) 694-1671 or fill out my online contact form. You may be entitled to a significant recovery.
Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Having an understanding of the common ways workplace accidents can happen can help, but putting procedures and safety measures in place can help to prevent them. Still, even with good planning, many workplace accidents do occur. Workers are not required to prove a workplace accident was the employer’s fault in order to have a valid workers compensation claim. They need to essentially prove that they were an employee when the accident occurred, that an accident occurred during work or that an occupational illness happened due to work, and that the injuries were caused by the accident or occupational exposure that was unique to that occupation.
Joe Miller has fought for thousands of injured workers. He understands why accidents occur and what injuries result from each type of accident. He works with medical professionals to prove the injuries occurred, to show when the worker can, if possible, really return to work, what medical restrictions may be required, when workers will have to be retrained, and when workers will never be able to work again.
Workers who suffer a workplace accident due to a fall, a vehicle accident, an electrical failure, or any type of accident can suffer a broad range of injuries. Injuries normally flow from the type of accident. Falls typically cause broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Electrical injuries can cause death, shock, burns, respiratory failure, brain injuries, and other health problems.
In addition to workplace accidents, many workers suffer occupational illnesses. Occupational illnesses will be discussed in another blog.
Joe Miller Esq. has been helping injured workers for over 25 years. He has helped thousands of North Carolina and Virginia workers get full compensation and strong settlements including past and future lost wages, medical bill payments, and permanent partial impairment. To make an appointment with attorney Joe Miller, call (888) 694-1671 or complete his contact form.
Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Healthcare workers can suffer injury almost anywhere. There are over 18 million health care workers in the US. Some of the common types and areas of healthcare work injury occur:
Areas that have bathing rooms, diagnostic units (radiology, X-Ray, MRI), and extended care locations also can cause a health care work related injury.
Some health care professionals are hurt because of one incident at work. Others are hurt due to years of helping handle patients. Whatever the exact cause, all health care workers know is that they need medical care themselves for their pain and an income while they are not working. North Carolina and Virginia lawyer Joe Miller can provide that help. He has successfully advocated for thousands of injured workers over the past 25 years. Contact attorney Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at email@example.com.
Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
It’s easy to think that most work injuries happen to men and happen in work industry that involve heavy machinery and construction. The data from the US Department of Labor actually shows that healthcare work is the leading cause of work related injuries. For 2012, there were 621,100 work- related injuries in the United States that were related to health care and social assistance. The second leading group was fire and police. The transportation industry was third and construction was fourth.
As the population ages, it is expected the numbers of health care injuries will only increase.
In addition to musculoskeletal injuries, back and spine injuries; healthcare workers are also susceptible to chemical and biological harm. Injuries and diseases can be transmitted through infections, using a needle on patients and the exchange of blood.
Why are Health Care Injuries Complicated?
Many health employers and insurance companies will contest worker’s compensation claims because often a single incident does not cause the worker to be unable to work. Often, the health care worker suffers many small injuries that continually worsen his/her health until the worker just reaches the point where he or she cannot work anymore. The insurance company will try to argue that they only have to pay for single incident accidents or that factors outside of work also contributed to the worker’s poor health condition.
It is quite common for an employer or insurance company to try to rush the worker back to work before he or she is really ready.
Joe Miller has helped thousands of injured workers get their full benefits. He has been fighting for employees for over 25 years. The insurance company will try to limit your pay and try to get you to return to work before you are ready. If you suffered an injury or illness while helping patients, you may have a significant recovery coming your way. To get answers, call Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 2:00 pm
According to the Occupation Health Safety Administration (OHSA), musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a leading cause of injury to health care workers. In 2010, there were over 27,000 cases nationwide of MSDs suffered by nursing aides, orderlies and other attendants. The rate of injury was nearly three times that of construction workers and significantly higher than workers who move freight and stock.
MSDs in healthcare workers are mainly due to patient handling, over-exertion, and just the heavy lifting involved in moving and transferring patients. Adding to the difficulty is that many patients are difficult to move because of their medical condition. Some common healthcare tasks that cause injury include moving a patient from a chair to a bed, from a bed to a toilet and from a commode to a chair. Many patients need to be moved and lifted while they are in the bed.
Typical injuries include sprains and strains. Low back injuries are also common. Many healthcare providers suffer chronic long term pain as a result of their injuries which requires extensive medical treatment and significant lost time from work.
Injuries to health care workers can be quite severe. Many healthcare workers have to live with their pain for the rest of their life. The pain can prevent them from working or limit the amount and type of work they can do. Injured medical care providers need the help of a skilled worker’s compensation lawyer. Joe Miller has the skills you need. He has been helping workers in Virginia and North Carolina for over 25 years. He has represented many healthcare workers injured by moving patients and obtained substantial recoveries for them. Please call attorney Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 to discuss your case and make an appointment. You can also complete my online form.
Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
According to the Centers for Disease Control (in an article by PT in Motion), the top category for work injuries is health care. One in five nonfatal work injuries are health care related. The main reason health care is tops in worker injury is due to physical harm caused by handling patients.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed Occupation Health Safety Network (OHSN) data to reach its finding. The OHSN statistics examined over 100 health care facilities. The CDC analysis of the data concluded that handling patient injuries; slips and falls and workplace violence due to patients were leading factors of healthcare injuries.
Nurses and nurse assistants were injured the most often. Some of the reasons nurses and nurse assistants suffered injuries were due to patients who were overweight, long work shifts, too many patients for each nurse/nurse assistant to handle and the desire to get patients on their feet as quickly as possible.
The OHSN numbers also showed that better lifting equipment could help reduce the number of healthcare provider injuries. Better safety programs could also help.
While the finding did not specifically categorize physical therapies, other research shows that physical therapy is another high category for work related injuries.
Medical care helpers have strenuous work requirements. They have to move patients who can weigh hundreds of pound multiple times a day. The lifting and moving can cause serious chronic pain. Health care workers need experienced legal counsel to fight for them. Joe Miller Esq. has that experience. He has been helping North Carolina and Virginia workers for a quarter century get the benefits they deserve and has in fact represented a number of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) and obtained substantial recoveries for them. Contact Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 to discuss your case or complete my online form.
Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Does the patient have a disability due to a brain injury? Generally, workers get paid 2/3rds of their average weekly wage for as long as they cannot work, for up to 500 weeks. In addition, workers determined to be a permanently disabled are entitled to lifetime pay. Once MMI is achieved the worker will be evaluated to determine the exact nature of the disability.
The difference between a temporary vs. permanent and total disability can thus be very substantial. It is thus imperative that the right classification be determined. It also essential that workers should not enter into any settlement agreement until they have reached MMI and the right classification is made.
Injured or ill workers need an experienced lawyer who knows the worker’s compensation laws. The proper classification of a work-related injury can mean the difference between getting and not getting large sums of money. Workers who suffered a work-related injury in North Carolina or Virginia need the help of an experienced law. Attorney Joe Miller has the experience to advocate for all your rights. To make an appointment or discuss your case, call Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or complete my online form