It is not unusual for someone to be involved in multiple injury accidents within a short timeframe. While one claim for compensation is usually overwhelming enough for the victim, two claims can be incredibly confusing. If one of your claims involves a workers’ compensation injury and the other is a civil injury, you may need to follow specific rules regarding how the two claims are related. At Maurer Law, our competent team of diligent Asheville personal injury lawyers is ready to help you ensure that you handle your injury claims correctly and that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
A recent appellate opinion highlights the unique issues that can arise when someone suffers multiple injury accidents in the same timeframe in North Carolina. The plaintiff suffered a work-related accident in June 2009 and he promptly filed a workers’ compensation claim. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving to his doctor’s office to pick up a note indicating that he was unable to work due to the pain from the work-related injury.
The plaintiff hired an attorney to represent him in seeking compensation from the driver who caused the car accident, which caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury. He later settled his personal injury claim for roughly $45,000 and received net proceeds of $16,000 after paying attorney fees, costs, and medical expenses. These proceeds were distributed without reimbursing the employer for its workers’ compensation lien and without an order from the Industrial Commission allowing distribution of the funds. The plaintiff’s attorney learned about the car accident during a mediation involving the work injury and claimed that the injuries from the car accident should have been covered under the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy because the plaintiff was driving to the doctor’s office to obtain a work release note.