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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 116757
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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I have been North Carolina State Employee for 22yrs, and I

Customer Question

I have been North Carolina State Employee for 22yrs, and I have claimed workers comp injury to my spine. I have had two workers comp surgeries done to my neck, and now I am at max. improvement and now the states says they don't have enough money to settle with me. They say the only thing they can do is pay me workers comp checks. The only amount they can settle for is $75,000, and my case is worth 2 million.
My question is, how they tell me they have only $75,000 when my case is worth so much more?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am afraid that when it comes to workers compensation claims in NC, while your permanent disability may be worth much more had it been a regular tort or personal injury case, legally the state can only pay the maximum governed by NC General Statute 97-31 which is the schedule of injuries that directs maximum payments allowed under the workers compensation law. The schedule is based on weeks of workers compensation payments at 66 2/3 of your base wage at the time of injury and your injury rating as well as the body part injured (neck is considered part of the back). See: NC GS 97-31. Without seeing all of your records in your case, based on review of the statute, it appears that the attorney you spoke to is telling you correctly I am sorry to say.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If I have 75% or more loss in my neck, then what does it mean "the injured employee shall be deemed to suffered "total industrial disability" and compensated as for total loss of use of the back (neck)? Do I just receive workers comp checks the rest of my life and pay my attorney's my 4th check from here on out, or what? That would not be right? It would be a lot less then what I was making + I did not ask for this injury??

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

At 75% or more they do consider you totally disabled and the schedule I gave you shows the payment schedule, which the state can settle with you by paying you lump sum or continue paying you weekly for the number of weeks in the payment schedule if no settlement can be reached. However, settlement cannot be more than the total number of weeks times your weekly benefit amount because the NC statute has put a cap on such awards.

Workers compensation awards are truly not fair, but they are what the statute says they are and you could not hold out for more because legally there is no more that you can receive.

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