In North Carolina, workers compensation law, injuries to the spine, which includes both the neck and the lower back, often cause considerable impairment. This impairment can prevent a person from going back to his or her old job. Injuries to the large joints in the body, such as the shoulder and the knee, can also prevent a person from returning to his or her previous work.
When a person is injured so badly that he or she is not able to return to the previous, pre-injury line of work, then the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act allows for a continuation of wage loss benefits. If an individual is able to return to work in spite of the injury but is unable to make as much money in the new job as he or she made prior to the injury, then the North Carolina Act also provides for up to 500 weeks of partial disability benefits. In other words, a person with a serious back or joint injury can return to work in a different job, making less money, working full time, but still draw a workers compensation check for years and years into the future.
To obtain either of these benefits following a serious injury to the back or large joint, the injured worker needs to prove that he or she has suffered a "loss of earning capacity." This can be a complicated process, and if you find yourself in this situation it would make sense to obtain a free consultation with a board-certified specialist in workers compensation law, such as Bob Bollinger of The Bollinger Law Firm.
Bob Bollinger has handled hundreds of back injury, shoulder injury and knee injury cases over the course of his 25-year career and he has dozens of court decisions under his belt where he helped people obtain these extended benefits after a serious injury. Bob Bollinger is a Board-Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law and he welcomes your calls and emails. He will be happy to answer your questions at no charge.