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September 2011 Archives

Workers' Comp: 2011 Reforms — Medical Privacy of Injured Workers Is Stripped Away

This is the second piece in a series examining the 2011 amendments to the Workers' Compensation Act pushed by big business and the insurance industry and passed by the General Assembly in June. The amendments made major changes to an injured worker's right to medical privacy. Most glaringly, under the new law, the employer, the insurance adjuster, or their lawyer can pick up the phone and call the injured worker's doctor to discuss her medical care.

Workers' Comp: 2011 Reforms — Employers Seize Tighter Control of Medical Treatment

This summer the North Carolina General Assembly passed a number of fundamental changes to the Workers' Compensation Act, changes pushed by big business and the insurance industry. In a series of posts, we'll look at these changes and discuss how they affect injured workers in North Carolina. To begin, we'll examine the new laws on medical treatment, in which employers have seized even geater control over an injured worker's treatment.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Begins Work

A new national consumer protection agency has begun work on behalf of American consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established in June 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Workers' Comp: Suspending Weekly Benefits of Noncompliant Employees

Injured workers receving weekly disability benefits have a duty to cooperate with their medical care and, if they are unable to return to their pre-injury job, with vocational rehabilitation efforts. In fact, the law allows employers to suspend the benefits of injured workers who are noncompliant. What must an employer prove to suspend the benefits of an injured worker who is noncompliant with vocational rehabilitation? The Court of Appeals recently answered that question.

Workers' Comp: Is North Carolina's OSHA Protecting NC Workers?

Prompted by the 20th anniversary of the Hamlet chicken plant fire that killed 25 workers, the News & Observer published an article Sunday noting that safety inspections and citations of workplaces are at a 17-year low. These inspections are performed by North Carolina's Occupational Safety & Health Agency ('NC-OSHA'), a division of the Department of Labor. Are North Carolina workers being kept safe? Three observations below.

Workers' Comp: Return to Work — Shift Changes & Child Care

One of the primary goals of the workers' compensation system is to return the injured employee to work as quickly as possible. A quick return to work benefits both the worker, who will receive full wages instead of reduced disability benefits, and the employer, whicih gets a productive worker back and keeps its insurance premiums down. However, returning to work after a period of disability can also cause conflicts and disputes. For example, what happens if a shift change is required that conflicts with the employee's child care needs?

Martin & Jones Reviews

  • "I just wanted you to know how much my family and I appreciate the work that you (Mike Riley) and everyone at Martin & Jones have done for us over the years. The initial settlements helped Mom and Dad live comfortably during his illness and afforded him the care that he needed. Since his passing nine years ago, your continued efforts on our behalf have been nothing short of a blessing. Mom, who will be 92 in September, has many medical issues but is still very sharp mentally, and enjoys being able to live at home. I just want you and everyone at Martin & Jones to know how grateful we are."

    Fred G., whose father had mesothelioma
  • "Thank you for everything that you have done for us. We are fortunate to know you. We appreciate all of the hard work, long hours and care that was shown to us before and during the trial. Without your help and representing us, we would not be as blessed as we are now. All of you are very special to us. We know that you have the best and attorneys and staff there is."

    Hazel P.
  • "Thank you for your concern of my well-being every time I spoke with you. It always meant so much. I hear nothing but awful stories of dealing with attorneys and their offices, but I have had nothing but positive experience. You have many special ways of working with people in need of help. Words can never express the way your support has been so helpful. I pray you will continue to help others. I wish you all the best."

    Mary C
  • "Forest, once again, my family and I thank you for obtaining another settlement on behalf of my Father. It's almost uncanny that these checks seem to come at very opportune times. This one comes as we are expecting our fourth grandchild. It will provide her some sound footing towards her future college education, plus help Mom and Dad with the medical expenses. Sometimes, I think my Dad is helping you guys with this. Maybe so. Anyway, thank you again for your hard work."

    Mike G.
  • "I appreciate all you're doing and trying to do for me. I don't think I've ever talked to a nicer attorney than Mike, and his assistant (certified paralegal Marjorie Kartanson). You're real nice people. It really makes you feel better, even with all the problems I have."

    Larry A.
  • "Thank you for the work you have done for Carl and our family. We so much appreciate your sincere professionalism and kindness you showed us. I know Carl is smiling right now and the Lord has blessed us through you. May God bless you."

    Connie M. whose husband Carl worked as a brakeman for CSX Transportation and died of mesothelioma
  • "Thank you for always making me feel welcome and at ease in your office. I respect the work you do and your enthusiasm for it and am grateful for your talents."

    Tracy M.
  • "I would like to leave a testimonial thanking Steven and Allison for their care and understanding. Steven's pursuit and success in getting some compensation for our loss. A final closure of our loss of brother Mike. Thanks to Martin & Jones for looking after Mike's care since his injury in 2005. You have been there for Mike and his family for a long time. Mike passed in 2016 and you stood for the family up to the present (July 2017). Many thanks."

    Dan I.
  • "We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did."


"Thank you for your concern of my well-being every time I spoke with you. It always meant so much. I hear nothing but awful stories of dealing with attorneys and their offices, but I have had nothing but positive experience. You have many special ways of working with people in need of help. Words can never express the way your support has been so helpful. I pray you will continue to help others. I wish you all the best."

Mary C
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