“You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” If you have ever watched a television police drama, you probably already know those words by heart as you have watched the suspect being arrested. “But Miranda rights are for criminal suspects,” you might think. “What does that have to do with a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina?”
The answer is, perhaps more than you might think. Most people believe that when they are injured on the job, that is what workers’ compensation is for. And in most situations, that understanding is fundamentally correct. But state law contains a potential trap for the unwary in some situations that can preclude the making of a claim.
The classic situation in this regard involves shoulder injuries that are the result of regular work activities. Strangely enough, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act actually makes such injuries ineligible for workers compensation benefits. So if you attempt to make a benefits claim and you are asked, “Did it happen in connection with your work duties?”, if you answer “Yes” then your words may indeed be held against you.
The above is but one reason why you may want to have the assistance of legal counsel when you need to make a workers’ compensation benefit claim, and helping workers with such claims is precisely what we do at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler. We know the pitfalls to avoid during the claims process so that you do not have to learn about them the hard way. Find out more about shoulder injuries, as well as more information, by having a look at our website.