Top 3 Embarrassing Workers’ Comp Questions
At Ricci Law Firm, we work hard to establish a close relationship with our clients. We remind them of our duty of confidentiality and commitment to protecting their rights. Even so, some clients hesitate to bring up sensitive issues. Here are our top three questions some clients may be too embarrassed to ask:
Can I get workers’ compensation benefits if I was drunk or high?
Many workers experiencing a work-related injury fear they will not be able to collect workers’ compensation if, at the time of injury, they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. True, a workers’ compensation claim is barred when the employee’s injury or death was closely connected to the intoxication, or, in legal terms, was “proximately caused by intoxication.” This connection is often very hard to prove, though. It usually requires expert evidence not available to the employer.
Also, even if the employer can prove a connection between the intoxication and the accident, if the employer supplied the intoxicant or a doctor prescribed the substance, there is still a valid claim. Finally, the word “intoxication” is very narrow, defined as causing the worker to “lose normal control of his bodily or mental faculties such that he was appreciably impaired at the time of the injury.” In other words, if the worker’s attorney can prove the worker was only mildly affected by a substance, there is still a valid claim. Even a positive drug test is not enough to establish intoxication unless the test contains details about specific concentration. Do not worry about asking your attorney about intoxication; the answers may surprise you.
Can I get workers’ compensation benefits if I am undocumented?
Some clients at Ricci Law Firm are undocumented immigrants who worry about telling their lawyer the truth about their status. In North Carolina, the law is clear that all workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of their status. Even those workers who get paid under the table, in cash, or even in the form of food and lodging are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured or develop a disease due to the job. Ricci Law Firm regularly represents immigrants from countries like Mexico, Guatamala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Also, se habla Espaῆol, so please contact us regardless of your immigration status.
What if my injury affects my private parts or sex life?
Intimate relations and bathroom problems can be embarrassing to discuss with an attorney. Describing problems like erectile dysfunction (inability to get an erection), incontinence (peeing uncontrollably), or bowel problems is uncomfortable. Even though the conversation may be awkward, it is very important to let your attorney know if you experience this kind of problem. Believe us, we have seen it all and will address your symptoms professionally. In many cases, such symptoms could indicate a pinched nerve or other serious medical condition for which we can help get you treatment. In the same way it is important to be honest with your doctor, it is important to be honest with your attorney.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Ricci Law Firm want to discuss your entire workers’ compensation claim, even the embarrassing parts. Contact us and tell us everything; we may be able to help.