8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Extended-Benefits Cases: Trends and Case Law Updates
Tracey Jones, Teague Campbell, Raleigh
The future landscape for extended benefits remains somewhat unclear as the first cases are being appealed to the Court of Appeals. This presentation analyzes the extended-benefits decisions to date and trends we are seeing so far.
10:01 COVID Death Claims: What Have We Learned These Last Two Years?
Trey Collier, The Collier Law Firm, Charlotte
Hunter Eddins-Gentel, Ricci Law Firm, Raleigh
During this session, we examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers' compensation claims in North Carolina. Attendees receive an overview of the statistics of claims filed, a breakdown of the industries that are experiencing the most claims, and data from the North Carolina Industrial Commission on acceptance/denials and litigation. The speakers also discuss the best tactics for handling COVID claims, including analysis of pursuing as occupational disease or injury by accident.
11:12 Handling the Rocket Docket: Expedited Medical Motion Strategies and Best Practices at the Industrial Commission
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Howell, North Carolina Industrial Commission, Raleigh
Deputy Commissioner Layla Santa Rosa, North Carolina Industrial Commission, Raleigh
Learn how to navigate the three routes to an expedited medical motion hearing and how to spot issues that can derail them. This session covers some of the frequent pitfalls that may arise along the way, including whether a claim is subject to 97-18(b) or (d), issues outside of medical compensation, and deviation from the expedited time frame, among others.
12:14 Lunch Break
12:44 Structured Settlements
Brent Bowers, Arcadia Settlements Group, O'Fallon, MO
Pre-reform cases, or other cases with long-term disability issues, can be extremely difficult to settle. This session discusses how structured settlements can work for both sides, what options are available for settlement structures (including use of options like CareGuard and annuities), and how to navigate this somewhat-creative settlement solution for your clients.
1:45 Work-From-Home Injuries: Compensability and Prevention
Mason Littlefield, MCG Law, Charlotte
Viral Mehta, Mehta and McConnell, Charlotte
As telecommuting has become more of a reality post-pandemic, so have the related injuries and claims. This session reviews the applicable case law that is referenced in work-from-home injuries, the prevalence with which these cases are showing up at the Industrial Commission, and the concerns of employers and carriers on prevention and best practices.
2:58 Hot Topics in Workers' Compensation Mediations*≠
Jackie Clare, Mediator, Raleigh
Tom Clare, Mediator, Raleigh
What can be done if mediation is conducted remotely and the plaintiff is unable to sign the agreement? In addressing the issues surrounding signing, this session discusses relevant advisory opinions, case law and statutory changes. Mediation attendance rules and recent changes to Industrial Commission requirements for mediators are also addressed, along with confidentiality and inadmissibility relating to what is said and done during mediation conferences.
* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
≠ Indicates portion providing NC Dispute Resolution Commission CME
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