With a combined 295 years of experience in workers’ compensation, our team can provide the resolution that is right for you.
Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage Matters

Did you know that our workers’ compensation team handles coverage matters as well? Attorney John Tomei spearheads this effort with the full support of our Insurance Coverage Services team, bringing a wealth of institutional knowledge to the coverage disputes and considerations unique to workers’ compensation policies. Here are some of the issues we see on a regular basis:

  • Policy Cancellation Issues
  • Proof of Coverage Issues
  • Disputes Between Carriers Over Cumulative Injuries
  • Multi-Jurisdictional Coverage Considerations
  • Defense of Bad Faith Claims
  • Independent Contractors v. Employees

We represent private and public sector employers, government entities, insurance carriers and third-party administrators in all aspects of a workers’ compensation claim. Our goal is to provide practical and proactive legal advice; diligently manage accepted claims to reduce liability; employ results-oriented negotiation skills to promptly resolve contested cases, minimize defense costs and achieve finality; and, in those cases which cannot be resolved by compromise settlement, aggressively and effectively defend our clients before the Industrial Commission and in our appellate courts.

We believe in being responsive and providing guidance as a trusted advisor. Our workers’ compensation team can handle any issue that may arise in the workers’ compensation realm and always seek the best resolution for our clients, whether that requires litigation or a quick resolution. We offer a wide variety of continuing education courses and are regularly asked to present for industry events, membership organizations and law schools.

Teague Campbell attorneys have assisted in negotiating and drafting legislative changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act and bring that depth of knowledge to each client and every claim. We have been involved in over 180 workers’ compensation decisions before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court and are the only North Carolina firm in the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are also consistently recognized by their peers in North Carolina Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America©, with two current and one former partner receiving Lawyer of the Year designation.

Clients trust our unmatched experience – a combined total of 295 years to be exact.

Matters referenced are for illustrative purposes only. They do not represent the firm’s entire record and past successes are not a guarantee of any future result or outcome.
  • Successfully defended case at the North Carolina Supreme Court, with the Court ultimately finding that the plaintiff’s fall off of the roof of a building owned by the defendant auto dealership did not arise out of or in the course of the plaintiff’s employment with the auto dealership.
  • Successfully defended Moore County from nine alleged occupational disease “sick building” cases. The Court of Appeals affirmed the finding from the Full Commission at the plaintiffs failed to prove not only exposure, but any compensable consequences as a result of the alleged exposure.
  • Successfully argued that the filing of a Form 60 does not create a presumption of disability. This was a case of first impression following the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 1993 and 1994 establishing direct pay of indemnity benefits and is the leading case establishing the distinction between a Form 21 agreement and a Form 60.
  • Successfully argued to the North Carolina Supreme Court that a defendant carrier should be fully reimbursed for the workers’ compensation lien pursuant to G. S. 97-10.2. The case established that since the third-party judgment exceeded the amount of the workers compensation lien, the workers compensation carrier was entitled to a full recovery.
  • Successfully argued to the North Carolina Supreme Court that the defendants rebutted any type of presumption of disability pursuant to a Form 21 agreement when the plaintiff is released to full duty employment.
  • Successfully argued to the North Carolina Supreme Court that the defendants had demonstrated that plaintiff was no longer disabled and not entitled to ongoing TTD benefits despite having permanent work restrictions given that he was capable of returning to work in some capacity.
  • The leading case in North Carolina establishing the guidelines required for a plaintiff to establish disability pursuant to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
  • Leading case establishing criteria for carrier’s responsibility for housing for a catastrophically injured plaintiff.
  • Court of Appeals’ decision establishing that the Industrial Commission should look to a plaintiff’s profit and loss statement when calculating an average weekly wage for a sole proprietor.
  • Leading case in North Carolina establishing the burden of proof for a plaintiff to prove disability in a workers’ compensation claim. Namely, that the plaintiff was incapable after his injury of earning the same wages earned before his injury in the same employment, that plaintiff was incapable after his injury of earning the same wages  earned before his injury or any other employment, and that this individual’s incapacity to earn wages was caused by the work-related injury. The plaintiff has the burden of proving both the existence of his disability and the degree of disability.
  • Successfully defended a case establishing apportionment of a plaintiffs total disability based upon only a portion (55%) of the claimant’s total incapacity for work being causally related to the compensable occupational disease, thereby reducing the plaintiff’s indemnity benefits by 45%.

NCIC Update July 2023

Tracey Jones

Philip A. Baddour was confirmed by the General Assembly to serve a second term as a commissioner. The 28th Annual North Carolina Industrial Commission Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference will be held October 4 through 6, 2023 at the Raleigh Convention…

Read more
Material on this site should not be considered legal advice. Using this site does not constitute an attorney/client relationship.
Helpful Links

N.C. Industrial Commission

NCIC Forms

NCIC Electronic Document Filing Portal

National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network

Teague Campbell prepared a chapter in “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”, 2017 edition, analyzing the trends and developments in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law. The co-editors-in-chief are Thomas A. Robinson of LexisNexis and the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN). This is an essential tool for attorneys, risk managers, and insurance professionals. It serves as a reference guide to issues and cases as well as a 50 state survey of trends and developments. Purchase a copy here.

Key Definitions

Injury by Accident

An interruption of the regular work routine and the introduction of unusual circumstances,such as a slip, trip, fall or other unusual activity likely to result in unexpected consequences.

Specific Traumatic Incident (STI)

Trauma not occurring gradually, but rather as the result of an event during a cognizable time period, causing a back injury or hernia.

Occupational Disease

A condition is a compensable occupational disease if the conditions of the employment were a significant contributing factor to its development and the employee was exposed to an increased risk of contracting it, as opposed to merely aggravating it.

Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

The employee’s average pre-injury earnings in the employment of injury. It is typically calculated on the 52 weeks of earnings priorto the date of the injury. Benefits are paid at 2/3 of the employee’s AWW.

Suitable Employment (Post MMI)

A job the employee is capable of performing while considering physical limitations, education, experience and vocational skills and is located within a 50 mile radius of employee’s residence. (For claims filed on or after June 24, 2011.)

Return to Work

For claims arising prior to June 24, 2011, any job offered to an employee has to be suitable (cannot be make work), regardless of whether employee has reached MMI.

Maximum Compensation Rates

Maximum Weekly Compensation Rates from 1982-2018

2009: $816
2010: $834
2011: $836
2012: $862
2013: $884
2014: $904
2015: $920
2016: $944
2017: $978
2018: $992

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

PPD is payable under NCGS § 97-31 based on application of the percentage assigned by the physician to the following schedule:

Back: 300 weeks
Arm: 240 weeks
Hand: 200 weeks
Thumb: 75 weeks
Index Finger: 45 weeks
Middle Finger: 40 weeks
Ring Finger: 25 weeks
Little Finger: 20 weeks
Eye: 120 weeks
Leg: 200 weeks
Foot: 144 weeks
Great Toe: 35 weeks
Other Toes: 10 weeks
Hearing Loss (1 ear): 70 weeks
Hearing Loss (both ears): 150 weeks