In North Carolina, workers’ compensation laws exist to protect workers’ rights and provide monetary benefits to cover medical expenses and wage loss for persons injured on the job. There are strict eligibility rules, and the claims process can be complicated. This shouldn’t be a deterrent to getting the compensation you deserve.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Generally, workers’ compensation covers expenses related to the injury you suffered and the wages you lost while you were not able to work. There are several types of workers’ compensation claims.
- Temporary total disability (TTD)
- Temporary partial disability (TPD)
- Permanent partial disability (PPD)
- Total and permanent disability
- Medical care
- Death benefits
Depending on the type and severity of your injury, you may be eligible for additional benefits such as travel mileage reimbursement to medical appointments, vocational rehabilitation, and disfigurement compensation.
Are You Eligible to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in NC?
Regardless of whether your actions contributed to the accident that caused your injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Here are the general requirements that must be met to file a claim:
- The injury occurred while you were working or during the course of your employment,
- The injury was because of the work you were doing or arise out of your employment,
- The injury was caused by an accident or specific incident, and
- Your employer must be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
The experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys at EMP Law understand the intricacies of North Carolina employment law and determine if you have a valid claim. Under North Carolina law, you have two years to file a claim from the date of injury.
When to Hire a Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
As a general rule, if you suffered only minor injuries such as a cut requiring a few stitches or a sprained wrist, your claim is probably not going to pose a lot of difficulties.
This is also true in the following circumstances:
- You missed little or no work because of the injury,
- Your employer admits the injury happened at work, and
- You don’t have a pre-existing injury that could complicate the severity of what occurred.
Even in these seemingly simple circumstances, you may want to consider consulting with a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney to fully understand your rights.
Here are some situations where hiring a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer is important to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to:
Employer Denies the Injury Occurred in the Workplace
Charlotte workers’ comp lawyers can assist in establishing a clear link between your injury and the workplace through an independent investigation of the accident. It is necessary to establish this link to be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
You Have a Relevant Pre-Existing Medical Condition
Insurance companies will use any excuse not to pay you. If you have a known underlying health condition, the insurance company may try to claim your pre-existing condition is responsible for or contributed to your current injury or ailment. A pre-existing condition does not disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Benefits Are Denied or Delayed
You do not have to take no for an answer. A Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can help navigate the appeals process and assist in gathering the necessary information to prove that you have a valid claim and are deserving of benefits.
You Might Have a Claim Against a Third Party
One of the reasons workers’ compensation exists is to reduce litigation against employers. But there are circumstances that require litigation for adequate results. This is especially true if a third party (not your employer) was liable for your injuries. For example, if you were injured because of a defective piece of equipment used at work, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Awarded Benefits Do Not Cover Your Expenses and Lost Wages
The way benefits are calculated can be complicated. Experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers can help you determine what your claim is actually worth. Do not accept less than what you deserve. The team at EMP Law is more than happy to negotiate on your behalf and pursue other legal remedies if necessary.
You Cannot Work for an Extended Period of Time
Not all injuries get better with time. If you have a permanent or long-term injury, you are likely to have extensive medical expenses and lost wages. Securing reasonable long-term benefits can be a complicated process of providing expert opinions and medical documentation.
Disagreement Regarding Your Ability to Return to Work
To reduce or suspend your benefits, your employer or their insurance company may assert that you can return to work with modified duties. In some cases, this may be true, but if the severity of your injury makes this request unreasonable, you should have your circumstances reviewed by a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer who can provide evidence of the restrictions involved with your medical condition.
Facing Retaliation for Filing a Claim
You have the right to file a workers’ comp claim for injuries sustained on the job. Retaliation is rarely obvious without an understanding of the situation. Employer behaviors such as demotions, reduction of hours, harassment, or even termination of employment, may be illegal. You have a right to fair treatment in the workplace.
Your Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Generally, all North Carolina businesses with three or more employees must have workers’ comp insurance. There are some exceptions to this rule. An employer who fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance will face fines and potential penalties and can still be held liable for the injuries. If your employer fails to provide coverage, you should seek legal help to ensure you receive adequate compensation.
Benefits of Hiring a Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Whether you choose to seek legal counsel for your workers’ compensation claim is up to you. Keep in mind that the process can be highly complex, especially for severe injuries or if dealing with difficult employers.
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Charlotte NC can offer reassurance that you are getting the compensation you deserve and allow you to focus on healing. If you have already filed a claim and you have concerns about the benefits you are being offered, consider letting an experienced legal professional provide advice and assistance. Workers’ compensation law is an area of focus for the experienced team at EMP Law. Contact us online or call (336) 724-2828 to schedule a free case consultation.
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