Workers’ compensation is a safety net designed to help those who suffer injuries at work. Each state upholds unique laws pertaining to workers’ compensation and employers’ requirements regarding this type of insurance coverage. The state upholds some of the country’s most detailed workers’ compensation laws. Workers should know their rights when it comes to recovering from workplace injuries, how to file workers’ compensation claims, and how an attorney can help them after they’ve been injured at work.
How to File for Workers’ Compensation
Every employer in the state must have workers’ compensation insurance under state law, even if an employer only has one employee. Independent contractors, domestic care workers, and other exempt workers cannot claim workers’ compensation if they sustain injuries unless they have contracts stipulating any such coverage. Most traditionally employed workers in the state will have access to workers’ compensation insurance through their employers.
When a workplace injury occurs, you should immediately seek medical attention and report the injury to your supervisor. They are legally required to document the incident and provide you with the materials necessary to file your workers’ compensation claim. If your employer interferes with your claim in any way, they can face severe legal penalties as well as liability for more than just the effects of your injury.
Benefits of Legal Counsel for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
You could face a very difficult medical recovery from your workplace injury, and managing your medical needs during recovery and a workers’ compensation claim at the same time can be incredibly difficult. Hiring an attorney to assist you makes your recovery efforts easier to manage and more likely to succeed.
An injured workers’ attorney can guide their client through the workers’ compensation claim process, resolve any issues they encounter with the insurance company, and address any interference the client faces from their employer. For example, if your employer fires you after a workplace injury to avoid an insurance premium increase for your claim, this could constitute grounds for a retaliation lawsuit, and you will need an attorney to assist you with this. Ultimately, you have a much better chance of success with a workers’ compensation claim and any subsequent recovery efforts you pursue with an experienced attorney representing you.
Compensation Available for a Workplace Injury
Injured workers in the state can usually expect two forms of coverage for their workplace injuries. First, their employers’ insurance carriers must pay for all the medical treatment they require to fully heal from their injuries. Workers’ compensation must address lost earning capacity as well. For some claimants, this may mean temporary ongoing disability benefits until they can return to work. Others are faced with permanent injuries that compel them to seek new job training or force them out of work entirely.
When a claimant qualifies for disability benefits, these can be awarded in various ways based on the claimant’s need. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits. You must file a claim to the insurance carrier, and they have an obligation to investigate the claim before distributing benefits. Your attorney will ensure your paperwork is completed correctly and that your claim contains all required supporting documentation.
M. Reid Acree, Jr., can help you secure the best result for your claim determination, and if you have grounds to pursue more compensation, we can also assist with these efforts. North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws may seem complex and rigid, but with an attorney’s help, you should see that they aim to help injured workers recover as wholly as possible.
Q: How Much Can I Receive in Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
A: When you qualify for ongoing disability benefits, workers’ compensation can provide up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage in weekly benefits until you reach maximum medical recovery and can return to work. You can also qualify for partial benefits if you can handle lower-paying work after your injury, but you must report your medical updates and your earnings to the insurance company to keep receiving benefits. For an accurate estimate of the total benefits that you should be able to claim, you need to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
Q: How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina?
A: Workers’ compensation benefits typically last for about two years. Most insurance companies will attempt to use lump sum settlement offers to resolve claims that would otherwise require ongoing benefits arrangements. Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine what type of settlement would best address your needs.
Q: Can I Sue My Employer for an Injury at Work?
A: State law typically prohibits you from filing a personal injury claim against your employer after being injured at work. However, they are liable for your damages if they do not have appropriate workers’ compensation coverage. You would also qualify to file a personal injury claim if they intentionally caused your injury or allowed it to happen through an egregious violation of applicable workplace safety regulations. Your attorney can advise you whether you have grounds to file a civil action in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
Q: Should I Hire an Attorney to Help Me File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A: Hiring legal counsel you can trust dramatically increases your chances of success with all the recovery efforts you pursue after a workplace injury. State law limits the amount your attorney can charge you in legal fees to a percentage of your final recovery. This ensures you can have the legal counsel you need and recover suitable compensation for your losses.
Q: How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost to Hire?
A: State law limits the amount an attorney can charge in legal fees for a workers’ compensation case. Your attorney will only take a percentage of the final settlement you receive, and you retain the remainder of your case award. Always verify an attorney’s billing policy before signing a contract for their representation.
M. Reid Acree, Jr., can provide the legal representation you need to approach the workers’ compensation claim process with confidence and peace of mind. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with an attorney you can trust.