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Greensboro Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you have sustained any injury at work in Greensboro, NC, the workers’ compensation insurance your employer is legally required to carry can provide valuable benefits that help you recover. North Carolina state law requires almost all businesses to buy workers’ compensation insurance. Moreover, their coverage applies to all nonexempt employees. “Exempt” employees include part-time and casual workers who do not have regular schedules and independent contractors. In addition, federal employees working in the Greensboro, NC, area have workplace injury programs at the federal level that they can refer to if they are hurt at work.

Legal Representation for Greensboro, NC, Workers’ Compensation Claims

The workers’ compensation process can be a crucial lifeline for any injured worker in the Greensboro area. Unfortunately, many injured workers have trouble with claims, and some may struggle in recovery from severe workplace injuries, leaving them unable to manage their recovery efforts alone. Working with an experienced Greensboro workers’ compensation attorney is the best option for any injured worker preparing to file a claim. Not only will your Greensboro workers compensation attorney’s guidance significantly improve the chances of success with your claim, but they can also streamline the process of obtaining compensation, potentially recovering much more than you may have initially expected.

M. Reid Acree, Jr., is an experienced Greensboro workers’ compensation attorney with years of experience helping clients recover as fully as possible from workplace injuries. Attorney Acree is ready to help you file your workers’ compensation claim, address any controversies that might arise in your interactions with the insurance company, and assist you in maximizing the compensation you obtain for your workplace injury. The sooner you connect with legal counsel you can trust, the more likely you are to maximize your benefits and recover as fully as possible.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in North Carolina

If you suffer any injury at work in North Carolina, even if you caused it yourself, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. As long as you were performing your job duties when the injury occurred, you are likely eligible for a claim. However, if you were injured because you were working under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if you committed some illegal act while working that resulted in your injury, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may deny your claim. If you have any concerns about your eligibility to file for workers’ compensation benefits, it is best to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

North Carolina state law requires an injured worker to report their injury within 30 days, and the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of the injury. However, it is best to meet these requirements as soon as possible. Any delay in reporting your injury could have several negative consequences. Taking too long to report the injury gives your employer more flexibility to claim your injury occurred outside of work. Delays also cast doubt on the legitimacy of a claim, as an insurance company is likely to assume that if an injured worker did not report their injury right away, it must not be as serious as they claim.

Your medical needs should be your first priority when you sustain an injury at work. You may see any available doctor for emergency treatment if you are seriously injured. If your condition is stable following your injury, you should report it to your supervisor and ask for the materials needed to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Your employer or its insurance carrier should provide a list of approved physicians you can visit in the area for a formal medical examination. You can see any doctor in an emergency, but workers’ compensation will only cover treatment from their approved physicians, and you must see one of them for your disability rating.

Requesting workers’ compensation claim forms in good faith is a legally protected action for American employees. Therefore, your employer may not interfere with your claim, nor may they take punitive action against you for filing it. However, if you have suffered any injury at work and your employer has refused to provide workers’ compensation claim forms, fired you, or taken any other adverse punitive actions against you following your injury, you could have grounds for a retaliation lawsuit against them.

Understanding the Workers Compensation Claim Determination Process

Filing for workers’ compensation is akin to filing any insurance claim. An injured claimant has to fill out all required paperwork and submit any required paperwork for their claim to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. After the insurance company gets all the necessary materials, they will review the claim, sometimes requesting additional information from the claimant. The insurance company will use the medical report from the physician who examined the claimant to decide on the scope of benefits they are eligible to receive.

If the workers’ compensation insurance carrier believes there is any justification to deny a claim for benefits, they are likely to do so, and you could face a complex appeals process after the initial filing of your claim. Like all insurance companies, workers’ compensation insurance carriers strive to avoid paying out on claims whenever possible. If the insurance company approves your claim, you are likely to receive two forms of compensation:

  1. North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance carriers are legally required to pay for the medical treatment a covered employee requires for a workplace injury. All immediate emergency health care costs, ongoing medical expenses for severe injuries, and the cost of any necessary follow-up treatments after initial recovery are included.
  2. A claimant will also receive disability benefits if their injury interferes with their ability to work. These benefits are flexible, and the amount a claimant receives hinges on several factors.

When an injured employee cannot work until they recover from their injuries, they may qualify to receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage in disability benefits each week until they can return to work. The amount of benefits an injured worker can receive from workers’ compensation depends on the severity of their injury and whether they can continue working. For example, when an injured worker is able to continue working on light duty, they may not make as much money as they did previously. In this situation, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier can provide temporary partial disability benefits that help make up for the injured worker’s difference in income.

Commonly Reported Workplace Injuries in Greensboro, North Carolina

Some industries and workplaces are inherently more dangerous than others, but workplace injuries are possible in virtually every workplace in North Carolina. Construction, commercial transportation, manufacturing, and refinery work are just a few industries with higher-than-average workplace injury rates. However, even people working in seemingly safe workplaces like office buildings can potentially sustain life-changing injuries at work. Some of the most commonly reported workplace injuries in North Carolina include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls. Tripping and falling hazards are found throughout every workplace, and fall-related injuries are some of the most commonly cited workplace injuries that generate workers’ compensation cases in North Carolina. The injuries a fall can potentially cause usually hinge on the height and location of the fall.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. Falls, collisions, and impacts from falling objects are just a few examples of how brain injuries might happen at work. While construction workers, factory employees, and others who work in places where head injuries present safety risks wear hard hats, injuries from falling objects can potentially occur in almost any workplace.
  • Acquired illnesses. Some people must work in dangerous environments, handle toxic materials and substances, and face various other health risks due to their job duties. North Carolina law upholds that illnesses acquired from the workplace qualify as workplace injuries and are, therefore, eligible for workers’ compensation. However, the claimant must be able to prove they acquired their medical condition from work.
  • Crushing injuries and other injuries from heavy objects and dangerous equipment. Construction work, manufacturing, and many other types of work rely on various machines to keep their operations running, but much of this equipment is very dangerous when mishandled, misused, or when it malfunctions. Catastrophic injuries from equipment failures or coworker negligence could entitle the injured worker to extensive ongoing disability benefits.
  • Fatal injuries. Unfortunately, many workplace injuries are fatal for victims. Their surviving family has the right to seek death benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.

If you or a loved one suffered any kind of injury at work, it is always best to report the injury as soon as possible to your employer so you can start the workers’ compensation claim process and secure benefits as soon as possible. While you can report the injury and seek medical care on your own, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced Greensboro workers’ compensation insurance carrier as soon as possible to assist you with your claim.

Can I Sue My Employer for a Workplace Injury?

Many injured workers in North Carolina and throughout the United States wonder if they can file civil suits against the businesses they work for in response to their workplace injuries. North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws generally stop injured workers from bringing claims for damages against their employers, but this rule does have exceptions. So, if the business does not have the workers’ compensation insurance the law requires, or if the employer’s or a coworker’s negligence or intentional misconduct is the reason for the injury in question, these factors could be solid reasons for a civil personal injury suit.

In the event your workplace injury happened because of the actions of a third party outside of your work, you would be able to file a workers’ compensation claim as long as you were performing work-related duties when the injury occurred. However, since a third party is liable for the injury, you would also have the right to file a personal injury claim against them. This can enhance your overall recovery significantly.

You can rely on your workers’ compensation claim to cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost earnings. However, North Carolina’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to seek compensation for any lost income not covered by workers’ comp and compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering. If you believe you have grounds to file a personal injury claim alongside your workers’ compensation claim, you must have legal counsel you can trust with experience handling third-party personal injury claims like yours.

What to Expect From Your Greensboro Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Experiencing any workplace injury can be a painful, traumatic, and economically devastating experience for the victim and their family. Any workplace injury can potentially cause long-term medical complications for the victim and extensive economic strains for their family. When you must file a workers’ compensation claim while recovering from painful workplace injuries, you must have legal counsel you can trust for these recovery efforts.

When you select M. Reid Acree, Jr., as your attorney in a Greensboro, NC, workers’ compensation case, our team will carefully review the details of how your accident happened and the full scope of the damages it has caused you and your family. We can assist you with your initial claim filing and address any controversies that may arise during the insurance carriers’ review of your claim. Once you have received your determination of benefits, we will ensure they are suitable for your condition. If you have grounds for further legal recourse, Attorney Acree can assist you with compiling your case.

Do not assume that your workers’ compensation case will proceed without interruption or delay. Any workers’ compensation case can generate legal disputes, and most insurance carriers will take every opportunity to reduce a claim settlement or deny a claim. If you want to approach recovery from your workplace injury with confidence, a Greensboro workers’ compensation attorney is the best asset to have on your side. Contact M. Reid Acree, Jr., today and schedule a meeting with a Greensboro workers’ compensation attorney you can trust.