The significance of having a job in today’s society cannot be understated. A job is not only a means to earn income but also provides structure, routine, and a sense of purpose. When an injury at work sidelines this vital part of your life, it can be devastating and leave you wondering where to turn to support yourself and your family financially. Because workplace injuries are more common than many people realize, North Carolina has laws protecting workers who are injured on the job. These workers’ compensation laws are designed to ensure that Hickory workers have the medical care and income required to return to normalcy after an injury. If you have been injured at work, connecting with a Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can be the first milestone in getting the benefits you need and deserve.
At M. Reid Acree, Jr., our workers’ compensation attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in Hickory and across North Carolina for years. Our law firm understands the legal challenges you may be facing after a workplace injury and can empathize with the financial and emotional stress it brings with it. Our goal is to help you get the medical care and income you need to return to work as soon as possible. If you are worried about how you will pay your bills or support your family after a work injury, we can help. Connect with us today to dive even deeper into how we can help you maximize workers’ compensation benefits.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation in North Carolina, your workplace injury must have arisen in the course of your employment. The injury must have occurred while performing your job duties or while doing something related to your job. If you were injured while commuting to or from work, or while performing a personal errand during your lunch break, you would not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation is intended to be a no-fault system, which means that it does not matter how your workplace injury occurred. Whether you were injured due to your own negligence, the negligence of a co-worker, or no one’s negligence at all, you should still be eligible for benefits. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. If your intoxication from drugs or alcohol caused your workplace injury, or if you intentionally injured yourself, you will not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Some common workplace injuries that could give rise to a workers’ compensation claim include:
These are just a few examples of workplace injuries that could give rise to a workers’ compensation claim. If you have experienced an injury on the job, speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Hickory who can help you understand your rights and options.
If you are eligible to be awarded workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to a number of different benefits. These benefits are intended to help you with the financial burden that can result from a workplace injury. The specific benefits available will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and your ability to return to work.
Some benefits include:
In addition to the benefits available through Hickory workers’ compensation, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against third parties who may be liable for your injuries. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you may file a lawsuit against the other driver. A workers’ compensation claim attorney can help you understand your legal options and rights that would not be available through workers’ compensation.
If you face workplace injuries, take quick action to protect your rights. Following the series of steps below can help you ensure that you are able to obtain the full workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to.
You should notify your Hickory employer of your injury as soon as possible. In some cases, you may have a short period of time to report your injury, so it is important to act quickly. Your employer should then provide you with the necessary paperwork to file a workers’ compensation claim.
You should also seek medical care as soon as possible after your injury. In many cases, your employer will have a designated doctor that you will need to see for your workers’ compensation claim. However, in some cases, you may be able to choose your own doctor. Be sure to keep all medical treatment documentation, as this will be important to support your workers’ compensation claim.
Once you have reported your injury and received the necessary paperwork, you will need to file your workers’ compensation claim officially. Your file should include all documentation of your injury, your medical treatment, and any lost wages. Once your claim is filed, the workers’ compensation insurance company will review your claim and decide whether to approve your benefits.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can navigate the appeals process and give you the best chance of success. If you have been awarded benefits, you will need to make sure that you comply with the requirements of your workers’ compensation plan. For example, you may be required to keep your doctor’s appointments and follow their treatment plan.
Once your doctor has released you, you should notify your employer that you are ready to return to work. In some cases, your employer may have a modified duty program that will allow you to return to work in a limited capacity. If you have concerns about returning to work, discuss them with your doctor and your employer.
Settling a workers’ compensation claim is a process that is unique to each case and depends on many different factors. Some of the key factors that will impact your settlement include:
The more concerning your injuries are, the greater the value of your claim. Injuries that require surgery or ongoing medical treatment will typically be worth more than less serious injuries that heal quickly and get you back to work faster. The consideration of future complications and permanent impairments will also add value to your claim.
If your injuries significantly impact your ability to work, you will likely be entitled to a larger settlement. Injuries that prevent you from working at all or that limit your ability to earn a living will typically be worth more than injuries that have a minimal impact on your work. For example, a broken foot that heals quickly and allows you to return to your job without any restrictions will be worth less than a back injury that requires surgery and prevents you from returning to work for an extended period.
The cost of your medical treatment will also be a factor in determining the value of your claim. Injuries that require expensive surgeries or ongoing medical care will typically be worth more than injuries that can be treated with less expensive methods. For example, a broken bone that requires surgery and a lengthy hospital stay will be worth more than a sprained ankle that can be treated with over-the-counter medication and a few days of rest.
With all these health and risk factors in play, it is important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side to help you navigate the claims process and get the best possible settlement for your case.
The average settlement for a workers’ compensation claim falls within the range of $2,000–$40,000, depending on how serious the injuries are and their impact on the ability to work. When it comes to workers’ compensation settlements, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The final settlement amount will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injuries, the impact on the ability to work, and the jurisdiction in which the claim is filed.
In general, settlements for workers’ compensation claims fall into two categories: lump-sum settlements and structured settlements. A Lump-sum settlement is a single payment of a specified amount, while structured settlements are paid out over time. Lump-sum settlements are typically used for claims where the injuries are not severe and the impact on the ability to work is minimal. Structured settlements are typically used for claims where the injuries are more severe and the impact on the ability to work is more significant.
When it comes to securing the best legal representation in Hickory, there are a few things you should keep in mind that will dramatically improve your chances of success. These include:
There are many different types of lawyers, and not all of them specialize in workers’ compensation law. When seeking an attorney to represent you in your workers’ compensation claim, it is important that they have direct experience to glean from in Hickory. This gives them a stronger understanding of the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system in Hickory, as well as the ability to represent you more effectively in your claim.
The workers’ compensation system can be a complex and confusing maze to navigate, even for an experienced personal injury lawyer. It is important that you find someone who has a good understanding of the workers’ compensation system in Hickory, as this will give them a much better chance of success in representing you in your claim.
When you are looking for a Hickory attorney to represent you in your workers’ compensation claim, you want to find someone who has an entire portfolio of successes in similar cases. This will immediately validate their ability to successfully represent you in your own claim, and make you feel better about receiving a favorable outcome.
This may seem obvious, but it is vital that you find an attorney you feel comfortable with. This is someone you are going to be trusting with a very important part of your life, so it is important you feel like you can communicate openly and honestly with them. Some signs that you might not feel comfortable with an attorney include feeling like you are not being listened to or feeling like your case is not a priority to them.
It is important that you understand the fee agreement before you hire an attorney. This document will outline how the attorney will be paid and what you can expect in terms of costs. You should understand this agreement before signing it, as it will protect you from any unforeseen costs down the road.
Hiring a Hickory attorney is a big decision, but it is one that can have a significant impact on the outcome of your legal claim. By following these tips, you can be sure you are hiring the best possible representation for your case.
If you have been injured at work in Hickory, you may be wondering if you need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney. If you have been injured while working and are having a difficult time obtaining the benefits you deserve, an attorney can be a big help with:
If you have been injured while completing normal work activities and are looking for an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Hickory, contact M. Reid Acree, Jr. today. We have been helping injured workers in Hickory and the surrounding areas for years, and we can help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help you.