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An unfortunate reality is that North Carolina workers and employees are injured and killed on the job every day. In some cases those injury and death claims are accepted by the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier as “compensable,” or “payable” under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”). In many cases, however, the claims are denied, regardless of whether the denial is proper. Insurance companies and self-insured employers have every reason to deny your claim and/or limit your benefit recovery. It is called MONEY. Thus, recovery of medical and wage-loss benefits can be difficult, if not seemingly impossible.
The insurance company or self-insured employer does not care if its denial of your claim is causing you harm such as having no place to live, not being able to afford food and not being able to get medical care for your work-related condition. Unfortunately the law surrounding workers’ compensation claims is complex and it has very specific procedural and time deadlines, which if you do not meet could bar your claim. Statistics from the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the North Carolina Agency overseeing workers’ compensation claims, show that only 5% of injured workers are represented by attorneys in their workers’ compensation claims. That means that 95% of you are going along unrepresented and surely the insurance carrier and employer have the upper hand.
You need to level the playing field and hire an attorney whose goal is to look out only for the rights of injured workers. You need to make sure that that attorney is an expert in the area of workers’ compensation law and that that attorney is respected throughout North Carolina based on his knowledge, his integrity and his professionalism. For that skilled and knowledgeable representation regarding workers’ compensation claims, contact Salisbury, NC lawyer M. Reid Acree, Jr., by calling us at (704) 633-0860 or by emailing us at [email protected].
One of approximately 150 North Carolina State Bar “board-certified workers’ compensation specialists” in North Carolina, Mr. Acree has the legal experience and resources to assist you in getting the money and benefits that you need and deserve.
Workers’ compensation laws cover job-related injuries that are caused by accidents (such as slips, trips, falls, and lifting incidents) as well as injuries caused by repetitive use over a long period of time, like carpel tunnel syndrome or rotator cuff tears. Workers’ compensation may also cover illnesses and diseases that are caused or aggravated by exposure to harmful chemicals or substances found in the workplace such as asbestosis, silicosis, cancers (including mesothelioma) and numerous lung conditions.
A seasoned attorney, M. Reid Acree, Jr., has handled thousands of injury claims as well as occupational disease claims for asbestosis, asbestos-related cancer and mesothelioma. He understands that although financial compensation cannot eliminate these horrific illnesses and diseases, workers’ compensation benefits can help ease the associated financial burden, including medical care, medical bills, lost income, and even financial payments for loved ones who have cared for the injured worker (called “attendant care” benefits).
Workers’ compensation begins covering an employee on the first day of work and continues throughout the employment period. It can even continue long after the employment has ended if exposure to harmful chemicals or substances that were in the workplace later cause a disease like cancer and asbestosis.
If you have been hurt at work and you are seeking to claim workers’ compensation benefits, you should do so quickly. Any delay on your part can lead to potential problems in receiving benefits. If you are injured, you should tell your employer:
Your employer must complete a report of that injury (IC Form 19) regardless of whether the claim resulting from that injury is later accepted or denied. However, the employer has no obligation to actually file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission on your behalf and most likely will not do so for you. Many people happen to believe (erroneously) that their claim has been filed just because the employer completed its own first report of injury.
It is important to note that there are many details to filing a claim and it can be difficult to do so properly. Things to consider include:
As you can see, the laws surrounding workers’ compensation are complicated. If you have been injured at work or have been denied benefits, contacting a lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation is the best way to ensure that your rights will be protected.
Salisbury, NC workers’ compensation lawyer M. Reid Acree, Jr. is available to address your questions and discuss your concerns, or simply point you in the right direction. Not all workers’ need attorneys and it costs you nothing to talk with Mr. Acree about your work related injury or disease. Please contact us today by calling (704) 633-0860 or by emailing [email protected]. You may also contact us online about your case by filling out our online form.
We represent clients statewide, as well as in South Carolina, for injuries and occupational diseases like cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. With the advent of emails, PDF documents, and faxes, we have no problem representing workers as far west in North Carolina as the western mountains, as far east as the coastal areas like Wilmington and Jacksonville or as far away as the entire state of South Carolina.