Accidents are pretty common in workplaces, and workers may suffer minor to serious injuries as a result. Given the diversity of workplaces, workers may engage in a range of activities, including heavy lifting, climbing, and even typing. It is essential to work with a workers’ comp lawyer who understands work-related injuries following injuries in a workplace in Concord. At Harman Law, we have a team of qualified attorneys with years’ experience in workers’ compensation cases. As such, we can help you with cases involving work-related injuries that need extensive medical treatment, partial disability, permanent disability, and those involving a long duration off work.
In Concord, NC, workers injured at their workplace may well be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Since there are many laws and details surrounding workers’ compensation claims, it is essential that you contact us at Harman Law to handle your case. Our Concord personal injury lawyers have represented many clients in workers’ compensation cases and ensured they receive their deserved benefits. Particularly, we help our clients where employers or their insurance carriers dispute or deny their legitimate compensation claims. Reach out to us today to find out more about filing your workers’ comp claim and calculating the claim value through a free initial consultation.
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What is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that ensures employees are covered against work-related injuries and illnesses during the course of employment. Employers are therefore expected to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees at all times. In case of any workplace injury or illness, such employees can receive benefits such as:
- Medical benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
- Wage compensation benefits
Most importantly, workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance scheme. This means that injured employees don’t have to prove negligence, unlike in the case of torts, to be compensated.
While laws may differ across states, workers’ compensation is generally considered social insurance as it relies on a social contract between employers and employees. By acquiring workers’ compensation insurance, employers are protected from civil lawsuits from their employees who are compensated after getting injured while on the job. However, workers’ comp doesn’t come without limitations – the insurance is underwritten by the employer’s insurer, which could mean a lengthy and stressful process of seeking compensation. Involving a lawyer who is experienced in North Carolina workers’ compensation law may, therefore, guarantee a strife-free process.
What Should I do If I’m Hurt on the Job?
It is normal for employees to get caught up in thoughts whenever an accident occurs at their workplace. Whenever you get injured on the job, it is essential that you follow the following steps:
- Obtain first aid or any necessary emergency medical treatment for serious injuries as soon the accident occurs.
- Notify your supervisor or employer about the injury. Describe clearly how it occurred, preferably in writing.
- Seek professional medical attention from a medic.
- Keep a detailed account of your injuries or symptoms in the case of illness. Preferably, keep pictures and videos of your injury.
- Complete a workers’ comp claim with the help of Concord workers’ compensation lawyer at Harman Law.
- Be sure to take time off and relax as advised by your doctor for a full and speedy recovery. Attend a medical examination if need be.
Failure to notify your employer or supervisor about your injury may punch holes on your benefits eligibility. In North Carolina, employees are expected to report accident injuries to their employers in writing within 30 days of the injury. Working with a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer at Harman Law ensures that such deadlines are observed and that you follow the required guidelines while going about your claim.
What Are The Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Workplaces are certainly diverse, and various accidents can therefore occur. These accidents can lead to minor or serious injuries and can significantly affect your workers’ compensation claim. Particularly, employees in workplaces that involve heavy lifting and regular climbing may register more injuries than in conventional workplaces. Here are some of the most common workplace injuries:
- Back Injuries: These include spinal cord injuries, following falls from heights.
- Knee Injuries: Slips and falls may result in tearing of meniscuses or even rupturing of the ACL. Some knee injuries may even require surgery for the full recovery of the employee.
- Muscle Strains: Employees who engage in heavy lifting often experience strained muscles. Particularly, such employees may experience back and neck strains.
- Brain Injuries: Workers may suffer traumatic brain injuries as a result of being hit by falling objects. Such employees may, therefore, qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries: These are common injuries for employees who become commonplace at work over the years. These include employees who regularly use keyboards in their work. A common condition due to repetitive strain is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Workers in office environments are susceptible to cuts due to the wrongful use of equipment like paper trimmers.
- Hip Injuries: Falls, slips, and trips can also cause hip injuries, resulting from broken hips or strained hip muscles.
Respiratory infections: Workers who are constantly exposed to toxic fumes easily develop respiratory infections, which may further develop into cancers.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Concord?
Employees who have suffered workplace accident injuries are often faced with the dilemma of hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, especially if the injuries are not clearly work-related. While not every injured worker would need to hire a lawyer, it is advisable to contact a Concord, NC, workers’ compensation attorney at Harman Lawyer to advise you on your next steps in filing your claims.
State laws governing workers’ compensation expect that employees should settle any compensation claims with their employees through their insurers. However, some circumstances may necessitate the hiring of a Concord workers’ compensation lawyer at Harman Law. Here are some of those instances
When Your Claim is Denied
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to turn down employees’ claims for various reasons. For instance, an insurance company might claim that an employee’s injury wasn’t work-related, or that the claim was filed too late. Working with a Concord workers’ comp attorney at Harman may help you navigate such huddles since they understand the common reasons for the denial of workers’ comp claims. Your lawyer can help with the appeal of the denial by taking you through the process of filing the necessary paperwork and representing you at a court hearing.
When Your Disability Rating is at Dispute
Most workers’ comp settlements cater to permanent disability. These benefits are calculated subject to an employee’s permanent disability rating. However, most insurance companies dispute this rating and seek an independent medical examination with a doctor of their liking. In most cases, these doctors assign a much lower disability rating to justify the employee’s lower benefits. A workers’ comp attorney from Harman Law would ensure that you get a fair settlement by justifying a higher disability rating.
When You Have a Pre-existing Condition
This may easily become the cause of dispute between you and the employer’s insurer as they might claim that your injury resulted from your pre-existing condition rather than work activities. This is especially the case where repetitive stress injuries are involved. Hiring an experienced workers’ comp lawyer ensures that your claim isn’t denied on such grounds.
When You May Miss Out on Treatment
Where treatment involves surgery and expensive medication, insurance companies may be quick to deny an employee’s claim. Working with a Concord workers’ comp attorney at Harman Law can help put pressure on the insurer to approve the necessary medical treatments as expected.
When your Ability to Work Compromised
If your doctor confirms that you can’t work again, you may need an experienced workers’ comp attorney to maximize your compensation benefits such that your future is well covered.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Concord Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
When hiring a workers’ comp attorney at Harman Law, you don’t have to worry about paying any fees upfront. We offer a free initial consultation, and the service fees are on a contingency basis. This means that you only pay us a percentage of the benefits once we win your case in court. If we lose the case, you don’t pay any fees. Typically, this percentage ranges from 10-20 %, depending on the agreement and complexity of the case.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Employees and their insurance companies often look for reasons to deny an employee’s workers’ comp claim. As such, hiring a top-quality and experienced Concord workers’ comp lawyer offers you the best chance to winning your claim. At Harman Law, our team of workers’ comp attorneys have represented many clients in similar cases and helped them get their deserved benefits. With years’ experience in such cases, our lawyers offer a lifeline and are your best hope in winning your claim.
It is normal for your workers’ comp claim to be denied; your employer and their insurer are probably large corporations with deep pockets and good lawyers. It is, therefore, advisable to work with an experienced Concord workers’ comp lawyer right from the beginning of your claim process to match their forces. Our lawyers understand the North Carolina workers’ comp laws in detail and, therefore, guarantee you the best results.
Whenever your claim is denied, it is advisable to take action immediately by contacting us. At Harman Law, you can get the best representation as we match you to our top-tier and most experienced lawyers in workers’ comp cases.
What Responsibility Does The Employee Have In Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim?
As an employee, you are tasked with various responsibilities when filing a workers’ compensation claim. The most obvious one is reporting the injury to your employer or supervisor. Most states have a deadline for this and expect that it should be done in writing. Before filling out your workers’ compensation claim, it is important to hire a comp attorney at Harman Law to guide you through filing your claim.
Employees are also expected to be cooperative with their employers and the insurer. Be ready to be examined by the independent medical examiner (IME) of their choice, as is the case in most of these cases. Most states expect that your honor appointments with such doctors lest you get penalized. What’s more, be responsible throughout the claim process as most insurers will look for the slightest excuse to deny your claim.
What Responsibility Does The Employer Have In The Workers’ Compensation Process?
Employer responsibilities in the workers’ comp process can be confusing for most employees. For this reason, it is advisable to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney to guide you throughout the process. Initially, employers are expected to secure insurance for their employees from a recognized workers’ comp insurance carrier. Employers should, therefore, direct their employees to their insurance carrier whenever they file a compensation claim. Employers should also cooperate with the insurance carrier’s attorney by providing the necessary documentation, including payroll history or a copy of the employee’s file.
Employers are also tasked with welcoming an injured employee back to work once they are fully recovered and fit to resume their duties. Employers should also assist the state’s workers’ compensation board in curbing fraud. This ensures that employees don’t lie about an injury or exaggerate symptoms.
Can I Be Fired For Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is one of the responsibilities employees are tasked with whenever they get injured at work. As such, the law shields employees from being fired by their employers after filing a workers’ compensation claim. An employer who penalizes or fires their employee for filing such a claim may face serious civil or criminal charges.
Is There A Time Limit To File A Workers Comp Claim In Concord, NC?
Workers’ comp statute of limitations in NC applies in any claim process. Most employees confuse the time limit of reporting their injury to their employer and filing a workers’ comp claim. In NC, employees are expected to file a workers’ compensation claim within two years from the injury date. Hiring a worker’s compensation lawyer at Harman Law helps you observe such deadlines, increasing your chances of receiving your workers’ comp benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Most states expect that an employer’s insurance carrier should settle any workers’ compensation claims. As such, employees have to follow the due process of filling this claim with the employers’ insurance carrier. However, certain exceptions may allow you to sue your employer, including the denial of your claim by your employer or the insurance holder, instances where your disability rating is in dispute, and when you miss out on medical treatment illegitimately.
Can An Independent Contractor File A Workers’ Comp Claim?
Generally, North Carolina workers’ comp laws don’t apply to independent contractors. Employers often seek to avoid their responsibility to the workers’ compensation benefits of their employees by terming them as independent contractors. As an employee, it is therefore essential to seek the advice of an experienced Concord workers’ comp lawyer, who will righty define your employment status. Our lawyers at Harman Law also come to your aid whenever your employment status is disputed and, therefore, help significantly in winning your workers’ comp claim.
What Is My Concord Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
Injury ratings play a significant role in the calculation of North Carolina’s employee’s compensation benefits. Most employer insurance companies wok with adjusters to convince employees to accept a given benefit package or payment to settle their workers’ comp case. Without the right consideration and lawyers’ advice, however, employees can later regret accepting such payments.
In North Carolina, permanent partial disability ratings, often called injury ratings, are key to calculating the worth of your workers’ compensation claim. Disability benefits are therefore based on temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD), permanent total disability, and pain and emotional anguish. Generally, claims are calculated by multiplying the disability rating by the employee’s compensation rate and the weeks assigned to the various injuries. For instance, an employee with a 10% disability rating on their back, and a weekly compensation rate of $500, the calculation of their claim would be 10% rating x $500 x 300 weeks (duration assigned for the back), which would amount to $15,000.
Reach Out To Our Concord Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Whenever you are injured at your workplace, it is important that you follow the right procedure for higher chances of getting your deserved compensation benefits. Working with our Concord injury firm ensures that you follow the right steps when filling in your workers’ comp claim. What’s more, our attorneys help get you out of murky situations, like when your claim is denied, when your injury rating is disputed, when your employer threatens to fire you for filing a claim, and when your employment status is disputed.
Get in touch with us today at Harman Law to get a free initial consultation and a smooth process of claiming your deserved workers’ compensation benefits.