Workers’ compensation often gets contentious between employees and their employers or insurance carriers. It is an insurance scheme that requires employers to insure their employees against the various accident injuries that occur in workplaces. In the event of such injuries, it is therefore expected that employers should compensate their employees through their insurance carriers. Employees often go through a hard time following up their injury claims, and having a top-tier Cornelius workers’ compensation lawyer helps get through the process seamlessly.
Hiring a lawyer ensures that you take the right steps, right from reporting your injuries to your employer to filing your workers’ compensation claim. When your claim is denied by your employer or the employer’s insurance carrier, a lawyer will represent you in court and argue your case out in the best way possible. If you’ve been injured while on the clock, contact a Cornelius personal injury attorney at Harman Law so we can match you with one of our top workers’ compensation lawyers to assist you with your case.
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What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” insurance system intended to ensure that employees receive the prompt, top-quality medical attention and financial compensation for any workplace injuries and illness. Workers’ compensation ensures that employees who get hurt on the job receive benefits such as:
- Medical treatment costs, which also cover hospital stays, paid for by the employer’s insurance company.
- Temporary total disability benefits whenever the doctor requires you to take some time off work.
- Physical therapy.
- Necessary travel expenses, like those incurred when visiting your doctor or attending physical therapy sessions.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
Workers’ compensation laws vary across states. As such, it is important that you contact a lawyer who specializes in North Carolina law. At Harman Law, our attorneys are experienced and also specialize in North Carolina law, which ensures quality representation in your workers’ compensation case.
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt on the Job?
Whenever an employee gets injured while on the job, it is important that they act fast and follow some steps. Some of the things that you should if you get injured while on the clock are as follows:
- Inform your employer of your injuries.
- Visit a doctor as soon as possible and follow their instructions to the letter.
- Make and keep a written record of your injury and symptoms.
- If visible, take photos of your injury.
- File a workers’ compensation claim with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney.
- Rest and recover.
What are the Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Workplaces can be diverse, and injuries that employees suffer therefore vary. Some of these injuries may be caused by heavy lifting in some workplaces while some may involve repetitive strain. Some of the common injuries in workplaces include:
- Back and neck injuries – These may be caused by heavy lifting in the workplace.
- Burns and scalds – Employees can get burns from dry heat, while others may suffer scalds from steam or hot water.
- Fractures – Employees who fall for heights may suffer fractures. Workers who get involved in car accidents when on the clock may also suffer fractures.
- Amputations – Employees working with cutting machines may get parts such as fingers or hands amputated in workplace accidents.
- Hearing Loss – Prolonged working hours in noisy environments may lead to hearing loss among employees.
- Joint Pain – Repetitive stress on joints in the workplace may lead to conditions such as Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Slip and Fall, especially in workplaces with slippery floors.
- Construction accidents – Employees on construction sites may get hit by falling objects or even fall from heights.
- Accidents while traveling for business.
- Accidents when operating machinery or using tools.
Why Should I Hire a Cornelius Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Hiring a Cornelius workers’ compensation attorney is your best shot at winning your case, especially if your employer or their insurance company has denied your claim. Workers’ compensation lawyers at Harman Law are seasoned and understand North Carolina law regarding workers’ compensation and therefore guarantee your top-quality representation in court.
Employees should also consider hiring a Cornelius workers’ compensation lawyer whenever their disability rating is at dispute in the case of permanent disability. Our lawyers at Harman Law can help justify a higher disability rating, ensuring a fair settlement following your injury. Working with a qualified lawyer also ensures that you get the medical treatment you deserve. What’s more, your attorney will see to it that you are not forced back to work by your employer before recovering fully.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Cornelius Workers Compensation Attorney?
Generally, workers’ compensation attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will be paid a part of the employee’s award once the case is won, rather than charging the client on an hourly rate. Under North Carolina law, workers’ compensation lawyers can’t charge more than 25% of the benefits received in the settlement (excluding medical benefits). Also, the attorney fee can’t exceed 400 weeks of the employee’s disability benefits. While it rarely happens, some workers’ comp lawyers may agree to a contingency fee lower than 25%, especially for cases that involve minor injuries and whose claim can be resolved quickly.
What Should I Do if My Workers Compensation Claim is Denied?
According to Cornelius, NC, law, employees can only qualify for workers’ comp benefits if they suffer a work-related injury or an occupational illness. Employees also have a right to appeal if the employer’s insurance carrier denies their claim. Some common reasons that may lead to the denial or your workers’ comp claim in North Carolina include:
If it is clear that you intentionally hurt yourself, and that your injury was not as a result of an accident.
- If the injury was as a result of your misconduct, such as failing to don protective gear, working under the influence of drugs or controlled substances.
- If someone else hurt you deliberately for personal reasons.
- If you had a medical condition, such as a heart attack or stroke, unless it is proven that the condition resulted from the normal work activities.
Whenever your claim is denied, it is important to reach out to an experienced workers’ comp attorney. Our lawyers at Harman Law can help you file your claim and represent you in court as well.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
When filing a workers’ comp claim in North Carolina, an employee is tasked with the following responsibilities:
- Report the injury to the employer within 30 days.
- See a certified workers’ comp doctor as recommended by the employer.
Complete and file the workers’ comp claim. In North Carolina, filing the claim involves the following individual steps:
- Filling out the WC-14 form.
- Making at least three copies of the filled WC-14 form.
- Submitting the original WC-14 form to the State Board of Workers’ Comp.
- Sending a copy of the filled WC-14 form to the employer.
- Sending a copy of the filled WC-14 form to the employer’s workers’ comp insurance company.
- Retaining a copy of the filled WC-14 for your records.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers Compensation Process?
Employer responsibilities may differ among states. In North Carolina, employers have the following responsibilities in regard to the workers’ comp process:
- Completing and filing the WC-1 form with their insurer.
- Send the injured employee to a certified workers’ compensation doctor.
Can I be Fired for Claiming a Workers Comp Claim?
The simple answer is NO. Generally, employees should be worried about getting medical attention after suffering a workplace injury. In North Carolina, employers can’t fire an employee for filing a workers’ comp claim. The law expects that every employee who suffers workplace injuries should file a claim to receive compensation benefits. If you fear retaliation from your employer, it is important that you reach out to a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer at Harman Law.
Is there a Time Limit to File a Workers Comp Claim in Cornelius, North Carolina?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations that applies to workers’ compensation claims states that an employee injured in a workplace has one year from the date of injury to file a claim. Failure to observe these timelines, the claim may be termed void. Where an employee has received medical treatment paid by the employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier, they have one year to file a workers’ comp claim after the treatment. Employees who have received wage loss benefits have two years to file a workers’ comp claim. These benefits exclude paid time off or vacation time.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers Comp Claim?
North Carolina workers’ comp law provides that independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Independent contractors are considered to be self-employed, which makes them both employers and employees. Since North Carolina laws that define independent contractors are complex, it is important to contact a Cornelius workers’ comp lawyer to understand your employment status better.
Contact a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Cornelius Today
In North Carolina, employers are obligated to hold workers’ comp insurance for their employees. This insurance covers any medical bills and lost wages for employees who may get injured while at work. Before filing a workers’ comp claim, is it important to hire a Cornelius workers’ comp attorney to help you through the process. Besides representing you in court when your claim is denied, an experienced workers’ comp lawyer will help you determine your employment status, inform you of your rights in the workers’ comp claim filing process, and also help you adhere to the required timelines.
Whenever you are injured while on the clock, it is advisable to start the claim filing by hiring a qualified and experienced Cornelius workers’ comp lawyer. At Harman Law, we offer a free initial consultation as we match you to the best attorney for your workers’ comp claim needs. Call our Cornelius injury law firm today for a higher chance of winning your workers’ comp claim benefits.