Suffering injuries or illness on the job is the last thing anyone expects when they clock in for the day. Unfortunately, on-the-job accidents can happen at any time and often without warning. One minute, you’re fine and doing your job; the next, you’ve sustained severe injuries, and just like that, your world comes crashing down. When you’re involved in a tragic workplace accident, the injuries can lead to a cascade of problems. Not only can your injuries stop your career in its tracks, but they can also lead to mounting medical bills, lost wages, surgeries, and if your injuries are severe, you could be looking at a lifetime of partial temporary or total permanent disability.
Luckily, the NC Workers Compensation Act exists to reimburse injured employees for damages after workplace injuries. Typically, the compensation process for workers’ compensation is straightforward. Unfortunately, some insurance providers and employers prioritize profits over the best interests of their injured workers, leaving injured employees and their families lost in financial limbo.
At Harman Law, we understand how to fight employers and insurers that attempt to take advantage of hard-working Americans seeking workers’ comp benefits in North Carolina. Our Hopewell personal injury lawyers are diligent, dedicated, and experienced, and we will assist you in navigating the intricate process of filing workers’ compensation. If you have questions or want to understand more about the workers’ comp insurance claim process in NC, we can help – and we’re also fully prepared to represent you.
Table of Contents
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance – mandatory for employers with more than three employees – that is paid for by companies and employers to allow workers to recover wages lost and medical care costs after a workplace injury or illness. All employees in Hopewell, North Carolina, who sustain injuries on the job are entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ compensation also provides benefits to fatally injured workers and monetary compensation to the dependents of the employee who was fatally injured as a result of a workplace accident.
The workers’ compensation system was created with the idea of providing injured workers with a speedy payment of medical bills and income benefits without the necessity to prove negligence and fault. That means that injured workers still get compensated regardless of fault. Under North Carolina law, injured workers are entitled to the following workers’ comp benefits:
- Medical bills including hospital stays
- Lost wages/income
- Travel expenses incurred when visiting the doctor or medical specialist
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits (for workers who cannot resume work)
- Death benefits (paid to the victim’s dependents)
What Steps Should I Follow If I Have A Work-Related Illness Or If I Sustain Injuries On The Job?
Follow the following steps if you’ve sustained injuries on the job:
- Report your injury or injuries to your supervisor or manager and seek medical treatment. This is important because your company may have an in-house health care provider on-site, and if your employer’s instructions are to see that individual after an accident, do so. If there’s no health provider on your worksite, your employer may have instructed employees to present themselves to a designated health facility, report to that facility.
- See your doctor and make sure you mention that your injuries resulted from a work-related accident so that he or she can bill your treatment as a workers’ comp claim. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Keep a record of all your injuries, symptoms. You could also choose to take pictures of your injuries. Also, keep a copy of receipts related to your injuries, treatment, and recovery.
- Find a reputable workers’ compensation lawyer to help you file your workers’ comp claim.
- Rest and recuperate.
What Are The Top Common Workplace Accidents And Injuries?
While most companies and workplaces have come a long way regarding accident prevention and safety awareness on worksites, life-changing accidents can and do still happen. Some of the common workplace accidents we see are:
- Construction accidents
- Work-related car Accidents
- Slip/trip and fall
- Machine injuries
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
Common injuries resulting from worksite accidents include:
- Shoulder and neck injuries
- Brain injury
- Knee and back injuries
- Hearing and vision loss
- Joint pain
Why Is Hiring A Hopewell Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Important?
You might be convinced that you don’t need to hire an attorney if you got injured on the job. After all, all that’s required is for you to inform your employer and they will make sure you get your workers’ comp benefits, right? Well, don’t be so sure. Sometimes, a workers’ comp claim is anything but straightforward. An employer may deny your claim, or you may be asked to go back to work before you are ready. Under such circumstances, it is within your best interest to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney.
Our experience allows us to make sure that all the necessary forms are filed on time. We will also gather evidence and find legal options to secure the maximum amount of compensation for you. The best part of working with us is that you’ll have an experienced and dedicated lawyer advocating for you and one who won’t cost you a fortune.
How Does A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer In North Carolina Charge?
If you’re considering filing a workers’ comp claim, you might be concerned that hiring an attorney will cost you a fortune. Luckily, North Carolina’s workers’ comp system has rules to ensure you can afford an attorney. In NC, lawyers, including attorneys from Harman Law, handle workers’ comp claims on a contingency fee basis. That means that you only pay us if we win benefits for you. Besides, North Carolina state laws limit the cost of a workers’ compensation lawyer to 25% of the client’s benefits.
My Workers’ Comp Claim In North Carolina Was Denied, What’s Next?
Sadly, many workers’ comp claims in Hopewell, NC, are denied by employers and their insurance companies, leaving injured employees confused, angry, and lost. Here’s a window into common culprits behind workers’ comp claim denials in NC:
- Missing doctor’s appointments
- Exaggerating your injuries
- Posting information regarding your injuries on social media
- The insurance company is convinced your injuries are not related to your work
- You did not report the workplace injury on time
- If your employer or supervisor claims you were engaged in willful misconduct
- And many others…
If you believe that the decision to deny your claim was made in error, only by consulting a knowledgeable lawyer can you identify the exact cause of the denial and determine if you should appeal the decision.
At Harman Law, our workers’ comp attorneys have experience in representing clients whose claims were denied. We have the resources, knowledge, and passion needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your injuries were a direct result of a work-related accident and recover maximum benefits for you.
What Does an Employer Have to do During the Workers’ Comp Process?
In North Carolina, an employer’s responsibilities do not end with providing employees with workers’ compensation. The employer has other responsibilities, including:
- Cooperate with the insurer to investigate and facilitate the claim
- Write a detailed report of the injury and send it to the insurer and workers’ compensation board offices
- Responsible for worker’s return to work
- Employers are responsible for assisting the North Carolina Industrial Commission in curbing fraud
- Duty not to retaliate against employees who file workers’ comp claims
What Does an Employee Have to do During the Workers’ Comp Process?
An injured worker in Hopewell, NC, must adhere to the following responsibilities:
- Follow safety rules and other workplace policies and procedures put in place by the employer
- Report the injury to your supervisor/manager/employer as soon as possible, or within 30 days after the on-the-job accident
- Accept medical treatment and rehabilitation services provided by the employer or when ordered by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
- Be cooperative with the insurance company
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Hopewell Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
There are many deadlines involved when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim in NC. An injured worker has 30 days from the day of the injury to report the injury. If your employer has taken no action to compensate you after a workplace accident, then you have two years to complete and submit form 18 – your claim – with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This claim has to be filed via a specific form.
If you recently sustained injuries at work or suffered a work-related illness, don’t hesitate to contact our Hopewell personal injury firm as soon as possible. There are many essential time limits involved in workers’ comp cases, and our lawyers will make sure you meet all set deadlines to ensure maximum benefits.
At Harman Law, we have dealt with all types of workers’ compensation claims on behalf of injured workers, so we know that workers’ compensation claims don’t always go smoothly. The insurance company and your employer may attempt to deny your legitimate claim. We are well-versed in the nuances and complexities of North Carolina workers’ compensation laws, and we know what your case needs to maximize your benefits. Schedule your free case review with us today to discuss recoverable benefits for your on-the-job injury.