It is common for accidents to happen while at work. Work-related accidents may lead to a few bruises, back injury, broken bone, dislocations, and even tunnel syndrome caused by many years of typing. Remember, these are just but a few examples of injuries, and if the injuries are too serious, it will not only create financial strain but may affect the rest of your life. In other words, you may lose (momentary or permanently) your ability to work or generate income.
If you are injured while at work, you may be liable to receive workers’ compensation, as such, you will need the services of a highly-skilled Morrisville workers’ compensation lawyer to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, more especially if you are not familiar with this aspect of the law. However, it is important to note that workers’ compensation regulations are different in all states across the United States. This is the main reason you should seek the services of a Morrisville personal injury lawyer.
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system that is designed to compensate workers injured while on a job or while working. It covers medical bills, lost wages, and any other related expenses. All businesses in Morrisville, North Carolina, are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees, who are injured while at work.
The insurance covers the following:
- Temporary disability benefit
- Vocational rehabilitation expenses
- Medical prescription expenses
- Transportation expenses to medical facilities
- Medical expenses
If You’re Injured at Work What Should You Do?
Anytime you are injured while working, it is paramount to follow due process; otherwise, you won’t be awarded the compensation you rightfully deserve. Also, remember that the insurance company holding this policy will try as much as possible to reduce the compensation amount. Therefore, it is wise never to leave anything to chance. Be very careful with the steps you take after being injured.
Report Your Injuries to the Employer Immediately
Often, employers deny the knowledge of an injury, if they are not reported immediately. Inform your employers through official communication channels, which can be used as a reference like an email.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Your health is very important, and seeking immediate medical attention is the wisest move one can make. While at the doctor, inform the physician that it is a work-related injury. Make sure the physical has noted this down while conducting checkups. If you are required to make recurrent visits to the physician, it is important to keep all records. Also, if the injuries are visible, take photos.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer In North Carolina
The last step is contacting a Morrisville workers’ compensation lawyer and allowing them to take charge. The skilled attorneys at Harman Law will help you navigate the process of filing and claim and work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Which Workplace Accident Related Injuries Are the Most Common?
There are many types or kinds of injuries a worker can sustain while at work. However, it all depends on the kind of work an employee is doing. For example, construction-related injuries revolve around falling objects, falling, electrocution, and equipment malfunctions. Below are common injuries:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Falling objects
- Muscle strains
- Slip and fall
- Walking into objects
- Loud music exposure
- Toxic fumes inhalation
- Machine related accidents
- Accident while traveling
Why Should You Hire a Morrisville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Theoretically, workers’ compensation is simply an administrative issue, which should be straightforward. As such, one may think that they do not need the services of an attorney. However, this is not how things are. Many people forget that insurance companies are businesses like any other, and as such, they will work on minimizing expenses and maximizing profit. For this reason, insurance companies often make this process difficult and complicated. Therefore, you will need the services of an attorney when:
- When Your claim is denied
- When you are a beneficiary of other governmental benefits
- When you cannot access medical treatment due to delays
- When you are permanently disabled, and the rating is not clear
- When you have pre-existing conditions involving the same injured part
An experienced and highly skilled Morrisville workers’ compensation attorney fully understands the law and can handle all cases no-matter how unique they are. With many years of experience of representing people with similar cases, a lawyer will ensure you get what you deserve, protect your rights, as well as give you the much-needed peace while healing your injuries.
How Much Will It Cost You to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Generally, not all cases are the same. As such, the cost is going to be based on the case complexity and time taken to settle it. The magistrate must approve the lawyer’s fee before receiving their cut, which often ranges between 10% to 20% of the total amount received in compensation. Any case that is settled without litigation or a hearing will warrant a lower fee.
The good news is that after the initial consultation, an attorney will give you a breakdown of the fees. During this time, you can negotiate as the amount will work for both of you.
What To Do if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
When your claim is denied, it is wise to know the reasons. Below are possible reasons why a claim can be denied:
- Employer dispute
- Claim not filed in time
- The injuries not reported immediately
- Insufficient evidence
- Injuries that are not compensable
- The injuries suffered did not warrant medical treatment to recover
Remember, these are just but a few reasons why an insurance company may deny you compensation. If not satisfied, you may appeal the decision, and in fact, the denial letter should include this. Generally, an employee is given 30 days to appeal the decision. However, the best way to resolve this matter is by meeting with your employer and working things out. The process of appealing is complicated, and there must be a hearing before a magistrate.
What are the Responsibilities of the Employee in Filing for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Any employer with more than three employees is required by the North Carolina law to have workers’ compensation insurance. Although this is the case, employees also have a responsibility to obey all set rules for them to receive compensation. Examples of the set rules include following all safety measures in place, wearing protective gear, reporting all accidents within thirty days, employees should accept reasonable medical treatment, prove that the accident did not occur due to their own negligence, and so on.
Can an Employee Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is quite normal for an employee to be worried when facing off with the employer. However, there is nothing to be worried about because the law cautions employers about discriminating against employees who file for workers’ compensation. Clearly, employers are not happy when there are a lot of claims because it may increase their insurance rates. However, do not worry about this because the law protects all employees against demotion or sacking simply because of filing a claim.
Does a Workers’ Compensation Claim Have a Statute of Limitations in Morrisville, NC?
In North Carolina, Workers’ Comp has a statute of limitations, which is one year from the day before receiving official medical treatment. The alternative is a statute of limitations of 2 years of last payment of weekly benefits (if you believe you should receive them and the insurance company denied the request). Remember, you should report any work-related accidents within 30 days, and also, the insurance company must be notified.
Are Independent Contractors Eligible to File for Workers’ Comp?
According to North Carolina law, independent contractors are not eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. That is because, legally, an independent contractor is both an employee and an employer. Nonetheless, there are few clauses of the law that offers some lifeline to independent contractors, which makes them eligible to receive some compensation.
For anyone to qualify for workers’ comp, there must be an employer-employee relationship. The Court of law will determine this by looking at few factors like length of time working, mode of payment, the party that dictates working hours, the work contracted, the right to hire or fire employees, and so on.
A good example is a case where a Court of Appeal listened to a case and had to decide if a cab driver contracted by a company qualified for the benefit. The first thing the Court did was to formulate a ‘right to control’ test. They investigated whether the cab company had the power to direct the cab driver. It was found that the company had the power to tell the driver when to arrive at work, they also determined the working hours, shift durations, and more.
It was found that if a driver did not obey these directives, they were fired or their contracts terminated. As such, the Court established that the company has control over the employee and his working environment, which made him eligible for a workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a Morrisville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
The law surrounding workers’ compensation in North Carolina is vast, and if you happen to get injured while at your job, trust a skilled attorney to handle the case for you. Remember, the insurance company will work hard to reduce the amount of compensation and even look for other loopholes to exploit, aiming to reject a claim.
Do not allow yourself to pass through all the hassle that comes with negotiating with an insurance company. Contact Harman Law today and allow our Morrisville personal injury firm to handle your claim. With us, we will work hard to ensure your rights are protected, and you have received the compensation amount you rightfully deserve.