The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, is based in Charlotte, but takes workers' compensation cases across North Carolina.
If you were injured on the job, and doctors have told you that it is a permanent injury, do not count on your employer's workers' compensation insurer to voluntarily offer the full amount of workers' compensation benefits to which you are legally entitled. You are strongly urged to contact a knowledgeable Charlotte, North Carolina, workers' compensation lawyer to ensure your interests are protected in your permanent injury claim.
Experienced Workplace Injury Lawyers in Mecklenburg County
At The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, advocating for injured and disabled workers is what we do. We are well acquainted with the various routes, channels and methods available to compensate permanently injured employees who were injured on the job.
When claiming your rightful workers' compensation benefits after you have been hurt at work, remember this: It is in the best interests of workers' compensation insurers to offer the bottom dollar. There are critical choices to be made in electing the most lucrative workers' compensation settlement after you have suffered a permanent injury on the job.
In some circumstances, you get to choose the settlement option that pays you the most, and the difference can be measured in the tens of thousands of dollars. Having an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side will help ensure that you are fully aware of all your legal options before you settle a workers' comp permanent disability compensation claim.
Insurance companies usually need some prodding from a skilled workers' compensation lawyer before they will offer the top dollar settlement to an injured worker. As an example, one client whom we represented was originally given a disability rating that would have resulted in a $4000 payout for his permanent injury. That is what the insurance company initially offered. With our counsel and representation, the case was settled for $60,000.
Changes in Workers' Comp Laws May Affect Your Wage Loss Benefits
In the November 2010 election, the Republicans took over power in the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in over a century. One of the first bills they filed was House Bill 709, which, after some compromises, became law as of June 24, 2011. As of that date, the North Carolina Workers' Compensation law changed in many ways.
- Total disability on or after June 24, 2011: If you were hurt on the job on or after that date, and you have a permanent injury that causes long-term disability, then the 2011 changes limit the duration of your wage loss benefits to 500 weeks of benefits paid. However, after 420 weeks, you can request a hearing in front of the Industrial Commission and ask for lifetime benefits.
- Total disability before June 24, 2011: The law allowed lifetime disability benefits without a special hearing. If you were injured before June 24, 2011, your case is handled under the older law and there is no limit to the duration of your total disability benefits.
- Permanent partial disability under GS 97-30 on or after June 24, 2011: If you have a loss of earning capacity due to your on-the-job injury, then the new law extended your period of benefits to 500 weeks of total benefits. This means that you can return to work in a lower-paying job and you may be eligible to draw a partial disability work comp check for up to 500 weeks. This extension of benefits makes it easier for the injured worker to return to work at a lower-paying job. It takes away some of the financial risk of returning to work making less money, because workers' comp will make up 2/3 of the difference for as many as 500 weeks.
- Permanent partial disability before June 24, 2011: If you were injured before June 24, 2011, then you will be limited to 300 weeks of wage loss benefits for loss of earning capacity, measured from the date of the work injury.
Protect Your Rights. Contact a Skilled Workers' Comp Lawyer.
If you are unable to work as you did before as a result of your workplace injury, talk to us. We know how to evaluate your loss of earning capacity resulting from your injury and how to pursue the full workers' compensation benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our law firm to arrange a free consultation with a seasoned attorney. If you also have a Social Security Disability claim, we are ideally situated to help you make that claim as well.
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