Every industry presents workplace hazards to those working in that industry, but some lines of work are inherently more dangerous than others. Factory work is particularly hazardous in many ways, and everyone working in a factory setting in the Charlotte area must acknowledge the risks they face at work every day. A Charlotte factory worker injury attorney can be an invaluable asset if you sustain any injury in your workplace.
The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, has years of experience helping clients in Charlotte with their workers’ compensation claims and other legal efforts related to their workplace injuries. When you have sustained a workplace injury in a factory, you could face a wide range of medical complications and financial issues if you are unable to work. Workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifeline, but obtaining your benefits can be more challenging than you expect.
An experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney is an invaluable resource in the aftermath of any work-related accident in a factory. Your recovery will depend on the timely filing of your workers’ compensation claim. Working closely with an attorney you can trust can help you navigate the claim determination process. You may also have grounds for additional legal actions, and your attorney is essential for success in these recovery efforts.
The attorneys at The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, have successfully helped many injured factory workers throughout the Charlotte area with difficult workers’ compensation cases. We’re ready to apply this professional experience to your case. The sooner you reach out to our team, the more time we have to build a compelling case on your behalf.
North Carolina law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance. Most employees working in North Carolina are covered by this insurance, with few exceptions. If you are unsure whether you are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, speak with them. They are required to explain your eligibility status and the coverage that could be available to you if you are injured at work.
Workers’ compensation in North Carolina functions on a “no-fault” rule, meaning that proving fault is not always necessary for a workers’ compensation case. As long as your injury occurred while you were performing your job duties, you are likely eligible to file a claim. It is even possible to have caused your own injury and still qualify for benefits. As long as you caused the injury while working in good faith, you should still be eligible to file your claim.
However, there are some situations in which an employee may exclude themselves from eligibility to file a workers’ compensation claim. These include scenarios where they:
These issues will work against them and could disqualify them from workers’ compensation benefits.
When you suffer any injury at work, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately. If you plan to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is crucial that you file the claim as soon as possible after your injury occurs. Otherwise, the insurance carrier could assume that, since you did not file your claim right away, your injury must not be as severe as you claim.
Once you report an injury to your employer, they must create an incident report to make a formal record of the incident. They will also provide you with the forms needed to file your claim. If your employer interferes with your claim-filing process in any way or refuses to provide you with your workers’ compensation claim forms, they could face serious legal penalties. It is also unlawful for an employer to fire an employee who requests to file a workers’ compensation claim in good faith.
As part of your workers’ compensation claim-filing process, you will likely be required to undergo a medical examination. You can see any available doctor if you need immediate emergency treatment but once your condition is stable, you will need to see a workers’ compensation doctor.
This physician will examine you and determine the level of disability resulting from your injury, assigning you a numerical disability rating between 1 and 100. The higher your rating, the more you can receive in disability benefits. If you disagree with the first doctor’s assessment of your condition, your Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can help you arrange for a second opinion.
Any factory is potentially dangerous in many ways. Workers must often use heavy equipment and specialized machinery to complete their job duties, some of which can easily inflict traumatic injuries when they are misused or when they unexpectedly malfunction. It is also possible for slip and fall accidents to occur, and employees could also fall from ladders, lifts, and scaffolds in their workplaces.
Depending on the type of work done in the factory, employees could face the risk of severe burns from hot surfaces and materials. They may also suffer electric shocks, crushing injuries, and other traumatic injuries from contact with dangerous equipment or machinery. Vehicle accidents are also possible, as many factories require the use of forklifts, loaders, and other specialized work vehicles.
It is important to remember that the location where your injury happened does not matter as long as you were performing work-related duties when the injury occurred. For example, if you are conducting a delivery or transporting materials to or from a factory as part of your job, you can still qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim since the injury happened while you were performing job duties.
If a workplace injury is fatal, the victim’s family is likely entitled to collect death benefits through the employer of the victim and their workers’ compensation insurance. If the death was caused by the actions of a third party, the family of the victim could also have grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim, which may enhance their total recovery.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina is similar to how you would file any other type of insurance claim. However, you may contend with your employer’s role in the process. While most employers in Charlotte uphold their obligations under state law and facilitate their injured employees’ claims, some unfortunately do not. If this happens in your situation, you need to consult a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney right away.
If your employer does uphold their responsibilities, they will provide you with the forms needed to file your claim and a list of local doctors you can see for your disability rating. Once you complete your proof-of-loss forms and the medical examination, you are ready to submit your claim to your employer’s insurance carrier.
State law requires the insurance company to investigate the claim to confirm its legitimacy before it can send a determination of benefits. The insurance company is likely to contact you and your employer for additional information while they review the claim. If the claim is approved, they will send the claimant their determination of benefits. If the claim is denied for any reason, the claimant’s attorney can help them appeal the decision.
A successful workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina can yield two types of compensation. First, the injured worker will receive full coverage for all their medical expenses resulting from their injury. This includes both immediate treatment costs and any long-term medical expenses that they are likely to incur if they suffered a severe injury.
The second form of benefits will be disability benefits, which aim to compensate the claimant for their inability to work and earn income after their accident. These benefits may be paid on a “partial” basis if the claimant can still work but cannot earn as much income due to their injury, making up some of the difference in their earnings.
It is also possible for the claimant to be awarded total disability benefits if they cannot work at all while they recover. Each weekly payment will be about two-thirds of the claimant’s usual weekly wage, and these payments may continue for up to 500 weeks. For example, if the claimant usually earns about $1,200 per week at work, they can likely expect about $800 per week in disability benefits until they are able to return to work.
If the claimant has been permanently disabled from their factory injury, they may qualify for permanent disability benefits. These are only awarded to claimants with very high disability ratings, and some insurance companies will attempt to resolve such claims with large lump-sum settlement offers. Your Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can help you secure the settlement offer that suits your interests.
You typically cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer in response to a workplace injury. While workers’ compensation insurance protects employees by providing a financial lifeline after a work-related accident, it also protects employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages.
There are exceptions to this, however, and it is also possible to have grounds for a third-party work injury claim. If your employer does not have insurance, they are liable for any damages resulting from a work-related injury. Your employer can also be held liable for your injury if:
If a third party outside your workplace caused your injury, then you would have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer, along with a third-party personal injury suit against whoever caused your injury. This could be a:
If any third party is directly responsible for your factory injury, your Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can help hold them accountable.
While fault is not always a factor in workers’ compensation cases in North Carolina, it will be a central issue in any personal injury claim. If you intend to file a personal injury claim in response to your work injury in Charlotte, you must identify the party or parties responsible for your damages and then prove that they directly caused those damages.
A successful third-party personal injury claim could potentially allow you to recover compensation for losses that workers’ compensation insurance can’t cover. For example, a successful workers’ compensation claim may yield full coverage of your medical expenses, but it will only provide compensation for a portion of your lost income. Additionally, workers’ compensation does not provide any financial award for pain and suffering.
Your Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can help you hold a third party accountable for any damages that your workers’ compensation claim cannot provide. These are likely to include:
North Carolina does not limit pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury cases, so the plaintiff has the right to claim as much as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of their experience. Your attorney may seek an amount that reflects:
Ultimately, if you have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim, along with your workers’ compensation claim, this case award can significantly enhance your total recovery from your factory accident. The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, has extensive experience with both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims, so we are fully prepared to provide the legal counsel you will need for all the recovery efforts you attempt after your accident.
It’s natural to have lots of pressing legal questions in the aftermath of a factory accident in Charlotte. You may not know what to expect in the workers’ compensation claim-filing process or be aware of any available avenues of additional legal recourse that you may pursue in this situation. When you choose an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney to help with your claim, you can approach your recovery efforts with peace and confidence.
The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, can work closely with you to help you meet all the prerequisites of your workers’ compensation claim. These include filling out your claim forms and completing a medical examination with a workers’ compensation doctor. Your attorney can be readily available to address any disputes that may be raised by your employer.
When filing your claim, your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. They can verify that the insurance carrier has handled your claim in good faith and offered a fair settlement for your damages. Once you have secured your settlement offer, your attorney can then verify that the benefits provided by the insurance company are fair and reasonable under the terms of your employer’s policy.
If you have grounds to pursue a third-party personal injury claim, you will need legal counsel that you can trust to guide you through these proceedings. You may be entitled to claim much more than you may have initially expected, and your attorney knows how to:
The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, is ready to provide comprehensive legal counsel throughout all your recovery efforts following a factory injury in Charlotte. We know that you are likely to have many important legal questions in the aftermath of your injury, and we can answer these questions and help you understand your situation more clearly during an initial consultation.
If you have any concerns about the potential cost of legal counsel for your workers’ compensation case, there is no cause for alarm when you choose The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, to represent you. We take workers’ compensation cases on contingency, which means that our client is not obligated to pay any upfront or ongoing legal fees. Instead, we only take a percentage of the final settlement that we secure on your behalf.
You have a limited time in which to file your claim, and it is vital to seek legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible after your factory work accident. If you are ready to learn what our firm can do for you in your recovery efforts, contact us today to schedule a case review with a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney.