The workers’ compensation system is a valuable asset to everyone working in Concord, NC. While some industries, like construction, are inherently more dangerous than others, the reality is that anyone can potentially sustain an injury from work. Some work injuries are acute, resulting from accidents or sudden strains while performing specific job duties. Others are acquired from repeated exposure to the same work conditions or consistently performing the same job duties.
If you are injured in any way at work in Concord, NC, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Some employees may feel hesitant to report workplace injuries to their employers, concerned they may lose their jobs or face punitive actions from their supervisors if they are unable to perform their job duties. The workers’ compensation system exists to ensure injured workers have the support they need to recover as fully as possible from their injuries. Employers are legally obligated to assist claimants with their workers’ compensation claims, providing them with the forms and other materials they need to file their claims.
Bob Bollinger and the team at Bollinger Law Firm, PC, can provide valuable legal support when you need it after a workplace accident. While the workers’ compensation system may seem straightforward, an injured employee can face significant problems in filing their claim if they do not have legal counsel. Workers’ compensation coverage is a form of insurance, and insurance companies tend to look for any and all reasons they can find to reduce or deny claims. We can guide you through your workers’ compensation claim and ensure you receive the benefits you need to recover.
If you are injured at work in North Carolina, you cannot file a civil lawsuit against your employer because every North Carolina employer must have workers’ compensation insurance. No matter how your injury occurred, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, as long as the injury occurred while you were performing job duties. Employers pay insurance premiums to maintain their workers’ compensation coverage, and their rates may increase if their employees file many claims within a relatively short time. However, employers may not retaliate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims.
You have 30 days to report your workplace injury to your supervisor in North Carolina, and your employer has 14 days from receipt of your report to file a response with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). The NCIC tracks records of workers’ compensation claims and can help resolve disputes between claimants and workers’ compensation insurance carriers.
You should seek medical care immediately after a workplace injury, even if the injury seems minor. Tell your attending medical care team that you were hurt at work, and they can provide you with a medical report that outlines your prognosis and any potential complications you might face. The next phase of your workers’ compensation claim will be providing your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier with a statement explaining your injury. It’s best to consult with a Concord workers’ compensation attorney before you provide your statement. The insurance adjuster examining your case will look for any justification they can find within your statement to reduce your benefits or deny your claim.
Workers’ compensation provides two main forms of benefits to injured workers: medical expense coverage and disability benefits when they are unable to resume their work. Generally, workers’ compensation will cover any and all medical expenses the claimant incurs to heal their injury and manage their symptoms. In severe cases, they may extend to “attendant care,” or ongoing in-home medical treatment and supervision.
When it comes to disability benefits, the amount the claimant receives and the length of time they can continue receiving benefits hinges on the severity of their injury. An injured worker will receive a disability rating or impairment rating based on the seriousness of the injury and the long-term complications it is likely to cause. Disability benefits can be disbursed in several ways:
Disability benefits are paid as two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wage, calculated from gross income earned during the 52-week period preceding their injury. In some cases, workers’ compensation insurance carriers will offer large lump sums to claimants, but it’s vital to consider such offers carefully. Accepting a “clincher” offer will likely prohibit the claimant from seeking further benefits related to the same claim. It’s best to have legal counsel on your side whenever you must interact with a workers’ compensation insurance company.
The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina generally prevent injured workers from filing civil claims against their employers after workplace injuries. However, if a third party caused your injury at work, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. A successful third-party civil suit could potentially allow you to recover damages that workers’ compensation won’t cover, including your pain and suffering and lost income not provided by disability benefits.
Ultimately, every workers’ compensation claim is unique, and it’s vital for any injured worker approaching the workers’ compensation system in Concord, NC to have support and guidance from experienced legal counsel before they accept any offers from insurance companies.
If you are struggling in the aftermath of a workplace injury, it’s best to consult a Concord workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Contact Bollinger Law Firm, PC today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we provide in Concord, NC.