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Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Overview

Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Overview

It’s possible for anyone to sustain an injury at work. While some industries are more hazardous than others, virtually anyone could suffer an unexpected mishap or develop a medical condition from performing their job duties in Gastonia, NC. The workers’ compensation system of North Carolina exists to ensure those who suffer workplace injuries have the support and financial assistance they need to recover as fully as possible from these experiences. If you were recently injured at work or developed a medical condition from your work, you likely have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim.

At first glance, the workers’ compensation claim process seems straightforward to many claimants. However, it’s common for injured workers to face significant delays in securing the benefits they need after their injuries. Some claimants even experience unfair denials of their claims from difficult workers’ compensation insurance carriers. If you have recently suffered an injury at work, a Gastonia workers’ compensation lawyer can provide the legal support you need to navigate the claim process as efficiently as possible.

Why Do I Need a Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

While it may be technically possible to file your workers’ compensation claim on your own, you are far more likely to secure a swift settlement and maximize your benefits when you have reliable legal counsel on your side. Attorney Bob Bollinger and the team at Bollinger Law Firm, PC have successfully represented many injured workers in the Gastonia, NC area in workers’ compensation cases. We know how local workers’ compensation insurance carriers operate and how to maximize your benefits after a workplace injury.

Attempting to handle your workers’ compensation claim process alone while contending with the aftermath of your injury will only make an already difficult situation even more stressful and challenging. If you make mistakes on your claim forms or unintentionally downplay your injury when providing the insurance company with your statement, you could face an unfair determination of benefits and secure less than you deserve. Working with an experienced Gastonia workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to ensure you recover as much as possible through the workers’ compensation system.

How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Determined in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) enforces strict rules pertaining to workers’ compensation, and they also maintain records of workers’ compensation claims filed in the state. The NCIC requires all North Carolina employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and your employers’ insurance carrier will evaluate your claim for benefits and award benefits in proportion to your injuries. Workers’ compensation provides two types of benefits: medical expense coverage and disability benefits to cover lost income.

Generally, injured workers can expect workers’ compensation benefits to cover all of the medical care they require to heal from their injuries and manage their symptoms. Disability benefits fluctuate based on several factors, but most claimants will qualify to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages for a predetermined number of weeks. In North Carolina, disability benefits may be either temporary or permanent, awarded on a “total disability” or “partial disability” basis:

  • Claimants who qualify for temporary total disability benefits are those who are completely unable to work while they recover from their injuries.
  • Temporary partial disability benefits are suitable for claimants who can return to work but are unable to earn as much as usual due to their injury.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits may be awarded for up to 500 weeks when a claimant can return to work at a lower-paying position.
  • Permanent total disability benefits are reserved for claimants who cannot return to any kind of work due to the severity of their injury.

In most cases, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will use the claimant’s prior 52 weeks of earnings to determine their average weekly wage and assign their benefit allotment. However, the exact amount of disability benefits the claimant receives can fluctuate based on several factors.

It’s important for injured workers to remember they must report their injuries within 30 days to qualify for workers’ compensation. It’s typically best to report injuries immediately after they occur and to seek medical care as soon as possible, even if an injury seems minor. Notify your doctor that you were injured at work, and they can provide you with a medical report that outlines the full extent of your injury.

One of the most important stages of any workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina is the claimant’s statement to their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance company will evaluate the claimant’s medical record, but they will also want a statement from the employee regarding their injury. A Gastonia workers’ compensation attorney can help you prepare for your statement so you can provide compelling testimony that ensures an acceptable benefit determination.

What If I Have Damages Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Cover?

The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina prevent injured workers from filing civil claims against their employers for workplace injuries. However, if another party is responsible for causing your workplace injury, you could have grounds for a third-party claim. For example, if you were performing job duties and someone who is not part of your company injured you, you may have grounds for a civil claim against this third party. A successful civil claim can potentially yield compensation for damages that workers’ compensation won’t cover, such as your pain and suffering, property damage, and lost income not covered by disability benefits.

If you are unsure whether you have grounds for legal action outside of the workers’ compensation system, it’s vital to speak with a Gastonia workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible about your case. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the more likely you will be to not only succeed with your workers’ compensation claim but also maximize your recovery through all available legal channels.

Attorney Bob Bollinger and the team at Bollinger Law Firm, PC have extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of workers’ compensation cases in the Gastonia, NC area. We understand the stress and uncertainty that a workplace injury can cause for you and your family and that navigating the workers’ compensation claim system is often challenging. Our goal is to help you maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible and secure the benefits you need to recover. If you are ready to file your workers’ compensation claim with confidence, contact the Bollinger Law Firm, PC today to arrange a consultation with an experienced Gastonia workers’ compensation lawyer.

Workers’ Compensation

Third-Party Claims

Social Security Disability