Workers’ compensation is a valuable lifeline for anyone who sustains an injury at work. North Carolina upholds some of the strictest workers’ compensation laws in the country, compelling all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance that can help an injured employee recover from an injury on the job. Unfortunately, many injured workers in Statesville, NC are not aware of the full scope of their legal rights following workplace injuries. Many of these workers face significant challenges as they seek the workers’ compensation benefits they rightfully deserve.
If you have recently suffered an injury at work, do not be afraid of losing your job or facing other penalties by reporting the injury to your employer. You have 30 days in which to file a formal injury report to your employer if you intend to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer then has 14 days to file a response with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). The sooner you make your report, the better your chances will be of securing the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
The workers’ compensation claim process may seem straightforward at first, but a workers’ compensation claim means dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies tend to look for any justification they can find to deny claims or reduce claim payouts as much as possible. Before you give your statement to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, it’s essential to consult an experienced Statesville workers’ compensation attorney.
Bob Bollinger and the team at Bollinger Law Firm, PC have extensive experience helping injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation claim system. We can assist you in completing your forms and submitting them to the appropriate recipients. We can also help you prepare for your statement, ensuring you do not unintentionally downplay your injury and receive less benefits than you deserve. If you encounter any unexpected resistance to your claim, or if you believe you may have grounds for further legal action beyond a workers’ compensation claim, we can assist you with these concerns as well.
If you are injured at work for any reason, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Your injury does not need to be an acute result of a specific accident, however. Many workers’ compensation claims in Statesville, NC pertain to acquired injuries and medical conditions, such as repetitive stress injuries from performing the same physical tasks at work each day or acquired illnesses from consistent exposure to certain work environments and substances. If you are unsure whether you qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim, consult a Statesville workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your situation.
North Carolina law requires injured employees to file reports of their workplace injuries with their employers within 30 days. The sooner you report your injury, the faster you can begin the claim process and secure the compensation you need after an injury at work. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after your injury, even if you think the injury was minor. Notify the physician that your injury occurred at work, and they can provide you with a medical report that outlines the severity of your injury and their prognosis for future complications.
Workers’ compensation provides two types of economic relief to injured workers: coverage for their medical expenses and disability benefits while they are unable to perform their usual job duties. Generally, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for all of the medical expenses the claimant requires to fully heal their injury and manage their symptoms. Disability benefits are determined by the severity of the claimant’s injury and their disability rating:
Disability benefits are determined by calculating two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wages, using the prior 52 weeks of earnings as a reference point. However, the exact determination and the type of disability benefits that the claimant qualifies to receive can cause the final benefit determination to fluctuate significantly.
The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina typically prevent injured employees from suing their employers for workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation functions on a no-fault system in North Carolina. However, if a third party caused your workplace injury, you could have grounds for a civil claim outside the workers’ compensation system. For example, if you were making a delivery for work and were hit by a drunk driver, you would qualify for workers’ compensation since you were performing your job duties when your injury occurred. However, you would also have grounds for a civil claim against the drunk driver since they are a third party outside of your company.
A third-party claim can potentially help you recover compensation for damages that workers’ compensation can’t provide. For example, you will receive a maximum of two-thirds of your average weekly wage from disability benefits, but you could potentially secure compensation for the remaining third through your third-party claim. You could also seek compensation for pain and suffering and any property damage the third-party defendant caused.
One of the most important things to remember about a workers’ compensation claim in Statesville, NC is that your initial statement to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier has a strong bearing on the outcome of your claim. It’s vital that you prepare accordingly for this statement and say nothing to downplay your injury.
An experienced Statesville workers’ compensation lawyer can provide the guidance and support you need to approach your workers’ compensation claim with greater confidence. Contact the Bollinger Law Firm, PC today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we can offer for your workers’ compensation claim.