Our workplaces should be safe environments in which we can confidently perform our duties without fear of injury. However, unanticipated accidents happen, and when they do, it is essential to know that you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been injured on the job, a Shelby workers’ compensation attorney can help you advance the claims process and fight for the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve.
At The Bollinger Law Firm, our experienced legal team has a proven track record of success in workers’ compensation cases. We understand the highly detailed and complex regulations governing these claims, and we know how to get results. If you experienced an injury on the job, we want to help you get the compensation and medical benefits you need to get your life back on track.
Workers’ compensation is a monetary system of government insurance that provides benefits to employees when facing injury or illness due to their job. Benefits include reimbursement for medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits issued to surviving family members. In most cases, workers’ compensation is the sole remedy for an injured employee. This means that you cannot sue your employer for negligence unless your injury was caused by intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must have been injured while performing your job duties. Your injury can be the result of a one-time accident, or it can be the result of repeated exposure to hazardous conditions. Workers’ compensation will also cover injuries that occur while you are away from your job site. This applies as long as the activity you were performing was work-related at the time. For example, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured while attending a work-related conference or traveling on business.
Many of the applicable benefits available to you under workers’ compensation will depend on the severity of your injury. However, in most cases, you will be entitled to receive medical benefits and income replacement benefits.
Medical benefits can include the cost of all necessary medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgery, and prescription drugs. You should also be reimbursed for any travel expenses you incur in the effort to receive treatment. If your injury results in a permanent disability, you may be entitled to additional benefits, such as vocational rehabilitation or fully-compensated medical equipment.
Income replacement benefits can offer financial assistance while you are out of work recovering from your injury so that you are still able to pay your bills and cover your daily expenses. These benefits are typically calculated based on a percentage of your average weekly wages. If you will be unable to ever return to work due to your injury, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.
In some cases, workers’ compensation will also cover the cost of funeral and burial expenses if your injury results in death. This is imperative for the surviving family members who are left with significant unexpected costs that have arisen in addition to the grief of losing a loved one.
Workers’ compensation will cover any injury caused by your job, regardless of who was at fault. This includes both physical and psychological injuries.
Some of the more common examples of workplace injuries covered by workers’ compensation benefits include:
These are a few unfortunate examples of the types of injuries that workers’ compensation can cover. If any of these injuries apply to your situation, it’s important to speak to an attorney to determine your eligibility for benefits.
There are, however, some limitations to workers’ compensation. Certain types of injuries are not covered.For example, if you are injured while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, you will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is because it is against the law to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs while you are working. Your employer can also require you to take a drug test if they suspect you were intoxicated or under the influence at the time of your accident.
Another example of an injury that is not covered by workers’ compensation occurs as a result of your deliberate actions done outside of your job duties. If you are injured while you are engaging in horseplay or during an altercation with another employee, you will not be eligible for benefits. This is because your injuries did not occur while performing your job duties.
Additionally, if you are injured while you are violating company policy, you may also be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you are injured while you are not wearing the required safety gear, your employer may argue that your injuries are the result of your own negligence as they offered the safety equipment and training, but you chose not to follow company policy.
If you feel like your situation doesn’t fit neatly into one of these categories and you’re not sure if you are eligible for workers’ compensation, the best thing to do is speak to an attorney. They will deeply review the details of your case and let you know if you have a valid claim.
The first step in a filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina is to notify your employer of your injury. You must do this as soon as possible after the accident or you may forfeit your right to benefits. Your employer should then file an official claim with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Once your employer has filed the claim, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will ask you for a recorded statement about your accident and will also request access to your medical records. Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster is not on your side. Their goal is to minimize the amount of money the insurance company has to pay out on your claim. As such, you should avoid giving the adjuster a recorded statement, and you should be very careful about what information you provide.
Once the insurance adjuster has collected and assessed all of the information they need, they will decide whether they believe your claim is valid. If they deny your claim, you have the right to file an appeal. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you file for and advance the appeals process. This gives you the best chance of getting the benefits you deserve. If the insurance company accepts your claim, they will begin making benefit payments given the terms of your policy.
While you could file a claim for workers’ compensation on your own, there are many benefits to hiring an attorney to help you with the process. For instance:
If you are injured and believe it’s work-related, it is important to contact a highly seasoned workers’ compensation attorney. At The Bollinger Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling all types of workers’compensation claims. We will work tirelessly to get you the benefits you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see why so many clients before you have chosen The Bollinger Law Firm as their secret weapon to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.