At The Bollinger Law Firm, helping injured people obtain the benefits they deserve is what we do. To discuss legal and financial aspects of your workplace injury with an experienced, dedicated and determined workers’ compensation attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, contact The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C., and ask to speak to attorney Bob Bollinger.
You Have Rights And Obligations Under Workers’ Compensation Laws
After a workplace injury, an employee is naturally concerned about pain, recovery, rehabilitation and healing. Workers’ compensation insurance (once called “workman’s comp”) is a safeguard that is intended to provide for the medical and financial needs of employees while protecting employers from excessive liability. It is your right, and it is important, to file a workers’ comp claim after an injury on the job.
A claim must be filed promptly by the injured worker. There are time limits involved — you have 30 days to give your employer written notice of the accident and your injury, and two years to file the claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. There is no need for you to feel that you are in any way betraying your employer. Providing for you after an on-the-job injury is the reason that workers’ comp exists. But before giving the insurance company a recorded statement, call Bob Bollinger for free legal advice. A lot of people lose their cases because they don’t know what’s important to tell the adjusters. The adjusters trick people into not telling the whole story, and they deny the claim after getting recorded statement. Get advice before you give statement!
A workers’ compensation claim has nothing to do with fault. Any injury that takes place within the scope of your employment may qualify you to make a claim for medical benefits, and if you are out of work long enough to miss out on pay, workers’ compensation provides for wage replacement as well. Catastrophic injuries may result in a need for “attendant care.”
Examples of incidents resulting in covered or “compensable” workplace injuries include the following:
An accident or specific traumatic incident at work which accelerates, aggravates or exacerbates a pre-existing condition is also cause for a workers’ compensation claim. The fact that you have a pre-existing condition does not mean that you cannot be covered, but many insurance adjusters mistakenly deny claims on that basis.
Clear-cut as they may be, claims for accidental injuries at the workplace are often mishandled by workers’ compensation insurers. It is common for insurance adjusters to deny claims for no good reason. Our treatment of your workers’ compensation case will depend greatly upon whether your work injury claim was accepted or denied.
Delay and denial tactics often appear to be intended to encourage the injured worker to seek coverage elsewhere, such as through group medical insurance. If your claim is denied, you can use your health insurance for treatment, but you should contact Bob Bollinger to help with the denied claim. Bob knows how to cut through the delays and get the ball rolling for you.
When injured employees in Charlotte, North Carolina, get caught in the middle between workers’ compensation insurers and group medical insurers that seek to cast responsibility on each other, Bob Bollinger is ready to intervene on their behalf. We can help you make sure the correct insurance company is paying the bills.
Our experience has given us knowledge and tools that enable us to get claims properly paid. We are well aware of the strategies they often use that can put injured workers in a bind — such as filing a “form 63, block 2 medical only” acceptance of the claim, which is not really an acceptance of the claim at all. Sometimes a letter from our attorneys resolves a dispute. When necessary, we are prepared to represent our clients in administrative hearings to ensure that claims are paid. Bob Bollinger has successfully handled hundreds of workers’ compensation claims, including side issues such as unlawful termination related to his or her work injury. Although most workers’ compensation cases settle without going to trial, Bob will go to court for you.
More than 20 years ago, the North Carolina Court of Appeals stated that:
“In contested workers’ compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity … Leaving injured employees without the representation they need to obtain the complete and total amount of their workers’ compensation award would defeat the purposes of the [Workers’ Compensation] Act. In fact, employers would be encouraged to contest liability and meanwhile make voluntary payments less than that required by the Workers’ Compensation Act.” Church v. Baxter Travenol, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991) (bold emphasis added).
On June 24, 2011, Gov. Perdue signed a bill that makes significant changes to our Workers’ Compensation Act, and these are the biggest changes in the law we have had since 1994. The court’s warning in 1991 that injured workers need competent legal counsel has just become even more important and meaningful because of the 2011 changes to the law.
Firm founder Bobby L. Bollinger Jr. is a Board-Certified Specialist in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law. A Board-Certified Specialist has been tested and vetted by the North Carolina State Bar in order to assure the public that the lawyer has a high level of competence in the specialty area of law. As the Court of Appeals said in church, an injured employee needs a “competent” attorney on a workers’ compensation case. An injured worker can be assured that a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law is indeed competent to handle the case properly. Unlike some law firms, our office does not dabble in workers’ comp law; it is the main area in which we work.
Workers’ compensation attorney Bobby L. Bollinger Jr. grew up in Newton, North Carolina, which was primarily a furniture and textiles town at the time. He enjoys handling workers’ compensation cases for injured workers, partly because he worked in “blue collar” jobs as a young man. He worked in retail stores in Newton and Hickory, in a Conover furniture factory (tailing the rip saws), in a Claremont foam rubber factory (on the “Baumer slitter” cutting carpet cushion) and for a nursery and landscaping business in Newton. Mr. Bollinger is always happy to accept workers’ compensation cases from the Catawba County towns of Newton, Conover, Hickory and Claremont.
Attorney Chad Winebarger grew up in Elkin, North Carolina, and his family still lives there. He is happy to accept workers’ compensation cases and disability cases from Surry County and the surrounding area, including Elkin, Mount Airy, Dobson, Yadkinville, Wilkesboro and Pilot Mountain.
Our newest attorney Nick Stark grew up in Colorado and before going to law school had a workers’ compensation claim against Walmart after injuring his back. Please read Nick’s profile to see how this experience motivated him to go to law school so that he could represent injured workers.
Our lawyers like to give injured workers a level playing field with the rich and powerful insurance company that is responsible for paying the workers’ compensation benefits. There is nothing we like better than taking on the big insurance companies and self-insured employers and winning a good award in court, or negotiating a good settlement, for a client who has been injured at work and still has children to feed and bills to pay.
Our clients are not lawyers, and they usually don’t know how to navigate the workers’ compensation system. Without a good lawyer, they would be at the mercy of the insurance companies, just as the Court of Appeals predicted back in 1991. Our workers’ compensation lawyers enjoy being advocates for the hardworking people of North Carolina who need our help. Our philosophy is simple: Your best interests always come first.
If you have a question about your North Carolina workers’ compensation claim, then get in touch with Bob Bollinger. Consultations are always free, and we will answer your questions on the phone or by email. There is no obligation on your part. We are happy to answer questions because we hate to see a hardworking citizen get taken advantage of by the big insurance company or employer. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a free strategy session about your claim! Bob Bollinger will even provide you with a free written evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim. Just ask him for it.
Contact us to learn about our contingency fee structure and the steps we will take to help get your workers’ comp claim paid fully and on time.