If you need an attorney to help with your workers compensation claim, The Bishop Law Firm assists injured workers with attaining workers compensation benefits in Fayetteville and surrounding areas. Call us today for a free case evaluation at (919) 615-3095 or start online now.
Depending on the circumstances of your workers’ compensation case, you may also have a personal injury case if the party that injured you was not your employer (think a car accident) while you were working. The Bishop Law Firm also has personal injury lawyers who can help with that piece of your injury claim. Workers’ comp and personal injurycompensation are very different. A notable difference is that pain & suffering is available for personal injury victims but not for workers’ compensation claims.
Who is eligible for NC Workers Compensation Benefits?
Employees who are injured while working are eligible to file a workers compensation claim. Workplace injuries can even occur when injured workers are away from their job location if they are still working (think car accident while making a delivery for your employer). Independent contractors are not eligible to receive workers compensation benefits in NC. However, simply because an employer classifies a injured worker as an independent contractor does not mean that are one.
If you sustain an workplace injury:
Immediately notify your employer about your injury verbally and in writing. Write down who you spoke to, how you told them (phone or in-person) and at what time you notified them of your injury. Unfortunately, some employers do not carry workers’ comp insurance as they are required to by the NC Workers Compensation System. They may try to tell you their employees can not have workers compensation claims because they don’t have insurance, but in NC, if you have three or more employees you are required to carry WC insurance. Additionally, your employer can be fined by the North Carolina Industrial Commission for failing to carry coverage.
Seek Medical Treatment – You should go to where your employer tells you for medical care. If you do not receive instructions from your employer, you should seek medical treatment on your own.
Follow All Medical Advice. If a doctor takes you out of work for your workplace injury, get a note and inform your employer. If you are advised to rest, do physical therapy, take medication, etc., you should comply.
Communicate with your employer. Some employers will look for reasons to fire an employee with a workers’ comp claim even though the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) offers protection from this. Also remember, that while an employer can not fire you for filing a compensation case, NC is an at-will state, which gives an employer a broad range of reasons to fire you. Be sure to keep your employer informed about your work injury status.
AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA: NC Workers’ Compensation is no-fault. A failure to keep you safe or negligence by your employer should not be discussed on social media. Remember, the goal is to attain workers compensation benefits and take care of your family.
Send a written letter or email to your employer about your injury within thirty (30) days after the accident.
Your NC Workers’ Compensation claim will either be:
Accepted – if you claim is accepted, it means that your employer (or really their insurance company adjuster) has decided to pay for your job injury claim. You will receive weekly 66 2/3% of your lost wages and your medical bills should be paid. But that does not mean that they have agreed to pay for all your medical treatment and expenses. In accepted claims, the employer has the authority to tell you were to go for medical treatment. But you can request a 2nd medical opinion.
It should also be mentioned that if your work injury is severe enough (is expected to last a year or more), you may want to consider filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits in the future. However, weekly workers comp benefits will offset Social Security Disability benefits so the appropriate time to file should be discussed with a disability attorney. The Bishop Law Firm handles disability cases in Fayetteville.
Denied – the employer’s workers compensationinsurance company is denying that you were hurt during your employment or that you are entitled to any benefits. You will have to take your work injury claim to the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) for hearing to be paid for your injury. If you have to proceed to hearing, there will be mediations and depositions to prepare for.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much are your workers compensation attorney fees? Our contingent fee law firm charges 25% of the settlement we attain for our clients. If we do not win, then we do not get paid.
When should I hire a workers comp lawyer? Many clients hire us when they get tired of dealing with the insurance adjuster. Workers Compensation insurance companies like to send injured employees to urgent care (FastMed, Concentra, i.e.) when clients really need to be seen by a specialist as soon as possible. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries (most work injuries) need specialized care. The earlier you retain counsel, the sooner you have someone on your side.
Do I get full pay if injured at work? In NC, if you are approved for workers compensation, you are paid 66 2/3% (.6667) of your average weekly wage. As of 2022, the maximum amount that could be received is $1,184.00.
Will an employee injured at work automatically receive compensation from their employer? Unfortunately, no. There is nothing automatic about NC Workers Compensation benefits. If the employer’s workers compensation insurance agrees to pay benefits, the worker will receive wage benefits and medical treatment (which is controlled by the insurance company). If the employer does not agree to pay compensation or for medical treatment, the injured workers will have to file for a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission in order to attain workers compensation benefits.
Fayetteville Workers Compensation Lawyers
Experienced Fayetteville Workers Compensation Lawyers can help you attain necessary medical treatment, recover more of your accident-related expenses, file forms with the N.C.I.C., and communicate with the insurance adjuster about your workers compensation benefits.
If you feel that you are not receiving all the medical treatment that you need to recover or if the workers compensationinsurance company has denied your claim, giving an attorney a call may be the only way to attain financial compensation.
The Bishop Law Firm represents injured workers in Fayetteville, NC and we do not get paid unless you win. There are no up front costs so give us a call today for a free case review, (919)615-3095!