Do you need a Raleigh Workers Compensation Lawyer? If so, read on for an overview of the North Carolina Workers Compensation process and how The Bishop Law Firm can help!
We enjoy protecting the rights of injured workers in North Carolina and understand how difficult attaining workers compensation benefits can be for those injured on the job. Call us today for a free case review by phone, (919) 615-3095 or start your free case review online now.
Do I qualify for NC Workers Compensation Benefits?
In NC, injured workers can receive medical compensation and wage loss benefits for non-fatal injuries and death benefits for fatal injuries. "Injury by accident" and "Occupational Disease" are both covered. As examples, Silicosis is a "occupational disease" while a fall at work in which you break your leg could be considered as an "injury by accident."
The Employment Relationship
First, you must an employee who sustained work related injuries. Independent contractors are not covered, but simply being classified by your employer as a "independent contractor" does not mean that you are one. Control is the ultimate test when it comes to determining if you are an employee.
North Carolina Workers Compensation laws apply to employers who have three or more employees engaged in employment for their company. In order for the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act to apply to a qualified injured worker, the on-the-job injury must have occurred in North Carolina. There are quite a few conditions that must be met for an employee who is injured outside of the state while still employed to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Speaking with a Raleigh NC Workers Compensation Lawyer can help you determine your eligibility.
Depending on the circumstances of your worker's compensation injury, you may also have a NC Personal Injury claim. If you have sustained a work injury that is going to result in you being out of work for a year or more, you may also have a Social Security Disability claim. Our firm handles Workers Compensation, Personal Injury and Disability cases for our clients.
Notice is Required in NC Workers Compensation Claims
The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) governs work injury claims in NC. After being hurt on the job, giving your employer notice about your workplace injury AND filing a claim (Form 18) with the NCIC, generally two things can happen: 1) Your workers' compensation claim is either accepted by your employer's workers compensation insurance company; or 2) your claim is denied.
Accepted NC Workers' Compensation Claims
If your WC claim is accepted, the insurance company has agreed that you do have a workplace injury that they will pay for, but what is covered and who do you turn to if the insurance company won't pay for something?
Medical compensation includes medical treatment and mileage reimbursement for treatment of your on the job injury. Lost Wage benefits provide monetary compensation due to your inability to earn wages because of your on the job injury. This benefit provides compensation based on the physical impairment of the injured body part as well.
You can be awarded:
- Temporary total disability compensation – Temporary total disability benefits (TTD) are the benefits owed to a NC workers’ compensation recipient when they are unable to work for a period of time that is more than 7 days. If an employee is awarded temporary total disability benefits, they will get 2/3 of their average weekly wage, not to exceed $992 per week under current law. The injured employee who is awarded TTD will also get their medical bills paid for by their employer’s insurance company. Generally, a worker getting TTD will return back to work at the discretion of their treating physician.
- Temporary partial disability compensation – Temporary partial disability benefits are for injured workers who are capable of returning to work, but not for the same wages they were working for pre-workplace injury. In this case, a worker may be entitled to 2/3 the difference between their pre and post-injury wages.
- Permanent partial disability compensation Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) are assigned to workers who sustain a permanent injury and cannot return to the same work because of the injury. An injured worker who gets PPD is assigned a disability rating by a doctor which is a percentage of injury to that body part. The amount of compensation for the loss of use of a body part is defined by statute.
- Permanent total disability compensation – the worker must show that he/she is totally and permanently disabled from any occupation and thus will receive medical benefits and his/her weekly compensation for life.
Our NC Workers Compensation lawyer can assist you in dealing with the insurance company regarding your claim. Determining your accident related medical expenses, medical bills, lost wages and average weekly wage are seldom straight forward matters.
Issues can and often do arise regarding appropriate medical treatment for workplace injuries. In accepted claims, the employer (their workers' compensation insurance) controls where you go for medical treatment. There may be times when you will need assistance with obtaining a second medical opinion, locating your weekly check and attaining reimbursement for prescriptions or mileage. There are so many complicated issues that can happen with accepted claims. A Raleigh Workers Compensation Lawyer can help you navigate through the difficult issues and assist you in getting everything you are entitled to receive under the law.
Denied NC Workers Compensation Claims
If your WC claim is denied, the insurance company is denying that you have a valid workers' compensation claim for your injury. A denied claim must be handled by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In denied claims, the injured worker can obtain medical treatment without restriction but if the worker's comp claim is not eventually accepted they will not be reimbursed.
A Raleigh Workers Comp Attorney can assist you with getting your injury claim to the Industrial Commission at the right time. Attaining benefits for your workplace accident can involve filing many forms with the NCIC, mediation, depositions and eventually a hearing before the Industrial Commission . We can help ensure that all necessary documents are in your file, prepare you for your hearing and negotiate your workers' compensation settlement.
The Bishop Law Firm represents injured workers with workers compensation claims in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas. We do not get paid unless we win your case. Give us a call today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095!
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