People get hurt at work all the time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 2.6 million workers compensation cases filed in 2020. Thankfully, close to half of these were minor. The employees in these cases didn’t miss any time from work. However, more than 4,700 people died as a result of workplace accidents that same year.
This is why workers compensation lawyers in Wilmington take North Carolina workers comp laws and cases so seriously. You just never know how they’ll play out.
Why Is It So Important to Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Wilmington?
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may have missed time from work. The average amount of time injured workers in the U.S. miss is about 12 days. That may not sound like a lot. But imagine how you’d survive without two weeks’ pay. Most people learned during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic how hard it is to go without a paycheck. Nobody is in a position to bear that kind of financial loss, no matter what they do for a living.
This is why so many injured workers call our office within days or hours of their accident. They understand what is at stake and they want to make sure their case is handled properly. You have no idea at the outset if your employer will pay your claim.
They may tell their insurance company to deny your claim. If your claim is large, perhaps involving a back or neck injury, they may be liable to deny it. They typically pay smaller claims without incident. It’s the bigger ones they like to dispute.
Either way, one of our experienced workers compensation lawyers in Wilmington can help. Here, we’ll briefly discuss how the North Carolina workers comp laws work. We’ll also highlight what you need to do to make sure your claim is paid.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
If you want to increase the chances of your workers comp claim being approved, you need to follow certain steps immediately after your accident, as per North Carolina workers comp laws. If you don’t do these things, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied. Even if your attorney is able to appeal the claim on your behalf, it’ll still take weeks or months to receive your benefits. To avoid this from happening, consider the following guidelines:
- Report your injuries to your manager or Human Resource manager immediately after your accident. According to North Carolina workers comp laws, if your injuries are too severe to do this, make sure you document it as soon as possible after you receive medical treatment.
- Make sure you get medical treatment immediately. Don’t wait until the next day or the following week. If you don’t do this, there’s no way to prove your injuries were the result of a workplace accident. Your employer will argue that something other than your workplace accident caused your injuries.
- File for the workers’ compensation within the time limit of two years.
- It’s important that you be treated by a company-approved doctor. If you go to your primary healthcare provider, your medical bills will not be covered, according to North Carolina workers comp laws. Like it or not, you don’t have a choice in the matter. The state of North Carolina has certified a handful of doctors to handle workers comp cases. In order to be covered, you have to be treated by one of these people and you must comply with their treatment regimen.
These are just a few of the strict requirements when it comes to North Carolina workers comp laws and rules. It can be hard to keep them straight. This is why we recommend that you meet with one of our Wilmington injury lawyers.
What Benefits Do You Receive Under North Carolina Workers Comp Laws?
If you get hurt on the job, you’re probably going to miss some time from work. You have a right to be paid for this time. As long as you meet all the requirements for workers comp in North Carolina, your claim should be approved. The question is – what benefits will you receive once your claim is approved, under North Carolina workers comp laws?
In most states, including North Carolina, you’ll be entitled to the following benefits:
- Your medical bills will be covered
- Any medical equipment you require will also be covered
- You will receive replacement wages while you’re waiting to return to work
- You may be eligible for reimbursement of travel time
The amount of your weekly replacement wages will depend on your income. In North Carolina, you receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages every week. This is 2/3 of your gross wages, not your net income. So, if you were making $500 per week on average, you can expect to receive $333 per week while out on workers compensation.
If you aren’t sure what kind of benefits you’ll receive under North Carolina workers comp laws, you can always visit the North Carolina Industrial Commission website. They have a lot of information on there as well as a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Once you’ve completed your medical treatment, your doctor will document that you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement.” This just means that your doctor has determined that you will not get better with any additional treatment. Of course, they may suggest that you continue to receive chiropractic care. Or they may recommend long-term physical therapy. However, once they declare that you’re fit to return to work, your benefits will stop.
If you have suffered a permanent disability as a result of your workplace accident, your workers compensation lawyer in Wilmington will demand additional compensation. You have a right to be compensated for any permanent issues you experience as a result of a work-related injury, as per North Carolina workers comp laws. For example, you may end up with nerve damage in your neck or back. This kind of injury may prevent you from doing the same kind of work as before the accident.
Benefits in North Carolina for Permanent Partial Disability
If you do suffer a permanent disability after your workplace accident, your lawyer will demand further compensation.
Here is a breakdown of how your benefits are calculated:
Percentage of disability for every body part affected
Maximum weeks mentioned in a state schedule for different organs like ears, eyes, and multiple extremities
For instance, the schedule for permanent hand disability is for 160 weeks. So, if your hand loses 50% of its ability, you will get the benefits for 80 weeks.
Take the Services of the Best Legal Team in Town
Having the right team of Wilmington injury lawyers can do wonders for your case. Therefore, you should trust the firm of Ted Greve to resolve your workers compensation claim. We have decades of combined experience navigating North Carolina workers comp laws so you know we’ll give you the best advice regarding your case.