Since no one can tell when a workplace accident will occur, it is best to prepare for any eventualities by learning the steps one needs to take after suffering a workplace injury in Wilmington. If you get injured while performing your duties at work, do not think twice about seeking compensation for the bills you’ll incur while receiving treatment and the wages you’ll lose while out of work due to your injury.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the steps you need to take if you have sustained injuries while at work in North Carolina.
Step 1: Report Your Injury(s) to Your Employer at Once
One of the first things a worker’s compensation attorney will advise you to do after getting injured at work is to report the matter to your employer immediately – and if possible, in writing. Email or write a letter explaining what occurred and make sure you keep a copy for future reference.
If you have already reported your injury(s) orally, make a note of the date, time, name of the person you notified, their position in the company, and how they responded. Once you are able, make sure you confirm your oral report by sending a written or typed letter to your employer. The sooner you have things in writing, the better.
The reason why this step is so crucial is that many claims get denied simply because the victim took too long to report their injuries. Insurance providers are generally not willing to pay for accidents and injuries that were not reported right away. If you’ve been injured at work, don’t waste time; make sure you inform your employer right away.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention as Soon as You Can
If the accident caused life-threatening or severe injuries, chances are you already have been rushed to the hospital for emergency care. Otherwise, you will have to arrange for medical care on your own.
One thing you need to keep in mind, however, is that you aren’t a doctor and cannot diagnose the extent of injuries sustained on your own. In many cases, complications and pain don’t appear until much later. Only a doctor can determine the real nature and extent of your injuries and the required treatment.
While at the hospital receiving treatment, make sure you let the doctor treating you that your injury(s) is work-related. Also, ensure that he or she adds this information in your medical records from your first visit. In many cases, both insurance companies and employers will try and deny a claim if the initial medical note doesn’t highlight that the injuries sustained are workplace-related.
As an injured worker, seeing a doctor and receiving the treatment you need for your work-related injuries means you’re taking the steps you need to get back on your feet health-wise while creating a precise record of your injuries.
Step 3: Fill and File the Necessary Paperwork With Your Employer and the NCIC
In North Carolina, injured workers are required by law to provide a written Notice of Injury by filling and filing Form 18. The form, which includes a short description of injuries sustained and when (date) the injuries were sustained, must be provided to your employer as soon as possible following the accident.
And as always, make sure you make a copy of the statement and keep it in your records. If your employer doesn’t provide you with a Form 18 or you don’t know much about it, then consider getting in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney for help.
You are also required to file your Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission for your claim to become active. Once you’ve filed the form, your employer will then have to fill out Form 19, an injury report filed by employers.
If you aren’t conversant with North Carolina’s Industrial Commission’s report of injury forms, get in touch with our Wilmington office for assistance. Call (844) 387-8677 to speak to a professional workers’ comp attorney.
Step 4: Keep a Record of All Travels, Missed Day of Work, and All Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Workers’ Compensation laws in North Carolina allow injured workers to start receiving wage replacement payments from their employer’s insurance providers once they’ve been out of work for seven days. Once they have been out of work for 21 days, the law requires that they be paid for the first seven missed days. This is what’s known as the 7-day waiting period for weekly wage replacement payments.
Furthermore, mileage must also be paid for all medical or treatment influenced travel over twenty miles round trip as well compensation for any essential out-of-pocket expenses paid by the worker. To receive these payments, a Form 25T is required.
If you aren’t familiar with North Carolina Industrial Commission’s expense repayment forms, contact a workers’ comp attorney for more information.
Step 5: Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Assistance
Navigating through North Carolina’s workers’ comp process can be both stressful and confusing. On the one side, you have your employer and his insurance provider working hard to ensure they deny your claim while on the other, there are all these steps you need to take to file a successful claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
With so much to deal with, the advisable thing to do is to hire the services of professional workers’ compensation lawyers and have them handle the claims process for you. As your legal representative, a workers’ compensation attorney will take on all the tasks related to your workers’ comp claim allowing you to spend more time recovering.
From filing injury forms to dealing with workers’ comp insurance companies to ensuring that you’re receiving the wages you deserve while you aren’t working and the treatment you need to fully recover, your workers’ compensation lawyer will handle everything for you. These legal experts can also help with assessing reasons for a claim denial and identifying information and evidence to support your claim amongst other things.
Get the Help You Need After a Workplace Injury in Wilmington
If you’ve been injured while performing your duties at work, do not sit on your right to receive medical benefits and compensation for your injuries. Get in touch with workers’ compensation attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates today for a no-obligation, free-of-charge case review to discuss your options and rights on the phone, online, or in person.
Our experienced lawyers are here for you and are ready to fight hard to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve after a workplace injury in Wilmington. If you need help with your workers’ compensation case, get in touch with us today. Call (844) 387-8677 now for assistance.