When we think of public safety, the first people who come to mind are police officers and firefighters. However, public safety employees include a wide range of professionals, such as paramedics, security guards, and prison officials. Public safety officers work in potentially dangerous situations for the safety of the community. Occupations like law enforcement and fire fighting are inherently prone to injury. Most public safety officials risk their lives every day to protect the public, and thus, on-the-job injuries are inevitable.
There is a wide range of injuries that could be sustained by public safety employees. Police officers can be exposed to dangerous toxins and chemicals while solving a narcotics crime or can be harmed by criminals whom they are trying to arrest. Paramedics can suffer from overexertion injuries or stress due to working long hours in stressful situations. Firefighters are at a risk of many of the same injuries as well as sustaining burn injuries, every single day.
The injuries sustained by public safety employees can be compensated for by workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that all employers that have more than three employees are required to have in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is designed to cover any injuries that are sustained by employees in the workplace.
Do You Have a Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim in Charlotte, North Carolina?
If you are a public safety employee in Charlotte, North Carolina, and you have been injured while carrying out your duties, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. North Carolina workers’ compensation covers any injury sustained at work, in the scope of your employment. It also covers any occupational illnesses that you may develop.
Having said that, not all injuries sustained at the workplace are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Only injuries that arise out of a work related accident or due to an occupational disease are covered by workers’ compensation. Further, the injury must have been sustained in the scope of your employment. That is, when you sustain the injury, you have to have been engaged a task that was assigned to you. For example, if a police officer has an accident while trying to catch a criminal, then the police officer is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if the police officer was driving around, off duty, and is injured in an accident, he or she will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation is a no- fault insurance, meaning that negligence does not play a part in a workers’ compensation claim. Even if you are at fault for your injury, you will receive compensation, as long as the injury was sustained in your line of work. Death benefits are also available to any surviving members of the public safety employee’s immediate family if the person is injured in such a way that the employee loses their life.
Benefits Provided by Workers’ Compensation in Charlotte, North Carolina
In Charlotte, North Carolina, workers’ compensation for public safety employees covers medical care, rehabilitation, and wage benefits, if you have been injured on the job. If you are a dependant family member of someone who was killed in a workplace accident or illness, then you may receive death benefits through workers’ compensation.
Medical care benefits include any hospital or doctor’s bills, medication, and treatment for injuries and illnesses. However, to cover medical expenses, you must receive treatment from a doctor or hospital that is approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This does not apply to emergency room visits for urgent injuries, but all follow up care should be provided by an approved physician. Your employer can provide you with a list. Rehabilitation benefits will cover any training or physical therapy that you might need to recover.
Disability benefits, or wage benefits, will cover any lost wages that you may have incurred due to your injury. There are four types of disability benefits available in Charlotte, North Carolina:
- Temporary total disability benefits (TTD): Temporary total disability is when the injury prevents you from working at all while you heal and recover. The amount paid by the temporary total disability benefits will be 2/3 of your average weekly wages (AWW). The TTD benefits will stop once you are able to return to work.
- Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD): If you are able to return to work during the healing period, but are unable to do the tasks that were previously assigned to you, then your employer may give you easier tasks at a lower wage, known as a light duty position. In such cases, the workers’ compensation will compensate the difference in your wages. The amount that you receive from the TPD benefits will be 2/3 of the difference between your AWW after the injury and your former AWW.
- Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD): You will receive permanent partial disability benefits if you have reached maximum medical improvement, but one or more body parts are still disabled.
- Permanent total disability benefits (PTD): These benefits are only paid if the injury that you sustained at work leaves you permanently and totally disabled, and prevents you from ever working again. You could receive PTD benefits for the rest of your life.
Death Benefits are available if you are a dependent family member of a public safety official who has been killed in his or her line of duty. The death benefit also cover funeral expenses.
Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates to Learn More About Your Options
If you are a public safety employee in Charlotte, North Carolina, and you have been injured in the line of duty, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will provide benefits to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. If you are a dependent family member of a deceased public safety official, then you may be eligible to claim workers’ compensation death benefits. However, there are a few things that you may have to prove before you receive compensation, and you may run into road blocks along the way. The compassionate work injury claim attorneys in Charlotte, NC at Ted A. Greve & Associates can help with this and ensure that you get the compensation that you are entitled to. If you need answers to workers’ compensation questions, advice, or representation, contact us to schedule your free consultation today.