At McIver Law Firm, we understand the challenges you may face after a workplace injury in Kernersville, NC. Dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and the complexities of the workers’ compensation system can be overwhelming.
As experienced personal injury lawyers specializing in workers’ compensation cases, we are here to help you navigate the process and fight for your rights.
If you’ve been injured at work, follow these important steps, and then let us guide you through the legal journey. You can contact a Kernersville workers’ compensation lawyer anytime of the week on 336-727-9886 for a free consultation.
How Does the Workers’ Compensation System Work in North Carolina?
The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In North Carolina, the system operates as a no-fault system, meaning that you are entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
By filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can seek financial assistance for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services. And with the help of a knowledgeable Kernersville workers’ compensation lawyer, you can make this process easier and more likely to win your claim.
Where Do I Start with My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- Notify Your Employer: Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Provide them with the details of the incident and ensure that it is documented.
- See a Doctor: Seek medical attention promptly and follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment and recovery. A thorough medical evaluation will help establish the extent of your injuries.
- Within 30 Days, file a Written Report of Your Injury to Employer: In North Carolina, you are typically required to file a written report of your injury with your employer within 30 days. Make sure to meet this deadline to protect your right to benefits.
- Make a Claim: File a workers’ compensation claim with the appropriate state agency or your employer’s insurance company. This formal request initiates the process of obtaining benefits.
- Appeal a Denied Claim (if necessary): If your claim is denied or disputed, you have the right to appeal the decision. It’s crucial to seek legal representation to navigate the complex appeals process effectively.
What Are the Types of Injuries that Qualify for Workers’ Comp Benefits in North Carolina?
Workers’ compensation benefits cover a wide range of work-related injuries and illnesses, including but not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Occupational diseases
- Construction site accidents
- Machinery accidents
- Back and neck injuries
- Workplace violence-related injuries
- Exposure to hazardous substances
What Types of Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Depending on the severity of the injury and/or negligence, workers’ compensation benefits will vary. Such benefits could include:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation covers the cost of necessary medical treatments, including hospital stays, doctor visits and other healthcare services.
- Disability Payments: If your injury prevents you from working, workers’ compensation provides disability payments to partially replace your lost wages during your recovery period.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: If your injury or illness prevents you from returning to your previous job, workers’ compensation may offer vocational rehabilitation services to help you transition into a new occupation.
- Death Benefits: In the tragic event of a work-related fatality, workers’ compensation provides death benefits to surviving dependents, including funeral expenses and ongoing financial support.
What Are Some of the Common Challenges to Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Workers’ compensation claims can encounter several obstacles that may hinder or delay the process. At McIver Law Firm, our Kernersville workers’ compensation lawyer and legal team are well-versed in handling these challenges and will work diligently to overcome them on your behalf.
Some of the common challenges include:
Employer Disputes regarding the Cause or Severity of the Injury
In some cases, employers may dispute the connection between your injury and your work duties. They may argue that the injury did not occur at the workplace or that it resulted from a pre-existing condition. Our experienced attorneys will gather compelling evidence, such as witness statements, surveillance footage, and expert opinions, to establish the link between your injury and your employment.
Insurance Company Denials or Delays
Insurance companies may deny your workers’ compensation claim outright or intentionally delay the process, hoping that you will give up. They may challenge the legitimacy of your claim or argue that your injury is not covered under the policy. Our legal team will handle all communications with the insurance company, ensuring your rights are protected and that they fulfill their obligations under the policy.
Disagreements over the Extent of Benefits or Coverage
Insurance carriers may offer inadequate benefits or coverage for your injuries. They may undervalue your claim or dispute the extent of your disability, resulting in lower compensation. Our dedicated attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your case, assess the true value of your claim, and negotiate aggressively to secure the maximum benefits you deserve.
Inadequate Medical Evaluations or Treatment Recommendations
The insurance company may rely on their own medical professionals to evaluate your injuries and recommend treatment. Unfortunately, these evaluations may downplay the severity of your condition or suggest inadequate treatment options. We will work with trusted medical experts who specialize in your specific injury to provide accurate assessments and ensure you receive appropriate medical care.
What Do I Do if My Employer Denies My Claim?
If your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim, don’t lose hope. There are several levels of appeal that you can pursue to get the compensation you deserve:
Level 1 Appeal
If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. During this process, it’s crucial to gather all relevant medical records, witness statements, and any other supporting evidence. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will assist you in building a strong appeal and presenting your case effectively.
Level 2 Appeal
If the initial appeal is unsuccessful, you can proceed to the next level of appeal, which typically involves a hearing before an administrative law judge. We will represent your interests, present compelling arguments, and advocate for the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Level 3 Appeal
In some cases, if the decision is still unfavorable, you may proceed to a higher appellate court. Our skilled attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complexities of the appeals process and fight for your rights at every stage.
What Are the Differences Between a Personal Injury and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
While both personal injury and workers’ compensation claims involve injuries, they differ in how they are pursued and the benefits they provide:
Personal injury claims are filed against a negligent third party outside of your employer. Compensation may include damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic losses.
Workers’ compensation claims are filed with your employer’s insurance company to obtain benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services. Workers’ compensation is generally a no-fault system, meaning fault does not need to be proven.
How Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Get Paid?
Workers’ compensation lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay any upfront fees, and the attorney’s fees are a percentage of the benefits or settlement obtained on your behalf. Our priority is to help you secure the benefits you deserve, and our payment is contingent upon achieving a successful outcome for your case.
Can I Still Receive Benefits if the Accident Was My Fault?
Yes, in most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The no-fault nature of workers’ compensation means that you are eligible for benefits as long as your injury or illness occurred in the course of your employment.
Can I Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate or terminate your employment solely because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. If you experience any negative actions or discrimination due to your claim, it’s important to consult with our knowledgeable attorneys to protect your rights.
How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation?
The duration of workers’ compensation benefits varies based on the specific circumstances of your case. Benefits may be provided until you have recovered sufficiently to return to work or in cases of permanent disability, ongoing benefits may be available. Our dedicated attorneys will assess your situation and ensure you receive the maximum benefits allowed under the law.
Contact Our Kernersville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today!
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, the workers’ compensation system is in place to support you during this challenging time. McIver Law Firm is here to be your advocate and guide you through the complex process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
With our experience, dedication, and personalized approach, we will fight for your rights, navigate any challenges, and work tirelessly to secure the benefits you deserve. Contact McIver Law Firm at 336-727-9886 to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards protecting your rights and obtaining the compensation you need to move forward.