A workers’ compensation is the money paid to an injured worker or someone who developed an occupational disease from their job. Under North Carolina laws, employees who suffer either of the two would get a settlement from their employer.
In practice, things don’t always work out that way. Getting your workers’ compensation is not always as straightforward, which is why you should hire a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer.
The attorney would answer all the questions you have and represent you during the claims process. But before that, let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in North Carolina.
Can I Be Laid Off for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
In North Carolina, your employer does not have the right to lay you off for filing a workers’ comp claim. Also, they cannot take any adverse action against you. If they do, they will be guilty of violating the Retaliatory Employment Discharge Act (REDA).
If at any point you notice your employer plans to fire you or mistreats you for filing a workers’ comp claim, report to the North Carolina Department of Labor. Also, speak with a Charlotte workers’ comp lawyer.
Does My Immigration Status Affect My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In North Carolina, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation whether or not you are a documented immigrant. It is against the law for your employer to deny your benefits because of your immigration status or lack of a green card. Consequently, insurance companies have no right to ask about your immigration status before paying your settlement.
Also, as an immigrant, you have the right to medical treatment after a workplace injury. You can also report on-the-job injuries without fear of reprisal, dismissal, or deportation by your employer. If you receive a threat on either of the three, speak with your Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Am I Allowed To Choose My Doctor After a Work Injury?
Technically, you can choose your doctor immediately after you suffer a work injury. But once your employer and the insurance company get involved, they can direct your medical treatment. It consists of choosing your physician and, in some cases, approving the treatment.
However, you can regain the power to pick your doctor if you’re unhappy with the treatment you’re getting. After you have attained Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) at the end of the treatment period, the doctor will issue a permanent partial disability (PPD) report. It is a rating on how well the injured body part recovered.
The higher the rating, the more money you stand to get from your claim. If you get a low rating from the insurance company’s physician, you can seek a second opinion from your doctor. You can also call in expert evidence. A workers’ comp attorney in Charlotte, NC, can provide you with one.
How Does North Carolina’s “Accident Rule” Affect My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In some jurisdictions in the United States, sustaining an injury while performing a work-duty is enough to compensate workers. But the story is different in North Carolina. In the state, the word “Accident” plays a crucial role in whether you get benefits or not.
In North Carolina workers’ comp law, an “Accident” is an event outside the regular work routine. It means that if you sustain an injury while hauling equipment, and haulage is your job description, you won’t receive workers’ compensation.
However, if there’s a deviation from that work routine like wet floors that cause you to fall, it qualifies as an accident, and you will get benefits. There are a few exceptions to the “Accident” rule. If you feel a sudden onset of pain in your spine while performing your duties, it qualifies as an accident.
The rules and exceptions are pretty complicated. This is why you need an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney.
Can I Change My Mind After Receiving a Workers’ Comp Settlement?
Yes, you can change your mind after agreeing to a settlement sum with your employer’s insurance company. But you must cancel the agreement before the North Carolina Industrial Commission approves it. Once the commission gives its approval, it is final, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Thus, never agree to a settlement until you are convinced it is the maximum amount and have spoken to your attorney.
Let Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Charlotte, NC, Help You!
Every injured employee deserves to receive compensation when they are away from work and for other financial losses. But North Carolina laws sometimes make things more complicated than they ought to be. This is why you need a Charlotte workers comp attorney. Our lawyers have the experience necessary to help you with your claim. Contact us today for a free case review.