There is so much uncertainty regarding what happens when you file a workers’ compensation claim as an injured employee. This uncertainty has prevented many victims from enjoying the benefits due to them.
Under North Carolina law, almost every employer is supposed to have insurance coverage for their employees for any on-the-job injuries they may suffer. Any employer who doesn’t have such an insurance package for their employees runs afoul of the law.
Although it ought not to be so, a workers’ compensation claim may get very complicated. For this reason, it is wise to always engage the services of a workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina. Read on to find out what happens when you file a comp claim.
Filing Your Injury Report
If you get hurt on the job in North Carolina, the next thing you ought to do is to report your injury to your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim with the NC Industrial Commission.
The law requires that you report your injury to your employer both orally and in writing. You can also meet both requirements by filing a Form 18 (Notice of Accident) with the Industrial Commission and sending a copy to your employer.
In North Carolina, you must give notice of your injury within 30 days of the injury. Reporting late may disqualify you from receiving any benefits for your injury. You should file the injury report even if your employer already knew about your accident or is already paying for your medical treatment.
Your Injury Claim May Be Denied
Your employer should pass on your claim to the insurance company after your report to enable them to pay the benefits. If the insurer accepts your compensation claim, you should receive a Form 60 and start receiving your benefits immediately. However, your employer or the insurer may deny your claim for many reasons. The usual reasons for denying a workers’ comp claim include:
- Off-the-job injuries
- Pre-existing medical condition
- Employment status
- Late notice of injury
If you didn’t already have a lawyer, you should get a North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney once your claim gets denied. Where your employer denies your claim for compensation, they must reply with a Form 61 stating the exact reasons for denying your claim. The wording of a Form 61 must not be general terms. Instead, it should disclose the reasons behind the denial in clear and specific terms.
You Can Get a Workers’ Compensation Commission Hearing
Suppose your employer or their insurer denied your workplace injury, or you feel that you didn’t get all the benefits you deserve, you can file a Form 33 requesting a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This hearing is like a judicial process, and it would be best to have an attorney represent you.
You must file your claim within two years of the injury. Your case is then assigned to a Commissioner who does some investigation. The Commissioner first refers the parties to mediation. Then a hearing is fixed.
The Commissioner usually considers medical evidence in deciding the matter. They will then render their decision, containing their ruling on facts and the law, including reliefs granted to the employee.
Any aggrieved party can appeal to a panel of three full Commissioners. And if any party is still dissatisfied with the decision of the full Commission, their decision may be appealed to the North Carolina Court of Appeal and up to the North Carolina Supreme Court, although this is very rare.
If your worker’s compensation claim is successful, you can recover your medical bills and weekly compensation for lost wages. You can even get reimbursed for sick travels. Finally, you can get disability benefits if you suffered any permanent hurt from the accident.
Let Charlotte Law Help You Get Compensation for Your Injury!
If you suffered an injury at work, you deserve to receive compensation for your injury. If you don’t know how to go about the comp claim process, you don’t need to worry. Many people are unable to initiate and conclude the process of filing for worker’s compensation on their own, without help from an attorney. But there’s good news: North Carolina workers compensation lawyers are available to help you through this process.
At Charlotte Law, we have seasoned workers comp lawyers with many years of experience between them. We help people from all walks of life and are ever ready to discuss your case. You can contact us today for a consultation and further information on your workers’ compensation claim.