If you get injured at work, the process to get fair compensation for your injuries should be straightforward. Unfortunately, things don’t work that way in the real world. Employees in Gastonia are covered by the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act which is also known as the North Carolina Gen Statutes Chapter 97. The North Carolina Industrial Commission is the body responsible for hearing the workers’ compensation claims.
The insurance companies that offer workers compensation coverage try everything they can to keep their payouts to the minimum. They often try to close out cases before the worker has fully recovered from their injuries. If you have been injured on the job, there is no reason why you should have to return to your job before complete recovery. Also, you should be able to get fair compensation for your injuries that should cover your medical expenses, loss of wages, and other things you might have lost as a result of the accident.
In Gastonia, North Carolina, almost all businesses with 3 or more employees are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance (with some exceptions). Here at 1Charlotte, we regularly come across cases where insurance companies have denied completely valid workers compensation claims on frivolous grounds. Our Gastonia workers compensation lawyers will fight for your rights and help you navigate the complex process of getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
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What Should I Do If I Am Hurt on the Job?
If you have suffered an injury while working in Gastonia, NC, it is important that you take certain steps in order to enhance your chances of getting the worker compensation benefits you deserve.
Tell Your Employer
The law requires you to give notice of your injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. Keep in mind that you are required to give notice to the employer even if your supervisor has personally witnessed the accident. It is also recommended to keep a copy of the written notice for your own records as it will come in handy later.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have suffered a serious injury, it is important that you first seek medical treatment for your injury as quickly as possible. If needed, call an ambulance and visit the emergency room. You should know that you will have to seek treatment from a medical provider who is approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company to be eligible for your workers’ compensation benefits. You can visit another doctor in case of an emergency.
The most important thing you need to do when you are dealing with your injury is to keep extensive records of everything related to your injury. These documents include your medical bills, details of your treatment, and any other thing that might seem important. In case you are not getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries from the employer, these medical documents will come in handy in case it is determined by the Industrial Commission that you need to be compensated by your employer.
Record Your Injury and Treatment
You need to keep a perfect record of your injuries and the treatment. You should follow the advice given by your doctor and do not miss any of the follow-up appointments. You should also keep a written record of how your injuries are affecting your day-to-day life and preventing you from getting back to work.
Get in Touch with a Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Filing a workers compensation benefits claim might seem simple but it isn’t. Here at 1Charlotte, we regularly come across cases where the workers’ compensation claims are summarily rejected by insurance companies for frivolous reasons. This is why you should seek the assistance of an experienced workers compensation attorney at 1Charlotte.
We have extensive experience in helping people wade through the complex claims process. We are aware of the tactics used by workers’ compensation insurance companies to deny their liability and to deny fair compensation to injury victims. We will fight for your rights and help you win the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Why Should I Hire a Gastonia Workers Compensation Lawyer?
You might not always need to retain the services of an experienced Gastonia workers compensation attorney for handling your workers’ compensation claim. However, this is only true in the case of minor injuries that usually do not result in loss of wages and where proper compensation covering medical treatment is paid by the employer. However, it is recommended to consult with an experienced Gastonia workers compensation attorney at 1Charlotte if you are dealing with a more severe injury or illness as a result of your job.
It is your right to consult with an attorney to get help for your workers’ compensation claim regardless of the severity of your injury. Experienced attorneys deal with such cases regularly and are aware of the workers’ compensation claims process and how to get fair compensation for their clients. Hiring an experienced lawyer is especially recommended in case you need long-term treatment or surgery, or you are unable to get back to your job, or the insurance company or your employer is disputing your claim or you are facing any other kind of problem.
A Gastonia workers compensation attorney can advise you on legal options available to you in case of temporary or permanent disability or when you need retraining.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Gastonia Workers Compensation Attorney?
Here at 1Charlotte, we work on a contingency fee basis. It simply means that you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. You do not need to pay any money upfront and we will take a part of the settlement proceeds. In North Carolina, the fee is usually 25% of the employee’s award of settlement or weekly benefits. Also, the North Carolina Industrial Commission needs to approve the attorney fees.
What Should I Do If My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Don’t be under the assumption that you will get the workers’ compensation benefits when you are injured on the job. Many legitimate cases are routinely denied and this is why you need to be aware of your legal rights. Give a call at 704.706.2689 to know more about your legal rights when it comes to disputing a denied workers’ compensation claim.
Here is what you need to do in case your valid workers’ compensation claim has been denied.
The first thing you need to do is discuss the details of your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at 1Charlotte. We have decades of experience in this area of law and we can help you review the reasons for which your claim was turned down. We will also help you know more about various options available to you for appealing and how you should go about pursuing benefits.
Claims are denied for a variety of reasons in North Carolina. Some of the common reasons include a missed deadline, lack of information, challenging the employment status, outside the scope of employment, and off-site injury, among others. Sometimes, an employer might argue that you were an independent contractor and not an employee.
The insurance adjuster might deny the claim in case the claim doesn’t include the required medical information. Similarly, employees are required to notify the employer within 30 days of the accident and in case this reporting requirement is not met, the claim might be denied.
There can be dozens of other reasons and if you think that you have been wrongly turned down, you should discuss the case with a qualified attorney in order to know more about the appeals process.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have When Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?
The injured employee also has certain responsibilities in order to take advantage of the North Carolina workers’ compensation law. The employee is required to report the accident to their employer within 30 days of the accident. It is also expected that employees will follow the written rules of safety and other reasonable policies as outlined by their employer.
Is There a Time Limit To File a Workers Compensation Claim in Gastonia, North Carolina?
The statute of limitations in North Carolina puts a time limit on filing a workers’ compensation claim. A worker needs to file the claim within 2 years of the injury date in order to be eligible for benefits. The claim can be filed by submitting Form 18 to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This form should be made available to you by your employer when you notify them of your injury but this form can also be obtained directly from the website of the commission.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers Compensation Claim?
In simple terms, independent contractors are not covered by the workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina. However, this isn’t the complete answer as a lot depends on the situation. In case the independent contractor was performing the functions of an employee and was not working for any other employer, and acting as an employee, they might be viewed as an employee by the commission.
Like mentioned earlier, it really depends on the situation. If you are an independent contractor and are hurt on the job and want to know more about your legal rights regarding workers compensation benefits, give a call at 704.706.2689 to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Gastonia workers compensation lawyer at 1Charlotte.
What Is My Gastonia Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
Every workers’ compensation claim in Gastonia is unique and this is why you cannot put a specific value on a workers compensation claim. It depends on a number of factors. Here is a brief overview of the benefits that are typically awarded in a workers compensation claim in Gastonia, North Carolina:
The benefits pay for all the necessary and reasonable medical treatment that is needed due to the work injury. It will also include reasonable travel expenses for seeking medical treatment related to the injury.
Vocational Rehabilitation Costs
In case the employee is unable to get back to their work at 75% or more of their pre-injury wages, they might request vocational rehabilitation services such as retraining or education.
In case an employee loses their life as a result of their work-related injury or illness, the dependents might receive death benefits at the TTD rate for a period of 500 weeks. The burial expenses are also paid with an upper limit of $10,000.
You are eligible for temporary total disability or temporary partial disability as well as permanent disability benefits depending on the severity of your injuries. Get in touch with an experienced workers compensation attorney at 1Charlotte to know more about the workers’ compensation benefits you might be eligible for.
Contact Our Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers For A Free Consultation
Here at 1Charlotte Law Firm, we have decades of experience in helping people present workers’ compensation claims. We work on a contingent fee basis which means you do not need to pay anything upfront in legal fees. We will recover our cost from the benefits we win for you and we don’t get paid unless we win. Keep in mind that insurance companies are not on your side and they will use every trick in the book to delay your payments and to minimize the payouts.
You should never agree to a settlement with the insurance company without first discussing the details of your case with an experienced workers compensation attorney at 1Charlotte Law Firm. Give our Gastonia personal injury firm a call at 704.706.2689 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your workers’ compensation claim.