How Long Will Your Workers’ Comp Claim Stay Open?

If you have been involved in a workplace injury, you would want to know how long it will take for your North Carolina workers’ comp claim to get closed. In some cases, your employers may have told you that you cannot make a comp claim or that your treatment is covered under your health insurance.

There are even cases where employers term their employees as independent contractors to get out of paying workers’ compensation. According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, this is not admissible.

Below, we help you understand the factors that keep a workers’ comp claim open. If you would like to learn more, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina today.

What Factors Affect My Settlement?

The following factors will determine how long your workers’ comp claim can stay open:

  • Medical Benefits

You are entitled to medical benefits if the medical care you receive is necessary to cure your injury. If your employer tells you that there’s a deadline for getting these benefits, they are wrong. No matter how long it takes for you to get better, as long as the medical treatment is due to the workplace injury, medical benefits are still available for you.

You are also entitled to medical benefits whether or not you still work with the employer at whose workplace you sustained the injury. You might need to discuss with a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer concerning moving to another workplace, especially if the insurance company threatens to stop paying.

  • Rehabilitation 

If you need to access rehabilitation services after your injury, you might be eligible for that. You should be able to access these services through a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). This usually depends on how long you will be off work. It may end when your rehabilitation plan is complete or about 30 days after you return to work. A Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer will answer any questions you have about this.

  • Permanency

When you lose the use or function of a body part, you can get a one-time compensation. This is what permanency means. You should consult with your lawyer to ensure that this compensation is enough for you.

While permanency is a one-time payment, you might be able to get additional permanency if the disability worsens over your lifetime. You can receive permanency at any time.

  • Wage-Loss Benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina reported 91,600 occupational injuries in 2014, leading to 24,300 days away from work. The time limits on wage-loss benefits depend on the kind of disability you have. If you have a Temporary Total Disability (TTD), you can receive about two and half years of compensation. You can continue to receive these benefits for as long as you are completely unable to work or 90 after reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

For a Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), you can receive up to 225 or 275 weeks of TPD benefits. Again, these weeks do not need to be taken consecutively and can be taken intermittently. If you have a Permanent Total Disability (PTD), you can get PTD benefits until you are 72-year-old or through retirement.

Should I Settle?

If you settle your claim, you might have given up your right to collect workers’ compensation in the future. As such, you must speak to a lawyer and get expert advice before you receive any settlement from your employers. While you might have an idea of the average amount that people receive for settlements, you should note that every settlement is different. So is every workers’ compensation case.

You should also find out the details of your settlement agreement before you settle. Some agreements close out indemnity benefits but leave room for medical benefits open. This means that you might not be able to receive wage-loss benefits, rehabilitation services, and permanency. However, you might still be eligible for compensation to cover medical care.

You will find out what benefits are available to you if you speak with a North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to review your settlement agreement. A lawyer will also determine what claims, if any, are left open in its terms.

Has your employer’s insurance company given you advice on what benefits you can and cannot receive? Double-check with a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer before you accept any offer.

Contact a North Carolina Lawyer Today!

Have you or any of your loved ones been involved in a workplace injury? Are you considering settlements from your employer for the incident? Contact an experienced Charlotte workers’ comp attorney today to find out what sort of settlement you are eligible for. Our professional workers’ comp lawyers will ensure that you get fair compensation for your injury.