Injured workers in Charlotte have their own rights and responsibilities. Working as Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers has shown us that injured employees are often torn between their wellbeing and a sense of responsibility to their employer. Often, this is because of fear of losing their jobs if they take action. As an injured employee, the law guarantees you certain rights and places on you some responsibilities.
This article looks at the rights and responsibilities of injured workers in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you suffer any injury at work, contact experienced work comp lawyers immediately. They will examine the case and ensure you get all the compensation due to you.
What Are the Rights of Injured Charlotte Workers?
Whether you sustained a work-related injury or developed an occupational disease, North Carolina work comp laws guarantee you certain rights. Our work comp lawyers in Charlotte list out certain rights wounded employees have.
Right to Choose Your Treating Physician
Usually, employers and their insurance providers like to select the doctor that treats injured workers. This way, they monitor the employee’s treatment journey and ensure they don’t bring an exorbitant bill after treatment. However, there are times when you might decide to choose your doctor.
North Carolina law allows you to choose or change physicians in such an instance. But first, you need the approval of the Industrial Commission. To do this, you must write a petition stating why you want to choose or change doctors. Lastly, you can choose your doctor if you want a second opinion on your disability rating level.
Right to Workers Compensation Benefits
North Carolina law mandates employers with three or more employees to buy workers’ compensation insurance. The policy covers benefits payment to people injured while performing their job functions. As such, all Charlotte workers have a right to work comp benefits.
These benefits cover two basic things. One is your medical bills, and the second is lost wages. Medical bills do not only cover your treatment costs, but it includes money spent on rehabilitation and purchasing medical equipment. You may also be able to recover out-of-pocket expenses as long as it relates to your injury treatment. An excellent example is money spent going to and fro the hospital or rehab center.
Right to Keep Your Job and Participate in a Return to Work Plan
Charlotte workers often fear retaliation from employers when they file a work comp claim. This shouldn’t be as work comp benefits is your right, and it extends to keeping your job and not getting fired. An employer terminating your employment for requesting benefits commits a civil offense and will face penalties.
Additionally, you have a right to participate in a work return plan. A return to work (RTW) plan helps an injured worker stay at work or return to their pre-injury work duties. Your employer should carry you along when doing this, allowing you to make inputs, and ensure the strategy benefits you.
Right to Be Treated With Dignity and Respect
Your employer has no right to subject you to inhumane treatments when you request workers’ compensation. They should accord you respect throughout the process and treat you with dignity. If this doesn’t happen, and they become abusive, you can seek redress against them. Your Charlotte work comp lawyer will advise you on the step to take.
What Are Your Responsibilities as an Injured Charlotte Worker?
An injured worker doesn’t have only rights; there are responsibilities they must meet. Failure to do so might jeopardize their workers’ compensation benefits. They include:
- Getting medical treatment after the work injury or noticing a work-related illness and following the treatment plan given by the doctor.
- Reporting the injury or illness to your employer within the stipulated time, usually 3o days.
- Contacting your employer after your first medical treatment to discuss returning to work.
- Staying in touch with your employer throughout your recovery and providing them with regular updates on your progress. Keep a record of when you speak with your employer.
- Working with your employer to identify suitable work opportunities. Suitable work covers tasks that are safe, productive, within your functional ability, and matches your pre-injury pay as close to it.
- Informing your employer of any significant change in your medical condition, like developing a disability.
Get Help From Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Charlotte, NC
If you’ve met with all your responsibilities as an injured Charlotte worker and still have your rights breached, you can take legal action. Our work comp lawyers in Charlotte will protect your rights and get you all your deserved benefits. Contact us today for a free case review.