If you’re a worker in North Carolina, you might have wondered what would happen to your workers’ comp benefits if you quit your job. You may have heard rumors about your settlement being invalid because you switch jobs. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act dictates that your employer should be responsible for ensuring that you get compensated for a workplace injury.
This article answers your questions about quitting your current job and getting workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. If you would like to learn more, contact our workers’ comp lawyers in Charlotte, NC.
Will I Forfeit My Workers’ Comp Benefits if I Quit My Job?
When you sustain a work-related injury, the North Carolina Industrial Commission requires that workers’ compensation covers all medical-related expenses you incurred due to the injury. This includes rehabilitation, surgery, assistive devices, etc. If you sustain a permanent or temporary disability from the accident, it also covers treatment and compensation for that.
Whether you leave your current workplace or not, you should still be eligible for medical benefits from the employer who owns the workplace where you sustained the injury. In some cases, insurance carriers argue that your job at your new workplace aggravates your injury and will offer it as grounds to stop paying your benefits. If this occurs, you should contact a Charlotte workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible.
However, it is advisable to wait until you have settled before you quit your job. If you get an opportunity that you cannot miss, speak to your lawyer about navigating it.
What To Do Before You Quit Your Job
If you have decided to move from your current workplace, here are a few steps you need to take to ensure that it has no negative effects on your case.
- Find Another Job Before You Quit Your Current One: This is important not only because of your workers’ compensation case but also because you don’t want to leave yourself stranded.
- Achieve Maximum Medical Improvement Before Leaving: It is advisable to wait until your doctor says you have reached your Maximum Medical Improvement before leaving the job.
- Speak to a Charlotte Workers’ Comp Attorney: Every workers’ comp case is different. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Charlotte, NC, will help you figure out the best action to take for your situation.
Should I Stay With My Current Employer?
Knowing whether to stay with your current employer or move is important if you have a workers’ compensation case. Normally, moving jobs while making a workers’ comp claim should not be a problem. If your employer owes you compensation for a given period, they should pay you, no matter where you are.
However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, moving could affect your entitlement to your benefits. One of these instances is when you receive weekly disability benefits from your employers because of your injury.
If your doctor clears you to return to work, but with physical restrictions, your employer will very likely offer you a lighter duty than you are used to. In some instances, employers who didn’t have light duty for you can suddenly claim to have such when you quit your job for another. This gives them a reason to cut your benefits.
If your injuries are so severe that you may not find another job in the future, you might want to keep your job. Then you can make a total permanent disability claim. As disability claims are highly valuable, you could find insurance carriers arguing that they could have created a unique duty to accommodate your disability.
This is usually an excuse not to pay you compensation. You should see it as such and contact experienced workers’ comp lawyers in Charlotte, NC, to advise you on how best to proceed.
When Should I Consider Quitting?
You should consider quitting your job if your employer offers you a new job based on the doctor’s restrictions, but the job is boring and probably pays less. You might prefer to leave your current job for one that pays more.
Another scenario where you can leave your current employer is when you feel unsafe to return to your former workplace after the incident. If you can prove that your workplace will be unsafe for you, you should retain all your benefits.
Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in North Carolina
If you’re trying to get workers’ compensation benefits from your current employer and you’re considering quitting or switching jobs, you should speak with a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. Book a free consultation with us today, and let’s talk your options over with you.