How Long Do I Need to Work Before Claiming Workers Comp Benefits?

When our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers meet with a client for the first time, we have a lot of questions. One of the first things we need to know is how long you have worked for your employer. If you haven’t worked there for very long, there’s a good chance you’ll be denied workers comp benefits. This has nothing to do with whether you were hurt or not.

It has more to do with the fact that your employer doesn’t trust you yet. It’s hard to imagine that somebody suffered a legitimate workplace injury when they’ve only been there for a few weeks or months. Some employees work for a company for ten years and never once get hurt. So, what is so different about you? Are you just unlucky?

Here, we will discuss why it is so difficult to convince your employer that your injuries are legitimate, especially when you’re a new employee. We will also explain how the law works in North Carolina when it comes to workers comp benefits.

Employers Are Suspicious When a New Employees Claims They Were Injured at Work

Whenever a new employee claims that they got hurt at work, the company is going to be suspicious. What are the odds that someone who has only worked there for a few weeks suffered a workplace accident? You know it’s true. You’re the one who got hurt.

However, your employer is going to assume that you faked an injury so you could get paid to sit at home. They will probably assume that you do this at every company you work for. This means that your Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer may have to prove that none of these things are true. This is not easy to do. But it’s the only way you’ll be able to receive workers’ comp benefits.

Technically, the Laws in North Carolina Do Not Require That You Be Employed for a Certain Length of Time

If you look at the laws in North Carolina governing workers’ compensation, you’ll find that there is no requirement that you work for your employer for a certain period of time. All the law requires is that you meet the basic criteria for receiving workers comp benefits. These include the following:

  • You were injured on company property and on company time.
  • You were acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your accident.
  • You did, in fact, suffer a work-related injury.
  • You were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury.
  • You reported your injuries as required by law or company policy.
  • You agree to be treated by a state-approved workers’ compensation doctor.

Of course, there are other requirements, but these are the basic ones. If your Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer can prove that you meet these criteria, there’s no good reason why your claim should be denied.

A Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer meeting an injured man

Your Charlotte Workers Compensation Lawyer May Have a Difficult Time Proving Your Claim

Because these cases are scrutinized so much more than other claims, your Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer will have to work doubly hard to prove your claim. If your claim has already been denied, they can always file an appeal with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

If you haven’t submitted your claim yet because you were afraid, then we can help you get the initial paperwork filed. It will take a couple of weeks to find out if your claim has been accepted. If so, then you’ll start to receive your workers’ comp benefits in no time. However, if your claim is denied, your attorney will need to secure evidence that proves you were hurt on the job and are entitled to benefits.

The Insurance Company Will Look to See if You Have a Habit of Filing for Workers Comp Benefits

One of the first things the insurance adjuster will do when they receive your claim is look to see what your start date is. If you have been with the company for less than six months, they will be suspicious. They are more than likely going to look at your history to see if you’ve filed for workers’ comp benefits anywhere else.

If it looks like you have a habit of starting a job only to go out on worker’s compensation shortly thereafter, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied. Our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers run into this problem more often than you may think.

The problem with these types of cases is that it’s almost as if you need to prove the absence of something. And everyone knows that it’s nearly impossible to do that. Your Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer will have to prove that your claim was legitimate and that you aren’t just looking for an easy payday.

Contact One of Our Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyers if You Have Any Concerns

Imagine that you get hurt on the job. You haven’t worked at the company for very long. You’re probably worried that you won’t be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. A lot of the people our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers meet with have the same concern.

It almost seems like your employer will look at you funny if you get hurt within the first few weeks or months. The truth is that you’re protected by workers’ compensation regardless of how long you’ve been employed. Technically, you can qualify for workers’ comp benefits if you get hurt on your first day.

The problem is that, although you’re technically eligible for benefits, that doesn’t mean your claim will be approved. Your employer and the insurance carrier will be suspicious. This means that they’ll take a much closer look at your claim as compared to those submitted by other employers.

If you suspect that your claim has been denied (or will be denied), give us a call. We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to find out if you meet the requirements for workers comp benefits in North Carolina. We can also help you appeal your claim and if need be, file suit against your employer.

Since the initial consultation is free, you really have nothing to lose. You know your employer will have a team of attorneys working for them. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage.