How long do North Carolina workers’ compensation appeals take? If you’re working a job in North Carolina, you may suffer a work accident at some point. If such an accident does occur, it may leave you with different injuries, which could be severe or minor. A severe wound may even cause you some disabilities.
North Carolina law requires employers to take out insurance to protect their employees. This applies where the employees are above three. So, if you get injured, you can claim worker’s compensation to be paid by your employer’s insurance company. This compensation will cover your medical bills and other expenses caused by the injury.
Suppose your employer denies your compensation claim; you will need to file an appeal. To get the money you deserve, it would be best to hire a worker’s compensation attorney in North Carolina.
Notice of the Injury
If you get injured in NC, the law requires you to notify your employer of your injury within 30 days. It would be best if you gave this notice both orally and in writing. You can briefly describe the wound and state the date it occurred in the written statement.
Furthermore, you’re to file a Form 18B with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You have two years from the day you get injured to file your claim before the Commission.
It would be best to file the notice of your injury within the prescribed time frame. This is because your employer can deny your request for not notifying him on time. A workers’ compensation appeals attorney can help with this.
Denial of Workers Comp Claims
If your employer accepts your compensation claim, you will start receiving payments soon. However, in some instances, your employer and their insurer may deny your request. If your employer denies your claim, they will have to notify you of the denial within two weeks. Below are some of the common reasons why employers reject worker’s compensation claims.
- Nature of the injury. Your employer can dispute whether you sustained your injuries in the course of employment.
- Employment status. Workers comp in North Carolina is primarily for employees in the state. Independent contractors are not usually covered. Your employer may try to use this to dispute your eligibility to receive worker’s comp.
- Failing to report the injury on time.
- Disobeying doctor’s orders.
Ordinarily, you don’t need a lawyer to receive worker’s compensation. But if your employer denies your claim, it is best to hire a worker’s comp attorney in North Carolina immediately.
How Long Does It Take To Appeal a Denied Claim?
If your claim is denied, you can file workers’ compensation appeals. The North Carolina Industrial Commission is the body responsible for hearing worker’s compensation appeals. Your employer must inform you of the reason for denying your claim in clear language.
The exact reason for denial must be stated in Form 61 and made available to the Commission, the claimant, their attorney, and any concerned healthcare provider. Immediately after your employer or their insurance carrier denies your claim, you’re to file a notice of your intention to appeal within 14 days.
Before you get a hearing, the Commission will refer you to mediation to settle with your employer. At the mediation conference, you can have your compensation lawyer represent you. The mediator will forward their findings and recommendations to the NCIC. If you cannot agree with your employer, you’ll have a formal hearing.
At the hearing, one NCIC Commissioner will consider your claim in a judicial manner. The commissioner will evaluate all the evidence put forth by both the employer and the employee before deciding. This process will involve listening to witnesses and reviewing medical evidence.
If you still dispute the commissioner’s decision, you can appeal the decision before a panel of three judges. You have about 15 days to file this appeal. This 3-judge panel will evaluate the conclusion of the single judge and rule on it.
If you’re yet unsatisfied, you can appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and finally up to the North Carolina Supreme Court. However, in practice, appeals rarely go that far. Winning workers’ compensation appeals are heavily dependent on you acting fast and right and having an excellent lawyer.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Charlotte Law Can Represent You Through Your Appeal
All deserving employees should receive workers’ compensation, and indeed, you don’t need a lawyer to get paid. However, everything changes as soon as your employer denies your claim. At this point, a workers’ compensation lawyer in NC is your best bet of getting any compensation for your injuries.
At Charlotte Law, our lawyers are devoted to helping injured North Carolina workers receive compensation. We can use our experience to help you file and defend your appeal. Call us today for a free consultation.