Workers compensation is everyone’s issue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 15,000 workers injured on the job in North Carolina every year. That may not sound like a lot. However, this number only includes non-fatal work injuries. There are hundreds of other people who lost their lives while on the job.
Our personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina help workers get the benefits they deserve. If you’re hurt while at work, there’s no reason you should be left holding the bag. Your employer should make sure your medical care is covered. They should also provide you with replacement wages while you’re recovering from your injuries.
Thankfully, North Carolina, like every other state, has a workers compensation program in place. The majority of employers in North Carolina are legally required to carry insurance to cover workplace accidents. When somebody gets injured on the job, their employer has to report it to their insurance company.
Between the insurance adjuster and your company’s Human Resources Director, they’ll decide whether they want to approve your claim. If they do, great – you’ll receive your check within a couple of weeks. If, however, they deny your claim, you’re going to need help from a Charlotte workers compensation attorney. Call our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation.
You Have to Be Approved for Workers Comp Before You Get Benefits
Before you receive any workers compensation benefits, your claim has to be approved. For the most part, every state has the same requirements when it comes to workers comp. In North Carolina, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your injury must have taken place on company property (unless you work on the road or remotely)
- You must have been working within the scope of your employment
- You can’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident
- You must report your injury to your manager or Human Resources department
- You have to be treated by a state-approved doctor
- You have to comply with all treatment recommendations
As long as you meet these requirements, your claim should be approved. However, your employer has the right to deny your claim.
You Should Be Entitled to Medical Care Under Workers Comp
The most important benefit you need if you get hurt on the job is medical care. Your employer will have to cover whatever medical treatment you need. This could involve nothing more than physical therapy. Or it could include a hospital stay and surgery. it doesn’t matter what kind of care you require, your employer will have to cover it.
The important thing to keep in mind is that your medical care is only covered if you are treated by a state-approved doctor. You can’t just go to your primary healthcare provider and have them treat you. If you do this, not only will your medical bills not be covered, but you’ll also surrender your workers compensation claim.
The other thing you need to remember is that you must comply with your doctor’s treatment plan. If you miss appointments, your claim can be denied. If you refuse to do physical therapy, your claim will terminate and so will your benefits. It’s really important that you follow your doctor’s instructions.
Your medical benefits will continue until you go back to work. Once your doctor determines that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, you’ll be expected to go back to work. If you don’t feel you’re ready, your personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina can get a second opinion. Depending on what the second doctor says, you may be able to stay out of work a little bit longer.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina Will Make Sure You Get Replacement Wages
As important as medical care is, most of our clients only want to hear about their replacement wages. There’s nothing wrong with that. In North Carolina, if your workers compensation claim is approved, you’ll receive replacement wages. You won’t start receiving these benefits until you have been out of work for at least 7 business days. This is when your benefits will start accruing. If you end up out for work for more than 21 consecutive days, then you’ll receive retroactive pay for this first 7-day period.
North Carolina is like most other states when it comes to replacement wages. You’ll receive weekly checks. These checks will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. If you normally made $1,000 per week, you’ll receive approximately $666 per week. There is a cap on how much you can receive per week. For this year, the maximum weekly benefit is $1,102. If you happen to make more than $1,600 per week normally, you will only receive the maximum rate.
Your financial benefits last a long time in North Carolina. Some states only pay workers comp benefits for a total of 200 weeks. In Charlotte, you can collect workers comp for 500 weeks. That is more than 9 years. Most cases are resolved long before that time though. Most people return to work within a few months. A handful are out for more than a year.
If your injuries are serious enough to keep you out of work for more than a year, chances are, your Charlotte workers compensation attorney will try to settle your case. This way, you’ll get a lump sum settlement. Once your case settles, you can go back to work or find a new job. If you end up on disability, you’ll start collecting disability benefits. Just keep in mind – once you settle, you can’t go back and ask for more money. Once it’s done, it’s done.
Contact a Charlotte Workers Compensation Attorney Right Away
If you’re hurt at work, you have rights. There’s no reason you should have to pay for your own medical care. You should also receive your wages while you’re recovering. After all, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt if you didn’t work for your employer. In an ideal world, your employer would approve your workers compensation claim. However, we don’t live in an ideal world. If your claim is denied, you need to call a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Our team of attorneys has helped hundreds of clients get the benefits they deserve. We aren’t intimidated by the big insurance companies. We know the law and we know what your clients are entitled to. Your Charlotte workers compensation attorney will fight to win you the benefits you deserve. If that means they have to file suit – so be it.
Call our office as soon as you can after your workplace accident. Schedule your free, initial consultation so you can get into the office and get the process started.