When you’re injured on the job, you should be entitled to compensation. Most of us will make it through our entire lives without ever getting hurt on the job. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all workers. Some employees, especially those who work in dangerous industries, are at a much greater risk of getting hurt.
Our employment lawyers in Charlotte meet with dozens of clients every year who were injured in a workplace accident. The one thing they all have in common is they all trusted their employers. They couldn’t imagine their company leaving them high and dry after a workplace accident.
Here, we’ll briefly discuss whether you are eligible for workers comp in Charlotte, North Carolina. We’ll also discuss other things that can impact your ability to collect workers comp benefits.
If you’re unsure of how to proceed with your workers’ comp claim, our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina can help. All you have to do is call our office. You can schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.
Which Companies Are Required to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance in North Carolina?
When somebody opens a business, they need to make sure they purchase various insurance policies. One of them is workers’ compensation insurance. Almost all employers in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ comp insurance. If they don’t and somebody gets hurt, they will be subjected to fines and even closure. Thankfully, most companies are not willing to take this risk.
According to North Carolina law, the following rules apply to workers’ compensation insurance:
- Any company that employs 3 or more employees must carry workers comp insurance.
- A subcontractor must maintain this insurance if they have 1 employee.
- Sole proprietors are allowed to opt into a worker’s comp policy.
As one can imagine, there are very few companies that aren’t required to carry insurance. Even small companies have more than 2 employees. Even if the employees are part-time, they count for workers’ compensation insurance purposes.
Even with the above rules in place, there are several exceptions that apply. These have to do more with the type of work a person does rather than the size of the employer.
What Are the Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation?
As indicated above, almost all employers in Charlotte, North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Of course, as with most laws, there are exceptions to the rule. Only actual employees are entitled to coverage under workers comp.
If you fall into any of the categories outlined below, you are not covered by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act:
- Federal employees
- Postal workers
- Agricultural workers
- Railroad employees
- Domestic servants (nannies, housekeepers, etc.)
If you belong to one of these groups, you’ll have to find another way to hold your employer accountable. For example, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act provides coverage to federal civilian employees for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. Domestic servants would be able to file a claim against their employer’s homeowner’s policy.
What Kind of Benefits Will You Receive While Out on Workers’ Compensation?
If you do get hurt on the job, you should be entitled to workers comp benefits. In North Carolina, there are two kinds of benefits. The first kind is associated with your medical care. Any medical bills that are the result of your workplace injuries will be covered under workers comp.
The second type of benefit has to do with wages. While you’re out on workers’ compensation, you will receive weekly replacement wages. The amount of these wages is equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. This means that someone who was being paid $500 per week would receive approximately $333 per week in workers comp benefits.
North Carolina has special rules about how long you can receive replacement wages. They also have a cap on how much you can receive. Surprisingly, the cap on weekly replacement wages in Charlotte is a lot higher than it is in most other states. In North Carolina, you can receive as much as $1,066 per week. Many other states are anywhere between $500-$700 per week.
There is also a limit on how many weeks you can receive benefits. In North Carolina, the limit is 500 years. This comes out to be about 8 years.
It is very rare that anybody would still be on workers comp after 8 years. Most return to work in a few months. Others may take a year or so to recover. Very few could afford to stay out of work for more than a year. Since you only receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages, it won’t be long before your bills start to fall behind.
Your Employment Lawyer in Charlotte Will Fight to Get Your Claim Approved
For the most part, people who get hurt at work don’t run into any trouble when it comes to the claims process. It’s no different in North Carolina. However, there’s always the chance that your claim could be denied. This could happen for a variety of reasons:
- You were drunk or high at the time of your workplace accident
- The insurance company believes your injuries were caused some other way
- You have a pre-existing medical condition
- You have a history of filing worker’s comp claims
Most human resources directors know the law. At least they should. When they submit your workers’ comp claim, they’ll likely recommend that your claim be denied. It all depends on the facts of your case and your history with the company.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina
If you’re injured on the job, you should be able to trust that your employer will cover your injuries. If you find out your claim has been denied, contact our office immediately. Let one of our seasoned personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina appeal your claim to the North Carolina Workers Compensation Board.
Call today and we can schedule your free initial consultation right away. The longer you wait to seek out help, the harder it will be to get your complaint filed on time.