When people get hurt on the job, they should be able to rely on their employers to take care of them, that’s what workers compensation is about. After all, if it weren’t for your employer, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place. Unfortunately, not all employers think this way.
While your company likely has a workers compensation policy, that doesn’t mean they’ll hold your hand and show you how to file your claim. Even if you do report the accident properly, they may ask the insurance company to deny your claim. They could do this for any number of reasons. If it happens to you, then you should see a Charlotte workers comp lawyer right away.
At the end of the day, your employer’s workers compensation insurance company does not want to pay out large claims. They don’t mind paying the smaller ones. It would cost more to fight them than it would be to just pay them.
However, if your injuries are serious, they may deny your claim, thinking that they can settle for less down the road. Or they may challenge the fact that your injuries were caused at work. Your Charlotte injury lawyer can challenge them right back. They’ll fight to get you the benefits you deserve. But they can only do that if you reach out to them early in the process.
Here, we’ll explain how to file your workers compensation claim in North Carolina. We’ll also explain what benefits you’ll receive if your claim is approved. Finally, we’ll briefly discuss what to do if your claim is denied. Ideally, you’ll start to receive your weekly benefits within a couple of weeks. If that doesn’t happen, it’s good to know there’s a team of Charlotte workers compensation lawyers ready to help.
What Qualifies as a Workplace Injury?
You can only apply for workers compensation if you were hurt while on the job. If you were hurt on the way to or home from work, you won’t qualify for workers compensation. The same is true if you’re injured while on lunch or break. You have to be operating within the scope of your employment in order to receive workers comp benefits in North Carolina. If your injuries happened somewhere other than at work, there’s nothing your Charlotte injury lawyer can do to help you.
The other important thing is that you weren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your workplace accident. Almost all employers require their employees to submit to a drug test prior to receiving treatment. This tells them if you were drunk or high when you got hurt. If your test comes back positive, there’s no way they’re going to approve your claim.
You Must Report Your Accident to Your Manager or Human Resources
Your employer should have a copy of their workplace injury policy in the breakroom or locker room. If you read that policy, you’ll see that you must report your accident to your manager or H.R. immediately. Even the law requires that you report your injury. If you don’t do this within 30 days, your claim will be denied.
Depending on your company’s policy, this may or may not be an appealable issue. For example, if your employer requires you to report your injury within 24 hours, it may be deemed unfair. Likewise, if your company has no policy, then you will have to report your injury within 30 days.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for workers compensation gives you two years to file a claim. If you don’t pursue your claim within two years of the date of your accident, it will be forever barred. The two years start on the day you were injured. If you happen to miss the deadline by even one day, your claim will be dismissed. You won’t be able to refile it in the future.
What Benefits Will You Receive if Your Claim Is Approved?
If your workers compensation claim is approved, you can expect to receive two types of benefits. First, you’ll receive medical benefits. Any medical care you require as a result of your workplace injuries will be covered. This includes any hospital or doctor’s bills. It also includes any prescriptions costs or money needed for durable medical equipment.
The second type of benefit you’ll receive is replacement wages. You will be entitled to weekly replacement wages equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. So, if you typically make $1,000 per week, you’ll receive $666 per week. Of course, there is a cap as to how much you can receive. This amount is $1,184 per month. This means that if you make more than approximately $1,800 per week, you will not receive your full two-thirds.
Speak With a Seasoned Charlotte Workers Compensation Lawyer Sooner Rather than Later
If you wait too long to meet with a Charlotte workers compensation lawyer, there’s only so much they can do to help. If you’ve already filed your claim, they have no way to ensure that it’s filed properly. All they can do at that point is appeal your claim and try to negotiate payment with the insurance carrier. This is why we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible after your workplace accident.
All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. One of our front desk agents will find a date and time that’s convenient for you. When you come in to meet with one of our Charlotte injury lawyers, make sure to ask any questions or concerns you have. They’ll review your case and let you know if it has value.
They can also reach out to the insurance company and find out why your claim was denied. Hopefully, they’ll be able to get your claim paid rather quickly. If not, they’ll do whatever it takes to get you the compensation and medical coverage you deserve. Since the initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.