The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Guide was created by H. Bright Linder to help residents obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
Some jobs are abundant with hazards and injuries can occur due to those hazards. However, other incidents including accidents caused by improper training or safety procedures also occur. Anytime you are injured on the job, you should seek immediate medical attention and report the accident to your employer. Once you have reported an accident, your employer has an obligation to report it to their insurance carrier. If you have reason to believe your employer has failed in this responsibility, you should seek advice from a personal injury attorney so you know how to proceed.
When you are injured on the job, your first step is to obtain immediate medical treatment if necessary. Tell your health care provider that you were injured at work and the name of your employer. This will ensure your health care provider bills your employer or its insurance company directly for the treatment.
At the earliest possible time, but no later than 30 days after your injury, notify your employer. You must provide oral and written notice of your injury to your employer within 30 days. The written notice does not have to be on a specific form; you simply need to write down what happened and when.
Workers‘ compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence.
When you’re hurt at work it can feel like your life is over. We hate that you have to feel like this. Injuries are awful and the negligence that caused them is reprehensible. We want to help. Please call our North Carolina workers compensation lawyer today.
The Benefits of Workers Compensation
Workers compensation is for anyone who was hurt when they were at work or doing something within the tasks of their job. That could be a slip and fall in an office, a car accident on the way to a clients house, a construction accident, etc. Workers compensation exists to give you benefits that cover the damages of your claim. That includes lost wages from missed time at work, medical expenses, rehab, therapy and more. Any expense incurred because of this accident can be evaluated into your compensation.
Workers compensation can be awarded for countless types of injuries. A frequent type of accident is obviously construction and industrial sites that cause serious injuries. It’s not always those types of workers though. Perhaps you were moving stock at a store and fell off a ladder. You can get workers compensation for that. You could also get workers compensation if you were an administrator who tripped over cables in the office and hurt yourself. Workplace injuries don’t discriminate.
What we don’t want to happen after an accident is you brushing it off and ignoring the pain. We want you to report your accident, get medical attention and talk to a North Carolina workers compensation lawyer right away.
Walking Through the Steps
First, you’re going to tell your boss, supervisor, HR, or manager about the injury and have them file an accident report. You’re going to get a copy of that report. You will take photos and videos of the scene of the accident for evidence. Then you will get medical attention. It can be at an emergency room, urgent care for your primary care physician. Then we would like you to pick up the phone as soon as you’re able to and call our office to set up a consultation with our North Carolina workers compensation lawyer.
Understanding the Process
If your report is filed and was done correctly, you can get a value to your claim determined. It will take some time to get to this point so be patient. This compensation includes a number of things like a portion of what you would be making if you were still able to work.
In the time following reporting your injuries to your employer is when you need to be in touch with your North Carolina workers compensation lawyer. Check with them to see if you need to get anything in order or follow any procedures. They may ask you for evidence you may have collected as well as any medical records or bills you have. Be ready to stay in touch with them during this time.
The insurance will be on your case trying to diminish your claim. They will be looking to save themselves money which would mean you get less. We work hard to stop them from shorting you.
What Benefits Am I Entitled to for Workers Compensation?
As mentioned there are several things you can qualify for. Your body is in essence a huge piece of evidence. You have injuries and pain and limitations that you never had before this incident. We take all of this into consideration. The way this has changed your life is a large factor into the benefits you’re entitled to. Consider all the way it has changed your life. Are you able to enjoy the same level of activity? Have you needed surgeries? Can you return to the same job you did before this?
Anything that has changed in your life negatively because of this accident is considered when your benefits are given to you. You may need your occupational rehab covered so that you can learn how to do something else to provide for your family. You may not be as mobile anymore and that affects your mental health. Pain and suffering is a damage that will be compensated for. We are thorough. We want you to get a full compensation award with all possible benefits.
Due to the dangerous nature of construction work, construction injuries occur frequently. There are many safety programs, regulations, and inspection procedures to prevent injuries on a work site, but unfortunately, injuries still occur due to hazards such as falling materials, electrocution, exposure to dangerous chemicals, repetitive motion injuries, and unsafe equipment. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, an injury claim can allow you to receive compensation.
Filing a Construction Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured because your employer, a property manager, or a contractor has failed to implement OSHA standards, you should first seek immediate medical attention. Once you’ve received treatment, you should report the injury to your employer in writing and keep a copy for your own records. At this point, you may also want to contact an attorney experienced in construction injury claims to learn more about your legal options.
Injuries that occur on a work site are typically subject to worker’s compensation regulations, which can preclude your right to file an injury claim against the parties responsible for your injuries. An experienced attorney can explain how workers’ compensation and personal injury claims intersect and help you determine the best course of action for your case.
Going to Court for Workers’ Compensation
Recently, someone called me and said their claim was denied. I told them they were going to need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to take their case to court and get their workers’ compensation benefits instated the way they should have been. Somebody who has a denied case is probably going to have to go to court or at least prepare to go to court. When the workers’ comp carrier and the employer see that you have an attorney that’s preparing to go to court, then they might want to try to settle with you, but they know that the settlement’s going to have to be big enough to stop you from going to court because they know that you’ve got an attorney that’s prepared to go to court.
On the other hand, I’ve had other clients who were receiving their benefits. When they receive their benefits, they want to know if they would have to go to court. It all depends. If they have an employer and an insurance company that’s just plain stingy and doesn’t want to admit the reality of things with their injuries and how severe they are, and the pain that they’re going through, yes, you may have to go to court. On the other hand, if it’s an admitted case and you’re receiving benefits, the next thing you’re going to have to worry about is if the workers’ comp carrier will try to take advantage of you. The workers’ comp carrier and the employer know their rights and the injured worker’s rights, and they will use that knowledge to try to protect their money and save money at the expense of that injured worker. They know that most injured workers don’t receive a course in what their rights are in North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits.
Even if you’re receiving benefits, you may not have to go to court, but having an experienced attorney prepare your case for either going to court or settling your case is going to be better for you. Even after you pay the attorney, there have been many, many cases where we have gotten our clients settlements where they came out better than what the workers’ comp carrier was originally planning to pay, even after they paid my fee. That’s because the workers’ comp carriers are attempting to save as much money as possible at an injured worker’s expense; that’s how they operate. Call our office and let us protect you in these situations.
Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
The other day someone called me up and said, “I’ve been injured on the job and I may have to have surgery. I still don’t understand why I might need an attorney. My employer has always been good to me, and I trust them.” When you’re in this situation, you have changed. The relationship between you and your employer has changed, though through no fault of yours. Your injury may even make you a different worker for your employer. Your employer is interested in you because of what you can do for them— that’s why they gave you a job, and your injury may interfere with that.
Your employer knows your rights, and they know their rights. Most people injured on the job have never taken a course in high school or even college on what to do when you’re injured on the job and what your rights are. A workers’ compensation attorney is going to be able to tell you what your rights are, and assert those rights for you, and prevent the employer that knows their rights and your rights from taking advantage of you. You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Call our office and we will be glad to assist you in North Carolina.
Being Released to Return to Work
In North Carolina, if you have an accepted claim and you’ve been required to go to a company doctor, there’s a reason why the company wants you to see that doctor. A lot of the time, one of the reasons is because they know that the company doctor is going to rate and release you, and evaluate you for restrictions in a way that the company wants to happen so that they can terminate your checks. The company will do that whether or not you can truly return to work or not. If the company does that and you return to work, and you find out that you can’t do it, you’re at the mercy of your company. Sometimes the company will send you back to the doctor, while other companies will figure out a way to fire you and blame it on something totally unrelated to your injury on the job, when everybody in the world knows it’s exactly related to your injury on the job.
You need an experienced North Carolina attorney to protect you from these types of situations and to plan for these types of situations well before the company doctor gets around to releasing you. There are things called functional capacity evaluations, and there are some companies that provide these tests that also are nothing more than company doctors. There are other companies that will give you an honest test and honest results, that will confirm that you’re hurt, like you believe you are, and that you aren’t capable of returning to work.
The other day I had a client that called me from North Carolina, saying they wanted to know what to do. They had just gotten injured the day before at work. I told them they immediately needed to report that injury to their employer so that we could document that the injury actually occurred. I also mentioned to them that they needed to get medical attention so that the medical professionals could document the injury. You may even need to go to your own personal doctor to get this injury documented right away. You get the injury documented, for all of the injuries, starting from your head and working your way down to your toes. One reason you have to do this is because if you go to a company doctor, the company doctors aren’t going to be as helpful.
These are some of the things I think you need to do, and then call an attorney right away. It’s very important because there are some written notifications that you also have to do in North Carolina within 30 days, and I’ll be glad to help you with that. Feel free to call my office and we’ll help you in every way we can.
Workers’ Comp Injury Coverage
The other day someone from Rockingham called me and wanted to know if they could file a claim for lung disease, having received exposure years ago. Workers’ compensation covers different types of injuries. First of all, workers’ compensation covers the obvious injuries, such as slip, trips, or falls that can occur at work and that are tied to your work. The second classification of injuries are occupational diseases. In North Carolina, you can file claims for things like lung disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, or reactive airways disease, and you have two years from the time the disease is diagnosed to file that claim.
Nevertheless, these types of claims are complex and require an understanding of the medicine, which is also complex, so you need an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. Feel free to contact our office to assist you with any type of injury that you think came from your job. We will help you sort that out, and we will fight for you if we can tie that injury to your workplace.
Refusing to File an Accident Report
The other day someone called me, saying they were concerned that their employer was not even filing their claim. Their fear was a real one, and I had to ask them some questions. I asked them if the employer actually had them write out a statement. I asked them if the employer wrote a statement based on what they were telling the employer or when the employer was asking a series of questions, and then I asked them if somebody called them up over the telephone and asked them for a recorded statement. Once I got this information, I explained something that’s fundamental in North Carolina law. When you’re injured on the job in North Carolina, you have a responsibility to file your claim.
If you’ve been injured on the job in North Carolina, even though you’ve notified your employer, you need to file a written notice of injury, preferably a notice of injury on forms that the court, for people injured on the job, provides for employees to provide notice of injury in a legal way. Our office can assist you in filing these forms, and we can tell you that you have to file these forms within 30 days to make certain you perfect your claim.
If you’ve been injured on the job, don’t rely on or believe your employer is taking care of everything. Your employer doesn’t have to file anything. Often, they will act like they’ve filed your claim when, in reality, they haven’t filed anything. Your notice of injury has to be filed in the North Carolina Industrial Commission, and that’s in Raleigh. In fact, a lot of employers will file their notice of a reported injury and leave the employee to believe that that is perfecting their claim – it’s not. If you’ve been injured on the job, call our office and let us tell you how to file all these written notices to protect your rights, your future, and your family’s future. Call us.
Disputed Workers’ Comp Claim
Recently, someone called me up from North Carolina and said that they had given a recorded statement. They were cooperating, had given notice of their injury, had a really great relationship with their employer, and they expected their employer to take care of them. They expected their employer to honor the fact that for 20 years they had come to work on time, they had worked over when they were asked, and they had never given anybody any problems. Unfortunately, once they got hurt, their employer changed. Their employer was more concerned about keeping production running and figuring out who was going to take their place than they were in accepting their claim, sending them to honest doctors, and trying to help them.
If you get in this situation – it happens to a lot of people – it doesn’t mean that you weren’t honest, that you didn’t report your claim, and that you weren’t a good worker. What it means is your employer has always looked at you in economic terms, more than anything else, and your injury prevents you from being able to do for them what you used to do. When you get in this situation, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Call our office and let us help. Let us fight for you. We’ll be glad to do that.
Scheduled Loss of Use
In North Carolina, you may have heard about something called a scheduled loss, or you may have even heard about the rating. In fact, some people who have been injured on the job, that’s really what they know about workers’ compensation. When you have a serious injury with permanent impairment, you need to consult with an experienced North Carolina attorney, because a scheduled loss injury or a rating injury is the lowest form of settlement in North Carolina. If you have a serious injury that prevents you from doing your past work or prevents you from working at all, you may well be entitled to more benefits than a scheduled loss injury or rating.
A lot of times the employer knows their rights, and they know your rights, and they realize you don’t know all your rights because this is the first time you’ve ever been through anything like this. As a result, they will offer the employee the rating and act like they’re doing a favor to the employee when, in fact, the employee is entitled to much more. Contact our office and know that many, many times we have taken someone who has been offered a rating and gotten them a much better legal result, even after our office was paid, because the employer was trying to take advantage of them and only offer them a scheduled loss or rating settlement when their losses were much greater. Contact our office and let us help you.
Recently, someone called my office that was on workers’ comp and was a little worried because they were representing themselves and had been contacted by someone that the insurance company hired to provide them with “vocational rehabilitation.” On the surface, vocational rehabilitation sounds like an innocent term. It’s big words for “we’re going to try to help you find a job.” We have to go beneath the surface in North Carolina workers’ comp because employers are consistently looking for how they can save themselves money, and they don’t care if they save themselves money at your expense.
When an insurance company hires a “vocational rehabilitation specialist,” there are lots of dirty tricks that you have to be aware of. The vocational rehabilitation specialist cannot always write an honest report about your injuries and your disabilities. The reason they can’t is because if they start writing reports that actually show that you’re truly injured and can’t go back to work, then the workers’ comp carrier will become angry with them and will take them off the job and not send them any other cases. These vocational rehabilitation specialists hired by insurance companies and employers are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they’re supposed to really try to help you and have a code of ethics that say they’re supposed to help you. On the other hand, if they’re really honest about your injury, they’re going to get fired and they know it.
When you have someone contact you from vocational rehabilitation hired by the insurance company, you need experienced workers’ compensation attorneys that are experienced in North Carolina law. There’s a number of steps we can take to prevent this “wolf in sheep’s clothing” from harming your case. One of them is we know vocational experts that are actually honest and willing to call it like they see it, and we know how to get you to those people.
When you’re in this situation, you’re in danger. You need to contact our office and let us help you before mistakes occur that cannot be undone. Your family is relying on you, your rights are at stake, so contact our office and let us help. Again, there are times when a vocational rehabilitation specialist hired by and insurance company is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t let that wolf get you. Call our office.
Denied Workers Compensation
Just the other day someone called me and said they trusted their employer, thought that their claim had been reported, and thought they were going to be treated well after they were seriously injured on the job. They had been a long-time employee and they believed that they were going to be taken care of. What they couldn’t bring themselves to believe was that they weren’t being taken care of. After several months, they realized they weren’t, and they called my office. If this is you, we will immediately spring into action for you.
We will make sure to first get a copy of the file from the North Carolina Industrial Commission to make certain that all the documents that the employer was supposed to file and even you should have filed are either there or make sure, if they’re not there, we get them filed for you. We will immediately request a hearing so that you can have your day in court. That day won’t come overnight, but we will use the time while we’re waiting for that day to prepare your case. That may mean sending you to more doctors, getting more opinions, and figuring out how serious your injuries are and how they’re going to impact your ability to return to work.
If your injuries are so severe that you in your heart know and you in your gut know you can’t return to work, then I’m going to work for my client to develop their case so that we can prove that both medically and vocationally with someone who has a master’s degree in vocational counseling. If this is you, contact our office. We would be glad to help you, and we want the opportunity to start working for you as soon as possible. The clock is ticking on you, even if you didn’t really know there was a clock. There’s a part of you that realizes something is off, so use that to contact our office and let us fight for you and your family.
Settling a Workers’ Comp Case
Recently, someone called me from North Carolina and said, “I’m about to go to my doctor, and I think that doctor is going to release me to return to work.” At that point, you’ve waited a long time to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. If you’re still at that point, with a lot of hard work, we can still make up for the lost time, but we’ll be playing catch-up.
When you go to settle your case, you have to really understand the extent of your injuries, and going through a workers’ comp system, set up by the employers, directed by the employers to company doctors, does not ensure that you’re really going to be aware of your true injuries and your true limitations. You have to know what your limitations truly are. You have to know what kind of abilities will allow you to compete for a new job after you’ve healed up and you’re as well as you’re going to be, and you’re going to have to determine what you can do. If you’ve never worked a desk job in your life, but you now have physical injuries that mean you can’t go back to the kind of work that you’ve done in the past, then you need an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to help you prepare to settle your case and to make certain that you aren’t taken advantage of.
When there is an actual paper settlement, there’s a lot of different legal issues and paperwork things that the attorney is going to handle for you, explain to you, and check for you so that you don’t sign something and make a mistake because you didn’t realize what you were going to sign. There’s really two parts to this question. First, before you settle, you have to be thoroughly educated on the true extent of your injuries, and you have to have doctors that are going to evaluate you fairly. Once you do reach an agreement, the paperwork needs to be read over by an attorney who understands all the lawyer talk and understands how your case may interact with potential other claims that you might have, so that you don’t sign paperwork and find out that you signed something you really didn’t understand and you can’t take it back.
Didn’t Miss Any Time at Work
Just the other day in North Carolina, someone called me up that had had a serious injury, but the employer was still allowing them to work so that the employer wouldn’t have lost time. That person wanted to know why they need an attorney, if they’re still working. I had to explain to them that there’s a lot of pitfalls and a lot of bad things that can happen if you don’t know your rights. Even though you’re still working, you know you have a serious injury. If you have serious injury, at some point, the fallout from that injury is going to impact your ability to work. The employer is always looking to cut cost, even if it comes at your expense.
At some point, that employer or their workers’ comp carrier is going to make a move to cut you off of your benefits, whether you agree or not. This is why you need to contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney, even if you’re still at work. That attorney can begin to start planning for the day when the employer turns on you. I know that your employer may well have been good friends with you before you were hurt, but now you’re hurt and you can’t do for them what they need you to do, so they’re going to look at you differently, as difficult as that may feel.
An attorney that’s working on the case from the beginning is going to know how to stay two steps ahead of your employer to protect your rights and your family.
Workers’ Comp Hearing
Recently, someone called me up and said, “I have a workers’ compensation case, and I’ve been representing myself. I need to know whether I should show up to go to court. I feel a little uneasy about it, and I’m wondering whether I need to get an attorney.” Well, if you find yourself in that situation, then you need to get a legal opinion about your case from an attorney before you try to go to court and represent yourself. Certainly, though, if you don’t have time to get an attorney, you need to go to court, explain to the judge that you plan to get an attorney, and ask for a continuance so that you can get an attorney. Then you need to contact attorneys right away and be prepared to provide that attorney with the documents that you have in your case, and let that attorney assess your case, and see if that attorney wants to take your case and represent you in court.
Understand that you’ve waited a long time to retain an attorney. You have to realize that it’s going to be very difficult for you to represent yourself in court. You certainly need to show up at court to let the judge know that you care about your case. If you don’t show up or retain an attorney, the judge will dismiss the case and you will lose your case. Frankly, if you’ve got a court case, you’re going to need to be in court when you have an attorney or, chances are, the attorney is going to move to have the hearing put off to another time. The real question and the real problem you need to solve is you need to find yourself an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney.
Limits to Workers’ Comp Benefits
Recently, I received a call from someone in North Carolina who had been on workers’ comp for a while, and they wanted to know if there was a cap on the amount of benefits that they could receive in North Carolina. In North Carolina, there is a threshold cap, that is to say a cap where you have to cross over a certain line before you can get more benefits. In North Carolina, that line is 500 weeks. However, if your injuries are so severe that you can prove that you cannot work, even though you’re approaching the 500-week line, you may qualify for lifetime benefits. A lot of this depends on the medical evidence, as well as your education and the type of skills that you’ve acquired as you were working before you got hurt. It will also depend on how our courts interpret the law that imposed the cap after 2011 in North Carolina. If you feel like you have this type of situation or you’re just concerned about your case, feel free to contact us so that we can help you and assess your case. If you feel like you’re not going to be able to go back to work, but the company doctor that you’re having to treat with is going to tell you that you can anyway, that’s a red flag that you need an experienced North Carolina attorney in workers’ comp to assess your case. The sooner you get that attorney, the better you will be and the more time the attorney will have to do the work that’s necessary to protect your rights and protect your family.
Recently, someone called me and said that their workers’ compensation claim had been denied. They wanted to retain me to help them fight for their rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act in North Carolina; while we were fighting, they also let me know that their company had short-term disability and long-term disability and that they had no problems with the short-term disability, but it was about to run out, and they sensed that they were going to be denied on their long-term disability. There are times when you can collect long-term disability and you can collect workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. Sometimes, the employer will get a credit for the long-term benefits that you receive, maybe sometimes even the short-term benefits. Other times, the employer doesn’t get a credit for it. Regardless, we will be developing your case for your injury on the job and how it impacts your wage-earning capacity, which is another way of saying how your injury causes disability. A lot of times, the same evidence that can be used for your workers’ compensation claim can be
used for short-term or long-term disability. If we think we’re going to be in a protracted battle for long-term or short-term disability, we may call in other lawyers that specialize in those types of cases while we fight for you on your workers’ compensation claim
Benefits Besides Workers’ Comp
Recently, someone called me and said that their workers’ compensation claim had been denied. They wanted to retain me to help them fight for their rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act in North Carolina; while we were fighting, they also let me know that their company had short-term disability and long-term disability and that they had no problems with the short-term disability, but it was about to run out, and they sensed that they were going to be denied on their long-term disability. There are times when you can collect long-term disability and you can collect workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. Sometimes, the employer will get a credit for the long-term benefits that you receive, maybe sometimes even the short-term benefits. Other times, the employer doesn’t get a credit for it. Regardless, we will be developing your case for your injury on the job and how it impacts your wage-earning capacity, which is another way of saying how your injury causes disability. A lot of times, the same evidence that can be used for your workers’ compensation claim can be used for short-term or long-term disability. If we think we’re going to be in a protracted battle for long-term or short-term disability, we may call in other lawyers that specialize in those types of cases while we fight for you on your workers’ compensation claim. Call our office. We’ve dealt with this many times in the past, and we would be glad to help you.
Workers’ Compensation Medical Expenses
The other day, someone from North Carolina called me, and they were upset, angry even, that they had been injured on the job. The employer had sent them to their company doctor, and they were still getting bills for that treatment when this case happened – their injury happened on the job, and it was the employer’s responsibility to pay the bills. First of all, if you are injured on the job, your company or your workers’ compensation carrier should pay all medical bills for treatment from the emergency room that is related to the injuries that you had on the job. If you have to go to a specialist such as an orthopedist, your company should pay all of those bills. If you had to be transported to the emergency room from the worksite or from some other place, the ambulance bill should be paid for by the employer.
If your employer is not paying these bills, then that’s a red flag that your employer may not be following other rules that might impact you that you may not know about. Understand that the employer knows their rights, and they know your rights, and if they know that you don’t know your rights, they will use the superior knowledge to try to save themselves money, so if you find yourself in this situation where bills aren’t getting paid, you – that’s a red flag that you need to contact an experienced North Carolina attorney to not only make the employer pay all the medical bills, but to assess the entire case to make sure this employer isn’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes in other parts of your case. We see this all the time. Contact our office and let us make the employer pay the medical bills. Let us assist the entire case to protect your rights and your family.
Choosing a Workers’ Comp Attorney
I recently had a client call me from North Carolina, and they wanted to know how to choose the best workers’ comp attorney in North Carolina. I explained to them that they needed an attorney that was experienced in two ways. They need an attorney that understands the law, is used to going to court and fighting for their client, for one, but they also need an attorney that understands a lot of the dirty tricks that employers play before you get into the courtroom. That’s equally important, and it takes both street smarts and attorney book learning to prosecute a workers’ comp claim successfully in North Carolina, so you want to get to an experienced attorney that understands both of these things. If you have any further questions, feel free to call my office, and we’ll be glad to explain more and help you with your case.
Reporting Injuries to Management
The other day, someone called me from North Carolina with a serious injury on the job. They were afraid to report it to their boss because they were afraid their boss was going to get mad. As hard as it might be, you have to report your injury in North Carolina to the employer; more importantly, you have to provide written notice of your injury within 30 days. It may make the employer angry. You may find that the other supervisors treat you differently. If you have a serious injury, however, it’s just not going to go away, so you need to report it, and then you need to hire an experienced attorney that can help you report your injury in a more legal way in writing in a way that’s going to perfect your claim in North Carolina and protect your interest. If you’ve been seriously hurt, you may not be able to work, and your injuries may not show up right away. They may show up a month, six weeks, or even several months down the line, but you know how your body feels, so if you need more help with a serious injury in North Carolina and perfecting that claim, please call my office, and we’ll be glad to help.
Workers’ Comp with Unemployment Benefits
Recently, someone from North Carolina called me and explained to me they were receiving workers’ compensation benefits, but they were getting some negative vibes from the company nurse case manager and from the insurance adjuster. They were worried. They wanted to know if they should go ahead and apply for unemployment benefits, in the event that their workers’ comp checks got cut off.
First of all, we immediately let that person know that we needed to meet with them in person and go through these things with them in person. When you are receiving workers’ comp benefits, you’re representing to the world that you have an injury, you’re impaired, and you’re unable to work at your old job. When you apply for unemployment benefits, you’re telling the world that I can work; there’s nothing wrong with me. I just got laid off from my job because of the economy. When you apply for workers’ comp benefits or receive workers’ comp benefits and then apply for unemployment benefits, you are contradicting yourself in the legal sense.
Yes, I know you need money, but the purposes of these two programs are totally different. The message that you send is a contradiction. This contradiction can be used by your employer to cut you off in your workers’ comp case and possibly cut you off in your unemployment case.
The other day, someone from North Carolina called me and wanted to know if they could get workers’ comp benefits after they had been injured on the job. They reported their injury to their employer and then they went to the doctor. They told the doctor they had injured the same shoulder ten years ago. The employer and the workers’ compensation carrier got a copy of the medical record and then sent a letter saying that they were denying the claim due to a pre-existing condition.
This is wrong. In North Carolina, if you have a material aggravation to a body part that has been injured before, but you were able to work, the employer cannot deny the claim on the basis of pre-existing condition. That’s an employer trick. If you are hearing things like that from the workers’ compensation carrier or the employer themselves, that’s a red flag that you need to contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney that can help you dig and get your case back on track and protect your rights, your right to future medical care, and the rights of your family that you are supporting. Feel free to contact our office and let us help.
Fired For Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Someone called me the other day who had reported their injury on the job to their supervisors. The supervisors sent them to the urgent care. Of course, the urgent care told them they could return to work in two days, even though they felt that was too soon.
When they returned to their workplace, they weren’t just greeted by their supervisor; they were greeted by three different people from management. When that happens, it’s a red flag that things aren’t going right in your workers’ compensation case and that you probably need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assess your entire case. It also means that you may need a workers’ compensation attorney that’s going to take your case to court and make the company follow the workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina.
Workers Compensation Wage Replacement Benefits
In North Carolina, you are able to make a determination about your rights at a point when you reach maximum medical improvement. That is when your doctor says that you’re as well as you’re going to be and that you have a permanent restriction. In North Carolina, it’s very important for you to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the earliest time possible because, a lot of times, employers will send you to doctors that know that you have a permanent restriction, that know that your body is not going to do what it used to do, but will still say that you have no restrictions.
If you have no restrictions, your settlement is going to be very limited. If you do have restrictions that are permanent, then you may be entitled to the fact that you’ve had to take a cut in pay and a settlement based on the cut in pay— not, say, the lowest form of settlement in North Carolina, the rating. If your restrictions are so severe that you can’t work altogether, then you’re also entitled to a settlement based on the fact that you can’t return to work at all. Under the right circumstances, you may even be entitled to lifetime benefits, but that’s going to take some serious work. That’s going to take the analysis from a workers’ compensation attorney that’s experienced in North Carolina.
A settlement of a workers’ compensation case in North Carolina is a complex thing. If you’ve got a serious injury, you need an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to advise you and help you build your case. Don’t hesitate to call our office right away to give us time to start working on your case so that at the end of the case, we can get what you’re entitled to really have by law, not something that the employer just wants to give you, which is usually a few crumbs.
Partially at Fault For a Workplace Injury
The other day, someone in North Carolina called me who had made a mistake and injured themselves on the job. Their employer tried to tell them that because they were at fault, the plant didn’t have to cover it. Everybody can make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are because the plant didn’t train you as well as they should have to begin with, so it may not even be your fault.
The bottom line is this; North Carolina is a no-fault workers’ compensation system. It doesn’t depend on who was at fault; it depends on how you got hurt and what your relationship to the activity you were doing when you got hurt is to your workplace and you benefiting your employer. That’s what determines what is covered under North Carolina workers’ compensation law. The fact that it might have been your fault is really not relevant.
If your employer is telling you that, they’re simply trying to pull the wool over your eyes. You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to deal with an employer that would try to trick you like that. We know all the employer tricks. We’ve seen all of them. We’ve been practicing workers’ compensation law since 1990. Feel free to call our office and we will be glad to help you.
Disability Retirement Benefits
Just the other day, an older person that had been injured on the job in North Carolina called my office and wanted to know if they were entitled to their retirement benefits, in addition to continuing to receive their workers’ compensation benefits from where they had been injured on the job. In fact, the injuries on the job were the very reason that they went ahead and retired. Under North Carolina law, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits and your retirement benefits, but you have to be careful that your employer will not attempt to use the situation to make you settle your workmen’s comp case for too little money or use it to try to cut your workers’ compensation benefits out. If you’re a state employee, there’s also special considerations that have to be developed and negotiated.
All of this is very complicated. The best thing that you can do is contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. Contact our office. Let us review your case. Let us review the specific facts of your case and assist you so that we can try to get you to have the best of both worlds while it’s all legal. Call our office and let us fight for you.
Failure to Report Your Work-Related Injury
The other day, someone called me and told me they didn’t report an injury until three months later when the realized they needed to have surgery. They wanted to know if their claim could be denied. The truth of the matter is your claim is probably going to be denied simply because you didn’t report it. When that happens, you need an experienced North Carolina attorney to be able to dig for you and come up with ways to make up for the fact that you didn’t report your injury right away because you didn’t think that you were as hurt as much as you actually are and you knew that your employer would get angry, even though it wasn’t your fault that you got hurt.
Even so, North Carolina law requires an employee to report their injury when it’s – when their injury occurs on the job. When we get in this situation, we have to dig deep. We have to come up with different strategies to make up for that fact. If you are in this situation, feel free to call my office and we will help you. You certainly do need the help of an experienced North Carolina attorney when you’re in this situation.
Suing an Employer
In North Carolina, under the right circumstances, if you were injured on the job due to a co-worker who was extremely reckless, you could potentially sue that co-worker and go before a jury. The question: is that a case where a co-worker could actually pay a verdict from a jury if the verdict was high enough that it would compensate you for what you’ve been through and what you’re going through? Yes, you could sue the co-worker, but you have to think about what kind of ability a co-worker would have to pay the judgment.
It has to be a situation in North Carolina where the co-worker is truly reckless. The legal phrase is willful, wanton, and reckless. That’s lawyer talk for someone who’s simply very reckless to the point that they surely knew better and they did it anyway. Yes, you can sue them, but you have to think beyond just the lawsuit and make sure that it’s actually worth it in economic terms to go forward with that type of lawsuit.
Injured by a 3rd Party Co-worker
Recently, someone from North Carolina called my office and let me know that they had been injured on the job. They also let me know that the way they were injured on the job was not from somebody that worked for their employer but from somebody that worked for another employer. This person wanted to know two things. They wanted to know if they could still file for workmen’s compensation. Then they wanted to know if they could sue the person that worked for the other company.
The answer to those questions is yes. You can still file for your workers’ compensation benefits because you were injured while working on your job and you were benefiting your employer while you were – while you got hurt. You can also sue what is called the third-party. The third-party is the other person that worked for another employer that just happened to be on the premises where that person was working.
When you have a case like this, it’s called a third-party tort claim. Now, when you have this type of case, you need an attorney, ideally, that understands workers’ compensation claims and also understands how to sue the person from the other company and take them to court before a jury. Most attorneys know one part but other – but may not know the other part. Then some of the attorneys know how to go before the jury, but they don’t know the workers’ Comp part. Then some attorneys know all of it. Our firm knows both.
Our firm can take your case and help you with your workers’ Comp case to get you quicker compensation so that you can replace your lost wages and you can get your medical care, but at the same time, prepare a case against the other person that worked for the other employer so that you can bring that case before a jury. When you have a case like this, you need someone that understands the workers’ comp laws as well as the procedures and the laws that apply to suing the other employer because the two claims can interact with each other. However, if you have an attorney that understands both from the beginning, that means that both cases can be planned in a way to complement each other.
A lot of times, these cases concern very serious injuries. Our firm will be able to help you with both cases so that we can conclude your workers’ comp case and at the same time be preparing to file the claim against the other employer and go before the jury and try to get compensation that the workers’ comp did not allow you to receive. You need an experienced attorney that understands both of these types of cases. Our firm does both.
Injuries Caused by Repetitive Motions
Recently, someone called me in North Carolina. They had a job that required them to do repetitive motion with their hands over and over again. The began to feel numbness and tingling in their hand. They began to feel numbness and tingling at night and it was waking them up.
They reported it to the plant nurse. The nurse told them they were sleeping on their hands wrong. The nurse told them here’s some Tylenol; go back to work. If these are your symptoms, you may be developing carpal tunnel syndrome case. When you are developing these symptoms and you’re getting a run around from the plant, that’s a big red flag that you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina to evaluate your case and to start planning on how to build your case in the right way so that your rights and your family can be protected in North Carolina if your job is wearing out your hands and putting you at a point where you can’t work anymore on that job.
Company Doctors in Workers’ Compensation Cases
Recently, someone in North Carolina called me and said that they had been injured on the job and that they were receiving workers’ compensation checks. The employer was insisting that they go to the company doctor. If you have an accepted claim in North Carolina, the employer has the right to direct your medical treatment; however, you may have some rights to get an independent medical exam. You will probably need an attorney to assist you with that.
In fact, if you allow the insurance company to pick your independent medical exam all by themselves, it’s a trap because they’re just going to pick another doctor that has the same philosophy as the doctor that you’re treating with and is going to protect the employer. You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assist you in picking a doctor for your own independent medical evaluation to check the company doctors. If you find yourself in that situation, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney; however, if you have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney assess your case from top to bottom, you may find that the employer is bluffing and is directing you to their doctor even when they haven’t accepted your case and they’ve tricked you into thinking that they have.
You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to check that out for you so that you can find out where you really stand in the legal sense as well as where you stand in the everyday world. Contact our office and let us review your case and evaluate what your true legal position is so that we can help you with an employer that’s sending you to doctors that frankly are distant to you and seem to be more concerned about the employer or getting their surgical fees than really taking care of you. Call us; let us fight for you.
Social Security Disability
Recently, one of my workers’ compensation clients called me and wanted to know if they should apply for Social Security disability. This is a complicated question, but I told them yes. At this point in their life, at their age, with the seriousness of their injuries, I told them that they needed to go ahead and apply, but I also had to explain to them that the Social Security system was a totally different judicial system, and they had their own rules and their own mentality about when they accept claims and when they do not accept claims. What we did is we utilized a lot of the development of their workers’ compensation case to assist them in filing their Social Security disability case, and we either found an attorney to represent them in their Social Security case or I represented some of these folks in the Social Security case. It depends on how much time I have, but you can receive workers’ comp benefits and Social Security benefits simultaneously or at the same time.
Nevertheless, if you do receive Social Security benefits and workers’ comp benefits at the same time, it impacts your workers’ compensation cases in many different ways. Social Security will receive an offset for the workers’ comp benefits that you receive. Medicare is going to require the employer to make certain that if you settle your workers’ comp case, money is set aside to be prepared to treat the workers’ comp injuries so that Medicare doesn’t have to cover them. In fact, Medicare might refuse to cover them, or later on, they might deny you coverage of Medicare. When you have a workers’ comp case and a Social Security disability case, you need someone that has experience in both workers’ comp and Social Security to advise you, and I have experience in both of these areas of law. We can utilize our experience to get you the best result considering all the competing interest between Social Security, Medicare, and workers’ compensation. If you’re in this situation, contact our office. You may also find that if you’re – receive Social Security disability, it may strengthen your workers’ comp case. Certainly, you have something to fall back on, and if you have something to fall back on, it may mean that you can fight your workers’ comp case in a more effective way, so call our office. Let us help you coordinate these types of claims. We’ll be glad to help.
Statute of Limitations for Worker’s Comp
The other day, someone called me who had been hurt six months ago, but they thought that their employer had filed their claim. They had reported the injury, and the employer led them to believe by their actions and maybe even by their words that their claim had been reported. They came to see me because they began to sense that something just wasn’t right and that their employer was beginning to treat them differently. The company doctor was talking about releasing them, and the employer was acting like they weren’t going to be able to come back to work. When you’re in that situation, what you need to do is to immediately contact an experienced North Carolina attorney. You were supposed to have filed a written notice of your injury within 30 days, but your employer led you to believe that they were going to take care of everything. An experienced North Carolina attorney will know what steps to take to give the proper notice based on the circumstances and to prevent the employer from ambushing you or pulling the wool over your eyes and taking advantage of the fact that you trusted your employer when they were leading you to believe that they were taking care of everything. It’s a good thing that person called me within six months because you only have two years to bring a workers’ compensation claim, or your claim’s barred forever. If you’re in this situation, contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney right away so that we can begin to rectify the problem and get the notice issue resolved. Our office will be glad to help you. Just give us a call.
Timeline for Workers’ Comp
The other day, someone called me from North Carolina, and they said my case never seems to be ending. Why is it taking so long? I asked some more questions of that person, and I said, well, what kind of injuries have you had? What kind of treatment have you had? Have you had any surgeries? Are you going to have to have any more surgeries? Who’s paying for this medical treatment? Your case goes along with the medical treatment that has to occur, and doctors will take their time doing their best to get you well even if it takes a long time for you to heal. The legal part of a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina doesn’t really heat up until you are at the end of your healing period, so your workers’ compensation claim will last as long as it takes you to reach something called maximum medical improvement, which means that you’ve gotten as well as you’re going to be from this injury.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need an attorney all along because employers, even good ones at times or workers’ compensation carriers, will play tricks while all of this is going on, but the bottom line to answer the question is your case will take as long as it takes for your body to heal. The two are related to each other. If you need more medical treatment, then the legal part of your case is not ripe for any type of settlement because if you’ve got more medical treatment, that means you’re going to have more bills, and if you settle your case too soon, how are you going to pay those bills later? If you are having problems with a case that seems to be dragging on, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Feel free to call my office in North Carolina, and we will be glad to help.
Injured While Working from Home
The other day in North Carolina, someone called me that was working at home, and while they were working at home, they were seriously injured. They wanted to file – they tried to file their workers’ compensation claim, and the company said that it wasn’t covered because they weren’t at an actual workplace. This is a red flag that you have a tricky employer that’s not being honest with you. The reality is, you do not have to be on your worksite in order to have a valid workers’ compensation claim if the activity that you’re doing away from the worksite is still benefiting your employer and the things they’re attempting to accomplish. If you’ve been injured away from your worksite and your claim has been denied or even if your employer is starting to treat you differently and trying to be more distanced from you, that’s a red flag that you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina. Call our office because we know your rights and the employer’s limitations of their rights. We will use this knowledge to fight for you and protect you and your family. Just give us a call.
Paying Bills While Waiting for Workers’ Comp
The other day, I received a call from someone in North Carolina who had been injured on the job. Their claim has been denied, and they were no longer able to pay their bills. The first thing I did was ask them had they given the proper notices about their injury on the job. Once we clarified that, I explained to them that our best resort is to immediately file for a hearing and try to get ourselves in front of a workers’ compensation judge as fast as possible so that we can try to get the workers’ compensation benefits started. Unfortunately, employers will come up with a large number of excuses to deny claims. In addition, employers at times will send the workers’ comp claim to a different department, so that the people that you’ve been working with and that you trust are not making the decisions about your workers’ compensation claim. Some other department in another state is making that decision, and they’re looking at how they can save the company money. They don’t care whether it comes at your expense or not. Therefore, you need to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina, an experienced one, right away that knows how to go to court and knows how to fight through the system to get your workers’ compensation started. Call our office. We’ve done this for many, many clients, and we will do it for you.
Call Our North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
You are important to us. We know that the insurance company is going to give you a hard time but it’s our job to give them an even harder time. You deserve full benefits. We work hard to make sure that’s what you get. Let us make your stressful life a little easier. We will fight for your rights. When you call on our North Carolina workers compensation lawyer to represent you, you are getting a strong and dependable advocate for your case. Don’t hesitate. Call us today.
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