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The workers’ compensation system of Albemarle, North Carolina aims to provide financial relief to injured workers. When any injury happens in the workplace, the victim can file a claim against their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy to receive benefits to help them recover. State law requires almost every employer in the state to have this insurance coverage, and an employer faces heavy fines and other penalties if they do not.
If you or a loved one recently suffered an injury at work, you could face a complex series of legal entanglements as you seek compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Even if your claim seems straightforward, there are countless possible issues that may arise and complicate your path to recovery. When you have experienced legal counsel assisting you, you are not only less likely to encounter these problems but will be fully prepared if you do.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has a team of seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys with years of successful cases behind us. Our firm believes in client-focused legal counsel, taking time to learn as much as possible about each client we represent. When you choose our firm as your legal representation, you are investing in years of professional experience to help approach your case with peace of mind.
Some industries, like construction and manufacturing, are more prone to workplace accidents due to the inherently dangerous nature of working in these fields, but workplace injuries can occur in any work environment in Albemarle. As long as an injury happens while the victim is performing their job duties, they are likely covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. A few of the most commonly reported workplace injuries in Albemarle that generate workers’ compensation claims include:
These are only a few examples of the common causes of workplace injuries in the Albemarle area each year. Whenever a work injury occurs, the victim should report the incident to their supervisor immediately and seek medical attention. A worker with an injury is allowed to see any available doctor during an emergency situation, but they will likely need to visit a physician approved by their employer’s insurance carrier to proceed with their claim.
Most workers’ compensation insurance companies will require claimants to undergo medical examinations from physicians they approve. These workers’ compensation doctors are expected to review an injured claimant’s condition and assign a disability rating, a numerical value indicating their level of functional capacity remaining after their injury. This disability rating is then used to determine the scope of the benefits the claimant can receive if their claim is approved.
If you disagree with the first doctor’s assessment, you have the right to seek a second opinion. Once you have obtained your disability rating and completed the other preliminary steps of the claim process, you can proceed with filing your workers’ compensation claim. The insurance carrier will review your claim forms and all supporting documentation, and once they approve your claim, you will receive a determination of benefits.
The purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is twofold. First, it protects covered employers by allowing them to avoid civil liability for their injured workers’ damages. Second, it helps injured workers with financial benefits that alleviate the stress and uncertainty a workplace injury can generate. Most claimants are eligible to receive two forms of compensation: medical expense coverage and ongoing disability benefits. Your Albemarle workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand what type of benefits are most applicable to your situation and what you can expect from the claim determination process.
Medical expenses are straightforward and easily proven with the appropriate documentation, and most insurance carriers will pay for a wide range of immediate and ongoing treatments until a claimant reaches maximum medical improvement. When it comes to disability benefits, these are awarded based on how long the victim will take to recover and what functional capacity they retain for gainful employment after their injury.
It’s possible for an injured worker in Albemarle to qualify for temporary or permanent disability benefits depending on whether they suffered permanent harm from their injuries. Most claimants will be eligible for weekly disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. However, if an injured claimant is completely unable to work in the future because of the severity of their injury, this limit may be extended, and they could qualify to continue receiving weekly disability benefits for many years.
Partial disability benefits are awarded when injured claimants can still work but cannot earn as much income due to their injuries. For example, if you were hurt but can handle light duty or a lower-paying alternative position after your injury, you may receive partial disability benefits that offset the difference in your income. You are required to report your earnings to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier so they can adjust your benefits payments accordingly. Failure to meet your requirements under any partial disability determination could lead to loss of benefits and/or prosecution for workers’ compensation fraud.
Your Albemarle workers’ compensation attorney can assist you with filing a claim, and once you have received your determination of benefits, they can address any discrepancies concerning the insurance carrier’s handling of your case and the amount of benefits they have allotted to you. If your employer does not have appropriate insurance coverage, caused your injury intentionally, or a third party is to blame for your workplace injury, you can file a personal injury claim to recover the damages that workers’ compensation insurance cannot repay.
Workers’ compensation insurance aims to protect employers from liability for their injured workers’ damages, but only if they have proper insurance coverage and fulfill their legal obligations to their employees. It is possible for an injured employee to have grounds for legal recourse against their employer after filing for workers’ compensation benefits. It’s more likely, however, for them to have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim.
If any third party outside of your work caused your injury in Albemarle, a workers’ compensation claim is just the first phase of your recovery process. Once you have completed your claim and received your determination of benefits from your employer’s insurance carrier, your Albemarle workers’ compensation attorney can help file a personal injury claim against the third party who caused your injury.
In North Carolina, the plaintiff in a personal injury suit has the right to claim full repayment of any and all economic losses they suffered due to the defendant’s actions. These include medical expenses, lost income, lost future earning capacity, and property damage. Workers’ compensation benefits may cover medical expenses and a portion of lost income, but a third-party personal injury claim allows the plaintiff to recover their remaining economic losses that insurance cannot repay. Additionally, they also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation from the defendant.
State law does not place any limits on pain and suffering compensation for most personal injury claims. Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, their pain and suffering compensation may form the bulk of their final case award. If the plaintiff suffered a severe injury resulting in permanent disability, their attorney might seek a large lump sum calculated by multiplying their total economic losses by a factor that reflects the severity of their injury. Alternatively, the attorney may seek an ongoing per diem settlement that awards compensation for each day of their client’s recovery when they are expected to recover in the near future.
Ultimately, a successful third-party personal injury claim can augment the benefits obtained through the workers’ compensation claim process. For both of these recovery efforts, the victim needs legal counsel they can trust to reach positive results. When you choose Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler to handle your work injury case in Albemarle, we can assist you in filing your workers’ compensation claim, and if you have grounds for further legal recourse, we can help navigate these proceedings as well.
Experienced legal counsel is an invaluable asset for any work injury case in Albemarle. You could face legal challenges you do not know how to address on your own if you tried to handle your case yourself. You could also mistakenly settle for much less compensation than you legally deserve, or you could make mistakes in your claim filing process that extend the time it takes you to obtain your benefits. It’s also possible you could overlook crucial aspects of your case and miss your opportunity to fully recover.
When you have Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler as your legal representation, we will do everything we can to streamline your workers’ compensation claim and any subsequent recovery efforts you have grounds to pursue. Our firm takes a client-focused approach to work injury claims, so we will take time to get to know you and your situation to ensure we address your unique needs and concerns for your recovery efforts.
We can not only assist you with your workers’ compensation case but also with legal action against an employer for retaliation or a third-party personal injury claim against the specific party responsible for your injury. Whatever your case entails, we can carefully investigate the details and assist you in forming a cohesive legal strategy that aims for maximum compensation for your damages.
Our team has a solid track record of stellar results for our clients in the Albemarle area. We know the many challenges you could face in your recovery efforts after a workplace injury and how to help you navigate these situations successfully. The sooner you consult our team for legal counsel, the sooner we can begin working on your case and guiding you to the compensation you deserve.
A: The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is two years under state law. However, it always behooves an injured worker to file their claim as soon as possible after an injury occurs at work. This not only preserves the integrity of any evidence you may need to prove how your injury happened but also prevents the insurance company from doubting your claim due to the time it took you to file it.
A: You have the right to try to handle your claim without legal representation, but you would face serious risks in doing so. Hiring an attorney to help with your claim improves not only your chance of success but also the overall quality of the final outcome. The right attorney can help navigate your case more seamlessly and reduce the time it takes you to receive your benefits. If you have grounds for additional legal action, they can help with this as well.
A: The average injured worker in Albemarle should expect full coverage of their medical expenses and ongoing disability benefits until they recover as much as medically possible. Benefits are awarded case by case, based on the severity of a claimant’s injuries. Your Albemarle workers’ compensation attorney can review your employer’s policy and help you understand what to expect in terms of the compensation you could receive.
A: Causing your own injury at work does not necessarily disqualify you from workers’ compensation benefits as long as the injury happened from simple negligence or an honest mistake. If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work, willfully violated workplace safety regulations, or engaged in horseplay that resulted in your injury, these could form grounds for disqualification, however. If you have any concerns about bearing fault for your work injury, consult your Albemarle workers’ compensation attorney. Bear in mind that the state upholds a contributory negligence rule, so your fault may not bar you from claiming workers’ compensation benefits, but it will prevent you from filing a civil suit against any other party for a personal injury.
A: The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler accepts clients on a contingency basis. This means you are not obligated to pay upfront or ongoing legal fees for our firm’s representation, and you will only pay a fee after we win compensation on your behalf. This fee is a percentage of the total case award, and you keep the remainder. If we cannot obtain compensation on your behalf, you owe nothing for our services, so there is no risk to you by hiring our firm to represent you.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has the professional experience, resources, and legal skills you want on your side when you are facing a workers’ compensation claim in Albemarle. Our firm has helped many past clients recover from serious work-related injuries from all types of workplaces, and we can leverage this experience on your behalf. If you are ready to speak with an Albemarle workers’ compensation attorney about your situation, contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.
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