If you file a workers’ compensation claim, it is important that you understand the basics of what will happen. This can help you make plans for medical care, family finances, and more. Understanding the steps and potential roadblocks can also help you move the process forward and get the compensation that you deserve in a timely manner.
Although your unique situation may have extenuating circumstances or factors, most workers’ compensation claims follow a similar timeline. In all cases, it is best to hire an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. This ensures that you get the support you need, understand what lies ahead, and meet all the deadlines required in your case.
When you are injured in the workplace, it is essential that you inform your employer or your HR representative of the event. They will ask you to tell them what happened, and they will make a report. Be as straightforward as possible and omit any extraneous opinions or emotions from your statement. Ask for a copy of their report.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance, which means that an adjuster will ask you for your personal statement as well. Although your employer will likely not try to blame you for what happened, the insurance adjuster’s job is to save money for their company. They may ask leading questions or parse your statement for any indication that they should not be liable for the damages.
To best navigate your insurance statement, you should first hire a workers’ compensation attorney. We can help you practice your statement and ensure that anything you say will benefit, not hinder, your workers’ compensation claim.
The law states that the insurance company must either approve or deny your claim within 14 days of your accident. This means that the above steps will happen fairly quickly. Typically, you will receive a simple approval or denial.
However, it is possible for the insurer to begin paying for the claim but reserve the right to deny your claim for up to 90 days. This may happen if the insurance company believes that they can find proof that they are not liable within 3 months of the accident. If this happens, it is crucial that you have an attorney who can protect you. Insurance companies often use extreme or predatory tactics to try to avoid paying.
If the workers’ compensation insurance company has approved your claim, they are responsible for all medical care associated with the injury. This may involve:
If you had to pay any medical bills before your claim was approved, retain your receipts to submit for reimbursement.
You may be eligible for benefits if your injury prevents you from doing your job. Most temporary benefits allow for 75% of your average weekly wage. For example, if you make $1,000 per week, your temporary benefits will likely pay you about $750 per week to help you pay your bills while you are healing.
If your injury is severe, you may need permanent disability benefits. These payments can last for up to 500 weeks, or approximately 9 years. Understanding your eligibility and applying for benefits can be confusing. Having an attorney to help you is a significant advantage.
A: Between 4 and 8 weeks. The insurance company has 14 days to approve or deny your request, and then it takes a bit of time for processing to occur and for you to get your money. If there are extenuating circumstances or things that complicate the process, it may take longer for you to get your money. If your claim is initially denied, this may delay your payments as well. An attorney can help move things along.
A: Your first step is to report your injury and accident to your employer. They must keep a record of what happened and take a statement from you. During this time, they will also give you information about filing for workers’ compensation insurance payments. Ask them any initial questions you have, then hire an attorney to help with the rest. Do not contact the insurance company until you have a lawyer on retainer to represent you.
A: The maximum length of workers’ compensation pay that you can receive in North Carolina is 500 weeks. Many people do not need the payments for this long because the length of the payments depends upon the severity of your injury and the necessity of ongoing care. If you need more support, there are state programs for disability insurance that may help you pay your bills and remain financially stable while you recover.
A: Workers’ compensation works similarly to most other insurance types. Just as with an auto accident claim, an insurance adjuster must assess your unique situation to ensure that you are eligible for a settlement. If you are, you should receive your settlement within 4 to 8 weeks of your accident. This money should cover medical bills, and you may also be eligible for income benefits if you cannot work because of the injury.
If you are going through the workers’ compensation process in North Carolina, you need an attorney who can help you navigate the process, protect you from the insurance companies’ predatory tactics, and ensure that you get the support that you need. If you have ongoing medical problems that prevent you from working, we can help you determine which state programs may be able to help you. In all scenarios, it is best to have an attorney on your side.
For more information, contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler online today.