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Does North Carolina Pay for Pain and Suffering?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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The state enforces some of the most comprehensive workers’ compensation laws in the country, requiring most employers in the state to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance comes into play whenever a workplace accident occurs and provides benefits to the injured worker that can help them recover. Additionally, workers’ compensation insurance protects employers from civil lawsuits from their injured workers.

If you or a family member suffers an injury at work, it is natural to wonder how much compensation you could potentially recover through the workers’ compensation claim filing process. A Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer is the ideal resource to consult for answers to specific questions, but it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of what workers’ compensation covers and what it does not.

Does North Carolina Workers Comp pay for pain and suffering?

Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation

When any type of injury occurs in the workplace, the victim has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim through their employer. Typically, a workers’ compensation claim yields two types of financial compensation to the injured worker. First is medical expense coverage. This includes coverage of any medical care the victim needs to reach maximum medical improvement from their injury. Second is disability benefits, paid to offset the financial impact of the claimant’s inability to work and earn income after their injury.

Some injured workers wonder whether they can receive compensation for their pain and suffering, but workers’ compensation insurance does not provide pain and suffering compensation. It is only possible for a victim to secure compensation for pain and suffering with a personal injury claim, and most employers are immune from civil suits by securing workers’ compensation insurance.

Recovering Pain and Suffering Compensation With a Personal Injury Suit

Workers’ compensation insurance aims to protect employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages. However, it is possible for a worker in the state to have grounds for a personal injury claim along with their workers’ compensation claim. If a third party caused their injury, the victim can proceed with their workers’ compensation claim through their employer and file a personal injury claim against the at-fault third party. If you are eligible to file a personal injury claim for a work-related injury, the pain and suffering compensation you obtain may outweigh the rest of the compensation you secure if you suffered a serious injury that caused any long-term or permanent harm.

Proving fault may not be essential for a workers’ compensation claim, but it is crucial in a personal injury case. Additionally, the claimant must prove they do not bear any partial liability for the injury; otherwise, they cannot seek compensation from the defendant. North Carolina enforces the contributory negligence rule, meaning that if a plaintiff shares fault for causing a personal injury, even slightly, they may not claim compensation from the defendant.

Ultimately, it is always worth consulting legal counsel you can trust after a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation insurance may provide more than you initially expect, and you could have grounds for additional legal action that enhances your overall recovery. An experienced attorney is a vital asset for all the recovery efforts you attempt in the aftermath of a work-related injury, so it is crucial to speak with an attorney you can trust as soon as possible after any injury at work.


Q: How Is Workers’ Compensation Calculated?

A: The average workers’ compensation claim in the state yields two forms of compensation: disability benefits and medical expense coverage. Medical expense coverage includes the total cost of all the medical care that the claimant requires, and disability benefits fluctuate based on the severity of an injury. The claimant’s disability rating is one of the most important factors when it comes to their benefits determination.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Workers’ Comp Case?

A: The time a workers’ compensation case could take to complete depends on several factors and the claimant’s ability to meet their filing deadlines and other reporting requirements. If you have an experienced attorney handling your case, it is possible to reach a settlement within a few weeks. However, it is also possible for a settlement to take much longer, potentially several months to more than a year.

Q: How Much Can I Receive in Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

A: If your workers’ compensation claim is approved, you can expect the insurance carrier to pay for all medical care you need to fully recover from your injury. Additionally, you will receive weekly disability benefits during the time you are unable to work. The average claimant receives about two-thirds of their average weekly wage with each weekly disability benefits payment, and these payments can continue for up to 500 weeks or until the claimant can return to their job.

Q: Can Workers’ Compensation Cover the Cost of Surgery?

A: Yes, almost all medical expenses are eligible for coverage under the majority of workers’ compensation insurance policies in the state. If your injury requires surgery of any kind, it is likely covered by your employer’s insurance. Additionally, their insurance should cover any rehabilitative care you need following your surgery. Many injured workers are surprised to see how many different types of treatments are eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation insurance.

Q: Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A: Technically, no, you are not legally required to have representation for a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you do hire an attorney, you are far more likely to maximize your total compensation and resolve your claim as efficiently as possible. Your attorney can streamline the claim filing process substantially and help you explore additional avenues of recovery you may not have known were available to you.

The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler are ready to provide the legal support you need after a work-related injury in the state. If you are concerned about your recovery from your recent accident at work, we can help you understand the legal mechanisms in place that can provide the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team and learn how we can assist with your recovery efforts.