Workers’ compensation provides an important financial safety net to injured workers in all industries. The state enforces some of the most comprehensive workers’ compensation laws in the country, requiring almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured at work, it is important to know what you can expect from the claim filing process and the value of working with an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer as you seek the benefits you need to help you recover.
When you are injured while working, you must report the injury to your supervisor immediately and seek medical care. Your employer is required to provide you with the forms you need to file your claim, and they may not interfere with the claim filing process in any way. Your attorney can guide you through the process, resolving any disputes raised against your claim and ensuring you receive appropriate compensation for your injury.
One of the most common and most important questions injured workers have about their workers’ compensation claims is what benefits they can expect to receive if their claims are approved. Typically, an injured worker can receive two types of compensation from a successful claim. First, the insurance company will pay for all their medical bills; they will also have coverage for future medical treatment costs related to their injury. Second, they will receive ongoing disability benefits for the time they are unable to work. Each week they will receive a payment of benefits until they are able to return to their job. If they can still work but cannot earn as much because of their injury, they may receive partial disability benefits each week until they regain their full earning capacity.
Many injured workers wonder whether they can be compensated for the pain and suffering they experienced from their injury. However, this type of compensation is not available through workers’ compensation insurance. Pain and suffering compensation may be claimed in a personal injury suit, but workers’ compensation insurance generally protects employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages.
While pain and suffering compensation may not be available through workers’ compensation insurance, it is possible to claim compensation for your non-economic damages with a personal injury claim against a third party. If anyone outside of your work directly caused your injury, you could not only file your workers’ compensation claim through your employer but also file a third-party personal injury suit to seek compensation for the damages that workers’ compensation insurance won’t cover.
North Carolina law does not cap or limit pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury cases, so there may not be a limit to how much you can seek with your third-party personal injury claim. If you believe you have grounds for additional legal recourse outside of the workers’ compensation claim filing process, it is vital to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
A: An injured worker can typically expect a workers’ compensation claim to yield full coverage of all their medical expenses, including future treatment costs, if they require ongoing rehabilitative care. However, their disability benefits are more variable. The amount you receive in workers’ compensation disability benefits will depend on your prior year’s average weekly earnings and whether you are able to handle lower-paying work while you recover.
A: The total amount of compensation you secure from a successful workers’ compensation claim will depend on the extent and severity of your injuries. An experienced attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side if you want to maximize your benefits, as they will be able to ensure you receive appropriate compensation under the terms of your employer’s policy. You may also have additional avenues of legal recourse available to you that they can help you explore with confidence.
A: The disability benefits you receive from workers’ compensation can continue weekly until you fully recover from your injury or for up to 500 weeks. Some injured workers may qualify for extended benefits if they are not able to return to work after this period has ended. Permanent disability benefits are sometimes awarded to those who are left completely unable to return to work in the future due to the severity of the injuries they suffered.
A: It is technically possible for you to file a workers’ compensation claim without hiring legal counsel, but you would face many significant risks and challenges in doing so. You could make mistakes with the filing of your claim or unintentionally accept a lower settlement than you legally deserve. Hiring an attorney to help you will streamline the claim filing process, ensure you are prepared to address any unforeseen complications that arise with your claim, and that you have the legal support you need if you must pursue additional avenues of legal recourse.
A: The time it might take for you to receive a workers’ compensation settlement hinges on the overall complexity of your case, whether your employer upholds their legal responsibilities in the claim filing process, and whether you have legal counsel advising you. An experienced attorney can significantly improve your experience with the filing process, shortening the time it takes for you to receive your benefits.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can provide compassionate and responsive legal counsel during your workers’ compensation claim. We have successfully helped many past clients navigate this process, and we are ready to leverage our experience for you in your case. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can begin working on your claim. Contact us today to make an appointment with us for a free consultation and find out how a workers’ compensation attorney can assist you with your case.