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Do All Workers’ Comp Cases End in a Settlement in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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If you are hurt at work, filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you recover by providing medical expense coverage and ongoing disability benefits that offset your diminished earnings if you cannot work because of your injury. It’s possible to settle your claim outside of court, but do all workers’ comp cases end in a settlement in North Carolina? An experienced Hickory workers’ compensation attorney can explain what to expect with your unique case.

Do all workers comp cases end in a settlement in North Carolina?

What to Expect in Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

After you suffer an injury at work or after you discover that you have developed a medical condition or illness from work, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer. State law requires almost every employer in the state to have this insurance, and almost all employees are eligible to claim benefits. Your employer is legally required to facilitate any claim for benefits made in good faith.

Once you report your injury to your employer, they should provide you with the forms you need to send to their insurance carrier. As part of your claim filing process, you will need to undergo a medical evaluation from a physician approved by your employer’s insurance company, and this physician will assign you a disability rating that reflects the severity of your injury. If you disagree with their assessment, you have the right to seek a second opinion.

After filing your claim to the insurance company, they will review it and, if they approve the claim, issue your determination of benefits that will explain what compensation they will provide. If they deny your claim, you have the right to appeal this decision and request a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). The NCIC is responsible for facilitating the resolution of any contested workers’ compensation claims.

It is possible that after some time has passed, the insurance company will reach out to the injured worker, offering to settle the claim. This is more likely when a worker has been severely injured and has a long-term disability benefits agreement with the insurer. The insurer will seek to terminate this agreement by offering a full and final settlement, commonly called a clincher deal. There is no requirement to settle a claim in this manner, and doing so may not suit your interests.

How Your Attorney Can Help

The majority of workers’ compensation claims filed in the state will have clear terms and conditions for the benefits awarded to the claimant. These terms will include how much the claimant will receive in benefits and for how long. If your benefits determination includes such stipulations, your attorney can advise you as to if or how you could secure an extension if they terminate before you have recovered fully enough to resume work.

If you are offered a settlement, your attorney can determine whether the terms of the settlement offer are fair and reasonable and then advise you as to how to proceed. If you encounter any unexpected disputes with your employer and/or their insurance carrier, having an experienced attorney on your side will make it much easier for you to resolve any such issues as efficiently as possible.


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

A: The amount you can receive in workers’ compensation benefits depends on multiple variables, such as your average income for the year prior to your injury, the severity of your injury, and your anticipated recovery time. Most claimants can expect full coverage of their medical expenses, including the cost of any ongoing care they require, and they will receive disability benefits based on their remaining ability to work and average weekly income.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

A: The time it could take to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the state varies from case to case. On average, an uncontested claim will yield the claimant’s first check within a few weeks of filing the claim. If the claim is contested, it could take much longer to resolve. Hiring an experienced attorney to assist you is one of the most effective ways to streamline your claim proceedings and secure your benefits as quickly as possible.

Q: Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for Pain and Suffering?

A: No, workers’ compensation insurance does not pay for pain and suffering, even if you sustained a serious and life-changing injury. You can, however, claim pain and suffering compensation through a personal injury suit if you have grounds on which to file such a claim. If a third party outside of your work caused your injury, you can seek compensation for any damages that workers’ compensation insurance does not cover through a civil suit.

Q: What Medical Expenses Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?

A: Workers’ compensation insurance covers all medical expenses related to the claimant’s workplace injury. This includes immediate medical treatment costs like emergency room and hospital bills, surgery fees, prescription medication costs, and other immediate medical expenses. Additionally, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for the claimant’s long-term medical treatment costs, such as ongoing rehabilitative treatment costs for severe injuries.

Q: Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A: You should hire a workers’ compensation attorney because you are more likely to succeed with your claim if you have legal representation on your side. Your attorney can handle your legal affairs so you can focus on your medical needs and personal obligations at home. They will ensure that your claim is processed in good faith, and if you have grounds to pursue additional recovery outside of your workers’ compensation claim, they will help with this as well.

Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, has years of experience helping injured workers in all industries with their workers’ compensation claims. We know you face a wide range of challenges as you seek compensation for your medical expenses and your lost wages, and we want to help you recover as quickly as possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy Hickory workers’ compensation attorney.