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North Carolina law requires almost all employers in the state to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, and this insurance provides important benefits to both employers and their employees when workplace injuries occur. For employers, workers’ compensation insurance protects them from liability for damages their injured workers experience. Without this insurance, an injured worker would have grounds to file a personal injury claim against their employer if they are injured while working. For employees, workers’ compensation benefits can help offset the financial impact of their injury in a streamlined fashion. However, this does not mean that filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Forest City, NC is always an easy task.
If you or someone in your family is struggling with the effects of a work-related injury, a Forest City workers’ compensation attorney is the ideal resource to consult. The right legal team can make filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits much easier, and they may also reveal additional avenues of compensation that you did not know were available to you.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has a team of attorneys ready to provide the guidance and support you need for your workers’ compensation claim in Forest City. We have represented many past clients in their claims, and we can leverage this experience on your behalf after a work injury.
Every day, thousands of work-related injuries happen across the United States. A few commonly reported workplace injuries in the Forest City area include:
The main factor that determines whether an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits is if the victim was injured while performing their job duties. As long as your recent injury in Forest City happened within the scope of you performing work-related duties, you are likely eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s important to note to report your injury to your supervisor as soon as possible after it occurs. Failure to do so can cause significant problems later, as the insurance carrier may doubt the legitimacy of your claim because you did not report the injury immediately.
Eligibility for workers’ compensation is the first issue you must address after any work injury. Almost all workers are covered by their employers’ insurance policies, with a few exceptions, such as independent contractors. If you believe your employer has misclassified your employment to avoid covering you under their workers’ compensation insurance policy, it is crucial to consult a Forest City workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Once you verify your eligibility through your employment status, you must determine whether the injury itself is covered. As long as you suffered the injury while you were working, you likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. This does not, however, include any injuries suffered while going to or coming from work. If you are hurt during your commute, you cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits.
Many injured workers wonder whether they can still claim workers’ compensation benefits if they caused their own injuries. Fault does not necessarily factor into a workers’ compensation claim determination. As long as the employee caused the injury through an honest mistake they made while working in good faith, they are eligible to claim benefits. However, if they were intoxicated at work, engaged in horseplay, or if they intentionally violated important safety regulations when they caused their own injury, these factors might disqualify them from securing benefits.
After verifying that you meet the eligibility criteria and reporting the injury to your supervisor, they should provide you with the materials you need to file your claim. If your employer interferes with the claim filing process in any way, refuses to provide you with the materials needed to file the claim, or retaliates against a claim filed in good faith, you should speak with a Forest City workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to determine your optimal options for legal recourse against these behaviors.
Workers’ compensation benefits can be an invaluable financial lifeline for anyone who suffers an injury while working in Forest City. After you verify that you meet the eligibility requirements and submit a claim to your employer’s insurance company, the insurance carrier will verify the claim and, if approved, submit a determination of benefits to the claimant.
The average injured worker in Forest City can qualify for two benefits with a workers’ compensation claim. First, the insurance company will provide medical expense coverage, paying for all medical care the claimant needs to reach maximum medical improvement from their injury. This will include ongoing rehabilitative care if the claimant needs any ongoing treatment for a serious injury. Second, they will get disability benefits that can offset some of the lost income during their recovery period.
Disability benefits can be paid on a partial or total basis, and the claimant’s disability rating factors heavily into this aspect of their claim determination. As part of the claim filing process, most workers’ compensation insurance carriers require claimants to undergo medical evaluations with local physicians they have approved. These workers’ compensation doctors assess claimants’ injuries and assign them disability ratings, which are numerical indicators of the severity of their injuries.
If a claimant can handle light duty and/or lower-paying work, they can qualify for partial disability benefits. These are suitable for any injured worker who can work but can’t earn the same income as before because of their injury. The claimant must report to the insurance company all of the money they earn to maintain eligibility for benefits, and these payments end once they are able to return to work at full earning capacity.
If a claimant is too injured to work at all until they recover, they are more likely to qualify for total disability benefits. These are paid at a rate of two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly income. The year prior to their injury is evaluated for the purposes of determining their average weekly wage. For example, if you usually earn about $1,200 per week at work, you should receive roughly $800 in weekly disability benefits if you are approved for workers’ compensation. These payments can continue for up to 500 weeks, and an injured worker can qualify for permanent disability benefits if their injury completely prevents them from returning to work in the future.
Workers’ compensation generally protects employers from facing liability for the damages their injured workers experience, but there are some exceptions to this rule. If your employer does not have insurance as mandated by law, if they caused your injury through some intentional act, or if they compelled you to complete a specific task that had virtual certainty to cause an injury, you may have grounds for a civil claim along with or in lieu of a workers’ compensation claim.
It’s more likely for an injured worker to have grounds for a civil suit against a third party responsible for their injury. If someone you don’t work with caused your injury, you could file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits because you were injured while you were working. However, you would also have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
North Carolina law requires a personal injury plaintiff to firmly establish liability for their damages before they can recover compensation in a personal injury suit. While fault does not always come into play in a workers’ compensation case, it is a crucial element of any personal injury claim. The state upholds a contributory negligence law, so if a plaintiff shares fault with a defendant in any measure, they can lose their ability to claim recompense for their damages.
If you can successfully prove that a third party caused your workplace injury, your workers’ compensation claim can yield compensation for your medical costs and a part of the income you lost. In your personal injury suit, you can claim repayment for the remainder of your missing income as well as pain and suffering compensation. Depending on the severity of your injury and whether you face long-term or permanent harm from it, the pain and suffering compensation you secure could form the largest portion of your total recovery.
The right attorney can have a tremendous positive influence on the outcome of any workers’ compensation case. Even if your claim seems straightforward and your employer upholds their responsibilities in good faith, there is always a chance for unexpected complications to arise with your claim that cause your recovery to take much longer. When you have experienced legal representation on your side, you are better equipped to address unexpected challenges that arise with your case, and you are more likely to maximize the total compensation you secure for your injury.
The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have represented many injured workers in the Forest City area in their workers’ compensation claims, and we know the challenges and opportunities you might encounter as you seek benefits to help you recover from your workplace injury. When you choose our firm as your legal representation, we can immediately get to work helping you gather the materials needed to file your claim. If any disputes arise with your employer and/or their insurance company, we are prepared to address these problems on your behalf.
We can assist you beyond the workers’ compensation claim filing process as well. If you have grounds to pursue further legal recourse with a third-party claim, we have the personal injury experience you want on your side to ensure the greatest chance of success with your case. Ultimately, we have the professional resources and experience necessary to handle the toughest work injury claims in Forest City, so you can rely on our firm to provide guidance and responsive support no matter what your individual case entails.
If you are concerned about the potential cost of legal representation, there is no need to worry about your attorneys’ fees when you hire our firm. We take work injury claims on a contingency fee basis. This means we only collect a fee after we win your case, only taking a percentage of the total amount we recover on your behalf. If our team is unsuccessful in securing compensation for your workplace injury in Forest City for any reason, there is no fee at all, so there is no economic risk to hiring our firm to represent your case.
There is a limited time for you to file a workers’ compensation claim, and the sooner you connect with a reliable attorney, the more likely you are to reach a positive outcome for your case. Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today to schedule your free consultation with a Forest City workers’ compensation attorney and start working toward the recovery you deserve.
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My most sincere thanks for the most professional representation. You and your team have stuck by me through the years in dealing with this very stressful case. I admire your composure, work ethic and most…
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Christian was patient with me as we navigated my workman’s comp claim. He supported my rights to proper reimbursement. He explained what I should expect and was exactly right! I felt comfortable with his expertise.…
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