Every employer in North Carolina is required to meet the industry-specific safety regulations that apply to their workplace and employees. Additionally, state law requires virtually every North Carolina employer to have workers’ compensation insurance when an employee sustains an injury while working. Unfortunately, many people suffer on-the-job injuries in the Monroe, NC, area but have little idea of what they can do to recover compensation.
The workers’ compensation claim process may seem intuitive initially, but many injured workers throughout North Carolina face challenges in their recovery efforts. Some are accused of causing their own injuries or are illegally penalized by their employers for injuries that were not their fault. Some are offered lowball claim determinations from their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance carriers.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler is a team of experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys with extensive professional experience helping injured workers navigate their recovery efforts. We know that any on-the-job injury can impose long-term or permanent complications on your life and impair your ability to work and earn income. However, you may have more options for legal recourse after a workplace injury than you initially realize. A good Monroe on-the-job injury attorney can help you take full advantage of them.
When you sustain an on-the-job injury, you should report it immediately, so there is an official incident report of the injury. You will need this later when you file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, and your employer must have an incident report on file for every workplace injury reported to them. After you address any immediate medical needs, your employer should provide the forms you need for your workers’ compensation claim.
Employers are legally barred from interfering with their injured workers’ claims. An injured worker cannot be fired while receiving workers’ compensation benefits without a legitimate and nondiscriminatory reason from the employer. If an employer fires an injured worker or unfairly terminates their position without a good reason, the employee could have the right to seek more than just a workers’ compensation claim, and the employer could face severe penalties for retaliation.
Working with an experienced Monroe on-the-job injury attorney means you will have the legal support and guidance to approach your claim process with confidence and peace of mind. You will be prepared to address any unexpected complications that arise with your claim and will be more likely to maximize your final recovery. Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can provide the comprehensive legal support you need after an on-the-job injury in Monroe, NC.
Once you notify your employer of your on-the-job injury and address any immediate medical needs, you can begin the workers’ compensation claim process. You must complete several forms and file them with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Most North Carolina insurance carriers require injured claimants to undergo medical examinations from local physicians approved by the insurance company. The workers’ compensation doctor will review your injury and assign a disability rating that determines the extent of benefits you will receive.
The workers’ compensation insurance carrier is required to process your claim in good faith, and if you encounter any unexpected problems with your claim, your attorney can address these issues. Unfortunately, some insurance companies prey on claimants’ desperation to coerce them into accepting lowball settlement offers. While every insurer must process claims for compensation in good faith, not allof them uphold this professional responsibility. It’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust to ensure the workers’ compensation insurance carrier handles your claim appropriately.
Your attorney can make the entire workers’ compensation claim process easier to face and much swifter overall. They can help complete all the claim forms, gather the supporting documentation you must submit with your claim, and help you determine whether you have the right to seek further legal recourse that may improve your overall recovery. Connecting with an experienced Monroe on-the-job injury attorney as soon as possible after your workplace injury occurs is one of the best ways to empower your recovery efforts.
A good attorney will carefully review the details of how your on-the-job injury occurred. Then, depending on the root cause of your injury, you may have the right to seek a civil claim against your employer. North Carolina’s workers’ compensation statutes typically don’t allow most injured workers to file civil claims against employers for their injuries, but there are exceptions. If, for example, your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance as state law requires, you can hold them accountable for your damages with a civil claim. In addition, if your injury happened because of your employer’s egregious negligence, intentional act of harm, or failure to abide by applicable industry regulations, these factors might also justify a civil suit against them.
It’s also possible for a third party to bear fault for an injury on the job. For example, if you are a delivery driver struck by a distracted driver, the incident qualifies as an on-the-job injury even though it did not occur at a specific workplace. What you were doing when your injury happened is more important than the location of the incident for a workers’ compensation claim. If you were performing your work duties when you were injured, you qualify to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Ultimately, having legal counsel you can trust ensures you are prepared to meet your case’s unique legal challenges. You are also far more likely to maximize your final recovery when you have an attorney assisting your case. Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler will carefully review the details of your injury and help you take full advantage of all your recovery options.
A successful workers’ compensation claim in Monroe, NC, generally provides two types of compensation to an injured worker. First, most workers’ compensation insurance carriers will cover the cost of all medical treatment a claimant requires to heal their injury and manage their symptoms. If they require ongoing or permanent medical care for a severe injury, workers’ compensation may only cover these long-term costs to an extent.
The second form of compensation comes in the form of ongoing disability benefits. If an on-the-job injury forces the victim to stay home from work while they recover, or if their long-term earning capacity is permanently diminished by their injury, they can continue to receive disability benefits for several years, or the insurance company may offer a lump-sum settlement. Again, your Monroe on-the-job injury attorney will review the offer from the insurance carrier to verify that it’s acceptable for your damages.
Disability benefits are typically awarded in four different formats in North Carolina. If an on-the-job injury does not prevent the claimant from working but diminishes their earning power, they may receive temporary or “permanent” partial disability benefits that account for the difference in their income because of their injury. For more severe injuries, claimants could qualify to receive temporary or “permanent” total disability benefits. A claimant can receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage in disability benefits until they can return to work.
It’s important to remember that most benefits determinations involving “permanent” disability benefits can be misleading. There is almost always a time limit for how long disability benefits can continue. Most claimants should not expect to continue receiving ongoing disability benefits for more than two years. However, some insurance carriers may offer lump-sum settlement offers to entice claimants away from long-term payment schedules if they have suffered severe injuries. A Monroe on-the-job injury attorney is the ideal resource to consult if you must determine if such an offer is viable for your situation.
Many workers sustain serious injuries at work every day throughout North Carolina. Many agencies gather workplace injury data at the state and national levels, reporting the greatest risk factors facing workers in various industries. Construction, manufacturing, commercial logging, and commercial fishing are statistically some of the most dangerous industries regarding the number of workplace injuries reported annually. However, it’s possible to suffer on-the-job injuries even in seemingly safe workplaces like office buildings. Some of the most commonly reported on-the-job injuries in the Monroe, NC, area include:
In North Carolina, most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Therefore, if your recent injury occurred while performing work duties, you are likely covered by your employer’s policy. However, if you are unsure whether you can file a workers’ compensation claim for an on-the-job injury or if you believe your employer has wrongfully classified you as a contractor when you meet the state’s definition of a full-time employee, you need legal counsel to help you address these variables and secure a favorable outcome to your recovery efforts.
Do not underestimate the value of reliable legal counsel after an on-the-job injury, even if you expect no resistance to your workers’ compensation claim and your employer is supportive. You may have more options for recovery than just a workers’ compensation claim. The sooner you speak with an experienced Monroe on-the-job injury attorney, the more likely you will take full advantage of these options.
Your attorney can make the initial claim filing process much easier, enabling you to focus on your recovery with reassurance knowing your claim for benefits has been filed correctly with all necessary supporting documentation. Once you have submitted your claim, your attorney can help you address any requests for information or other discrepancies with the insurance carrier. The insurance company will deliver their settlement determination, and your attorney can verify that it is suitable for your damages under the terms of your employer’s policy.
If you have reasons to seek further legal recourse, such as a third-party claim against the party that caused your injury, your attorney can also guide these issues. Workers’ compensation benefits can potentially cover your immediate medical expenses and provide some compensation for the income you cannot earn while you recover. However, a severe injury is likely to result in damages that even an expansive workers’ compensation policy may not fully cover.
A: Slips, trips, and falls account for most of the on-the-job injuries in North Carolina and throughout the United States each year. While a slip and fall may sound like a minor incident, fall-related injuries account for most of the missed days from work and most of the workers’ compensation claims reported each year in Monroe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also cites falls as the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in the United States.
A: It is always best to notify your employer of your on-the-job injury as soon as possible after it happens. They will be legally required to document the injury in a formal incident report that you will need later for a workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, any delay in reporting your injury could reflect poorly upon you once the workers’ compensation insurance carrier reviews your claim. They may determine that it must not be as severe as you claimed because you didn’t report the injury immediately.
A: Most claimants can expect to receive workers’ compensation benefits for up to two years, depending on their injury’s severity and its long-term effects. When an injured worker is no longer able to perform their previous work duties, they could qualify to receive partial disability benefits that compensate for their diminished earning capacity. It’s possible to continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits for several years, depending on how your injury happened and its long-term implications.
A: If you caused your own injury due to egregious negligence, horseplay in the workplace, or violating workplace safety regulations, you could be denied workers’ compensation benefits and/or face disciplinary action from your employer. However, if you file a legitimate workers’ compensation claim and cannot work until you recover, your employer cannot fire you while you are on disability unless they have a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for doing so.
A: Your workplace injury could lead to more than just a difficult workers’ compensation claim. You may need to file for additional benefits or prepare for a civil suit against the party responsible for your workplace injury. Legal counsel you can trust is invaluable no matter what your recovery may require or how your workplace injury occurred. Even when you account for the cost of hiring them, your attorney can make a significant positive difference in the outcome of your case.
The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have extensive professional experience representing injured Monroe, NC, workers in their workers’ compensation cases. We know how challenging it can be to meet the procedural demands of your recovery efforts while managing painful injuries. We aim to provide the legal counsel you will need to recover with peace of mind. The sooner you connect with a Monroe on-the-job injury attorney you can trust with your case, the better your chances are of securing maximum compensation for your damages. Contact our team today and schedule your consultation with a legal team you can trust with your workers’ compensation claim.
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