Handling workers’ compensation injury and repetitive disease claims is a strong practice area for our firm, and one which we have been handling successfully for nearly 40 years of operation.
In North Carolina, if you are injured on the job you must file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which is a specially designated court system where all on-the-job claims must be filed and heard.
We have helped workers with nearly every imaginable injury suffered over our 40 years including painful injuries to the head, hearing loss, brain, neck, back, sacrum, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, clavicle, chest, internal organs, ribs, hips, pelvis, legs, knees, ankles, feet, toes, face, teeth, skin, burns, amputation, paralysis, nerve conditions, hernias, and many other painful and life devastating injuries. We also help the loved ones of workers who lost their lives due to tragic work accidents.
Each case is completely unique, and our goal is to meet with our clients’ one-on-one and talk through their injuries and develop a plan to maximum each client’s legal rights and recovery.
Workers’ compensation law can be complicated. Special rules and laws govern different kinds of workplace injuries and illnesses. Unfortunately, insurance companies or employers often try to minimize or avoid their liability. In these situations, it is important to seek competent legal counsel to ensure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to.
When an injury occurs, the injured worker may be entitled to variety of benefits including:
- 66 2/3rds of his/her lost wages for time missed from work
- medical compensation, which includes medical, surgical, hospital, nursing, and rehabilitative services
- mileage to and from doctors’ appointments
- other valuable benefits, such as attendant care, vocational rehabilitation, prosthetics, housing modifications, and others depending on the severity of the injury.
Unlike in civil court, injured employees are not entitled to pain and suffering damages.
Our greatest source of pride over the years has been the incredible feedback we receive from our clients after we have successfully handled a workers’ compensation claim on their behalf. Below are some of our favorite .
If you need help knowing whether you have a compensable workers’ compensation claim, or need help knowing how to file it, what benefits you or your loved one are entitled to, or what to do next, please seek assistance from a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Our firm would be happy to help you.
How do I file a workers' compensation claim?
First, you must immediately report your injury to a supervisor or manager, orally; and within 30 days, you should report your injury in writing. Second, you must fill out and mail in an official Notice of Injury (Form 18) with the NC Industrial Commission. This should be completed no later than 2 years from your date of injury or diagnosis. To learn who your employer’s insurance carrier is visit the Insurance Coverage Search System.
Will my employer fire me if I hire an attorney?
This question worries many injured workers. Under the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA), an employer is not permitted by law to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Many employers have written policies for termination. We encourage injured workers who are worried about being terminated to contact an attorney for a free consultation.
How do I know if I need an attorney?
If you have been advised by an insurance adjuster that your claim has been denied, and you think your claim should have been accepted, you may want to run your injury facts by an attorney.
If your claim has been accepted as compensable; however, you are unsure what benefits you are entitled to; whether your adjuster or employer is treating you fairly; whether you are entitled to additional medical treatment/opinions; or whether a settlement offered to you is a fair one, you may want to contact an attorney for advice.
How much does an attorney charge?
Wallace & Graham works on a “contingency-fee” basis, meaning our firm gets paid a percentage of the total settlement of your case, as well as recovery of costs. The benefit of a contingency-fee to you is that if there is no recovery, there is no fee.
What benefits am I entitled to under workers’ compensation?
This answer depends heavily on the facts of your case. Generally, you are entitled to compensation for lost earnings, permanent disability to a body part or organ, medical bills related to your injury (past and future), and mileage to and from medical appointments (over 20 miles round trip). Lost earnings can include 2/3rds of your weekly pay while you are unable to work or 2/3rds the difference between your wages before and after the injury. To be certain you are receiving all benefits you are entitled to, you should run your injury facts by an attorney.
How long does a workers’ compensation claim take to pursue?
Workers’ compensation claims can take a few weeks to a few years to complete. The time it will take to resolve a workers’ compensation claim depends on many factors. If the employer accepts the claim as compensable, then you can get benefits relatively quickly. If the claim is denied but the parties can settle without a hearing, the claim may take a few months. If, however, the claim is denied and a hearing is necessary, the claim may not resolve for a couple of years or more. Fortunately, most claims don’t require hearings and appeals.
Does the fact I receive Social Security Disability Benefits affect my ability to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits?
No. You may still file a workers’ compensation claim even if you receive Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits. However, depending on the reason you receive SSD benefits, your entitlement to certain benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act may be limited. Further, your SSD benefits may be reduced if you receive workers’ compensation benefits either through settlement or an award by theNC Industrial Commission. To find out what affect if any your SSD benefits would have on a potential workers’ compensation claim, you should contact an attorney.