What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Expect?
In workers’ compensation insurance, also called workman’s comp, employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This includes medical care as well as financial benefits. However, it can also include things like death benefits, lost wages, and disability compensation.
Workers’ compensation insurance requirements vary by state. Therefore, the workers’ compensation insurance requirements and protocols will depend on the state in which you work.
With the help of a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney, you can pursue your own claim for the various types of workers’ compensation benefits available in North Carolina. This includes medical coverage, wage benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits (in situations where an employee dies as a result of injuries sustained in a workplace accident.
Who Can Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics data reports more than 64,000 non-fatal workplace injuries suffered by North Carolina employees while on the job. This comes out to be about 2 injuries for every 100 employees.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a statutorily mandated program that provides payments to injured and disabled employees who sustain injuries while executing their employment duties. Workers’ comp insurance is mandatory for most companies in North Carolina with three or more employees.
Employees who have been injured receive workers’ compensation benefits without having to show the company as at fault. As long as the injury was sustained while they were performing their work-related duties, they should be covered.
There are some groups of employees who are not covered by workers’ comp in North Carolina. For example, federal employees and other state workers are covered by the federal government’s policy. Railroad workers and domestic servants are also exempted from workers comp. These employees are left to pursue their employers personally for any injuries sustained while on the job.
The Medical Compensation Provided
If you are injured on the job or have been physically impaired, your workers’ comp insurance will cover the cost of all the necessary treatment. This includes such things as medication, hospitalizations, nursing care, and durable medical equipment. For example, if you need a wheelchair or walker, the costs of these items will be covered by workers comp. The same is true for co-pays and transportation to and from medical appointments.
How Your Replacement Wages Are Calculated
All employees who receive workers’ compensation are entitled to weekly payments equal to 2/3 of their normal wages. So, if you normally make $500 per year, you’ll get about $333 per week under workers comp.
For people who make more than $1,000, they’ll lose money while on workers comp. It’s hard enough to survive when you’re getting your full paycheck. Given the limits on how much you can get per work in North Carolina, many employees receive much less than 2/3 of their wages while out of work.
For example, the maximum weekly benefit under workers comp in North Carolina is $944. This means that employees who make more than approximately $2,850 will not get their full two-thirds.
Rehabilitation for Employment
Employees who are hurt on the job are also entitled to something called occupational rehabilitation. Occupational rehabilitation consists of vocational training, career counseling, and job search assistance for people who have been injured or disabled and would like to return to work.
The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NRIC) describes vocational rehabilitation as helping people find a new job. Even if you are unable to return to your previous employment due to your injuries, you can receive vocational rehabilitation services through your workers’ compensation benefits.
What Do Death Benefits Include?
Workers’ compensation provides death benefits for workers who die as a result of their work-related injuries. These workers’ compensation benefits go to the worker’s spouse, children, or dependents. Benefits are paid for up to 500 weeks and are based on 66.66% of the deceased worker’s weekly salary. The worker’s family is also entitled to a cost-of-living allowance (COLA).
Funeral expenses are covered for up to $10,000 and medical expenses are reimbursed for the same amount. Death benefits also usually include a payment to compensate the family for its loss.
Pain and Suffering
Workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering. However, a third-party lawsuit can include pain and suffering. If a third party’s negligence caused your injuries, you can sue the company that owns the property, the manufacturer of the equipment, or any contracting company responsible.
Working With a Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A Charlotte workers compensation attorney can assist you if you are denied workers’ compensation. Your claim could be denied for any number of reasons. Some of these include:
- Your employer may argue that the accident did not occur at work, especially if there were no witnesses.
- Your employer might also claim that your injuries were caused by a pre-existing medical condition.
- Your claim could also be rejected if it was not submitted immediately following your accident.
- Another reason for denial might be non-cooperation by the insurance company. In that case, your attorney may be able to assist you in suing the insurance company.
The good news is that, during a workers’ compensation appeals process, you can get representation by an attorney if your claims are denied.
What an Attorney Can Do
Depending on the circumstances, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance provider on your behalf or assist you with your lawsuit against the insurance provider if no workers’ compensation benefits agreement can be reached. A Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can also fight your claim in court if it goes to trial. Keeping up with the claims process is a challenge.
It involves several things including filing documents, collecting evidence, and negotiating. All these things can be time-consuming. Working with a lawyer can help alleviate this burden and enhance your chances of a successful outcome.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer in Charlotte, NC Can Help
If you were injured at work but your employer challenges your workers’ comp claim, you may need legal assistance to secure your much-needed workers’ compensation benefits. If your workers’ comp claim in North Carolina is denied or your benefits are terminated, a personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina can provide you with legal security for your claim.