If you get hurt on the job, your injuries should be covered by employer workers comp insurance. This means they’ll cover your medical bills and pay you replacement wages until you are ready to return to work. The problem is that, while the law requires most employers to carry insurance, that doesn’t mean they all do. If you learn that your company doesn’t have the requisite coverage, you should call one of our employment lawyers in Charlotte right away.
Ideally, your attorney will make a few phone calls and get the claim resolved. They can file an appeal if need be. If this doesn’t work, you may have to consider filing a lawsuit against your employer. This is the last resort. It can take months, even years to resolve your claim. Or you could end up spending years fighting to get your money only to find out the company has gone bankrupt. Either way, you’ll be left with a ton of medical bills and no income for the time you’re out of work.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to explain why your employer is required to carry insurance. Then we’ll discuss what you can do if employer workers comp insurance isn’t available or if they deny your claim.
Are Workplace Accidents Really That Common in North Carolina?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 64,900 cases of non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses occurred in North Carolina in 2020. This equals an incidence rate of 2.1 cases per 100 full-time employees. These numbers may seem low. However, if you work for a company with more than 100 employees, that means that two of you will get hurt on the job every year.
If you happen to be one of the unlucky few, you deserve to know that your employer will take care of you. If you were hurt on the job, the least they can do is cover your medical bills and offer you replacement wages while you’re out of work. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it’s also the law.
The law in North Carolina is designed to protect both employees and the companies they work for. It may not seem that way at first. With a few exceptions, any business with more than three employees is required to carry insurance to cover any workers comp claims. But what do the employees have to do in return?
Conditions to Qualify for Employer Workers Comp
Employer workers comp insurance is meant to compensate employees who are hurt on the job. The problem is that a few bad employees can ruin things for people with legitimate claims. For example, imagine somebody gets hurt skateboarding over the weekend. They come to work on Monday and pretend they fell in the company’s warehouse. They file a workers comp claim and receive the benefits associated with an approved claim.
It’s cases like this that make employers skeptical of paying out any workers comp claims. They have become cynical and for good reason. Sadly, this means the chances of your claim being denied go up. The good news is that, as long as your personal injury attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina can prove you meet the requisite criteria, your employer workers comp claim should be approved.
These requirements include:
- Your injury occurred while you were on the clock
- You were on company property (or an authorized location) at the time of your accident
- You reported the incident to human resources or your direct manager immediately after it took place
- You submit to a drug test prior to receiving treatment for your injuries
- You are treated by a company-approved doctor
- You comply with all medical treatment
- You don’t work another job while you’re out of work
If you meet all these criteria, there’s no reason your employer workers comp claim should be denied. However, if it is, your employment lawyers in Charlotte will help you get justice.
What Benefits Can You Receive Under Employer Workers Comp in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, as with most other states, you’re entitled to two things while out on workers comp. First, you’re entitled to have your medical care covered. You should not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. Second, you’re entitled to replacement wages while you’re out of work. Your weekly payments will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages.
If you learn that you’re permanently disabled after your medical treatment has concluded, your workers’ compensation attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina will demand further compensation.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Workers Compensation?
There is an automatic seven-day waiting period within which no benefits will be paid. These benefits only continue while you’re out of work. Once you’re back on the job, your medical care may continue but you’ll no longer receive financial benefits.
If your employer workers comp claim is denied, it’s another story. You’ll have to go through the appeals process which can take some time. If it isn’t approved right away, you may end up waiting weeks or months for a final decision. Hopefully, your claim will be approved on appeal. If not, your employment attorneys in Charlotte will have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Generally speaking, most people on workers comp in North Carolina don’t start receiving their benefits until they’ve been out of work about three weeks. The good news is that you will receive back pay for all but the first seven days. For that first week, you can try to use personal time or vacation time if you have it available. You will not necessarily be paid for this initial period.
How Can Employment Lawyers in Charlotte Help?
Contact us today to learn how we can help you resolve your employer workers comp claim in Charlotte, North Carolina. All you have to do is call and speak with one of our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina. Whether you are working for a large company that provides self-insurance or a small one, we are here to help.