Charlotte Workers Compensation: How to File a Claim
When we get hurt on the job, the last thing we expect is for our employer to leave us high and dry. It only seems fair that the company we work for takes care of us if we get hurt at work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out this way. That’s why it’s so important that you talk to an experienced Charlotte workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace accident.
In a perfect world, your employer would want to do what they can to help you. After all, if you didn’t work for them, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place. We don’t live in a perfect world though. There are lots of times our clients come to us after suffering a terrible experience with a work-related injury.
If this has happened to you, then you would likely benefit from the services of a Charlotte injury lawyer. All you have to do is call our office and request to schedule your free, initial consultation.
What Is the Claims Process for Charlotte Workers Compensation?
The claims process for workers compensation in North Carolina is different from other states. There are specific forms you must fill out and you have very specific deadlines to meet. Here is a breakdown of the steps you must take to file your Charlotte workers compensation claim:
Report Your Accident and Injury to Your Employer
Report your accident and injury with your employer – When you were hired at your company, you should’ve received a copy of your employer’s workplace accident policy. This will outline exactly what you need to do in order to report your injuries. Most companies require you to report your accident to either your manager or the Human Resources Director.
Fill Out and File a Form 18
Once you’ve reported your accident to your employer, you must complete and submit Form 18. This form is entitled, “Notice of Accident to Employee and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent for North Carolina Workers Compensation Benefits.” This form must be filed with the North Caroline Industrial Commission.
Receive a Response Within 14 Days
Once you’ve filled out the Form 18, you should receive a response within 14 days – Your employer can request a 14-day extension. Hopefully, this won’t be the case with your claim. There are three forms you can expect to receive:
- Form 60 – This is sent out if your claim is approved. Once you receive this form, you should start receiving benefits within a week or two.
- Form 63 – If you get this form in the mail, it means your claim has been tentatively approved. You will start to receive benefits. However, your employer reserves the right to terminate benefits if they learn that your claim wasn’t valid.
- Form 61 – You’ll get this form if your claim was denied. If this happens, you’ll want to call a skilled Charlotte workers compensation lawyer immediately.
What Happens if Your Charlotte Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
The last thing you want to find out is that your Charlotte workers compensation claim has been denied. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Keep in mind – most claims are approved. It’s often easier and cheaper to pay out benefits on a claim than it is to fight it. But if your employer truly thinks your claim isn’t legitimate, they will deny it.
Some of the reasons for your denial could include:
- Your accident did not take place on company time.
- Your injuries occurred somewhere other than company premises.
- You were not treated by a company-approved doctor.
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident.
- Witnesses give a different version of events than you do.
- You have a history of filing false workers comp claims.
- Your employer thinks you’re exaggerating your injuries.
- You refuse to comply with your doctor’s course of treatment.
Your Form 61 will specify what the reason or denial was. Make sure to take this letter to your Charlotte injury lawyer right away. They’ll do their best to appeal your claim and try to get your benefits initiated.
What if Your Charlotte Workers Compensation Lawyer’s Appeal is Unsuccessful?
There’s always the chance that your appeal won’t work. If your employer is insistent on denying your claim, an appeal won’t change that. The hope is that the North Carolina Industrial Commission will overrule them and approve your claim. If that doesn’t happen, you still have options.
Your Charlotte workers compensation lawyer can always file a lawsuit against your employer. This works like any other civil suit, but you can’t demand typical damages. Even if you win your case, the only thing you can expect to receive is medical coverage and replacement wages for the time you’re out of work.
One good thing about filing suit is that it can get you damages for any permanent disabilities you experience as a result of your workplace accident.
How Are You Compensated for Your Permanent Disability?
When you file somebody for personal injury, you’re allowed to demand compensation for permanent disability. For example, if you get hurt in a car accident and can’t work again, you can demand compensation for lost future income. Technically, you can do the same thing in workers comp.
The way it works with workers comp is a bit different from a regular lawsuit. In workers comp, your damages depend on the body part that was injured. Certain body parts are more valuable than others. For instance, if you suffer a neck or back injury, it’s worth a lot more than a hand injury. Burn injuries are worth more than a sprained ankle.
Your injury lawyer will demand Charlotte workers compensation under the North Carolina workers compensation schedule. This schedule provides a monetary value to each body part. In addition, your attorney will demand that you be compensated for a certain number of weeks. So, if your injury is worth $150 per week and you’re demanding 100 weeks’ worth of compensation, your damages would be $15,000.00.
You Should Retain One of Our Experienced Charlotte Workers Compensation Today
If your Charlotte workers compensation claim is denied, you need legal help. Call and talk to a seasoned Charlotte injury lawyer right away. Set up a date and time for your free, initial consultation.