How Long Does It Take to Negotiate a Settlement for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?
Workplace accidents can occur in any industry or occupation. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, mining, and transportation are more prone to work-related injuries due to on-the-job risks and hazards. Still, any employee can sustain injuries at the workplace.
North Carolina workers can claim workers’ comp benefits to cover medical care and a percentage of their lost income. The workers’ compensation system is complicated. So it’s best to have an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer handling your claim. At Waple & Houk PLLC, our lawyers are ready to help you secure maximum benefits.
You may be wondering “how long does it take to negotiate a settlement?” It can take quite some time to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement in NC. You don’t have to fight an insurance company on your own. Let our legal experts handle talks with the insurance adjusters on your behalf.
Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina
North Carolin workers’ compensation law requires any business with more than three employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. However, the law excludes some employees, such as railroad workers, independent contractors, and casual employees.
An employer who fails to comply with the law can be charged with a felony and face jail time. Also, the employer will be liable for the employee’s compensation. This means an employee can sue the employer for damages. The workers’ compensation claims process can be complicated, so it’s best to get help from an attorney.
Here are some of the benefits you may be entitled to if you are injured while performing your job in North Carolina:
Your employer should pay for your medical treatment costs if you sustain injuries while on the job. This may include hospital stays. Your employer’s insurance provider typically covers these medical care expenses.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
After a workplace accident, your doctor may advise you to take a break from work to recover. These benefits provide monetary compensation since you are unable to earn wages due to your injury or illness.
This form of treatment is helpful if you suffer repetitive stress injuries or chronic pain. It can relieve pain, correct imbalances, restore function and movement, and improve strength.
After a work-related injury, your employer and insurance company may be required to pay for your prescribed drugs.
Necessary Travel Expenses
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you claim travel expenses such as parking fees and the cost of gas.
If you’ve been hurt or suffered an illness at the workplace, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. These programs help injured employees get back to work after recovering, including retraining, career counseling, on-the-job training, and help with job searching.
How Long Does It Take to Negotiate a Settlement?
In the workers’ compensation settlement process, the insurance company and the injured worker (or his/her attorney) negotiate until they reach an agreement. After the insurer has made a settlement offer, it’s your choice whether to accept it. You could ask for a better offer. The negotiations will continue until both sides agree on a settlement.
A workers’ compensation case typically takes about 12 to 14 months when the employee has no lawyer, a permanent disability, and refuses to negotiate. Settlement negotiations might take longer if you have a workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
The reason is that an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will understand what your case is worth and won’t allow the insurance company to trick you into accepting a low-ball offer.
If you have an attorney negotiating your settlement, it can take 18 to 20 months before an agreement.
While workers’ compensation settlement negotiations may take longer, you’ll want an attorney fighting to ensure you get the maximum possible compensation.
Workers’ Compensation NC Settlements: What to Consider
Workers’ comp settlement negotiations take so long is because the insurance company’s first offer is usually less money than you deserve. But, before you or your attorney agree on a settlement, you have to consider the following.
Your workers’ compensation settlement needs to cover your treatment costs, doctor visits, and hospital stays. These costs will be the basis for the offer made by the insurance company.
Cost of Future Treatments
You have to consider future the cost of treatments like surgeries, therapy, and prescription medication costs. If you accept a settlement without taking these things into consideration, you risk paying for future treatments out of your own pocket.
Presence of a Disability
Some workplace injuries leave the employee disabled, temporarily or permanently. Does the settlement fairly compensate you for the lost wages and reduced capacity caused by your disability? If not, accepting it is a mistake.
Since each case is unique and there are many factors to consider, there isn’t a standard time for the settlement negotiation process. After the deliberations, it should take between 4 and 8 weeks to get your money.
Let Us Represent You in Workers Comp Settlement Negotiations!
If you have been injured in a workplace accident in North Carolina, you need an experienced attorney to help you with your claim and represent you in settlement negotiations. The insurance company will try to give you less money than you deserve.
Our legal team at Waple & Houk PLLC can help you secure benefits for medical expenses, lost income, and disability. Lou Waple has spent more than 20 years fighting for the rights of injured workers across the state of North Carolina, obtaining hundreds of positive outcomes for his clients.
Reach out to us today to schedule a free case review. Get started now by contacting us online or calling 704-954-8697. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.