Nobody plans on getting hurt at work. Even if you have a dangerous job, you don’t expect something like this to happen. That’s why it can be difficult to navigate the North Carolina workers comp claims process.
Most workplace accident victims don’t have to worry about that. Their employer works with them to make sure they fill out the right paperwork. They approve their claim and are patient, waiting until their employee is fully recovered before they ask them to return to work.
However, if your employer isn’t as helpful, you may need to hire a Charlotte workers compensation lawyer. They’ll make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. They’ll also make sure your claim is filed well before the deadline approaches.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Workers Comp Claims in North Carolina?
Most civil filings in Charlotte have very specific filing deadlines. The same is true for workers comp claims. According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, workers should file their Form 18 claim paperwork within 30 days of their workplace accident. If you miss this deadline, there’s a greater chance of your claim being denied. Having a seasoned personal injury attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina can make sure this doesn’t happen.
There’s a reason why the commission wants you to file your claim so quickly. In order to fairly gauge whether your claim is payable, they need fresh evidence. The more time goes by, it becomes harder to prove that your injuries were work related. Witnesses leave and find other jobs. Your manager may get a promotion and go to work at a different location. The very people who can vouch for what happened may not be available if you wait longer than a month to file your claim.
There’s another good reason why you should file workers comp claims immediately after the accident. You don’t start to receive workers comp benefits until at least a couple weeks of your claim being approved.
What Could Delay Filing Workers Comp Claims?
When we tell our clients that the statute of limitations for workers comp in North Carolina is two years, they laugh at us. They can’t imagine it taking that long to file workers comp claims. However, every case is unique. You may not know how serious your injuries are for a year or more. You may need multiple surgeries and physical therapy. It could take your attorney months to get a firm diagnosis.
The last thing you want to do is file suit too soon and settle for less than you’re entitled to. Once you settle, the courts will not let you come back for more money down the road. Your lawyer needs to know just how bad your permanent disability will be before they put a price on it.
As for the initial workers comp claims, there really is no excuse for missing the 30-day recommended filing time. The North Carolina Industrial Commission get hundreds of workers comp claims a week. Maybe more. If you wait too long to file yours, it could end up at the bottom of a very big pile.
How Long Do You Have to Wait for Benefits?
One of the first questions our clients ask is how long it’ll take for them to start receiving benefits. Typically, you won’t receive anything until about ten days after your claim is approved. Remember – your employer has 14 days to review workers comp claims. They can also request a 14-day extension if they need it. This means it could be weeks or a month before you receive a dime.
his doesn’t apply to your medical care. When you go to the emergency room, they’ll ask for your primary health insurance information. They’ll also ask you if your injuries are related to an accident. Make sure you indicate “yes” and indicate that they’re related to a workplace accident. This way, once your claim is approved, the medical providers can bill your employer’s insurance company.
If you’re treated and then find out your claim is denied, your primary insurance will have to cover your treatment.
What Benefits Will You Receive Under Workers Compensation?
When workers comp claims are approved, you can expect to receive two types of benefits. First, your medical care will be covered. You won’t have to worry about any out-of-pocket expenses. You’ll also receive replacement wages. This will equal 2/3 of your average weekly wages.
So, if you earned $500 per week, you could expect to receive approximately $333 per week. Your benefits will continue until you are ready to return to work. However, there is a limit of 400 total weeks of compensation. At that point, if you’re still out of work, your Charlotte workers compensation lawyer will have to pursue compensation for permanent disability.
Reach Out to an Experienced Charlotte Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
If you got injured at work and aren’t sure how to proceed, you need help. There’s nothing wrong with talking to a seasoned Charlotte workers compensation lawyer. They’re there to help people in your position. Our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina meet with clients all the time who are scared and frustrated. It’s our job to put them at ease and explain how the workers comp process works in North Carolina.
When it comes to workers comp claims, timing is key. There are specific deadlines you need to meet if you expect your claim to be approved. There are also filing deadlines you must meet if you decide to file legal action against your employer.
The statute of limitations in North Carolina for workers comp claims is two years. If you end up with permanent disabilities as a result of your workplace accident, you can demand additional damages. Your attorney can help you do this. It is a lot more complex than a straightforward personal injury case.
What you should do now is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. See what our Charlotte workers compensation lawyers have to say. Since it is free, you have nothing to lose.