The legal professionals at Waple & Houk PLLC are here to help employees in Charlotte with the workers’ compensation claims process.
North Carolina has specific laws and statutes designed to protect employee rights in the instance of a workplace injury. Many of these laws are outlined in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (NCWCA). One of the determinations of this statute is that workers’ comp insurance is mandatory for any Charlotte business with more than 2 employees.
The NCWCA and related statutes go further to outline who is applicable for workers’ comp, what types of injuries are covered, and the various levels of compensation that must be made available to workers. These laws are easy to follow with minor injuries that do not require long recovery times. They become more complex as the severity of the injuries increases and the time spent in medical care increases.
You may not require legal assistance if you have suffered only a minor injury and your employer follows guidelines clearly. However, if your employer is reluctant to follow NCWCA guidelines or attempts to refrain from adequate compensation, then we are here to help.
We have decades worth of experience dealing with local workers’ comp laws and will fight aggressively for your compensation. Contact our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers immediately at (704) 480-3899 if you need help with your upcoming or ongoing workers’ compensation claim.
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How Can I Know If My Injury Will Be Covered By A Workers’ Comp Claim?
The NCWCA does make fairly clear indications of what types of injuries may be covered. But there is some terminology that is debatable and the insurance carrier will utilize this terminology to attempt and defer payments. They may attempt to avoid payments altogether by questioning the integrity or cause of the injury. Or they may attempt to end benefits prematurely after a doctor states you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement.
North Carolina law makes a clear distinction between injuries that occur because of routine work habits and those that are caused by accident. Standard workers’ comp insurance policies will cover workplace injuries that are caused by accidents but not those that are caused by normal work actions. This is another distinction that insurance carriers will utilize when attempting to refrain from payment.
The most common types of accidental injuries are those caused by slip and fall accidents. They can include:
- Broken bones
- Brain or spinal damage
- Bruises and cuts
If you’ve been involved in an accident at the workplace, then you should report it to your employer and seek immediate medical attention. It’s important to follow through with a visit to the hospital even if you believe the injury to be minor. Workers’ compensation should cover medical bills and lost wages even for minor injuries. More importantly, a trained physician may be able to recognize injuries that are not apparent at first.
There are some situations where an accident that is considered non-accidental may still be covered by Charlotte workers’ comp laws. Negotiating these settlements with insurance carriers can be very tricky and they will likely be reluctant to pay at every step of the process. But with our legal experts on your side, you have a fighting chance of being awarded appropriately.
Back injuries are a prime example of non-accidental injuries that may be covered. If it can be shown that a back injury occurred as a direct consequence of your work performance, then you are within your rights to fight for compensation. Other injuries with similar circumstances include:
- Carpal tunnel
Knowing whether or not these injuries will be covered relies entirely on how they occurred and the evidence we can gather. Our goal is to show the insurance provider that your injuries occurred at the workplace because of the actions you performed. Ideally, the injury will be the result of an accident, which will make the claims process significantly easier.
How Long Do You Have To File A Workers’ Comp Claim In North Carolina?
There are two important deadlines related to workers’ comp claims that you need to be aware of:
Injury Report Deadline
This is the time that you have from the injury to report it to your employer or supervisor. This deadline does not fluctuate regardless of the severity or nature of the injury. If you do not report the injury before this deadline, then you may waive your rights to workers’ comp entirely.
After this period, your company can simply deny your claim and you will have no option to appeal or contest the denial. The injury report deadline is precisely thirty days following the accident.
Statute Of Limitations
This is the time that you have to begin filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is counted from the day of the injury. The statute of limitation can vary from one state to another. Here, in North Carolina, you have a maximum of two years to file your claim.
How To File A Workers’ Comp Claim In North Carolina?
Filing a claim is a fairly simple process outright, but various complications can arise along the way. Here is the standard procedure.
1. Report your accident to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible.
2. Visit an emergency room or workplace health care provider.
3. Submit a written report to your employer detailing the date and circumstances of the injury.
4. Begin the filing process with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The first document you will need to file is Industrial Commission’s Form 18, which can be acquired digitally or in paper form.
5. Contact an attorney at any time. You do not need to wait until you begin filing to speak with a workers’ comp attorney regarding your options. In severe cases, it is always best to begin working alongside an attorney as soon as possible.
Get Help With the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Charlotte
Workplace injuries may be less frequent in North Carolina, but there are still tens of thousands every year and many of them are very serious. A workplace injury can leave lasting damage, prevent you from working in the future, and may require ongoing medical attention.
Workers’ comp insurance is intended to cover the financial losses from these possibilities, but greedy insurance carriers may try to resist. Our legal team at Waple & Houk PLLC will help you fight back and receive compensation for your damages no matter how severe. Pick up a phone and contact our staff at (704) 480-3899 to schedule a free consultation.