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It may be hard to get back to work after sustaining an injury from a workplace accident in Lincoln County. An on-the-job accident may completely alter the course of your life. You may spend days or months in bed or the hospital as you rest and recover. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic workplace injury, you may face permanent disability.
In North Carolina, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation to all employees. This comes in handy after a workplace accident occurs. If you’ve been hurt while on the job, reach out to a Lincoln County workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. At Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC, we can help you get the compensation you deserve after your injury.
Workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina aren’t straightforward. You require the legal counsel of a knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer near Lincoln County after suffering a workplace injury. Our legal team is eager to discuss your legal options and develop an airtight legal strategy to help you secure maximum compensation.
Call us now at (704) 709-8943 to find out more about your rights as an employee.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
The workers’ compensation system is intended to provide efficient access to essential benefits with the goal of returning an injured worker to his or her pre-injury capacity- physically, mentally and financially.
Injuries at work allow employees to receive a narrow set of benefits- wage loss and medical compensation.
The system, at its best, works when the employee, employer and insurance carrier work together to achieve this goal. Not every injured worker needs an attorney. If the injury is relatively minor, return to the same position is expected and communication between the parties is professional and productive, there is no need for advocacy- for either party.
Employers in North Carolina are required to provide an accident insurance program for their employees. This insurance coverage is referred to as workers’ compensation. It includes income, rehabilitation, and medical benefits after a workplace accident.
These benefits help you to get back to work. They also act as a financial remedy if you can’t permanently return to work. Still, workers’ compensation includes death benefits in case you lose your life while on the job. Your spouse and minor children will be entitled to benefits if you pass on due to a job-related injury.
Here’s a list of benefits you may receive if you are injured while performing your job:
After an injury at work, your employer’s insurance company should cover your treatment costs. This may include surgery costs, hospital stays, and consultation bills.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
You may require time off work to rest and recuperate after a workplace injury. An authorized physician may recommend that you take a break from work for a certain period or entirely. TTD benefits offer monetary compensation during this time.
Workers, especially in physically demanding jobs like construction, may require physical therapy to help restore function and movement
Your physician may prescribe medication after an injury at work. Workers’ compensation benefits should cover the costs of your prescriptions.
You deserve to be compensated if you used your own money to cater to travel expenses, such as parking fees, fares, and gas expenses brought about by the injury.
After an injury, you may recover and hope to get back to work. Vocational rehabilitation helps injured employees regain the ability to work and earn compensation for their work. Programs such as retraining, on-the-job training, guidance, and mental rehabilitation can help workers get back to work.
If you’ve been hurt while on the job, you should contact a reputable Lincoln County workers’ compensation lawyer. Remember, every state has its own workers’ compensation laws. Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC will guide you throughout the claims process to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
Workplace accidents can happen in any industry. If you’ve been injured while on the job, there are various things you should do. Here are several steps you can take to strengthen your Lincoln County workers’ compensation claim after an injury:
Notify Your Employer
Seek Medical Treatment
Your health and wellbeing are crucial. Never disregard seeking medical treatment after an accident. Always follow the doctor’s instructions after a workplace injury.
Keep a Written Record
It’s essential to take note of your injuries and symptoms. It’s normal for people to forget details of what happened as time passes. A written record can help your workers’ compensation lawyer in Lincoln County to link the workplace accident as the cause of your injuries.
Take Photographs of Your Injury
You can use your phone or camera to take photos and videos after a workplace accident. Capture any visible injuries such as lacerations, burns, bone fractures, and abrasions after your work-related accident.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Lincoln County
You should file a claim form after your injury. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer near Lincoln County can guide you and ensure you file your claim on time. At Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC, our legal team will conduct a comprehensive investigation to help you secure a full and fair settlement after your workplace injury.
Rest and Recuperate
You don’t need to run around filing claims, attending hearings, or trying to understand North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Our lawyers can handle your claim on your behalf. All you have to do is rest while we deal with all aspects of your case.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Workers in physically demanding jobs are more exposed to risks and hazards. They are more likely to get hurt while performing their jobs. These individuals typically strain their bodies when performing their jobs while doing the heavy lifting.
Still, anyone can get hurt while performing their job. Here are the most common injuries caused by workplace accidents:
Desk job employees usually complain about chronic back and neck pain. They suffer from these injuries as a result of sitting in the office all day long.
Employees exposed to sparks, open flames, and chemicals may suffer burns while on the job.
Disregarding required safety standards may result in bone fractures in the workplace. A violent impact may leave you with severe fracture injuries.
Workers doing jobs involving heavy machinery and equipment may require amputations after workplace accidents.
Employees in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, and construction may suffer from hearing loss due to the loud noises associated with these industries.
Overexertion can lead to the tearing of muscles. Actions such as squatting or kneeling may result in chronic or severe joint pain.
Slip and Fall
These workplace accidents may result in spinal cord injuries, broken bones, soft tissue damage, and concussions.
Construction employees may fall from scaffolding platforms, ladders, staircases, or roofs. Improperly set up equipment may lead to severe injuries.
Accidents While Traveling for Business
You may be injured while driving the company vehicle for official business. Speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and fatigued driving may result in severe injuries.
Accidents While Working with Machinery or Tools
Employees working with heavy-duty tools should always be careful while performing their jobs. They may suffer severe injuries if they aren’t careful or if they use faulty equipment.
North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Laws & Regulations
According to The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, all employers, no matter what the industry or company type, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ three or people. There are certain circumstances, like if an employee is working in the presence of radiation, where employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance regardless of the number of employees they have.
North Carolina workers’ compensation laws states employers who meet the criteria that requires them to carry workers’ comp insurance but choose not to may be subject to one or multiple penalties that range from financial penalties to time in jail.
Why do I need a workers’ compensation lawyer?
Since most companies in North Carolina are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may think you will automatically be covered should you get injured or become ill due to a workplace incident or exposure.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Like many cases with insurance agencies, they may do everything in their power to keep their payout/coverage as small as possible, limit what things they cover, or even to avoid providing any sort of compensation at all.
If you suspect you have not received fair compensation for your workplace injury, we advise you to contact the Charlotte, North Carolina-based workers’ compensation attorneys at Waple & Houk, PLLC immediately.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits can I Receive in North Carolina?
- Payment for lost wages
- Medical coverage or assistance
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
Charlotte, NC Work Injury Lawyers
An injury occurring on the job can be an unforeseeable crisis—a physically disabling injury with resulting uncertainties regarding future financial security. Atop the physical pain and recovery, many issues and questions arise. Every injury is unique and workers’ compensation claims can become complicated.
Whether your injury is major or minor and your recovery time is long-term or short-term, the attorneys at Waple & Houk, PLLC have the experience to support you through your claim, address your concerns, defend your access to benefits and lead you through the complexities of the workers’ compensation system from beginning to end so that you may focus your energy on recovering physically and regaining the overall stability in your life.
What to Expect from Your Workers’ Comp Claim
The following is an outline of minimum expectations for the effective management of a workers’ compensation claim. Consider review of your claim if these essential elements of a workers’ comp claim are not met.
Appropriate medical treatment for your work injury
Workers should receive prompt authorization of the medical treatment recommended by the authorized treating physician. In the event of questions surrounding appropriate treatment, injured workers should receive authorization of reasonable requests for a second opinion.
Fair compensation for your injuries and prompt and consistent payments
Workers who are limited by the doctor for injuries related to an accepted work injury and unable to return to work should receive weekly disability compensation. Disability compensation should be made promptly and regularly, as it is likely the sole source of income to pay rent, utilities and grocery bills.
Clear communication from your employer and their insurance representative
The insurance adjuster and employer representative should be responsive to an injured worker’s questions concerning his or her claim- access to medical treatment, payment of disability compensation, or availability of light-duty work.
How much does a worker’s compensation lawyer cost?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. Every workers’ compensation lawyer has a different way of charging clients but most operate under a “you don’t pay unless we win your case” system.
This means the only compensation your work injury lawyer will receive is a percentage of what you are awarded should they win your case.
How do I File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Knowing what steps to take is an extremely important part of the process when you are looking to file a workers’ compensation claims.
While you could always try addressing your concerns with either your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance agent in charge of handling your case, if you don’t feel like you are receiving the compensation or benefits from your work injury or illness, chances are, you are not going to make an impact without an attorney by your side.
The first thing you should do is contact a local workers’ compensation attorney to schedule a free consultation. Waple & Houk, PLLC’s workers’ comp lawyers have been helping individuals who have suffered workplace injuries or illness for years, and we would be honored to hear your concerns, discuss potential options, and guide you through the process.
You can also find out more about our Mecklenburg County workers’ compensation attorneys here or you can schedule your free Workers’ Compensation Case Evaluation.
Why Should I Hire a Lincoln County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
If you’ve been hurt while on the job, you should consider reaching out to a reliable law firm in Lincoln County, North Carolina. At Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC, our lawyers can help you get the best outcome in your Lincoln County workers’ compensation dispute. Here’s why you should hire our trusted law firm:
Case Preparation / Filing a Claim
Most North Carolina workers’ compensation claims are denied due to insufficient medical evidence. You require the help of an experienced legal team to gather and analyze evidence to prove an accident led to your injuries. Our attorneys can help you build a strong claim and file it on time.
Our Lincoln County workers’ compensation lawyers have dealt with insurance companies for the longest time. We know their tricks and deceptive tactics. We will handle these negotiations on your behalf to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC won’t settle for any lowball offer.
Appealing a Denied Claim
If the insurance company denies your claim, we are ready to appeal the decision. We will request a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
Trial Preparation / Representation
If you are dissatisfied with this government agency’s decision, our lawyers will file an appeal and represent you at the Court of Appeals in North Carolina. We will work tirelessly to ensure you get the best results in your workers’ compensation case.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lincoln County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Most Lincoln County work injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This implies that they receive a percentage of the employee’s compensation after a successful claim. Employees don’t pay any upfront fees for legal representation. In North Carolina, these agreements should always be in writing.
What Should I Do if My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
If you receive a denial letter, the first thing you should do is contact a reliable Lincoln County workers’ compensation lawyer. Your lawyer will analyze the insurer’s decision and advise you about your legal options. At Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC, we will brainstorm to develop the best appeal strategy to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Our legal team will appeal the denial at the NC Industrial Commission. This agency deals with Lincoln County workers’ compensation disputes. We will file Form 33 on your behalf and request a hearing with a deputy commissioner or, subsequently, the full commission.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
You have 30 days to report your workplace injury to your employer. This should be done orally as well as in writing. Don’t ignore reporting your injury to your employer.
It’s also prudent to seek medical attention immediately after your injury. Remember to follow your physician’s advice to fully recover from your injury.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers Compensation Process?
It’s the responsibility of your employer to report your workplace injury to the insurance company. They should also file Form 19 to the NC Industrial Commission if an employee has missed more than a day’s work due to a workplace injury or if a worker’s medical expenses are over $4,000. Still, the employer should provide a copy of this form and a blank Form 18 to the employee.
Can I be Fired for Claiming a Workers Comp Claim?
No, your employer can’t fire you for filing a compensation claim. If your employer retaliates by firing you, decreasing your pay, harassment, or demoting you, they can face severe legal action. If you’ve been fired or are facing retaliation from your employer, a competent workers’ compensation attorney in Lincoln County can advise you regarding your legal options. Call our lawyers now for comprehensive legal advice.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Workers Comp Claim in Lincoln County, NC?
You have two years from the date of your workplace injury to file a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim. You should report your injury within 30 days to be eligible to receive compensation. It’s best to act fast when you’ve sustained injuries while on the job.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Worker’s compensation is meant to cover your workplace injuries. You can’t sue your employer if you’ve been injured while on the job. However, you may be able to sue your employer if their intentional actions led to your workplace injury. Proving an employer’s negligence is a challenging task. You require the legal help of a knowledgeable Lincoln County workers’ compensation attorney to prove these four elements: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers Comp Claim?
In North Carolina, independent contractors aren’t considered employees. They aren’t under the control of the employer. These individuals aren’t covered by the employer’s accident insurance coverage. However, employees should be careful since some employers may misclassify them as independent contractors. Contact our trusted Lincoln County workers’ compensation lawyers now if you believe your employer has intentionally misclassified you as an independent contractor.
What Is My Lincoln County Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
Two main factors usually determine the amount of compensation you’ll receive for your workplace injury. Your lost wages and medical expenses will determine the value of your claim. Here’s what will be considered when computing your benefits after a workplace injury in North Carolina:
Your Medical Bills (With Authorized Treating Physicians)
You should seek medical care as soon as you are injured. Workers’ compensation benefits should cover the treatment expenses for your injury. This may include prescription drugs, physical therapy costs, surgery expenses, hospital visits, consultation fees, and any necessary travel expenses.
Your compensation may also cover vocational rehabilitation costs, including career counseling, placement, and on-the-job training.
Temporary Disability Benefits
You may be entitled to temporary disability benefits if you miss more than one week of work due to your injury. In North Carolina, you can receive up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages.
You may qualify for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits if your injuries have affected your ability to perform a job. The benefits you receive here will be a two-thirds difference between your initial and current salary.
Permanent Disability Benefits
At times, employees who suffer workplace injuries are unable to get back to work. If your doctor believes your condition can’t improve further beyond a point, you attain your maximum medical improvement (MMI). During this stage, no significant emotional or medical change is expected. Your doctor will provide a permanent impairment rating.
You may qualify for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits if you’ve attained your MMI. Instances such as paralysis and brain injuries may warrant these benefits. The insurance company will pay for your weekly benefits calculated just like your temporary disability rate for the rest of your life.
If your workplace injury results in limited physical functioning, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. You may recover two-thirds of your average weekly income for a particular period if you lose the physical functioning of your arms, legs, ears, eyes, or back. The state determines this time frame. In the event you lose your entire hand, you may receive compensation for up to 200 weeks.
Workplace accidents may at times result in tragic accidents. The decedent’s spouse and minor children may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their loved one. Death benefits are generally paid weekly for up to 500 weeks. Compensation for burial expenses can be paid up to $10,000.
Review Your Case With Our Attorneys For Free
If you’ve sustained injuries while working, you should reach out to a Lincoln County workers’ compensation attorney to find out if you have a case. Accidents happen all the time in the workplace. You deserve to be compensated if your accident has impacted your way of life and your physical health.
At Waple & Houk, PLLC PLLC, our legal team will promptly file your claim before North Carolina’s deadline. We are also ready to handle your appeal if the insurance company denies your claim. Our trial lawyers will represent you in case we head to the courts.
Contact us today to find out if you have a case. We are ready to hear your side of the story. We will go above and beyond to help you secure the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call (704) 709-8943 for a free case review.