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.
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.
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 workers’ compensation attorneys at Waple & Houk immediately.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.