Workers’ compensation benefits exist to help injured employees who need medical care and financial assistance when they are hurt on the job. Unfortunately, if you are hurt in a workplace accident, it can be difficult to figure out which doctor to see for your treatment, let alone manage complicated legal forms. Oftentimes, getting full workers’ compensation benefits is much more difficult than it should be. That’s why you need a skilled North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
The attorneys of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, can help you every step of the way as you pursue the payment you need for your work-related injury. We are a family-run law firm that has spent 40 years serving workers throughout Wadesboro, Wilmington, and across North Carolina. Our attorneys are also designated by the North Carolina State Bar as Board-Certified workers’ compensation specialists.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you in a free consultation.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in North Carolina
If you were injured in a North Carolina workplace accident, you can take several important steps to protect your right to recover workers’ compensation benefits:
- Notify your employer of your injury and seek prompt medical attention. You may be asked to visit a specific healthcare provider chosen by your employer. However, if your employer does not designate a provider, you may visit your own doctor.
- Follow through on the doctor’s treatment orders. Make sure you thoroughly describe your injury and symptoms to your doctor and follow any directions you receive for treatment.
- Submit a written report to your employer within 30 days. Even if you have already notified your employer in person, write out a simple statement about what happened and when. Submit the report to your employer within 30 days of the injury and keep a copy for your records.
What Do NC Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
The benefits you could receive from a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim include:
- Any reasonable and necessary medical care for your injuries
- Reasonable travel expenses to access medical treatment more than 20 miles roundtrip
- Vocational rehabilitation services such as education and retraining
- Temporary total disability benefits, which replace up to two-thirds of your lost weekly wages if you are unable to work or unable to complete your previous tasks at work
- Temporary partial disability benefits, which replace two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage prior to the injury and the reduced earnings you may have after your return to work
- Permanent partial impairment benefits, which pay a portion of your pre-injury average weekly wages for a designated number of weeks based on the type and severity of the disability you suffer after you reach maximum medical improvement
- Attendant care payments to friends or family who care for you pursuant to a doctor’s recommendation
How Long Does It Take to Receive Benefits?
Any medical bills related to the treatment of your work-related injury should be covered by your employer or its insurance provider as soon as you file a workers’ comp claim. Simply notify the healthcare provider that you have filed or plan to file a workers’ comp claim, and your doctor can bill your employer or the insurance carrier directly.
The timeline for lost wages benefits is a little more complicated. If you are unable to work, you are not eligible to receive benefits for the first seven days of missed work unless you end up missing work for 21 days or more. However, once you miss more than 21 days of work due to your injury, you may be entitled to retroactive compensation dating back to your first day of missed work.
When You Deserve More Than Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault insurance that allows injured workers to recover compensation regardless of who was responsible for their injuries. However, workers’ comp benefits don’t always fully compensate people who suffer severe injuries on the job.
If you were hurt at work due to a third party’s negligence, you may have grounds to pursue additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Common work-accident situations caused by third parties could include car accidents that occur on the job, delivery drivers who fall on dangerous property, and accidents related to product defects.