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Some workplace accidents may result from an employer failing to maintain a safe and hazard-free environment, while others are simply the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When an accident occurs in the workplace, it can end up causing a significant physical and financial strain on the victim. Time off work can mean missing wages, and a significant injury can mean outrageous medical bills.
Workers’ compensation is a program that provides partial wage replacement and medical benefits to individuals hurt on the job. Generally, businesses in North Carolina that employ three or more people must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, not all employees know if they’re eligible for workers’ compensation, and the application process can be confusing. Workers’ compensation insurance companies also reject or undervalue many valid claims.
At Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, we know what it takes to mount a viable workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina. We can help protect an employee’s rights and negotiate with the insurer for maximum compensation.
Types of Accidents at Work in North Carolina
You don’t have to be employed in a dangerous occupation to suffer from a workplace accident. Hazards can exist in all workplaces – even seemingly “safe” ones like offices and stores.
Sometimes these hazards are caused by a one-off occurrence, while other times, hazards result from conditions that a worker is exposed to daily.
According to the National Safety Council, overexertion is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Slip and fall accidents are also a top cause of workers’ compensation claims. These types of accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, not just to workers employed in “dangerous” sectors.
Some of the most common types of accidents or incidents that occur in workplaces throughout North Carolina include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falls from heights or ladders
- Being struck or pinned by an object or equipment
- Being struck by falling objects
- Construction accidents
- Accidents involving heavy machinery
- Accidents caused by defective equipment
- Accidents caused by mechanical defects
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Chemical spills
- Violence in the workplace
- Conditions that lead to repetitive motion injuries
Different types of workplace accidents or events can result in various kinds of injuries and medical conditions. As soon as you realize that you have suffered a work-related injury, you must report it to your employer.
How to Seek Compensation for Your Workplace Accident in North Carolina
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident, there are several steps you should take to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits, including:
- Seek medical attention. In North Carolina, you are generally required to seek medical care from a doctor approved by your employer or their insurance provider. Exceptions apply if you require emergency treatment. When you receive treatment for your workplace injury, you need to tell the medical provider that your injury is job-related so they can document your injuries appropriately.
- Report the Injury. If you are injured on the job, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. In all events, employees are required to report their injury orally and in writing within 30 days from the date of the injury. A written statement is simply a letter that gives the company the details of the accident, including the date and a description of what happened. Keep a copy of this statement for your records.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions. It is essential that, following the accident, you keep all follow-up doctor’s appointments and keep up with your physician’s treatment plan. Precisely follow your doctor’s orders and take all medication your doctor prescribes to you.
- File all needed paperwork. You may need to fill out official claim forms. The employer usually provides these forms to injured workers. However, you can also find workers’ compensation forms on the North Carolina Industrial Commission webpage. It’s also important to immediately respond to requests from the North Carolina Industrial Commission for additional information.
- Keep copies. Be sure to hold on to copies of documents and information related to your work injuries, such as your medical records, photographs of your injury and the accident scene, workers’ compensation forms, receipts of expenses related to your injuries, and missed days from work. Be sure to also document who was present at the time of the accident, as witness statements may help your claim.
You may also want to consult with an attorney about your workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, many victims of workplace accidents don’t realize that they have the right to consult with an attorney. An attorney can ensure that your rights are protected, that the claim you’re filing is accurate and complete, and that you are pursuing the maximum compensation available for your injuries. They can also help you file an appeal if your claim for your workers’ compensation benefits is denied or undervalued.
Contact Our Experienced North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Do not hesitate to call an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at the law firm of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC. Your employer and their insurer are looking out for their best interests, so be sure you have someone to look out for yours. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to help workplace accident victims pursue the full benefits they deserve.
Get back on your feet again with help from the team at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC. We offer workplace accident victims a free and confidential case evaluation. Contact the office of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, today.