Raleigh NC Workers Compensation Attorneys
Many people who have been hurt on the job find it difficult and stressful to handle a workers compensation claim. It is natural to wonder if your case would be helped by a workers compensation attorney. Fortunately, we offer free consultations on workers compensation claims, so that you can get your questions answered and find out if you need representation.
Understanding The Basics from a Workers Comp Lawyer
Employers hold workers compensation insurance to protect themselves and employees in the event of a work related accident, injury, or illness. This insurance compensates employees for lost wages and treatment related expenses. North Carolina law requires certain businesses to maintain workers compensation insurance. For example, a business with three or more employees must provide this coverage to those employees. If an employer is required to carry workers compensation insurance, but does not, then this can be reported to the state, and further action will be taken to address the situation.
Choosing To Hire A Workers Comp Attorney
After a work related injury or illness occurs, you can file a workers compensation claim by following several important steps. You must begin by seeking medical attention for your injuries and notifying your employer of the incident. If the injury is not urgent, then you can ask your employer where you should go for medical treatment.
Your employer may direct you to a particular medical care provider or facility, and you should follow this direction. The law requires you to seek medical care from the employer’s chosen doctor unless you are given permission. However, if you are unable to contact your employer before seeking medical treatment, then it is acceptable to see your own doctor or the nearest emergency room for care. If this happens, you must inform your employer as soon as possible, with a legal limit of 30 days from the date of the accident. You can do this through a letter to your supervisor or by submitting North Carolina Industrial Commission Form 13 to the commission, which will then inform the employer.
If you notify your employer directly, then he or she should provide you with Form 13, which – if you have not already completed – should be filled out and submitted to the Industrial Commission. You should be careful to include all work related injuries and illnesses in this form, as you will not have an opportunity to make amendments at a later date. Failing to include any conditions or issues will mean that you cannot later collect insurance benefits on that condition.
Workers Comp Claim Process
You should expect to hear from the insurance company of your employer after you file a workers compensation claim. An insurance adjuster will contact you to refer you to a specific doctor for an initial exam. You do have the option of filing a request with the Commission to see another physician. You should not do so without obtaining this permission. Otherwise, your medical expenses may not be reimbursed.
After the initial evaluation is completed, your workers compensation claim is going to be denied or accepted with a treatment plan created. If your claim is denied, you will receive a detailed explanation of why the denial occurred; and the Commission will also receive the explanation.
It is at this point, if and when your claim is denied, that you must consider the option of filing an appeal with the Industrial Commission. If you do file an appeal, then they will investigate your situation and come to a decision regarding whether they will side with your position or the position of your employer and their insurance company.
Typical Workers Comp Injuries
When it comes to which work related injuries are covered by workers compensation insurance, there are several. Some of the more common workers comp injuries include the following:
- Amputation (typically caused in industrial settings)
- Slip and Fall
- Hearing Loss
- Eye Injury
- Exacerbated Medical Condition (e.g. asthma)
- Medical Conditions Induced by Work (e.g. heart attack, stroke)
- Psychiatric/Emotional Problems – caused by physical injury
- Occupational Disease (e.g. Mesothelioma from asbestos exposure)
- Back Injury
- Knee Injury
- Shoulder Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Injury Caused by Defective Tools/Machines