It’s one thing to get hurt on the job. It’s another to suffer a catastrophic injury. If you suffer a life-changing injury at work, you should receive special damages. The problem is that most people just assume that the insurance company will do the right thing. What you need to do is retain a Greenville workers comp attorney.
What Workplace Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, a catastrophic injury is any injury that permanently prevents an employee from returning to work. To be considered catastrophic, your injury must be permanent and there must be no chance of your making a full recovery.
Some of the more common catastrophic injuries include:
- Severe burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neurological damage
- Nerve damage
- Severe organ damage
- Facial deformities
We understand that this list is rather long. However, when you’re trying to determine if your injuries qualify as catastrophic, it’s important that you have this information.
How Are Catastrophic Injuries Different from Ordinary Workplace Injuries?
As you can imagine, catastrophic injuries are more severe and impactful than ordinary workplace injuries. There are also other differences between the two:
- Catastrophic injuries are much more severe, often resulting in permanent disability or death.
- These injuries are also more expensive to treat, often requiring extensive hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation.
- Catastrophic injuries have a profound impact on both the employee and their family. They may end up having to take care of the employee for the rest of their life.
- Many employees who suffer a catastrophic injury are not able to return to work in any capacity.
Knowing what’s at stake, you should strongly consider hiring a skilled Greenville workers comp attorney to handle your claim for you.
What Are the Standard Benefits You Receive Under Workers Compensation?
If your workers’ compensation claim is approved, you’ll receive three types of damages. First, any medical care related to your workplace injury will be covered by insurance.
Second, you’ll receive weekly benefits to cover your lost wages. These benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. They are capped at $1,254. What this means is that people who make more than $1,880 will technically receive less than a full two-thirds.
Finally, if you need it, you will be offered vocational rehabilitation.
People who suffer a catastrophic injury are entitled to additional benefits.
What Special Benefits Are You Entitled to If You Suffer a Catastrophic Injury?
In addition to the benefits outlined above, workers who suffer a catastrophic injury are entitled to other benefits as well. For example, in most workers compensation cases, employees can only collect benefits for 500 weeks.
This may sound like a long time, and it is. When you think about it, 500 weeks is close to 10 years! For people with a catastrophic injury, there is no limit. They can collect benefits for the rest of their lives.
In addition, these employees are entitled to medical care on the injured body part for the rest of their life. For example, if someone suffered a broken neck in a construction site fall, any treatment related to their neck will be covered.
Sadly, some workers who suffer a catastrophic injury don’t survive. In these situations, their family will be entitled to survivor benefits.
What Types of Workers Are at Risk of Sustaining a Catastrophic Injury?
There are many different types of workers who are at risk of sustaining a catastrophic injury. It all depends on the type of work they do. Some of the occupations that put workers at a higher risk of a catastrophic injury include:
- Construction workers are at risk of falling from heights, being struck by falling objects, and being electrocuted.
- Factory workers are at risk of being caught in or crushed by machinery.
- Oil field workers are at risk of being exposed to hazardous chemicals and materials.
- Truck drivers are at risk of being involved in a serious accident.
- Firefighters are at risk of developing mesothelioma or other cancers.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Just because you don’t fit into any of these groups doesn’t mean your injuries won’t qualify as being catastrophic. The only way to know for sure is to meet with an experienced Greenville workers comp attorney.
Reach Out to a Skilled Greenville Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
If you suffer a catastrophic injury at work, you need to demand special benefits. If you don’t press the issue, you can bet the insurance company won’t offer you these benefits. Plus, these cases are hard to navigate. You’re better off hiring a Greenville workers comp attorney to handle things.
If you work in a dangerous injury, you’re at a higher risk of suffering a catastrophic injury. There’s nothing wrong with demanding what you’re entitled to. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to handle things anyway.
You could be in the hospital or a rehabilitation center. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is your workers’ comp claim.
We suggest you contact our office today at (919) 328-2336 and schedule your free, initial consultation.