Most of us will go through our entire lives without ever getting hurt on the job and needing workers’ compensation. This is especially true for people working in white-collar jobs. It’s the people who work in blue-collar jobs who are at risk. Our employment lawyers in Greenville meet with laborers and drivers more often than we do executives and salespeople. This is because the nature of the work these people do are different.
Studies show that certain industries experience workplace accidents at a much higher rate. Some of these include:
- Agricultural sector
These industries report the highest number of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers. For non-fatal injuries, it appears that education and healthcare rank highest. North Carolina is home to all these industries so it’s no surprise that we would meet dozens of clients every year who were hurt on the job.
One of the questions a lot of our clients have when we first meet is whether they are eligible for workers comp benefits through their job. That’s why we figured it would be a good idea to discuss this topic here. If you still have questions after reading this article, we urge you to call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation.
Almost All Companies in North Carolina Are Required to Carry Workers Comp Insurance
Regardless of what kind of work you do in North Carolina, there’s a good chance your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. All companies are required to carry this type of insurance unless they meet very specific criteria. For example, if the company you work for has less than 3 employees, they aren’t required to carry this type of insurance.
The same is true for a few, selected industries, including:
- Federal employees
- Postal workers
- Railroad employees
- Agricultural workers
- Domestic servants such as nannies and housekeepers
People who work in these sectors have other avenues of redress for work-related industries. If you don’t work in any of these areas, then your employer will be responsible for any injuries you suffer in a workplace accident. This is true if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
What Are the Requirements for Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
When we meet with clients who were hurt on the job, they’re usually worried that their employer won’t cover their injuries. Many of them have already been told their workers comp claim was denied. It’s our job to negotiate with their employer and the insurance company to get their claim paid.
If you’re in the same boat, you would benefit from our services. If your company has refused to take care of your medical care, you’re going to need to appeal your claim. Or, if you learn that your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, you’ll have the standing to file a lawsuit against them.
In order to qualify for workers comp benefits, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been on the clock at the time of your accident
- The injury must occur during the scope of your employment
- You can’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You must report the injury immediately
- You must submit to a drug test as required
- You must be treated by a company-approved doctor
- You must comply with your doctor’s treatment plan
If you meet all these criteria, then your claim should’ve been approved. If your employer is still denying you benefits, your personal injury attorney in Greenville, North Carolina will have to step in on your behalf.
Why Would Your Employer Deny Your Workers Compensation Claim in Greenville?
There are a variety of reasons why your employer may have denied your workers’ comp claim. If this happens to you or your loved one, you should contact one of our personal injury attorneys in Greenville, North Carolina. We can review the denial letter and find out what they can do to get your claim approved.
Some of the more common reasons why your workers’ comp claim may be denied include the following:
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You have a history of filing workers comp claims
- You were not on company time when you got hurt
- They don’t believe your injuries were work-related
Depending on the reason or the denial, your employment lawyers in Greenville may be able to help. They’ll look to see what evidence there is to prove your claim is payable.
Just keep in mind – there are some things your attorney can’t help you with. For example, if you were drunk when you got hurt, there’s no way the insurance company is going to pay your claim. The same is true if you falsified your story about what happened.
If Your Claim is Approved, What Benefits Will You Receive?
When we meet with potential clients, they usually want to know what kind of benefits they’re going to receive. As long as their claim is approved, they’ll be entitled to the following:
- Medical care – Any treatment you need as a result of your work injuries will be covered by your employer’s insurance. The same is true for out-of-pocket medical expenses such as prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and travel time.
- Replacement wages – For the weeks you’re out of work, you can expect to be paid 2/3 of your average weekly wages. If you made $500 before the injury, you’ll get weekly checks of approximately $333.
- You may be eligible for occupational therapy or counseling if you aren’t able to return to work after your accident. It depends on the seriousness of your injuries and whether your employer has another position for you.
As long as your claim is open and approved, you’ll receive the above benefits. However, once you return to work, your benefits will be terminated. The same is true if you start another job or do something to cause your claim to be closed.
Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer in Greenville
If you’re hurt at work, you’re entitled to certain benefits under workers’ compensation. It depends on what you do for a living and whether you qualify for benefits. If you learn your employer doesn’t carry the necessary insurance under workers’ compensation law, you should call and talk to one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys in Greenville, North Carolina.