Workers compensation is supposed to sover you in case of an accident. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you’re probably upset and very confused. It’s hard enough to deal with the pain associated with your injury. But you also have to worry about how you’ll pay your medical bills. You must be wondering how you’re going to pay your bills if you can’t work. The good news is that you should be eligible for workers compensation. The not so good news is that it can be very confusing to navigate the world of workers compensation in North Carolina. Thankfully, you can always call one of our Greenville workers compensation lawyers. They can review your case and explain how the workers comp process works in your home state.
Here, we’ll explain how the basic filing process works. We’ll discuss the requirements for qualifying for workers comp benefits. We’ll also talk about the things you don’t want to do if you want to protect your rights as an employee. If you still have questions after reading this brief article, just give our office a call. We can schedule your free consultation right over the phone. The sooner you do this, the better your chances of having your workers compensation claim approved.
What Should You Do Immediately After Your Workplace Accident?
If you want to protect your rights under workers comp, there are certain things you need to do immediately following your workplace accident. First, you need to make sure you report your injuries right away. You can let your manager, supervisor, or Human Resources Director know that you’ve been hurt.
The second thing you need to do is go out for medical treatment. Most employers would insist upon this. However, even if they don’t, there’s no reason why you should refuse medical treatment at this point.
Understand that there’s a good chance your employer will ask you to submit to a drug test before you go out for treatment. You may as well agree. They’re allowed to do this under the law and if you refuse, your workers compensation claim could be denied.
Finally, once you’ve been seen by a state-approved workers comp doctor, make sure you comply with treatment. You can’t afford to miss appointments or refuse to engage in your treatment plan. All this will do is aggravate your employer and increase the chances of your benefits being terminated.
There Are Certain Criteria You Must Meet to Qualify for Workers Compensation in North Carolina
Just because you were hurt at work doesn’t automatically guarantee that you’ll receive workers compensation benefits. There are thousands of people who get hurt on the job every year whose workers comp claim is denied. Sometimes it’s denied because of missing paperwork or a clerical error. However, other times, it’s because the employee doesn’t meet the basic criteria for workers comp in North Carolina.
You have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for workers comp. These requirements are similar no matter what state you live in. They include the following:
- Your accident must have happened on company time
- Usually, your injuries must have occurred on company property
- You must be acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your accident
- You must report the incident immediately
- You must agree to be treated by a state-approved doctor
- You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your injuries
- You must participate in your treatment plan
- You can’t work anywhere else while out on worker’s comp
These may seem rather obvious. It seems like common sense that a worker would know these things. But this isn’t always the case. There are times when we see our clients’ workers comp claims be denied for making very small mistakes.
Be Careful You Don’t Make Any of the Common Mistakes We See in Workers Compensation Cases
There are certain things people do after a car accident that can destroy their chances of recovering damages from the other driver. The same thing happens in workers comp cases. One small mistake can turn into a big problem. For example, if you fail to report your accident, you won’t be eligible for benefits. The same is true if you insist on being seen by your primary care physician instead of a state-approved workers comp doctor.
Another mistake workers comp claimants make is they continue to work at their part-time job despite the fact that they’re receiving workers comp benefits. If you’re caught doing this, not only will your benefits terminate, but you’ll also be ordered to repay any benefits you’ve already received.
Finally, don’t refuse to go back to work when your doctor says you’re ready to return. Once your doctor determines that you’ve met maximum medical improve, or MMI, you’ll have to return to work. If you don’t feel that you’re ready, you can always ask your Greenville workers compensation lawyer to get you a second opinion. Depending on what this second doctor says, you may be able to convince the insurance company to extend your benefits a few more weeks.
Meet with an Experienced Greenville Injury Lawyer Sooner Rather than Later
When it comes to workers comp, we always recommend that you talk to a Greenville workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible. You’re at the mercy of your employer in those early days. If they choose to pay your claim, great. If not, they deny it and hope you won’t put up a fight.
The best way to be taken seriously is to hire an experienced Greenville injury lawyer. They will let the insurance company know that they’re handling your case. They’ll also make it clear that you won’t take a denial lying down. They’ll fight to make sure you receive the benefits to which you’re entitled. If you don’t, they’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf.
All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with an attorney who can answer any questions you may have and who has your best interests at heart.