Employees who are injured at work may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, which can be used to pay off bills and medical expenses while recovering from the injuries. If you or a loved one was injured while working in Burke County, you can file a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina after notifying your employer about your injury.
A Burke County workers’ compensation lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, will review your case and gather materials to support your claim, including evidence to show how the accident happened, what injuries you suffered, and why you need time away from work to recover. Our attorneys also help clients who have been denied workers’ compensation benefits file appeals and pursue lost wages and medical care coverage.
In This Article
Workers’ Compensation May Cover Your Medical Expenses and Lost Income
Workers’ compensation programs are designed to help employees who were hurt on the job get the medical care they need, make ends meet while they heal, and get back to work as soon as their injury or illness allows. These benefits may be available to covered employees who:
- Suffer acute injuries in a workplace accident
- Have chronic pain or injuries because of overuse or repetitive motions
- Are diagnosed with an illness related to workplace exposure
Workers’ compensation benefits generally cover:
- Your medical expenses: Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will provide a network of approved physicians you can see to receive medical care for your injuries. The insurance company may pay these costs until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and your doctor releases you from their care. It may also pay for related expenses such as prescription drugs, physical therapy, and more.
- A portion of your lost income: You may be able to recover up to 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly earnings through workers’ compensation, up to a maximum limit. Employees do not need to work a set amount of time to qualify for income benefits. Coverage should begin for all employees from their first shift on the job, and both part-time and full-time workers qualify. As long as their injuries occurred while on the job, they may receive benefits for any work they missed due to their injuries.
- Disability: If you have a permanent or temporary disability, you may receive benefits to cover these damages. Rates for disability coverage vary based on whether you have a total or partial disability and where the injury is on the body. If necessary, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability benefits to supplement your workers’ compensation.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If your work-related injury affects your ability to return to your previous position or career in general, you may be able to consult a vocational rehabilitation expert to find new employment appropriate for your abilities. They may also be able to help you adapt to challenges your new impairments have caused, enabling you to return to managing the same tasks as before your injury.
Our attorneys also manage Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims and can assess your circumstances to determine if we believe you should apply. We can also prepare and file your claim or help you fight a denial if necessary.
You Can File a Personal Injury Claim to Pursue Additional Damages
Workers’ compensation insurance programs ensure that employees do not sue their employers for work-related accidents. However, this does not apply to other contractors or third-party individuals. One of our personal injury lawyers can review your case to see if other liable parties exist that might owe you compensation.
For example, imagine a situation where you are a contractor working on a jobsite. Another contractor working on the site causes a forklift accident, and the lost load hits you. You suffer a broken leg and other injuries. You may have a third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit against that contractor.
If we determine you have a case based on the facts of your accident, you may be able to pursue additional damages that workers’ compensation does not cover, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage, such as to your vehicle if you use it while working
- Emotional distress, including psychological trauma
- Full coverage of lost income, both current and future
- Diminished quality of life
- Reduced earning potential
We may suggest other damages to pursue depending on how your work injuries affect your life. We regularly represent clients in these claims, pursuing compensation for them by:
- Proving the other party acted negligently and this caused the accident
- Documenting the injuries, emotional harm, and financial losses incurred
- Demanding a fair payout based on the facts of what happened
- Negotiating an insurance settlement or suing the liable party
Workers’ compensation claims are no-fault, so we do not have to document the role each party played in these cases. However, we do have to show fault and liability in a personal injury case. This could require additional evidence beyond what we collected to prove your workers’ compensation case.
For a legal consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Burke County, call 828.286.3866
Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Manage Your Case While You Recover
As an injured employee, you may be overwhelmed by your physical and emotional states, which might affect how you fill out your workers’ compensation paperwork. Many people’s applications are denied due to inaccurate information, technical errors, and not understanding the claims process.
Rather than risk having your claim denied, one of our workers’ compensation attorneys can manage your case and lead your pursuit toward financial relief. Our legal team will:
- Review your case to determine if you meet all the requirements to file for workers’ compensation
- Investigate your accident to retrieve information or evidence that supports your workers’ compensation claim
- Fill out paperwork accurately and submit these documents within their deadlines
- Notify involved parties about your case, including whether you intend to sue
- Attend court hearings on your behalf to advocate for your right to receive workers’ compensation
If you have already submitted a claim and were denied, our lawyers can review your case to see what changes we can make to improve your claim. We can file an appeal on your behalf and guide you through the appeals process, as your case may need to be reviewed under different stages.
Burke County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
You Must Notify Your Employer About Your Injury Within 30 Days of the Accident
According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), employees have 30 days to notify their employer about their injuries via a written notice. This must happen before they can file for workers’ compensation. Once you complete that step, you have two years to file a claim for benefits.
Notifying your employer in writing as soon as your injuries allow is a good idea. This is true even if your supervisor witnessed the accident or your human resources representative called an ambulance on your behalf. Do not skip this step. We can help you with this step if your injuries are serious. The sooner you notify your employer, the faster you can begin applying for wage loss benefits.
Keep in mind that you may have to notify other parties about your work-related injuries so they are aware of your case. These other parties include your physician, work manager, and health insurance company.
Personal Injury Cases Also Have Legal Deadlines You Must Abide By
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit to supplement your workers’ compensation claim, you generally have three years from the date of your accident to file your case, per G.S. § 1-52. Some cases have different deadlines based on exceptions to this law.
If you do not submit your case within this timeframe, a judge might dismiss your case upon review. This would bar you from pursuing compensation through the civil court system in Burke County. The best way to protect your rights is to ensure you meet all these applicable deadlines.
Want to Work with a Burke County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer? Call Our Firm
If you were in a work-related accident in Burke County and now want to seek compensation for your injuries, let one of our workers’ compensation attorneys represent your case. We have an office located in Morganton on Union Street in the Jonesboro Historic District, so we are accessible to those throughout the county. However, if you need us to visit your home or office for a consultation, we may be able to accommodate you.
Wherever you are in the claims process, whether you haven’t filed for workers’ compensation yet or want to appeal a denial notice, we can help you build your case and advocate for you in court hearings. Call (828) 286-3866 today to get a free case review with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC.