There is no average workers’ compensation settlement in North Carolina, as settlement figures are unique to each individual. Certain factors—such as what kind of work-related injury you suffered, your income, and the projected length of your recovery—can affect how much compensation you may receive via your workers’ compensation claim.
Many people ask this question so they can gauge what is “fair” for their situation and avoid undervaluing their case, which is understandable. You can work with a workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm. We’ll explain how we calculate how much compensation to pursue.
What Factors Affect How Much You Receive for Workers’ Compensation?
Certain factors affect how much compensation you are entitled to receive in your claim, such as:
- What type of injury you sustained
- Whether your injury is temporary or permanent
- The cost of your medical treatment
- Your average weekly earnings
- Whether you can return to work or your regular position
- Whether you require vocational rehabilitation
With workers’ compensation claims, you do not need to prove negligence or deny being at fault for your injury. As long as you sustained the injury while working and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you may file a claim to recover some of your damages.
Can You Claim COVID-19 as a Work-Related Illness?
Suppose you can prove that you contracted COVID-19 as a result of dangerous conditions at your workplace or because of an accidental injury at work. In that case, you may be able to claim COVID-19 as an occupational disease, as defined in N.C. G.S. § 97-52.
What Damages Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation covers specific types of damages, as detailed in North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act. These damages include:
- Costs for medical treatment, including physical therapy, prescription medications, and medical support devices
- A portion of your income (often two-thirds of your average weekly wage)
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Disability benefits
Workers’ compensation does not cover pain and suffering and other types of non-economic damages. If applicable to your case, you may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a liable party who isn’t your employer for additional compensation. Filing a personal injury claim will not affect your workers’ compensation claim.
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Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Claim?
If another party unrelated to your employer contributed to your work-related injury, you may qualify to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against them and demand compensation. North Carolina law prohibits employees from suing their employers directly for compensation. However, employees do have grounds to file lawsuits against coworkers and third parties if they caused the injury.
Through a personal injury claim, you can pursue other damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Reduced earning potential
- Full income loss, both past and present
- Medical treatment not covered by your workers’ compensation (as in, outside of your employer’s network)
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced quality of life
You can discuss these damages with a personal injury lawyer from our firm, who will then calculate their approximate value. We may collect information like receipts, bills, and expert testimony to reach this estimate.
What Can a Lawyer Do to Help with a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A workers’ compensation lawyer can provide several services to help you with your claim, such as:
- Reviewing your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy
- Filling out forms on your behalf so that they are accurate and free of errors
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Representing you in hearings to petition for compensation
- Making sure you abide by legal deadlines
- Contacting witnesses who saw your accident occur
If you receive a denial on a workers’ compensation claim, our lawyers can also help you file an appeal to have the case reviewed again. To prepare your appeal, we can examine whether the application had errors or if there is conflicting information in your medical documentation. A lawyer from our team will advocate for you in the appeals court and work toward reaching a settlement for you.
A Lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Can Help You with Your Claim
If you or a loved one suffered a work-related injury, you may qualify to file for workers’ compensation. A lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can help you prepare your claim so that it is accurate and attend hearings on your behalf to petition for compensation. Should you qualify to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, we can assign one of our injury lawyers to help you build it.
Call (828) 286-3866 now to get a free consultation about your case.