After a workplace accident, you may need short- or long-term medical care, and you may be unable to earn the salary that your family depends on to make ends meet. A Morganton workers’ compensation lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC wants to fight for the money you need and deserve.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides workers with financial support after an accident. However, getting this money often involves navigating many laws and paperwork—all of which our workers’ compensation team would be happy to help you with.
Workplace Accidents That Can Warrant a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Similar to other environments, many types of accidents can happen in the workplace. A few examples of workplace accidents include the following:
- Injuries or illnesses from exposure to contagions or other harmful substances
- Injuries from performing repetitive movements, such as back injuries from excessive lifting or carpal tunnel syndrome from copious amounts of typing
You are more likely to experience certain workplace accidents in certain professions. The exact nature of your job and your experience also play into your risk of experiencing a workplace accident. After experiencing an accident in the workplace, you can file a workers’ compensation claim.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (NCWCA) guarantees both financial and medical compensation in case of employee injury. Financial compensation refers to:
- The monetary worth of any physical pain or inconvenience you suffered due to the accident
- The monetary worth of permanent disabilities
- A percentage of your usual wage
Medical compensation refers to the treatment you need (or will need in the future) to recover from your injury as much as possible. This may include the cost of:
- Hospital visits
- Home aid
- Temporary assistive devices (e.g., crutches)
- Vocational rehabilitation training
In addition, if the accident damaged an assistive device that you regularly use (e.g., a hearing aid or an artificial limb), you may be reimbursed for the expense of replacing that device if you suffered another compensable injury.
The exact amount you may receive in workers’ compensation will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and the amount of money you were making at your company prior to the incident. It can be helpful to review your company’s policy about what is covered by their workers’ compensation.
Death Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation
If a worker dies from their injuries, their survivors may be entitled to death benefits and funeral expenses. Our firm would be honored to represent you in this matter and pursue the compensation your family is entitled to receive.
Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
For you to receive workers’ compensation benefits, your case must meet the NCWCA’s definitions of both “employee” and “injury.” If you have doubts regarding your eligibility status, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can assess your situation at no cost or obligation.
What Is an Employee?
An employee is someone who works for another and is paid wages for their time. The work performed can run a wide range of services and occupations. The only exceptions to workers’ compensation eligibility are those engaged in certain fields, such as volunteer workers at a nonprofit corporation. Other than the few exceptions, even minors and undocumented immigrants are eligible for workers’ compensation.
What Is an Injury?
An injury refers to harm resulting from an accident that occurred while you were performing your regular job duties. For example, if you climbed ladders as part of your job duties and were injured after falling from a ladder, you could qualify for workers’ compensation.
Filing For Workers’ Compensation in Morganton
Per the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), steps for filing a workers’ compensation claim include the following:
Get Medical Care
Your health comes first. After an injury, make sure you seek immediate treatment from a nearby available facility. This may be:
- Your workplace’s healthcare provider
- A family physician
- A hospital
When receiving treatment, tell your medical provider that your injury occurred due to a workplace accident or incident. This will connect the injury to your work right away, and it will enable the provider to bill your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, not you, for your care.
Your medical care may involve immediate emergency treatment and follow-up care. For example, you may need to go to the emergency room for diagnostic tests. Later, you may have to get surgery or help from a physical therapist.
Report The Injury
Once you are out of immediate danger, tell your employer about the accident and the resulting injury. You must do this within 30 days of the injury. You can report to anyone above you in the company, including:
- Your supervisor
- Your manager
- The company’s owner
There may be deadlines associated with filing your claim, so it is best to make your report as quickly as possible. This includes both an informal oral or written report as well as the formal submission of NCIC Form 18. If you are filing based on an occupational disease, including COVID-19, you will want to report this to your employer as soon as you receive a formal diagnosis.
If all goes well with your application, you can receive benefits promptly and continue to receive those benefits until you are well enough to return to work.
Make Sure You Follow Through With Your Medical Treatment During a Workers’ Compensation Case
You already know that you have to have a doctor diagnose your injuries to make a workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, you have to follow through with your treatment plans to continue receiving benefits. You will want to make your maximum medical recovery and have a doctor assess your condition after you have done so.
Depending on your recovery, you could continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an extended period. Your health comes first. Prioritize your doctor’s appointments and do not forgo or delay any required treatments.
What Happens If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, many things can go wrong with a workers’ compensation application. For example:
- You submitted the wrong form, filled out the correct form incorrectly, or missed the filing deadline.
- Your employer or their insurance company does not acknowledge that your injury stems from a workplace accident or denies that the accident happened at all.
- Your employer or their insurance company tries to end your benefits before you are ready to return to work.
- Your employer or their insurance company denies a particular medical treatment, claiming that it will not help you heal or improve your quality of life.
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Morganton can manage your entire claim from start to finish. This service could reduce the chances of your claim being denied on technical grounds, and if you do run into trouble, you would have a professional to guide you through the process of appealing your denial.
We Want You to Get Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC is proud to help North Carolina workers receive the workers’ compensation they need and deserve. Our entire team — not just our workers’ compensation attorneys — takes our responsibility toward your well-being very seriously. Experiencing a workplace injury can feel overwhelming, and seeking help from an experienced attorney can make the process more straightforward for you. Among the tasks we can help you with are:
- Filing paperwork: We know which forms to file under which circumstances, who to send them to, and the applicable deadlines.
- Collecting evidence: For example, we can ask a medical provider for a statement if they find you are not yet fit to return to work and should continue to receive benefits.
- Negotiating after a denial: If any part of your claim is rejected, your lawyer can sit down with your employer or their insurance company and work toward an agreement that all parties can live with.
If you still have questions, prospective clients are always welcome to contact our office for a free case review. A member of our team would be happy to address your questions and concerns.
Legal Costs of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Our team at Farmer & Morris, PLLC uses a contingency fee structure. We will only charge you for our legal help if we help you recover compensation. This fee structure allows you to get legal advice without having to worry about upfront costs. We also offer all of our clients a free consultation so that everyone can understand what our firm has to offer and evaluate whether our firm is a good fit.
Client Testimonials for Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC
We are proud to serve our clients in several specialty areas, including helping people recover workers’ compensation. Here are just a few of our clients’ reviews after working with our firm:
- “I am so proud to say that my attorney Mark Morris and his firm went above and beyond in every way. I feel like he and his firm make every effort to be superb and thorough from communication to a knowledge of the law to compassion and last but not least, work ethic. If you want an attorney who is grounded in great morals, work ethic, and the most knowledge of the law, call Mark Morris…”
- “I was treated like a friend rather than just a client. Andrea and Katrina made me feel comfortable and anytime I had any questions, I always received a quick response. I highly recommend this firm because they will work hard for you as they did for me.”
Our legal team is ready to review your case as well and help you work towards the best possible outcome.
Get Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Case
If you live or work in Morganton, North Carolina, and want assistance with your workers’ compensation case, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today. A Morganton workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm can guide you through the application process and fight for your rights. Call us today!