After an accident at a Polk County, NC job site leaves you injured, you could qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim. While the process may seem relatively straightforward, many applicants encounter issues along the way. These issues can result in claim denials and inadequate benefits, inhibiting their ability to receive treatment and support their household while recovering.
With a Polk County workers’ compensation lawyer on your side, you can focus on getting better without worrying about your claim. Our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC understands this claims process well and can help you navigate common issues that arise, such as employer disputes and application errors. We review these cases for free and represent clients at no upfront cost.
Challenges of Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The North Carolina Industrial Commission oversees the state’s workers’ compensation process. Nothing in the commission’s rules forces victims of workplace accidents to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to handle a claim. However, in a case where the facts are difficult to pin down or obstacles are preventing you from getting benefits, it may be helpful to have an attorney on your side.
Our team helps clients prepare for and deal with various issues when applying for workers’ compensation benefits or facing challenging denials. We’ve outlined common examples below:
Your Employer does Not Believe You About Your Injuries
When you suffer an injury at work, you may expect your employer to support you in filing a workers’ compensation claim so you can recover and return to work. However, some employers dispute such claims, suggesting that:
- Your injuries did not occur at work.
- You were impaired when injured at work.
- Your injuries are not as serious as you say.
- You had pre-existing injuries or conditions.
This may be more likely for chronic injuries or illnesses due to workplace exposures, but these issues can also arise with acute injuries. If this occurs in your case, you may need additional support to help you establish your eligibility for benefits and fight your employer’s disputes. If your employer does not support your claim, they may refuse to submit your paperwork, tell the insurer to deny you, or take other steps against you.
An attorney from our firm can investigate the case and compile evidence to show that your injuries are work-related and qualify you for financial recovery. We can even help you submit your information directly to the insurer and pursue benefits without your employer’s support, if necessary.
The Insurer Says Your Story Is Changing
During interviews with the workers’ compensation insurer, you will receive many questions about how the injury happened and your actions leading up to the incident or diagnosis. You may find that the insurer will interview you multiple times, asking the same questions over and over.
The insurance company may use these techniques to try to catch you changing your story, even if it occurs inadvertently. However minor they may be, inconsistencies in your explanations may lead them to deny your claim.
When you hire one of our personal injury attorneys to support your claim in Polk County, we can take over communications with the insurer. We can work to make sure the insurer treats you with respect and fairness.
Your Forms Contain Mistakes or Incomplete Information
Workers’ compensation claims consist of multiple steps and forms you must complete before you can receive benefits. Should you make any mistakes on these forms or forget to submit some information, the insurer may deny your claim. Mistakes – or intentional issues – from your employer can also cause problems.
Some of these forms can be difficult to understand, so making a simple mistake or even leaving a question blank may be more common than it seems. However, our team knows what information you need to provide and can assist you in doing so, including completing forms properly and submitting all necessary and requested documents on time. This gives you the best chance of getting approved in a timely and stress-free way.
How do I Know If I Can Afford a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you are fighting to convince the insurer that you deserve benefits after a workplace accident or job-related injury, you could be struggling to make ends meet while missing out on paychecks because your injuries do not allow you to work. As such, being able to afford an attorney for your workers’ compensation claim may seem impossible.
That is why our attorneys do not charge workers’ compensation clients any fees upfront. We work on a contingency-fee basis. This fee structure means our attorney’s fees will come from a percentage of the final settlement amount or compensation—usually a backpay award in these cases. Meanwhile, if we do not win your claim, you will not owe us anything except reasonable expenses incurred in the case.
We understand how important it is to know that the money you are spending right now is worthwhile. Our team will discuss our pricing structure with you in detail before you sign anything. We want you to understand how it works and get any questions answered before getting started.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides the legal definitions for workers’ compensation cases. It also spells out how the victim can receive payment for medical costs, missed time at work, and other covered expenses. If you have a valid workers’ comp claim, you can:
Seek Payment for Medical Bills
After your injury at work, you can seek coverage for your medical bills. You should not have to pay any of these costs out of your pocket. When workers’ compensation covers medical care for an on-the-job injury, the insurance company pays the doctor directly, and the injured worker should not receive bills for their treatment.
You could receive payment for any:
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical therapy appointments
- Hospital stays
You will, however, have to visit a doctor approved by your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider. Your human resources representative or supervisor should be able to tell you which doctor to visit to ensure you follow the procedures to get medical care coverage.
Recover Lost Income
Your injuries may force you to miss work for a significant amount of time. You can seek payment for the salary you were unable to earn while recovering from your injuries. Note that there are limits to the amount you can receive based on your regular income. Most people get about two-thirds of their normal income up to a maximum included in the workers’ compensation insurance policy.
This should include not only your normal wages, but also any tips, commissions, and other income. If you received workers’ compensation approval but the insurance company is paying you less than you believe you deserve, our team will review your case with you for free.
Receive Disability Payments
Sometimes, a work-related injury can result in partial or complete permanent disability. Under workers’ compensation, you have the right to seek a payment that serves as compensation for this permanent injury.
Obtaining payments under the Workers’ Compensation Act can be a significant challenge. You may need to request a hearing in front of the North Carolina Industrial Commission to seek this award. Having an attorney at your side during this hearing can help you present the facts required in the proper format.
Receive Other Benefits
Under some circumstances, additional benefits may be available through a workers’ compensation claim. This could include:
- Death and burial benefits, if a worker passed away due to their injuries
- Vocational training and support for those who require new job skills or help adapting their previous skills because of new impairments
Some people injured on the job can also pursue personal injury damages based on the facts of their injury accident. You cannot sue an employer or coworker but might have a viable case if a third party’s negligence was responsible for causing your accident and injuries. We can discuss this more during a complimentary consultation.
Our Team Is Ready to Review Your Polk County Work Injury Case for Free
The team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC knows just how frustrating it can be to try to work through a workers’ compensation claim in Polk County on your own. The rules can be confusing. Understanding what the insurance company wants from you can seem like an impossible task at times.
For a free case review, contact our team as soon as possible at (828) 286-3866.