If you suffered from a workplace accident, injury, or illness, you may be eligible for benefits under G.S. § 97-1 through 97-200, known collectively as the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. You can use these benefits to receive necessary medical treatment and support your family until you can return to work.
Navigating through a workers’ compensation case is challenging on many fronts. A workers’ compensation lawyer from our Rutherfordton, North Carolina, office can help you file a claim and assist you throughout the process.
We Can Help You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Rutherfordton
We understand the difficulties and challenges claimants experience when seeking fair compensation, in addition to the physical, emotional, and financial strain they face when recovering from an injury or illness. It is our goal to remove your worries by taking every concern to heart and addressing each issue that comes along regarding your claim.
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can use all available resources to aid in your pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits. We assist you throughout the claims process by:
- Examining medical and other reports outlining the incident or accident that led to the injury or illness
- Collecting all documentation and photographic evidence detailing your workplace incident
- Identifying and interviewing every potential witness to the incident or injury
- Completing and submitting all required documentation for your workers’ compensation claim
- Meeting specific deadlines regarding the submission of paperwork and notifying involved parties
- Representing you at any and all hearings that become necessary during your case
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we are dedicated to providing claimants with professional yet empathetic representation. In addition to providing the respect and compassion injured parties need following an injury, our team also:
- Makes time to answer any and all questions you may have about the case
- Updates you about your case’s progression on a regular basis
- Explains all of your legal rights and options under state law
- Charges no attorney’s fees unless and until you get compensation
- Assesses every caller’s case at no charge and no obligation to them
Per the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), claims for workplace injuries must be filed within two years. Otherwise, you may forfeit your right to workers’ compensation benefits. The sooner you get in touch with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, the sooner we can assign a lawyer to take charge of your Rutherfordton case.
Tell Your Employer About Getting Hurt Immediately After an Accident
North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws require you to report your injury to your employer right away. According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, you must report the injury both orally and through writing within 30 days of getting hurt.
However, we recommend that you report the incident as quickly as possible––even if you’re not sure whether your injuries qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Doing so could protect your right to compensation and prevent the insurer from contesting the cause of your injuries.
You can reach out to us if you feel unsure about the steps to take when reporting a job-site accident in Rutherfordton.
Basics About the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation System
North Carolina requires businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are numerous exceptions to this regulation. The following employees are exempt from workers’ compensation benefits, per the North Carolina Department of Insurance:
- Farm laborers on farms with under 10 full-time, non-seasonal employees
- Domestic employees serving a household
- Casual employees
- Certain railroad workers
- Employees of the federal government who wish to opt-out
Some individuals who sell agricultural products are also not covered by workers’ compensation. Otherwise, the need for coverage applies to most people.
Workers’ Compensation Is a No-Fault System
The workers’ compensation system in North Carolina works on a no-fault basis, meaning you do not have to prove that someone else caused your injury to receive compensation. You only need to show you were injured while performing your job-related duties, and you were not intoxicated or engaging in “horseplay.”
If someone else caused your injuries through negligence, you could seek coverage through both workers’ compensation and a personal injury case.
Losses Covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits
A workplace injury or illness can wreak havoc on your health and your entire family’s financial stability. Per the NCIC, workers’ compensation may cover some or all of the following losses and expenses:
Loss of Wages
You can receive coverage for two-thirds of the wages you lost during your recovery period. You will not recover lost income if you’re injured for less than seven consecutive days. However, if your injury lasts 21 or more consecutive days, then you can receive coverage for lost income.
North Carolina also caps how much you can receive in lost wages. As of 2022, you cannot receive more than $1,184.00 per week. This number changes each year.
If your on-the-job accident led to injuries, you may receive compensation for your healthcare expenses. Generally, the workers’ compensation system provides payments directly to the healthcare institute that provided your care.
Examples of expenses covered through a workers’ compensation claim may include:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Time spent in the hospital
- Medical tests and assessments
- Medical procedures, including surgeries
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
In some cases, the workers’ compensation system even covers your costs to travel to get medical care in Rutherfordton. However, you only receive compensation for travel if you have to travel at least 20 miles round trip to receive medical treatment.
Allow us to assess your situation to determine your eligibility for medical compensation.
Sometimes, on-the-job injuries lead to either partial or permanent disabilities. For example, if you cannot use a limb after an accident or face injuries that prevent you from earning your previously-earned wages, you could recover compensation for being disabled.
Unfortunately, some employers or insurance companies are reluctant to provide employees with the care they need. For example, you may need a certain type of medical treatment, but if the employer refuses to grant you permission to seek that treatment, your benefits will not cover it.
Instead of tangling with your employer or their insurer by yourself, let Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC make sure that you are taken care of. We can work with you to figure out exactly what you need and then fight for it.
We Help Clients Avoid Costly Legal Mistakes
The process of seeking workers’ compensation benefits is very precise and leaves no room for error. This can mean trouble for injured workers who are not aware of their rights and obligations, or who are understandably too preoccupied by their injuries to think about seeking the compensation they deserve.
This is where Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC comes in. By allowing our team to handle your case, you reduce the risk of having your claim being rejected due to:
Missing Deadlines to File a Report on Your Injury
Workplace injuries must be reported to your employer and their insurance company as soon as possible; if the employer refuses to cooperate, the employee must file the claim by themselves (or with legal assistance). Missing a single deadline by even a day could permanently deprive you of workers’ compensation benefits.
Innocent typos could also spell trouble for your claim. Before sending forms to the necessary parties and organizations, all forms must be accurate and complete. We can either look over your work to identify mistakes before it is too late or fill out paperwork on your behalf.
Lack of Complete Disclosure Regarding the Incident
Another mistake a claimant could make is to not disclose all consequences of the injury. For example, if an individual fails to discuss back pain after an accident that visibly injured their knee, and then later attempts to include their undisclosed back pain in their claim, the claim could be denied.
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC helps claimants avoid such pitfalls by having thorough conversations with each client. This way, we gain a more complete picture of the case and can help you apply for benefits for all of your injuries.
Lack of Negotiating Experience with Employers and Insurers
In some cases, it may be necessary to sit down with the employer or their insurance company and persuade them of a claimant’s need for benefits. Both employers and insurers typically have lawyers to represent them. To protect your interests against such large, well-prepared entities, you can hire Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC.
Failing to Prove Your Need for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Employees who suffer from a compensable workplace illness or injury may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include payment of medical expenses and compensation for wage loss.
Those who suffer an injury or contract an illness as a direct result of their employment must prove the connection between the on-the-job incident and their injury. Proof in such cases may include:
- Witness statements: Did your coworkers or someone else see the incident happen or try to help you in the aftermath?
- Expert statements: Have you visited a doctor or another specialist who could testify to the severity and origins of your injury or illness?
- Surveillance footage: Did a security camera capture the incident on tape? Did you or a bystander record footage that might contain crucial information?
- Medical records: Did you go to the emergency room after the incident? Have you been to any type of healthcare provider who keeps records of the tests and treatments you had?
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can investigate your case, collect all available evidence, and use it to fight for the benefits you deserve.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Many workplace illnesses or injuries may qualify an employee to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Some examples include the following:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Arm injuries
- Ligament injuries
- Falling objects that cause head injuries
No matter what type of injury you suffered, the team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC would like the chance to help you seek fair compensation that covers all of your needs.
Reach Out to Our Team Today
If you suffered an illness or injury following a workplace incident, a lawyer from our team can help you file a workers’ compensation claim. Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for a free case evaluation. We can take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.