If you have been injured on the job or have contracted an illness due to your work, you may be wondering when to hire a workers’ comp lawyer and why you should hire a workers comp lawyer.
One of the main reasons to hire a workers’ comp lawyer is to ensure that you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. In many cases, workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to lowball injured workers to save money. A good lawyer will fight for you and ensure that you get the maximum possible benefit.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our Hickory Workers’ Compensation lawyers value the attorney-client relationship and will do everything to protect your rights when you file a workers’ comp claim.
What is Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Workers’ comp covers medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits.
Workers’ compensation is mandatory under the NC Workers’ Compensation Act. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if an employer has fewer than three employees, they may be exempt from the requirement to provide workers’ compensation insurance.
What to Do After a Work Injury
If you have been injured on the job, it is important to take certain steps to protect your rights. If you live in Hickory, you have multiple options. First, you’ll want to notify your employer of the injury or illness and they should direct you to a medical provider. If you need emergency care, youou can go to Catawba County EMS or Frye Regional Medical Center. After that, , you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the workers’ system going forward.
Who Can File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Generally speaking, any worker who is injured or becomes ill due to their job can file a workers’ compensation claim. This includes full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. In some cases, even family members of workers who have died due to their job may be eligible for benefits. If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to file a claim, the best thing to do is speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
When Should You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
In general, an injured worker should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as they’ve been injured. Injured workers should also hire a workers’ comp lawyer if:
- You have been injured at work and are not sure whether you are eligible for benefits
- Your employer is contesting your claim for benefits
- You are not receiving the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to evaluate your claim and advise you of your options.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
There are several benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ Comp Hearings
Workers’ compensation hearings are not always necessary. However, if the insurance company won’t settle or is only willing to make a minimal settlement offer, you will need to substantiate your claim and prove your case through a workers’ comp hearing. A workers’ comp lawyer will help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and ensure you have everything you need to make the hearing successful.
Negotiating with a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company
Once you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will investigate your claim and determine whether or not they will provide benefits. In many cases, the insurance company will attempt to settle your claim for an amount that is less than what you are entitled to receive.
If the insurance company offers you a settlement, you should not accept it without first consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether they are offering you a fair settlement and can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain a higher settlement amount.
Navigate the Complex Workers’ Compensation System
The workers’ compensation system can be complex. There are many rules and regulations that govern eligibility for benefits, the amount of benefits you can receive, and how long you have to file a claim. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be familiar with the rules and regulations governing workers’ compensation claims and will be able to help you navigate the system.
Obtain the Full Amount of Benefits to Which You Are Entitled
You may be entitled to more benefits than you realize. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will know how to calculate the full value of your claim and will fight for you to obtain all of the benefits to which you are entitled.
Protect Your Rights if Your Employer Attempts to Retaliate Against You
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer attempts to retaliate against you, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to protect your rights and help you obtain the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
What Are the Benefits of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Several benefits come with filing a workers’ compensation claim. First and foremost, if your claim is approved, you will be compensated for your medical expenses. This can include the cost of hospitalization, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation. You will also be compensated at a compensation rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage. aWorkers’ Compensation Benefits
In general, workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina are divided into four categories: medical benefits, temporary income benefits, permanent partial impairment, and death benefits.
Medical benefits are paid to cover the cost of medical treatment for your injury or illness. These benefits can include the cost of doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medication, and rehabilitation.
Income benefits are paid to replace a portion of your lost wages while you cannot work. These benefits are available to workers who are disabled for more than seven days due to their injury or illness. The amount of income benefits you receive will depend on your average weekly wage.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
At the conclusion of your medical treatment your doctor will place you at “maximum medical improvement” and assign a permanent impairment rating, if warranted. This rating in conjunction with the Rating Guideline will aid in determining the amount you will receive for the permanence of your injury.
Death benefits are paid to the surviving spouse and dependent children of a worker who dies due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits can also be paid to other dependents, such as parents if the deceased worker did not have a spouse or children.
Contact a Hickory Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have been injured on the job or have contracted an illness due to your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the process of obtaining these benefits can be complex and confusing.
An experienced Hickory workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process and ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. Contact an attorney at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor today to schedule a consultation.