Our North Carolina lawyers have answered some commonly asked questions about the workers compensation claims process. If you have been hurt and would like a free consultation, please reach out to us with your own questions.
If I have been hurt on the job, what am I entitled to?
The Workers’ Compensation Act allows for the following:
- Temporary total disability: If you are not able to earn wages as a result of an on-the-job injury, you may be entitled to temporary total disability, but you have to be out of work for seven days to qualify. After that time, you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage. If you are unable to work for more than 21 days, you will get compensation for the first seven days, as well.
- Temporary partial disability: This benefit applies if after your injury you return to a job where you do not earn as much as you did previously. With this benefit, you will receive two-thirds of the difference for up to 300 weeks from your date of injury. Workers’ compensation benefits subtracted from Section A will be subtracted from the 300 weeks.
- Permanent partial disability: If you were hurt while working and your thumb, index finger, third finger, arm, foot, leg, eye, hearing, or back is impaired, you may be entitled to a settlement based on the percentage of disability, to that body part, under a formula outlined by the Workers’ Compensation Act.
- Total and permanent disability: If you are totally and permanently disabled, you are entitled to benefits for your lifetime.
What should I do if I am hurt on the job?
Immediately seek medical attention and then report the incident/injury to your employer as soon as possible. You should document who, specifically, you reported it to and when. Notify your employer in writing and save a copy of this document.
What should I tell my doctor?
You must tell your doctor that you were injured while working. Make sure you are thorough and don’t leave anything out. You doctor needs to know everything about the injury and what caused it.
I had an old injury but went back to work and was doing fine; then I hurt my back again. Would I be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in this case?
Each individual case varies, of course, but it sounds like you would have what is called “proximate cause,” and your workers’ compensation claim should be paid. Legally speaking, proximate cause is the initial act (or injury) which sets a series of events in motion (the exacerbation).
Should I get a copy of my report from my employer?
You must get a copy of your statement or recording to your employer within 45 days of requesting it, and you should request it immediately after you give your report to your employer. You need to make sure that the report of what you said and what happened is accurate. Do not sign anything that is not accurate.
What is a licensed adjuster?
An adjuster is an employee of the insurance carrier who investigates workers’ compensation claims.
Why would I need to give a recorded statement to the adjuster?
A recorded statement is a very exact record of the circumstances and events surrounding your workplace injury. A recorded statement allows the adjuster to ask a wide range of unrelated questions that may affect your outcome. These may include questions about prior work history, general health, education level, or family history.
I have heard of adjusters hiring private detectives. Why?
Sometimes surveillance is used to show that injured workers are not really as injured as they claim to be. We have seen injured workers repairing their cars, moving furniture, and picking up and playing with their young children.
Why would an adjuster need to come to my house?
An adjuster can get to know you much better through a face-to-face meeting and can also see your home surroundings, hobbies, and finances. A visit gives them a closer look into your life and what your needs and limitations may be.
Please call White & Stradley, PLLC today at 855-565-4404 or contact us online to schedule your free workers' compensation consultation. We proudly serve all of North Carolina including Raleigh, Morganton, Fayetteville, Greenville, Winston Salem, Charlotte, Durham, Asheville, Greensboro, and Wilmington.