In North Carolina's workers' compensation system, it's not unusual for your claim to be denied at the initial stage if your employer or its insurance company objects. It's important to remember that you can appeal this denial.
The first step upon receiving a denial is usually mediation. In this process, a neutral, third-party mediator will hear your arguments and the arguments of the insurance company and will attempt to forge an agreement.
The mediator will also file a report with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.If your case does not settle at mediation then you will have a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission. There are actually two stages of hearings at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This is where the system begins to get truly complex.
The NCIC hearings are conducted much like a trial. This means there are established, elaborate rules that must be followed. Our workers' comp lawyers are familiar with these rules, and we highly recommend you hire an attorney at this stage if you haven't already.
But this isn't necessarily the end of the claim. Once the Commission renders its final judgment, either party can appeal the ruling through the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Obviously, this is not a simple system. Having a workers' compensation lawyer with experience dealing with this process on your side will prove invaluable.
If you live in Greenville or any other North Carolina community and you're looking for assistance with your workers' comp claim, please contact White & Stradley, PLLC today for a free consultation.