With very few exceptions, when you are injured on the job in North Carolina, you are entitled to benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is “no-fault,” meaning even if your actions contributed to your accident, you should be provided compensation for a portion of your wages and any medical expenses related to your injury until you are deemed able to return to work.
When you are injured on the job, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible. While you have 30 days to report an injury to your employer, waiting is never a good idea. Your supervisor should supply you with paperwork for the physician who will be treating you, and provide you with information about where to obtain the paperwork necessary for filing a workers’ comp claim, such as Form 18.
Form 18 notifies the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) of the accident and begins the workers’ compensation process. You have two years to file this form with the NCIC without risk of losing benefits.
After your claim has been filed, your employer’s insurance carrier will review it and determine if benefits will be dispensed or denied.
The system works, for the most part, with few snags. However, even the tiniest of mistakes can cause a delay in benefits or a complete denial of your claim. For this reason, many people choose to hire a workers’ comp lawyer before their initial filing for benefits. Hiring an attorney can help prevent a denial of benefits and may even work to speed the process of collecting compensation.
Why Workers’ Comp Claims are Denied
There can be a number of reasons a workers’ compensation claim would be denied in North Carolina. Some of the most common reasons for claim denial include:
- Failing to completely fill out all required paperwork
- Missing deadlines for reporting the injury or filing a claim
- Disagreeing with your employer over whether the injury is work-related
- Having an injury that has been deemed unqualified for compensation or time off of work
- Being provably intoxicated or reckless at the time of the accident
- Filing a claim after leaving a job
Remember, while workers’ comp is a no-fault claim, insurance companies that offer these policies are still insurance companies – and these large corporations have a long and documented history of providing less than ideal service. The best way to protect yourself against a denial or delay is by having an experienced and trusted workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
The workers’ comp lawyers at our Raleigh office are here to help. Give us a call at 919-863-9397 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
It is a good idea to consult with a workers’ comp lawyer before you file your initial claim. This becomes more important if you suspect your employer will try to fight your claim, but having legal assistance is helpful even in instances where collecting benefits should be fairly simple. Having an attorney on your side helps ensure all of the information you are supplying to your employer and the NCIC is complete, which can reduce risks for claim denial.
It may be helpful to hire a workers’ comp lawyer if your claim is denied. The appeals process can be long and incredibly confusing. Having a qualified North Carolina workers’ comp lawyer on your side is one of the most reliable ways to speed the process and get the benefits you need to make the best recovery possible.
A majority of workers’ compensation claims are legitimate, and denial of these claims can be appealed. One of the benefits of speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney before you file is getting a clearer view of a claim’s viability. The lawyers at White & Stradley, PLLC can review the details of your case free of charge to determine if you are entitled to compensation through your employer’s insurance.
In addition to employees who are preparing to file a workers’ compensation claim, independent contractors and those not covered by an employer’s insurance policy should consult with an attorney following workplace injury as well. If you are not covered by workers’ comp, we can review your case to help you determine if you have cause to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Compensation through personal injury lawsuits may be much more difficult to secure and the process can take significantly longer. However, without workers’ compensation coverage, taking your claim to court may be the only way to get fair compensation for your injuries. During your free consultation, we will review all of your options to help you determine the most effective way to get the compensation your injury demands.
Why Hire White & Stradley for Your North Carolina Workers’ Comp Claim?
The workers’ comp lawyers at White & Stradley, PLLC have significant experience helping injured workers and their families get the compensation they need. With decades of individual and combined experience, our North Carolina workman’s comp attorneys are intimately familiar with the laws surrounding on-the-job injury and know how to work within the system for the benefit of our clients.
Dedicated, hard-working, and fully committed to helping injured workers get fair compensation, our legal team is here to review your claim free of charge, and to help you determine the most effective course of action. If you live in North Carolina and are in need of a workers’ comp lawyer, please call White & Stradley, PLLC at 919-863-9397 to schedule your consultation today.
Located in Raleigh, White & Stradley, PLLC represents workers injured on the job throughout NC. We also provide representation for families who have lost a loved one in a workplace accident.