Filing for workers' compensation is difficult. Will my employer be angry with me? Should I file? If I don't file can I file later on? What benefits am I entitled to recover? Our attorneys are constantly involved in assisting injured workers with their rights after serious head injuries, herniated discs, neck injuries, back injuries, broken bones and injuries resulting in serious surgeries. If you are a worker who was injured in an accident in your workplace, you may be entitled to receive Workers' Compensation benefits. Please report your on the job injury swiftly and to the correct person within your company. Often workers' compensation claims become complicated simply because of poor reporting of the injury itself. In fact, if you don't report your claim immediately, you may not be able to file later or if you do file, proving your claim may be much more difficult. Please remember you must not rely upon your company to report your injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You have a duty to complete a Form 18 yourself (Employees notice of Injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission). Compensable workplace injuries include most back or hernia injuries, regardless of the cause, other injuries such as broken bones or injuries to the joints caused by accident and occupational diseases such as black lung, brown lung and other diseases peculiar to a certain industry. Your rights after a workplace injury are narrowly defined by the General Statutes; however, a large body of case law has developed explaining these statutes. At Keel O'Malley Tunstall we speak with injured workers quite often that may not need an attorney to resolve their issues. If we can assist you, we will not hesitate to put you in touch with the correct person at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The North Carolina Department of Labor promotes the health, safety and general welfare of over 4 million workers at over 238,000 businesses in this state. Whether you suffer from physical, emotional, mental disabilities or occupational-related disease, your employer provided insurance should give financial support. The laws require that your employer, or your employer's insurance company, compensate you, or your family, for injuries or death that occur during the performance of your job. Under the Workers' Compensation program, you may be entitled to benefits that include:
- Weekly benefits while you are temporarily totally disabled and unable to work.
- Payment of your medical expenses.
- Weekly payments or a lump sum payment for partial or total disability resulting from a work related injury.
- Mileage if you have to drive more than 20 miles rountrip
If you were involved in a car crash while working you may be entitled to both workers' compensation and personal injury recoveries. In order to recover for both, often an attorney may assist by negotiating the workers' compensation liens or having a hearing in front of a resident superior court judge pursuant to statute (NC GS 97-10.2(j)) to have the workers' compensation lien reduced or extinguished. If you were seriously hurt on the job by the negligence of another you may want to discuss your claims immediately. If you have been hurt while on the job, immediately report the injury to your employer and the North Carolina Industrial Commission (Form 18). If you have had a serious injury, do not settle your case without the advice of any attorney who practices in this area. A settlement in a workers' Compensation case is often called a clincher. By signing the clincher you may be waiving compensation that you are already due. There is no fee to call our office and discuss your workers' compensation claim. You may benefit from having a firm represent you that also handles Social Security Disability claims, for which you may be qualified if you have been out of work for at least one (1) year. Often we can assist an injured worker with both workers' compensation as well as Social Security Disability.