Each day, employees are in danger of being impacted by variety of workplace accidents. No worker is immune from a workplace injury – whether it is in an industrial, office or retail setting. Workers dealing with the workers’ compensation system are often overwhelmed by the complexities of the process. Workers often have many questions about how to start a claim, the steps (and timeframes) they need to be aware of and what compensation they should be getting to help with their work-related injury. Below are some of the most common questions people have regarding workers’ compensation in North Carolina.
What benefits can I receive through workers’ compensation?
There are three main areas of compensation for employees eligible for workers compensation. Those with valid claims are entitled to medical care to obtain a cure, provide relief, or lessen the period of disability. Workers are also entitled to be compensated for wages lost for being out of work due to the injury. Finally, people who are permanently injured are entitled to be compensated for their permanent injury. Factored into your benefits will be a disability rating, if applicable. This refers to a doctor’s broad judgment on the percentage of loss to your injured body part.
I caused the accident that led to my injury, am I still eligible for workers’ compensation?
As long as the injury was caused by an accident at work, fault does not matter. You can find more information about eligibility and NC-specific laws involving workers' compensation in our recent interview with Charlotte Today.
Can I be compensated for pain and suffering under workers’ compensation?
Part of the tradeoff for not having to worry about who was at fault is that workers cannot be awarded for pain and suffering in North Carolina.
How are the wage benefits calculated?
Workers’ compensation allows injured workers to receive 2/3 of their average weekly wage while they are unable to work. The average weekly wage is determined by averaging all earnings of the injured worker from the 52 weeks prior to the accident.
Though these are four commonly-asked questions from our clients, there are many more that arise specific to the clients' cases. Because each situation will be different and involve a variety of factors, it is always best to weigh your options with an experienced attorney. You don't have to worry about how to afford legal consultation at the beginning of your case- when things are the most chaotic and confusing. You will only owe compensation to a workers compensation lawyer when your case is recovered. This is called a contingency fee and allows you to get the help you need exactly when you need it most--at the start of your claim. Take advantage of this and contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don't skip any vital steps or agree to any situations which might shortchange your case.