Why You Need a North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyer
UPDATED: March 10, 2020
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If you suffer an injury at work in North Carolina you have only one way to recover damages from your employer: through the workers' compensation system. This system is an exclusive remedy system, which means you cannot go through the courts to receive compensation from your employer for an accident at work. Since this is the only way to recover benefits, it is imperative you seek help from an experienced North Carolina workers' comp attorney to guide you through the process of filing a workers' comp claim.
How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help
Injured workers can collect damages from their employer for any injury arising from a work accident, regardless of negligence. The accident need not have even occurred while at work to recover damages; if the injury happened as a direct result of doing your job, you can recover benefits. This means if you got hurt, you should be able to make a successful workers' comp claim. However, if you don't carefully follow workers comp claims procedure, you may lose out on your claim. A North Carolina workers' compensation attorney can help ensure that this doesn't happen. A North Carolina workers' comp lawyer can:
- Ensure you file all claims and necessary appeals in a timely manner: You must file both an oral and written report with your employer within 30 days of filing a claim. You also must file a claim of your work injury with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within two years.
- Assist you in making sure you get the quality health care you need: Under North Carolina workers' comp laws, your employer is entitled to choose the doctor you visit for treatment as long as they approve your claim and begin making payments immediately. However, you do have the right to ensure that doctor is competent, and you also have the right to request a second opinion. Since the employer's main aim is to save money on providing your care, a lawyer can help you to fight for your right to get the best quality medical care possible.
- Navigate the workers' comp claims process for you: Workers' comp claims are not handled through the court system, but rather through your employer's workers' comp insurer and through the North Carolina Industrial Commission, an administrative agency appointed to enforce workers comp legislation. An experienced North Carolina workman's comp attorney will assist you in working within this system.
- Help you to get the full amount of damages you deserve: North Carolina workers' comp benefits limit you to collecting damages for medical bills, as well as for lost wages. Lost wage benefits kick in after 7 days of missed work, unless your injury results in an absence of 21 days, in which case the benefits kick in retroactively for that first seven days.
- Determine whether you have a third party claim: Pain and suffering benefits are not permitted under North Carolina workers comp laws, but the North Carolina workman's comp system does allow you to bring third party claims against anyone other than your employer who was responsible for your injury. Your lawyer can help you determine whether you may have such a case.
Going through the North Carolina workers' compensation process on your own is not advisable because of the complexity of the workers' comp system, an administrative system you are most likely unfamiliar with. Hiring a North Carolina workers' comp lawyer is well worth it, as workers' comp benefits can be quite extensive. In fact, you may be provided with a lifetime of workers' comp benefits if your injury renders you disabled or permanently unable to hold a job. Errors made during the workers' comp claim process can jeopardize the benefits you're entitled to receive, but an experienced lawyer can help make sure you get the full amount you deserve.
When hiring a North Carolina workers' compensation lawyer, the right experience is necessary to ensure your claim is successful. The attorneys at Greg Jones & Associates have the background and knowledge to give you the best chance of success.