Durham, often called the City of Medicine, is a vibrant city in Research Triangle Park and the home of Duke University. Due to the city’s constant development and thriving healthcare sector is home to many construction workers and nurses, two of the ten professions with the highest rates of workplace illness and injury.
Accidents at work frequently have an impact on people at home as well. For any family, increasing medical expenses and reducing income is unsettling. Part of the purpose of workers’ compensation is to shield qualified workers who are injured at work. Sadly, stories of injured workers not getting all the benefits they may always be entitled to come up. Get the burden of your injuries taken care of by a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney so you can concentrate on improving.
Our workers’ compensation professionals will provide you with a free, private case evaluation and answer any questions regarding what benefits might be available. Let us help you.
Understanding North Carolina Workers’ Rights
Since we represent clients in employment law and personal injury cases at Constantinou & Burkert, workers’ compensation cases closely overlap with our two areas of expertise. When an employee in North Carolina is injured while working for their company, we know their rights and what we can do to ensure they get the compensation they are due.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina
The following benefits for workplace injury may be available to you under North Carolina workers’ compensation law:
- Medical treatment
- Weekly benefits for workers’ compensation (temporary or permanent), depending on an employee’s ability to work fewer hours or not at all
- Impairment of permanent disability due to permanent injuries
- Payment is negotiated as a part of an acceptable settlement agreement for future lost wages and medical needs.
- Additional benefits like vocational rehabilitation, mileage reimbursement, etc
What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation Laws in North Carolina?
It’s crucial to speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney about the details as not all injuries will be compensated by workers’ compensation insurance; nevertheless, in general, the following types of injuries are covered:
- Injuries that are directly related to a workplace accident
- Aggravation of prior injuries sustained in a work-related accident
- Additional injuries brought on by an earlier work-related injury (for instance, if a worker sustains a back injury that subsequently damages their knee)
- Diseases related to work that an employee gets exposed to and contracts as an outcome of their work activities
Durham Workers Compensation Lawyer Helping Injured Workers
Any injury can prevent you from working, but you can file a workers’ compensation claim if it happens at work. Workers’ compensation is a benefit that replaces lost income and helps with bill payments and medical costs in case of an inability to work. Workers’ compensation generally covers medical expenses and two-thirds of your weekly salary. Workers’ compensation can be the difference between having the means to pay their expenses and serious financial problems. Unfortunately, non-lawyers sometimes find it challenging to navigate the system. A skilled Durham workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure you receive the compensation that you are entitled to while also saving you a lot of time.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
After your injury, it is advisable to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as quickly as you can. They may:
- Help you understand your rights
- Pursue possible compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Ask about prescribed medical treatment.
- Examining potential settlement offers ensures that any necessary future medical care is considered.
Contacting our Durham workers’ compensation attorneys will have little to no negative consequences as we offer a free and private assessment of your case. Our law firm operates on a contingency attorneys fee basis, so if you want to move forward with a workers’ compensation claim, there will be an upfront legal cost once we get you the compensation. Our desire to get you with everything we can as soon as possible motivates us.
Do You Qualify for North Carolina Workers’ Compensation?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you have to fulfill the following criteria:
- You suffered an accident
- arising from and during the process of your work.
Therefore, injuries you caused yourself or that resulted from engaging in unlawful behavior will not be covered by workers’ compensation. Whether your injury resulted from or happened during the period of your job is often the crucial question. You could not, of course, file a worker’s compensation claim if you were hurt on the weekend while you were painting your home. You might be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim if you were hurt in a car accident while driving to a client’s meeting. Although this matter may seem more complex than it is, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Durham can assist you in preparing your claim for approval.
How long in Durham can I get medical treatment following a work injury?
While under the supervision of a doctor, a wounded worker is entitled to reasonable and required medical treatment. You have two years from your final payment to file a petition with the Industrial Commission for further medical care. Employees who were hurt before July 5, 1994, are eligible for lifetime medical care.
It must be demonstrated that the requested treatment is connected to workplace injury. The insurance company will only cover expenses that would logically and naturally result from a workplace injury. Your Durham workers’ compensation attorney will present evidence to demonstrate that medical treatment is deemed reasonably required to alleviate symptoms, cure an illness, or shorten the duration of a disability.
What Should You Do If You Have a Job-Related Injury or Illness?
Contrary to popular belief, the workers’ compensation process is complex. There are a few crucial actions that you must do right away before filing your claim:
- Inform your employer about your illness or injury. Although North Carolina mandates that you do this within 30 days, you should do it as soon as feasible. Benefits will be paid once your injury or illness is reported.
- Get a comprehensive medical evaluation. Obtaining a professional medical opinion regarding your injuries or illness is crucial. The report from your doctor should identify the cause of your injuries, outline your limitations, and clarify why you cannot resume your job.
- Follow your doctor’s advice. Many people put their workers’ compensation claims at risk by disobeying their doctor’s advice. Not only will this support your claim, but it will aid in your complete recovery.
- Consult a work injury attorney. To help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim, a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in Durham could help.
You may be unable to file a claim if you don’t follow these steps. It will be harder to prove your claim the longer you wait to make it.
Can a Durham Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help Me If The Benefits Are Denied?
You should speak with an attorney to find out if you have a valid reason to file a workers’ compensation claim. For a claim to get properly recorded, Form 18 must be submitted to the Industrial Commission two years after the accident date. The injured worker can then challenge the denial of workers’ compensation benefits by submitting a Form 33 Request for Hearing.
When a case is added to a deputy commissioner’s hearing docket, it typically takes a few months for the deputy commissioner to review it and determine whether the injury qualifies for workers’ compensation payments. After the first hearing, the complete hearing procedure may take an extra six months up to a year.
At the hearing, the insurance company or the employer will be represented by an attorney. It usually makes sense to have legal representation at this point, even though the wounded worker can defend his interests during the hearing.
Consult A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer In Durham Today
Your future is at risk if you are hurt and unable to work. So that you can concentrate on your healing, allow Constantinou & Burkert to assist you in obtaining the required benefits. Contact us online or call us at (919) 683-1302 to arrange a free consultation with a competent and experienced Durham worker’s compensation lawyer.