A Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You
When you’re accidentally hurt on the job, everything changes – or at least that’s how it may feel. You may have medical bills while you’re not earning money to pay those bills. You’re hit with the double whammy of lost wages and huge expenses, but this is exactly what a workers’ comp claim is designed to help with.
The good news is that the Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin know the North Carolina workers’ compensation system very well. We know the forms, the deadlines, the processes, and how to fight for your best interests, and we help injured workers every day with workers’ compensation claims.
How Do I Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The first thing you should do when applying for workers’ compensation benefits in Charlotte is to notify your employer in writing that you have been injured. This should be done within 30 days of your injury. Once that is done, you generally have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim.
North Carolina workers’ compensation claims can be complicated and confusing. Many injured workers have their claims denied because of mistakes on forms, missed deadlines, or simply failing to describe how their injuries occurred correctly. A Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the process, from filing your case to maximum medical improvement (MMI) and case resolution.
How Can I Get a Second Opinion on Medical Treatment?
In North Carolina, the employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company generally control the medical treatment. However, if you disagree with a treatment recommendation or are dissatisfied with the care you’re receiving from the doctor appointed by the insurance company, you can submit a written request for a second medical opinion from a doctor of your choice to your employer.
Your employer has 14 days to respond. You can appeal to the North Carolina Industrial Commission if they deny your request. If the Commission agrees, the second opinion will be paid for by your employer.
How Long Does It Take to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Assuming you’re eligible, how long it takes to receive workers’ compensation benefits depends on many factors, so it’s hard to give a timeframe. The length of the claims process depends on the employer, insurance company, type of injury, and the specific circumstances of your on-the-job injury. Benefits can take anywhere from weeks to months to kick in.
The North Carolina workers’ compensation system is designed to work predictably, but there can be frustrating delays as medical bills pile up and the effect of your lost wages becomes more urgent. The workers’ comp insurance provider may be slow.
If you feel your workers’ compensation claim is moving too slowly, consult a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help you understand the process, timeframes, and how to proceed with your case.
What Kind of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits Could I Receive?
The whole reason to file a workers’ comp claim is to seek workers’ comp benefits. You may be familiar with the four classifications of benefits:
- temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) – These are the wage benefits you can receive if you’re back at work following your injury, but you’re making less than you did before you got hurt
- temporary total disability benefits – (TTD) These are the wage benefits you can receive when out of work
- permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) – These are the benefits you can get at the conclusion of your medical care if the doctor thinks you’ve suffered permanent injury
- permanent total disability benefits (PTD) – These are lifetime benefits awarded in some circumstances if you will never be able to work again
You can learn more about the four categories of benefits here.
Whether your job injuries result in temporary or permanent disability, there are two primary things most injured workers need: wage replacement disability benefits and medical treatment.
When you’re hurt and can’t work, you aren’t making money. Bills pile up. An approved workers’ compensation claim includes wage replacement benefits. The amount of money you may receive is 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
There are rules about what you can and cannot do when receiving these benefits. Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney if you are receiving benefits to try to ensure your benefits are not at risk.
As soon as you suffer work-related injuries, seek medical treatment – even if your claim is not yet accepted by the insurance company. By getting medical care, you’re creating medical records to back up your injury claim while trying to recover from the injury you suffered. These records can allow you to prove your injury to the workers’ compensation insurance company and demonstrate your need for benefits.
If your workers’ comp claim is accepted, you should be reimbursed for the medical expenses you paid, or the insurance company should pay them if you have not paid them yet. Your medical care under workers’ compensation will continue until the doctors say you no longer need care. Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong with your case along the way, but our workers’ compensation attorneys can fight for your best interests.
NOTE: If your claim is denied, don’t just give up. You can appeal a denied claim, and our workers’ compensation lawyers can help.
There are many other less obvious benefits if your workers’ compensation claim is approved, including:
- Workers’ compensation may provide mileage reimbursement for your travels to and from medical treatment.
- Workers’ compensation may pay for vocational rehabilitation to help you qualify for a new job if you are now unable to perform your old one.
- In the worst-case scenario, workers’ compensation helps the loved ones of workers killed in workplace accidents who may be eligible for funeral and burial expenses, as well as other death benefits.
North Carolina law can be hard to understand, so consult with a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer to try to ensure you’re receiving all of the benefits you may deserve.
Why Choose Our Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyers?
Your workers’ compensation case is vital to your physical and financial recovery from your workplace injuries. Our team of Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys is dedicated to helping injured workers seek all the workers’ comp benefits they may deserve. Here’s why you should consider us:
NC State Bar Board Certified Specialists on Our Team
Our law firm has several NC State Bar Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation law ready to fight for clients. There are fewer than 175 of these specialists licensed to practice in North Carolina.3
Top-Rated for Workers’ Comp Claims
Our law firm was named to the 2023 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms” list for workers’ compensation. It was our 8th consecutive year on this prestigious list. According to U.S. News – Best Lawyers, “Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for its abilities, its professionalism, and its integrity.”4
Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin Today
You can also stop by our Charlotte office.
3 Figures provided by N.C. State Bar as of 1/23.
4 For standards of inclusion, visit usnews.com.
Testimonials do not reference all the feedback the firm has received. Each case is different and must be evaluated on its individual facts. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome can be achieved in the future.