Workers Compensation in Durham, NC
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by North Carolina state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Durham, North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Durham, North Carolina?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that North Carolina’s rate of occupational injury and illness was significantly lower than the national rate. The trade, transportation & utilities and education & health services sectors accounted for almost half of the work-related injuries and illnesses. These two sectors represent 38% of the state’s private industry employment. However these two sectors represent 43% of Durham’s private industry employment, which could lead to a higher incidence of work-related injuries compared to surrounding cities.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Durham, North Carolina?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, every business with 3 or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Consequently, virtually every Durham employee should be covered, starting on the first day of employment. Exemptions include domestic employees and certain agricultural employees. In Durham, you may be eligible for medical care, lost wages, vocational retraining, and death benefits. Mental health issues may also be compensated if a work-related accident or injury is found to cause or worsen a condition of depression or anxiety.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Durham, North Carolina are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Durham, North Carolina healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines. Some of which are critical in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months. All before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission requires employees in Durham to provide oral and written notice to their employer within 30 days of an injury. The Durham employer will then file a First Report of injury with the Commission. If your employer fails or refuses to report an injury, you must submit your claim for benefits to the Commission directly within 2 years of the date of injury.
Timeline and Other Information
According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, there is a 7-day waiting period before disability benefits begin in Durham. If you miss 21 or more days of work, you may be entitled to retroactive pay for all days missed. After notification of the accident, the insurer must accept or deny your claim within 14 working days. If accepted, you may be eligible for a maximum of 500 weeks of temporary disability payments. Typically at a rate of two-thirds your average weekly wage.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire a Durham, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Durham, North Carolina, in others, it may be more difficult. Your employer might ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Durhamworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Durham, North Carolina
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Durham, North Carolina you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!