Workers Compensation in Raleigh, 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 Raleigh, NC workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Raleigh, North Carolina?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry in North Carolina with the highest rate of injuries is natural resources and mining. In addition, the transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing industries also report high numbers of injuries every year. Although some of these injuries are minor, half of all reported injuries result in missed or restricted work. Employees in Raleigh are most often injured by falls, overexertion, or contact with objects. Some of the most commonly reported injuries are sprains, strains, and tears.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Raleigh, 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.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission states that any business with at least three employees must have workers compensation insurance. There are, however, some limited exemptions in the railroad industry, as well as for domestic and agricultural workers. Raleigh employees who are injured on the job are covered for medical expenses and lost wages, with no obligation to prove employer fault. However, any medical treatment you seek must be reasonably expected to cure the injury, relieve pain, or lessen the disability. Disability compensation for lost wages can be available if your injury causes you to miss at least a week of work. These payments are based on a percentage of your average weekly wages, capped at $992 per week.
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 Raleigh, NC 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 Raleigh, NC healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report that details the extent of the damage and how it occurs 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 or aggravated by them. 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.
Injured Raleigh employees are required by the North Carolina Industrial Commission to provide both oral and written notice to their employer. This notice must be given within 30 days of the injury. Once notified, your employer will submit a claim to the insurance company. If your employer does not file your claim, you have 2 years to submit it directly.
Timeline and Other Information
If you qualify for temporary disability compensation, you can receive payments until you are able to return to work. However, the duration limit is 500 weeks. For permanent partial disabilities, a lump sum compensation amount is calculated using a formula. This formula incorporates the type, location, and severity of the injury. If you have a permanent total disability, you may be able to receive lifetime benefits.
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. Typically about the incident and to 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 Raleigh, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Raleigh, North Carolina, in others, it may be more difficult. Your employer might question 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 Raleigh workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Raleigh, North Carolina
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Raleigh, NC 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!