Were you injured at work? Do you know how much your claim is worth? It’s important to know what factors decide the worth of a workers’ compensation case. Common factors in North Carolina include:
- The age of the worker when they’re injured
- The occupation of the injured worker at the time of illness or accident
- What the worker’s future earning potential could have been if they had not been injured
- Whether the injury or illness resulted in a temporary or permanent impairment
- Medical records
- The worker’s testimony
The first three factors work together to help assess the value of a claim. For example, someone who has been a laborer for more than 30 years and is in his mid fifties will have a very different outcome from a 20-something desk worker.
What if I have a permanent injury?
The American Medical Association (AMA) has an entire book of guidelines that evaluate permanent work-related injuries. There are many factors to consider when deciding if a person has a permanent impairment. Of course, permanent impairment leads to a higher level of compensation since the worker will have to deal with the injury or illness for the rest of their lives.
What about my own testimony?
When assessing the value of a work comp claim, the testimony of the injured worker and his or her medical records carries a lot of weight. The worker will need to explain how the injury has affected their life and the lives of those they care for (and who care for them.) Also, the medical evidence must support the claim. This is why it is important to get a medical evaluation right away after a workplace accident or discovery of a work-related illness.
Putting all of these factors together can be difficult, especially when the injured worker is focusing on medical care appointments and healing. In order to get the amount of compensation they deserve from their work-related accident, many work comp claimants get help from legal professionals.