The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina exist to provide a safety net for injured workers and to protect them from exploitation and mistreatment from employers. When a workplace injury occurs in Jacksonville, NC, the victim likely has the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if they are a covered employee. Every year, workers’ compensation insurance disburses billions in monthly benefits and medical expense coverage to injured workers across the US.
Unfortunately, not every injured worker is able to secure the results they deserve from their workers’ compensation claim, and others have grounds for further legal recourse that require legal counsel to fully explore. Whatever your case may entail, you need legal counsel you can trust if you want to maximize the benefits you obtain from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates has represented many past clients in their workers’ compensation claims and subsequent civil actions. We know the challenges and opportunities you may face in your recovery efforts after a workplace accident and how to navigate you through these issues efficiently. If you’re ready to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, a Jacksonville, NC workers’ compensation attorney is an invaluable asset for every phase of your recovery efforts.
While it is not strictly required that you hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim, doing so can dramatically improve the results of all your recovery efforts from a workplace accident. The right attorney can ensure you have a covered injury or illness, help you gather any documentation you may need to substantiate your claim and address any issues that arise with your employer and/or their insurance carrier.
Workers’ compensation protects employers, too, and you may not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer after a workplace injury. However, there are exceptions to this, and it is also possible to have grounds for a civil suit against a third party who caused your injury. If you have any cause for further legal recourse following your workers’ comp claim, it is always best to have legal representation you can trust for this case.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates can help you file your workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after your injury and help you assess whether the insurance carrier has offered a suitable offer for your claim. Ultimately, there are many possible issues that can arise for any injured worker in the Jacksonville, NC area, and having legal counsel you can trust enables you to address these matters as efficiently as possible.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina is similar to filing any other type of insurance claim. However, there are strict procedures you will likely need to follow to succeed with your claim. The first is likely to be a medical examination. You can see any doctor in an emergency, but you must have a workers’ compensation physician examine you to determine your disability rating. This rating will determine the scope of benefits you receive from the insurance carrier and how long those benefits will last.
Your attorney can assist you in filling out all your claim forms. They can also provide guidance if you encounter a problem with a workers’ compensation doctor’s assessment of your condition and/or your employer’s handling of your case. Unfortunately, some employers will retaliate against injured workers who request to file workers’ compensation claims because of the higher insurance premium costs they may face in response to these claims. If you encounter retaliation, you have grounds for a civil suit against your employer, and you could also file suit against them if they do not have workers’ compensation insurance as required by law.
When an injured workers’ claim for workers’ compensation benefits is approved, they can typically expect the insurance carrier to pay for all the medical treatment they need to reach maximum recovery from their injury. This may include immediate treatment costs, ongoing expenses for rehabilitation, and various therapies to restore lost function.
Workers’ compensation insurance will also award disability benefits when an injury leaves the worker unable to return to work, either temporarily or permanently. If a claimant qualifies for temporary total disability benefits, they can receive about two-thirds of their average weekly wage in ongoing benefits until they can return to work. If they qualify for permanent disability benefits and will be unable to work at all in the future, the insurance company may attempt to settle this type of claim with a large lump-sum settlement offer.
Regardless of what your situation entails, the best way to maximize the benefits you obtain for your workplace injury is by hiring an experienced Jacksonville, NC workers’ compensation attorney to represent you. Once you have received as much as you can through your employer’s insurance policy, your attorney can then help you determine whether you have grounds for further recovery efforts.
In the event you have suffered a workplace injury due to the negligence or the intentional misconduct of a third party outside of your workplace,you likely have grounds to file a personal injury claim against them. This civil suit could potentially help you recover losses that workers’ compensation won’t cover. For example, while disability benefits may offer up to two-thirds of your average income while you recover, a personal injury claim could enable you to secure compensation for the remaining portion of your missing income and your pain and suffering.
If you must pursue a civil claim for damages to fully recover from a workplace injury, it is crucial to have legal representation you can trust to guide you through your case. You must identify the party responsible for your injury, prove the full scope of damages they caused that workers’ compensation won’t cover, and establish a clear link between their actions and your damages. Christina Rivenbark & Associates have years of experience helping our clients navigate the toughest workers’ compensation cases. Whatever your situation may entail, we are fully prepared to provide the compassionate and responsive legal counsel you need throughout your recovery efforts.
It’s understandable to worry about the potential cost of hiring an attorney, but North Carolina state law limits the amount an attorney can charge a client in a workers’ compensation case. These cases operate on a contingency basis, meaning the attorney’s fee is contingent upon their ability to win the case for the client. When they do, the attorney receives a percentage of the final case award as their fee.
Though it may not be technically required to hire an attorney for your impending workers’ compensation claim, doing so can pay off tremendously in several ways. Your attorney can streamline the claim filing process so you can get your benefits as soon as possible. They can also help you determine if you have grounds for further legal action beyond your workers’ compensation claim.
A straightforward workers’ compensation claim with no interference from the insurance carrier could yield benefits in a matter of days to weeks for some claimants. For others, it can take much longer to resolve their claims. Your Jacksonville, NC workers’ compensation attorney can provide a rough estimate of how long it will take to resolve your case.
How Much Can I Receive in Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits?
When you qualify for total disability benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, you should receive about two-thirds of your average weekly wage in weekly disability benefits until you are able to return to work. If you qualify for light duty, you can receive partial disability benefits instead that can make up the difference in your earning power after your injury.
Even after accounting for the contingency fee you will pay to your attorney, the legal representation they offer can easily amount to a more robust recovery than you could have managed on your own. Hiring legal counsel makes every aspect of your claim easier, from the initial claim filing process to resolving potential disputes with an insurer to pursuing further legal action with a third-party personal injury claim.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates have years of experience representing clients in the Jacksonville, NC area in a wide range of civil cases, including workers’ compensation claims. We know the state’s workers’ compensation laws and employers’ requirements under them, and we know how to identify when our client has been treated unfairly. Whatever your case entails, we can provide the compassionate legal counsel you need to approach the situation with confidence. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Jacksonville, NC workers’ compensation attorney you can trust with your case.