North Carolina upholds some of the strictest workers’ compensation laws in the country, requiring virtually every private sector employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, if you work for any non-federal employer in the Leland area and suffer any injury at work, it’s very likely that you are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should you suffer an injury at work.
Workers’ compensation may be a form of insurance coverage, and filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is very similar to filing any other type of insurance claim, but many people in Leland, NC and throughout the state encounter unexpected challenges in their work injury claims. Therefore, if you have suffered an injury at work, it’s wise to hire an experienced Leland workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to help you through the difficult proceedings ahead of you.
The attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates have the professional skills and resources you need on your side to maximize the results of your workers’ compensation claim. Our firm has assisted many past clients, and we are ready to put this experience to work in your recovery efforts. In addition, we can guide you through the claim filing process and help you explore alternative options for recovery that may enhance your final compensation for your work injury.
After an injury at work, you should seek medical care immediately and ensure your supervisor knows about the injury. They are legally required to document the injury in an incident report and provide you with the materials needed to file your workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, not every employer will uphold their responsibilities to their injured workers, and some go so far as to interfere with employee claims. In addition, employers pay premiums for their workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and multiple claims can lead to an increase in these premiums. This regrettably encourages some employers to engage in unethical handling of employee work injury claims.
If your employer handles your situation in good faith, you should prepare to undergo a medical examination from a local physician approved by your employer’s insurance carrier. Of course, you can see any doctor in an emergency, but once you are stable and see a workers’ compensation doctor for an evaluation, you must do so to have your disability rating assigned. This disability rating is a numerical indicator of the severity of your injury and will inform the level of benefits you are eligible to claim.
After receiving medical treatment and completing the medical evaluation process, a Leland workers’ compensation attorney can help you file your claim for benefits. You must submit all required materials to the insurance company, and then it will deliver a determination of benefits once it completes its review of your claim. If any disputes arise with the insurance company or if it delivers an unsatisfactory determination of benefits, your Leland workers’ compensation attorney will be an invaluable asset for resolving these issues.
A successful workers’ compensation claim in Leland should yield two forms of compensation for the injured worker: medical expense coverage and disability benefits. When it comes to the medical treatment you require for your injury, your employer’s insurance carrier should cover any and all treatments needed to heal completely from the injury. This includes both immediate and long-term health care costs.
Disability benefits are more variable. It’s possible for injured workers to qualify for partial disability benefits if they retain the ability to work after their injury but with reduced earning power.
If you can still work but cannot earn as much income as you did previously because of your injury, partial disability benefits are the most likely outcome. If you cannot work during your recovery, you will likely receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits are paid at the rate of about two-thirds of your average weekly income for the year prior to your injury, so if you typically earn $1,200 per week, this should translate to about $800 in weekly disability benefits. These benefits are typically capped at a maximum of 500 weekly payments, but anyone who sustained a permanent injury from work may qualify for more extensive disability benefits.
If you suffered an injury at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance typically shields them from civil liability for your damages. Therefore, you cannot file a civil suit against your employer for your work injury unless they do not have workers’ compensation insurance or they intentionally caused your injury somehow. However, if a third party outside your work caused your injury, you could have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim. Success with this personal injury claim will require proof that the defendant directly caused the injury and the resulting damages.
A Leland workers’ compensation attorney is the best asset to have on your side if you want to ensure that you fully explore every avenue of legal recourse available to you after a workplace injury. If you have the ability to file a third-party personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, this could enable you to secure repayment of the damages that workers’ compensation does not cover. For example, you could potentially recover missing income beyond what workers’ compensation provides as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured from your injury.
You will need legal counsel you can trust to navigate these recovery options successfully and maximize your recovery. The team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates can provide the comprehensive legal representation you will need to secure the best possible outcomes from all the recovery efforts you pursue after your workplace injury.
You have a limited time in which to file your workers’ compensation claim in Leland, and it’s always best to start your claim filing process as soon as possible after an injury at work. Ideally, you should handle your immediate medical needs after a workplace injury, ensure your employer has upheld their responsibilities to you in this situation, and then reach out to a Leland workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
If you have an attorney assist you with your workers’ compensation claim, it should dramatically reduce the time it takes to receive your benefits. As long as you fulfill your responsibilities pertaining to your claim and have the right attorney representing you, it should only take a few weeks to receive your first check from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Your Leland workers’ compensation attorney can provide a detailed estimate of how long your recovery efforts are likely to take.
The scope of the benefits you will secure from a successful workers’ compensation claim depends on the severity of your injury. Most injured workers can expect full coverage of their medical expenses and ongoing disability benefits for the time they are unable to work. However, benefits can be arranged in many ways depending on the unique details of a claim. The best way to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits is by hiring an experienced attorney to assist you with your claim.
It’s possible to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits on your own without an attorney, but you face several risks in doing so. The right attorney can not only streamline your claim proceedings but also maximize the benefits you secure. If any related legal issues arise, such as a claim against your employer or a third-party personal injury claim, you can rely on your attorney for help with these issues as well. Even after accounting for the cost of hiring your legal counsel, your attorney can make a tremendous positive difference in the outcome of your recovery efforts.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates has years of experience providing workers’ compensation representation, and we know the severe financial strain your work injury has likely caused. We offer contingency fee billing for workers’ compensation cases, meaning our firm will only take a fee once we win your case, and the fee you pay is a percentage of your settlement. In addition, there is no fee if we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf, so there is no risk to you by having our firm represent you in your recovery efforts.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates can help you understand the legal mechanisms of your situation and navigate the workers’ compensation claim filing process more fluently. Our firm has assisted many past clients in Leland and surrounding areas and we are ready to put this experience to work for you. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Leland workers’ compensation attorney you can trust with your claim.