All workers in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina have a right to a safe work environment. However, workplace accidents are common, resulting in thousands of injuries each year. If you have suffered a work-related injury or occupational illness, consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Bradford Law.
Although you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, the insurance carrier or your employer may argue your injury was not work-related and contest your claim. When you meet with us, we will take the time to learn about your injury and work history and explore your options. Our legal team will guide you through the claims process, including the appeal and workers’ compensation hearing.
Above all, we will fight to get you the benefits you need and deserve. We offer free consultations and will charge no attorneys’ fees until we win benefits for you. Contact us today to get started on your workers’ compensation claim.
What is workers’ compensation?
Most employers in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits to injured workers. Notably, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means you can file a claim even if the injury was your fault; however, in most cases, you cannot file a civil lawsuit against your employer. On the other hand, you may be able to file a third-party claim against a negligent contractor, vendor, or equipment supplier if that party was responsible for the workplace accident that led to your injury.
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must have suffered an injury or illness in the course and scope of your employment. Unfortunately, insurance carriers often delay or deny valid claims to protect their profits, while some employers contest claims to keep insurance premiums in check. That is where Bradford Law comes in. We will leverage our skills and experience to level the playing field and get your claim approved.
What types of workers’ compensation benefits are available in North Carolina?
If you have been injured at work or you have developed an occupational illness, you may be able to collect benefits such as:
Workers’ compensation covers all your medical expenses, including examinations, surgeries, rehabilitative care, physical therapy, prescription medications, and assistive devices (e.g. crutches, braces, orthotics, tens unit).
Temporary Disability (Time Out of Work)
You are entitled to a partial replacement of your wage if you miss work due to your injury. This benefit provides two-thirds of your average weekly wages; the benefit amount is determined and capped by a statutory formula. You will receive temporary wage benefits until your treating physician declares you medically able to return to work.
You may be entitled to permanent disability benefits if you sustain a disabling injury and cannot return to your job. These benefits are based on factors such as the nature of your injury, your age, occupation, and a doctor’s analysis of the percentage of your lost work potential. While insurance carriers often encourage permanently injured workers to take a reduced lump sum payout, doing so is not in your best interests. You need an adept attorney to help you obtain permanent disability benefits that consider all of your future medical and financial needs.
Permanent Partial Disability
You may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits if you sustain a disabling injury and can return to your job. Once you’re injured in a workplace accident, the injured body part may not return to 100% . That is to say, the injured body part does not have the same function after recovery that it had prior to the injury and you are not expected to regain pre-injury function.
Scarring and Disfigurement
You may be entitled to compensation for scarring and/or permanent disfigurement if you sustain an injury that is not covered by permanent partial disability benefits. These benefits are based on factors such as the significance and severity of the scarring and/or disfigurement. Not all scarring and disfigurement warrants compensation. In North Carolina to secure benefits for scarring and disfigurement, you must show the scarring and/or disfigurement is significant and impairs earning potential. These benefits are capped with a maximum recovery of $20,000.00 for facial disfigurement and $10,000.00 for body disfigurement.
In addition to providing benefits to injured workers, the workers’ compensation program also provides a death benefit to compensate surviving family members of a worker who suffers a fatal workplace injury.
You may be entitled to compensation for mileage reimbursement for transportation to and from workers’ compensation related medical treatment. In the event that you do not have transportation or your injuries prohibit you from driving to and from your medical treatment, you are entitled to have transportation provided for you.
Given the challenges of obtaining worker’s compensation benefits, it is wise to have our dedicated workers’ compensation attorney by your side. Once you become our client, our legal team will provide you with compassionate representation and exceptional professional service. Above all, you will have peace of mind knowing that we will handle your claim with diligence and care.
Common Workplace Accidents in North Carolina
Workers across multiple industries are injured in all types of accidents, such as:
- Slip and fall accidents – Falls from heights are common at construction sites, but even office workers can be injured in slip and fall accidents due to slippery surfaces, poorly lit or cluttered walkways, and other hazards.
- Manual labor – Workers who bend to lift or carry and move heavy items (e.g. boxes, furniture, tools, construction material) can suffer back, shoulder, and arm, injuries, as well as repetitive motion injuries.
- Vehicles/moving equipment – Vehicles, such as forklifts and trucks, and moving equipment can strike other workers, while cranes and other machinery can collapse or trap workers in-between.
In addition, workers in several industries are exposed to all types of hazards, such as wiring, chemicals, fires, burns, and explosions that cause work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
Types of Work-related Injuries
At Bradford Law, we have represented individuals who have suffered all types of injuries on the job, including:
- Back injuries
- Burns injuries
- Head injuries
- Hearing/vision loss
- Knee injuries
- Loss of limb
- Muscle and ligament damage
- Occupational illnesses
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
What to Do After a Workplace Injury
If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Charlotte, it is crucial to immediately report the injury to your employer. Moreover, you must notify your employer of the injury within 30 days of the incident. If you fail to do so, you may forfeit your right to benefits in North Carolina
In general, the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier has the right to select and direct medical care. Should your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier refuse or fail to do so, seek medical treatment and inform your doctor that your injury or illness was job-related.
While you are being treated, it is imperative to keep notes of your doctor’s visits and maintain records of any treatment you receive. This information, along with doctors’ records, will be valuable evidence in support of your workers’ compensation claim, which in general be filed within 2 years of the date of your injury.
Finally, you will likely be required to undergo an examination by an independent physician chosen by your employer, and the outcome of this exam could be a determining factor in your claim. Let our legal team handle all the details, guide you through the process, and get you the worker’s compensation benefits you deserve.
Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you are a worker in Charlotte who had your workers’ compensation claim denied, you have a limited time to appeal the decision. Bradford Law can assist you in successfully maneuvering through the complex process of appealing to the North Carolina Industrial Commission for your workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Our Experienced North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
At Bradford Law, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers throughout Charlotte and the rest of North Carolina. Rest assured, your workers’ compensation will be in good hands. Contact our office today to arrange a consultation.