Workers' Compensation Lawyers in Charlotte, NC
Our team of experienced work injury attorneys will investigate your claim and fight for you every step of the way. We will give you the best possible chance of getting the greatest compensation available under the law. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable legal staff about your case.
Meet Our Charlotte Workers’ Comp Lawyers
Did you sustain serious workplace injuries or was your loved one killed on the job in the greater Charlotte area? Contact us today to help seek all of the workers’ comp benefits that you need and deserve.
What Do You Do If You Get Hurt at Work in Charlotte?
Employees should always report an injury to a supervisor as soon as possible. A written notice is better than a verbal one. Filing within the required timeframe is essential. An employee who receives proper treatment for an injury could be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Industries, where workplace accidents are common, include:
Common types of work-related injuries include:
How to File Workers’ Compensation in Charlotte
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is similar to filing any other insurance claim. It is not a lawsuit against an employer, but rather a request for benefits.
The first step in filing a claim is to notify your employer. No matter how the employer learns of the incident, they must offer you a claim form immediately. Until this claim form is completed, the employer has no obligation to provide benefits. Your employer should be able to supply you with the forms needed to file a claim. In fact, most states require the employer, doctors’ offices, and hospital emergency rooms to have the forms that start the process. If they cannot, immediately contact your state Workers’ Compensation Office, which can be located on our site’s state government agencies page. When filling out the form complete only the “Employee” section. Be sure to SIGN and DATE the claim form. It is important that you keep a copy of the claim form for your records. Return the claim form to your employer. You may hand-deliver or mail it to your employer. If you choose to mail the claim form, we recommend you use the certified mail return receipt requested. It is important to file quickly because otherwise, you could be subject to delays in receiving your benefits.
Your employer should then complete the “Employer” section and forward the completed claim form to his workers’ compensation insurance company. Your employer should give you a copy of the completed claim form. You should request a copy from your employer in the event you do not receive one. Keep a copy for your records. Generally, the insurance company has fourteen (14) days to mail you a status letter about your claim. If you don’t receive this letter, you should call the insurance company.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Injury Claim?
- A person must report their injury to their employer within 30 days.
- The statute of limitations for a workers’ comp case is two years. Form 18 must be submitted within two years of the date of an injury, or the worker will lose their right to workers’ compensation.
What to Do If My Claim Is Denied
Workers’ compensation claims are frequently denied for multiple reasons. Some of the most common reasons that claims are denied include failure to follow a doctor’s instructions, disputes about whether an injury was work-related, and lack of medical records. Your employer may assert that you were actually an independent contractor, not an employee, and reject your claim. Although fault is generally not an issue in workers’ comp, an employer may claim that the injured worker was intoxicated by alcohol or drugs or intentionally caused the injury.
The good news is that an initial denial of a workers’ compensation claim does not mean that a worker will be unable to obtain benefits. Injured workers often have several appeal options.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) will notify you within 14 days of your claim being denied, and you have 14 days from the date you receive your denial to file an appeal. The NCIC will typically schedule a mediation conference, at which an independent mediator will discuss your case with you and your employer’s insurance representative.
The mediator’s recommendation is forwarded to the NCIC, and an employee who disagrees with a mediator’s recommendation can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). That hearing operates much like a trial, and an employee can then request a hearing before a panel of three ALJs if they disagree with the single ALJ decision.
Tips for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits Successfully
When you are injured in an accident on the job, your first step should be to get medical care and report the injury to your employer. If any co-workers or other people saw the accident, make sure that you know their names and phone numbers. Our Charlotte worker’s compensation lawyers strongly advise you to take the following additional steps. By doing so, you can ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that you are entitled to.
- Do not speak to anybody about your accident other than your attorney.
- Do not write about the accident or post social media status updates discussing the accident or your injuries.
- Hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer before speaking to any of your employer’s insurance representatives.
- Do not talk to any insurance company without legal representation. You should refuse to provide a recorded statement without the advice of your attorney.
- You should prepare for possibly being requested to submit to an independent medical examination (IME), which is an evaluation performed by a company’s selected health professional. Make sure you contact a lawyer before agreeing to any IME, as these exams are usually intended to find reasons to deny or minimize workers’ compensation benefits.
- Be mindful of the fact that your activities could also be watched by private investigators working for your employer’s insurance carrier. The investigators will see if the activities you engage in outside the workplace indicate that your injuries are not as severe as you claimed.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Many people assume that they do not need an attorney to handle their workers’ comp claims only to have their applications denied. We advise that you have legal help right away so you can try to avoid possible denials or delays in the handling of your claim.
The first benefit of hiring a lawyer for your case is that the attorney can immediately conduct an independent investigation of your accident. This will not only help determine the cause of your accident and allow the attorney to collect relevant evidence, but it can also help identify all of the liable parties.
It is essential to keep in mind that employers are not always the only parties responsible for a victim’s injuries. In some cases, a third party may have contributed to or caused an accident. If so, you may be able to seek compensation from them beyond the benefits workers’ compensation offers.
A lawyer will usually have the benefit of having previously handled multiple workers’ compensation claims and knowing what it takes to submit a claim successfully. If you are involved in any hearings, a worker’s compensation attorney will be extremely helpful in providing legal representation during what can often be very stressful experiences.
Call Our Charlotte Workers Comp Law Firm
People who have been injured on the job usually have the right to compensation to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages they have suffered. The workers’ compensation process in North Carolina can prove to be incredibly frustrating for many people, but you should know that you do not have to handle your claim by yourself.
Some people abandon hope after an initial denial but know that you have the right to appeal any denial of your benefits or an award that is less than the law says you deserve. Any initial oversights or errors can be corrected, and you can still seek the benefits you are entitled to. Let a Stewart Law Offices worker’s comp attorney review your case to seek all possible options. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation!