Charlotte Firefighter Injury Attorneys
Assisting North Carolina Firefighters With Workers’ Compensation Claims
Firefighting is a noble but inherently dangerous profession that comes with the risk of becoming seriously injured or developing a severe illness. Many firefighters suffer physical injuries while battling a blaze or develop health problems due to sustained inhalation of smoke over years of service or exposure to toxic chemicals. Some firefighters may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the often-traumatic nature of their job.
Firefighters deserve fair compensation when they are injured at or because of their vital work. All firefighters are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina, but many struggle to access the benefits they deserve. Our experienced Charlotte firefighter injury lawyers can help you file your claim and aggressively advocate for you throughout each stage of the process. We understand how to strategically approach many of the obstacles you are likely to encounter in your fight to get the money and medical treatment you need to move forward.
At Stewart Law Offices, we treat clients like family, which starts with visiting you at your home or in the hospital if you cannot come to us. You will have the full support of our team from beginning to end, and we are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
Can Firefighters Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance in North Carolina?
Firefighters, police officers, and other first responders are all covered by workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina. Even volunteer firefighters are typically covered. Generally, if you sustain any type of physical or mental injury as a result of firefighting, you qualify for benefits.
The following types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance:
- Physical injuries caused by an accident that occurred while you were on the job
- Repetitive stress injuries caused by motions and activities required by the job
- Occupational illnesses, including health consequences caused by toxic exposure and mental health conditions like PTSD
Unless you were intoxicated or attempting to harm yourself or someone else, fault does not matter when filing a workers’ compensation claim. You do not have to claim your employer or any other party was negligent. You only need to demonstrate that your injuries are work-related.
You only have 30 days to report work-related injuries, and it is wise to inform your employer, in writing, as soon as you discover one. Benefits may be denied if you wait too long. After an initial report has been submitted, you will have two years from the date of the workplace accident (or two years from the date you discovered or should have discovered a work-related injury) to file a workers’ compensation claim. Our Charlotte firefighter injury attorneys can help* prepare your claim and ensure you do not miss a deadline.
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can Firefighters Receive in North Carolina?
A firefighter injured on the job or because of their work is entitled to medical treatment for those injuries. This includes hospital services, laboratory tests, physical therapy, pharmaceutical drugs, physical therapy, mental health treatment, and all other necessary forms of care. However, be aware that your employer or their insurer gets to choose your care providers, who will authorize the treatments they believe to be necessary.
Many injuries will temporarily or permanently prevent a firefighter from returning to work. In these scenarios, an injured firefighter can get temporary or permanent disability benefits which are designed to partially compensate them for lost wages. If a firefighter suffers fatal work-related injuries, their family can also get death benefits that cover a portion of the wages the firefighter would have earned had they lived. When you meet with us, we can review your circumstances and walk you through what your workers’ compensation claim is worth and what types of benefits you can expect to receive.
Why Should a Charlotte Firefighter Hire an Attorney After Suffering a Work-Related Injury?
Though the workers’ compensation system is designed to protect employees who are injured at work, the unfortunate reality is that many workers, including firefighters and first responders, struggle to access the benefits they are entitled to. Employers and insurance companies often do not act in the best interests of injured firefighters and will often seek to pay out as little as possible. They may choose doctors that unfairly minimize the severity of your injuries, preventing you from getting crucial treatments and disability benefits. Some claims may be denied entirely.
Employers and insurance companies assume you do not have the knowledge or resources to combat their unfair practices, but by hiring legal representation, you level the playing field. Our team at Stewart Law Offices is familiar with the strategies employers and insurance companies use to limit what firefighters recover.
Our Charlotte firefighter injury lawyers are ready to fight for you if:
- Your workers’ compensation claim has been denied
- The insurance company has offered you an unacceptably low settlement
- The doctor chosen by your employer or insurer refuses to recognize the severity of your injuries
- Your employer refuses to report your injury
- Your employer’s insurer becomes unresponsive
- You are struggling to secure temporary or permanent disability benefits