Concord* Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Were you injured or was a loved one killed in a workplace accident in the greater Concord area? You likely have a lot on your mind, from getting the right medical treatment to supporting yourself and your family, and ultimately getting back on your feet again.
Workers’ compensation benefits are possible for many injured North Carolina workers. But the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complex. Stewart Law Offices, LLC, can help ensure that you have the legal support you need during this stressful time.
The N.C. Industrial Commission hears and decides cases involving workers’ compensation disputes in the state. With certain exceptions, all businesses that employ three or more employees must purchase and carry workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers under the N.C. Workers’ Compensation Act.
A successful workers’ comp claim in North Carolina allows injured workers to recover money for medical expenses and partial replacement of lost wages. But employees often encounter resistance from employers, who may try to deny or reduce benefits by making excuses to limit their liability.
Let the experienced Concord personal injury lawyers at Stewart Law Offices fight for the benefits you deserve. We know the intricacies of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws and will help craft a strong case on your behalf.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While it is possible to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own, you must be confident that your application is complete and accurately portrays the extent of your injuries. One minor oversight could result in your claim being denied.
Our attorneys can offer you the benefit of years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims. We will identify any potential problems with your case and address those before you apply for benefits.
Medical evidence is critical to support a workplace accident claim. Our lawyers will obtain the medical records needed to strengthen your case for benefits.
The N.C. workers’ compensation program is designed to simplify matters by providing workers with benefits if they are injured, but there is a trade-off. By law, workers cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance.
However, the prohibition on lawsuits does not apply to negligent third parties. It’s possible that another party (e.g., a contractor, property owner, etc.) was responsible for your accident. Our attorneys can determine if you have an additional third-party negligence claim. This means that you could be eligible for additional compensation on top of your workers’ compensation benefits.
How to File for Workers’ Compensation in Concord
If you are injured on the job in Concord, there are several steps you need to take:
- Report the accident promptly: You have 30 days from the date of your accident or injury to provide written notice to your employer. Save a copy for your records.
- Notify the N.C. Industrial Commission: File a Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, Or Dependent (Form 18). Your employer must provide you with a copy of Form 18.
In return, your employer must immediately report any occupational disease or accidental injury that requires medical attention to its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. It must also file Form 19 with the Industrial Commission within five days of being notified that an employee must miss more than one day of work, or if their medical expenses exceed $2,000.
You will not be paid workers’ compensation benefits for the first seven days you miss work. However, you will be able to recover benefits for those first seven days if you miss 21 days of work.
How Long Do I Have to File for NC Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In most cases, injured workers have two years to file workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina. Other deadlines could be applicable depending on the circumstances of your case, which is why it’s essential for you to contact our attorneys for assistance as soon as possible.
Appealing a Denied Claim
If your initial worker’s compensation claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. You will need to file a Request That Claim Be Assigned for Hearing (Form 33) with the Industrial Commission.
When you request a hearing, your case will likely be referred to mandatory mediation. In this process, a neutral third party attempts to assist the two sides in reaching a joint resolution. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will go back to the Industrial Commission for a hearing.
Your case will be heard by a deputy commissioner who is also charged with rendering a decision. If your claim is again denied, you can appeal for a review before the full commission.
If the claim is again denied, the next step would be to appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Your last attempt for an appeal is with the Supreme Court of North Carolina, which rarely hears workers’ compensation cases.
How Our Law Firm Can Help after a Workplace Accident in Concord
Stewart Law Offices will provide a detailed, independent investigation of your workplace accident. We will determine the cause of your injuries, collect and preserve vital evidence and identify any potentially liable third parties.
Our firm will also be able to assist you with every step of the workers’ compensation application process, including all negotiations with insurance companies. We know what it takes to build a successful claim and will strive to support your case with strong evidence and solid arguments.
If there is an issue with your case, whether it is a denial or an unsatisfactory award, our attorneys will guide you through the appeals process. Our goal is to protect your rights and fight for results that will take care of you and your family.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
There are several things that you need to do if you’ve been hurt on the job:
Protect Your Health
Far too many injured workers dismiss the extent of their injuries. Instead, seek medical treatment right away. Your employer may have a pre-selected physician that you will need to see to have your medical expenses covered.
An employer could have an on-site doctor, and many other employers have designated providers that employees must go to for treatment if they get hurt on the job. When there is no on-site or designated health care provider, you should go to any doctor who can provide the treatment you need.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
One of the most important things you can do after being injured on the job is to obey every instruction from your doctor. Do not participate in any activity that a doctor has prohibited. Go to all follow-up or rehabilitation appointments. Take all medications as prescribed. Failure to do so could also lead to insurance companies denying you full benefits.
You can obtain information about your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier from the Industrial Commission in several ways. You can search its online Insurance Coverage Search System, file a Form 18, or wait for the employer or carrier to file its Form 19. You will receive an acknowledgment letter with information about the insurance carrier. Contact the Industrial Commission if you do not receive this information.
Important North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Resources
Some additional resources that provide additional information about workers’ compensation in North Carolina include:
- North Carolina Industrial Commission: This is the state agency in charge of administering the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. It is composed of a chairman, a vice-chairman and four commissioners. The Industrial Commission will check on the status of insurance coverage for employers subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act and promotes the resolution of disputes through mediation or by rendering impartial decisions. It also investigates criminal violations of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
- Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA): This is the federal agency that sets and enforces standards to ensure safe and healthy workplaces in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was established to investigate workplace accidents, provide outreach and educate workers about their rights. In North Carolina, private and public sector employees (except federal employees) can ask questions by contacting OSHA’s Raleigh State Plan Office at (919) 707-7806. Workers for the U.S. Postal Service, private sector maritime activities, and employees of Indian reservations, railroads, military bases and the American National Red Cross should contact OSHA’s Area Office at (919) 790-8096.
Injured in a Concord Workplace Accident? Contact Our Law Firm Now
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Stewart Law Offices understand the physical, emotional and economic burdens that often accompany a workplace accident. If you were hurt in Concord or the surrounding North Carolina communities, we can work to build a solid workers’ comp case that fully accounts for the extent of your injuries and losses.
When you’re in pain, we know how urgently help is needed. That’s why our law firm is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (866) 465-7851 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
Stewart Law Offices serves Concord residents from its Charlotte, NC office location. There is no office located in Concord, NC.